‘Ramble On’ – A DIY Story featuring Thixo


SV Ramble On has a great blog where the owner gets into the massive amount of work they have made for themselves (via a long to-do list) aboard their Tayana 37. Jeni & Rich do a great job of tackling jobs that they have never before attempted and they typically come out, not only alive, but with a great project completed and crossed off the To-Do list that has taken over their lives. Continue reading

Thixo to the Rescue

We LOVE hearing about the different ways people fall in love with the genius tube of Thixo, our tubes of epoxy that mix perfectly with just the squeeze of your caulk gun. The mixing tips ensure a perfect concoction of resin and hardener and the various “flavors” of Thixo (Wood, Low Viscosity, Fast Cure and Thixo PRO) mean there is a solution for most problems encountered that require an adhesive.

Listen in to the voice of Mister SOS – the Aussie boatbuilder Moth fixing genius (alias: Australian legend boatbuilder Simon Owen-Smith) who came to the rescue of some beat up Moths from this past week’s Amlin International Moth Regatta? His first encounter with THIXO was a great one – and he even managed to give a great explanation as to why he found this surprise tool in the Moth Repair arsenal to be of such value.

These crazy sailors battled against big breeze and stiff chop as well as the basic Moth challenge of actually foiling and keeping the boat upright and in one piece. And as you might have read in Chris Museler’s first report from Bermuda, sailors of all abilities were in need of pretty fast and durable repairs as these boats and sailors were pretty dinged up from the challenging event. Nighttime sounded like a line up of all kinds of repair jobs to get the boat’s back on the water the next day. This is why we sent a case of THIXO to the event – to show the guys how fast and reliable this magical adhesive can be – without a mess and with little effort.

Check out SOS’s account of why he was so pleasantly surprised by THIXO and how it saved the day for a few guys and their carbon flying machines.


Moth Camp…The Video

Did you read the other blog posts (and one here) about the crazy Americans trying to epoxy, glue and jury rig their little carbon flying boats together before taking on the Super Pros at the Amlin International Moth Regatta in Bermuda?

These guys stayed up all night tweaking their boats and reshaping parts and booms and foils to get even an extra ounce of speed out of the twitchy carbon machines. We sent Chris Museler, sailor, blogger, writer for the NYT among others, to NC Moth training camp with a suitcase full of TotalBoat THIXO (fast cure, of course…speed freaks that they are) and 5:1 Epoxy to show this gang of sailors that they can save some dough and not go slow…

The THIXO was a real crowd pleaser and the 5:1 – as expected – performed as well as any other more expensive epoxy system for a heck of a lot less money. And these guys don’t want to waste money on glues and adhesives when the other components cost so much and often require frequent repair. And hey – we sent sweet TB shirts and hats, too. What’s not to love?

Read the blog posts, check out the video and see for yourself how these guys get their speed on. The question is – in a weeks time – will the Garage Band hold their own against the Big Guns of the America’s Cup and other pros loving foiling Moth down in Bermuda?stay tuned… time will tell….

MOTH MANIA: Bermuda or Bust

More Moth mania from contributing blogger guest, Chris Museler. If you missed last week’s post – check it out here.

“Ah, the smell of epoxy in the morning, smells like…victory.” This was one of the many punchy comments on Nat Shaver’s recent FB posts of a modification to his International Moth.

Last week’s US Moth training camp in North Carolina, supported by 11th Hour Racing with supplies from Jamestown Distributors and TotalBoat is now in the books. The work lists are smaller and there was a lot tested, performance measured and modified on the boats. The fleet is now packed in a container enroute to the Amlin International Moth Regatta in Bermuda.

The finishing touches on boat work are still in progress, though. Today, Patrick Wilson was putting the final paint on his foils in his Charleston garage, ending four months of intense grinding, sanding and gluing. (Details on all projects, products used and outcomes listed below)

“I’m not going to do anything to my boat that’s not going to make me faster,” he said on the last day of the training session in Minnesott Beach. And as he would fly up to leeward of the group to signal the start of a lineup, all would trim in. Just one click off the breeze than the rest, it was just a matter of a minute or so before this barefooted blonde guy took off, ending up boat lengths ahead. His approach is working and it started four months ago.

When the US fleet held its Nationals in Hood River, Oregon last summer, Anthony Kotoun walked away with the title sporting a canting rig that stood more upright while sailing upwind, and also used an adjustable rake system to lean the rig forward downwind. That kicked off a massive carbon cutting and vacuum bagging session in the following months to glue in new bow tubes to make adjustable forestays. Shaver designed and 3-D printed a forestay fitting with a pulley and by last week, everyone was going as far forward as they dared off the wind with their mast before the boats became super squirrely and crashed.

Throughout the season, the sailors in this fleet ordered supplies online from www.JamestownDistributors.com because it was fast and efficient. With the warehouse in Bristol, Rhode Island, the product could be shipped anywhere. The supplies donated to the fleet last week were consolidated for all and sent to Minnesott for use there and in Bermuda.

All the quick fixes and repairs in North Carolina were perfect opportunities to use the TotalBoat Thixo, both the Low Viscocity (during the warmer daytime) and the FastCure (at night when temps dipped into the 40 degrees range). With its mixing tip, this quick, ready-made thickened epoxy dispensed with a caulking gun was perfect for Shaver’s boom end that split into pieces at the outhaul. Two thin carbon plates clamped on either side of the end were perfect anchors for a new outhaul system, ready in the morning.

photoQuick and dirty Thixo repair.

A small batch of TotalBoat 5:1 Epoxy Kit resin and hardener combined with some carbon tape and a G-10 fiberglass dowel fixed a snapped tiller extension overnight as well.

This week, Wilson was doing something that will definitely make him faster: re-doing his main horizontal foil hinge. The magic of the Moth is directly associated with the main horizontal foil flap. This is attached to a push rod (held within the vertical foil) that is controlled by a linkage that terminates at a carbon wand off the bow. As the boat goes lower in the water, the wand presses back and the flap is pushed down, adding more lift, and visa versa.

photoAnthony Kotoun uses a digital protractor to measure Front Vertical Foil flap angle change as he moves the wand. Minnesott Beach, NC.

For elite sailors like Wilson, making that flap’s “hinge” as smooth as possible on the top and leaving a super polished finish on the entire foil means that he will blow through the 30-knot barrier downwind and hang with the best in Bermuda. The major part of this equation is the flexible joint on the top of the foil. A bead of Sikaflex is laid and sanded smooth, then the foil is sanded, primed and painted and sanded again. For the best guys, this last bit is pure art. We all can do it, but top results come with experience. Too smooth in cold water, the foils will cavitate. Too coarse, and you’re slow.

Wilson_01Patrick Wilson checking the finish on the freshly faired and painted front horizontal foil.11/23/15

Here’s Wilson’s product list this week:

Sikaflex, Sika Primer, Awlgrip 545 Primer, Awlgrip Topcoat, sandpaper (3M Stickit roll of 120, 220, 320; wetland paper 600, 800, 1000, 1200)

Anthony Kotoun spent all his free time wet sanding his foils in North Carolina, even taking an interview with a local journalist at www.TownDock.net wile he worked his little sanding block at opposing 45-degree angles with the trailing edge of his flap against the table to avoid over-sanding that edge.

photoAnthony Kotoun putting the time in, wet sanding his foil at 45 degree angles.

Shaver was a designer with Emirates Team New Zealand in the last America’s Cup and is now working with France’s Groupama Cup team. Check out his project list below to get a feel for the DIY projects the US fleet completed up until the Bermuda container arrived last Monday:

“For all the carbon work I used a vacuum pump, vac bag, breather and peel ply bought at JD along with sandpaper. For most of the bonding I used SpaBond from JD but have started using Thixo.” – Nat Shaver, US Moth Sailor

Project List: Designed and 3-D printed ball-socket Rudder Rake adjuster; Bent Boom 18 degrees (carbon, epoxy); constructed Boom Spreader (carbon, epoxy, foam); Installed Centerline Utility Tube for forestay purchase (carbon, epoxy, SpaBond); Designed and built New, Longer Rudder (carbon, epoxy, foam, plywood); Faired and painted all foils; Designed and installed 3-D printed Forestay Mount; Rigged boat with Adjustable Rig Rake, cant and control lines moved to outer wing bars.

Wilson_03Double vacuum bagging carbon bow tubes for adjustable forestays.

The Bermuda Moth regatta we are all gunning for starts December 6th. Wilson and several other American’s will be buffing out their foils until then and hand delivering them to that awesome island in the Atlantic. Last week’s Moth Camp was fantastic and the sailors were leapfrogging each other’s performance each day. Every adjustment, modification, seemed to work. The proof is in the pudding and even in Bermuda there will be a work list. But everyone is prepared, jacked up and ready to test their systems and their abilities against all those professionals they will be sitting next to on their flights in next week. I will be reporting on how it all shakes out so stay tuned and follow the US Flagged Moth sailors right here on TotalBoat Show!


Donna Lange: Underway Blog & Position Report


Donna Lange left Bristol almost 2 weeks ago now and she has made good progress and while her blog says the North Atlantic squalls have been challenging, her mood seems good and the optimism we expect from the accomplished sailor is inside the tone of her blog posts. Not one to let a bump in the road or some ten-foot seas get her down, Donna is battling some slow leaks and a soggy cabin but she seems to be doing well with her celestial navigation, checking her position with Bob, her partner who is keeping a close eye on her.

Enough from us! Head over to her blog and check out her posts. She will continue to add reports and her position is posted right on the homepage at www.donnalange.com 

We sure feel good knowing we helped outfit Inspired Insanity with plenty of TotalBoat supplies and a nice package of all the THIXO products she could carry before she left. Some of those Thixo products could be life saving – like the Fast Cure which doesn’t take days or need perfect conditions to do it’s job. Donna accepted the last minute extra Thixo tubes and tips like we had handed over a few Filet Mignons before her departure….and we were happy to provide it for her.

Follow Donna and wish her well on her blog page. I am sure a few notes from her followers will brighten up even the stormiest day in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!


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How to use the original screw holes in your frames when putting on a new plank

Master shipwright Louis Sauzedde shows us a great trick for utilizing screw holes already in your boat’s frames, so that when you place a new plank on them you can hit the screw holes from the previous plank. Great way to make your frames and your boat last longer!

Installing the forefoot on a Herreshoff 12 1/2

In part six of the latest Tips from a Shipwright video – Master Shipwright Louis Sauzedde continues his work installing the forefoot on the Herreshoff 12 1/2 “Rhode Island Red” in his boatshop. The laminated forefoot has been removed from the mold and Lou uses a scrapper, a chisel and a hacksaw blade to cut the profile pattern into shape. TotalBoat Thixo 2:1 Epoxy is used to glue the new forefoot before it is bolted into place. The Rhode Island Red is a historic daysailer designed by Nathaniel Herreshoff in Bristol, Rhode Island. Subscribe to Tips from a Shipwright for more in this series of wooden boat building tips and tricks.

ThixoPro Chines and Transom

Check it out, Thixo rules!  We rebuilt the chines and filled in the transom of this 13′ whaler using Thixo and a little wax paper for shape.  After 24hours thixo was hard, sandable and paintable.   Very cool.

Attach rope to the rub-rail of your boat

Louis Sauzedde shows us how to attach a rope to the rub-rail of your boat using the TotalBoat Thixo 2:1 Epoxy System.