Category Archives: Projects

“Renaissance” – A Modern Berlingo

I always enjoy coming back on old designs and hulls that I have already built in the past.

Actually, I like to implement new ideas in old boats and approach a totally different build method.

This time I wanted to build again a “Berlingo” and try some new ideas on it…

 

About the Designer:

I found some info about the original design from my friend in FB.

Mr. Guy Grave

Paul designed this boat for the European championship in Berlin so its name: “Berlin Go” ==> Berlingo, It was the first French M with a Swing Rig and he won !

I believe that the European Championship in Berlin was in 1989 (28 years ago… I was only 11)

Paul LUCAS was a naval architect. His last M: the Margo and his last boat: “Nij Atao”, a waterBike with Brest University.

You may find a nice photo of the WaterBike below:

The build:

I started with a bare carbon hull which was forgotten in a modeler’s private storage for some years.

This hull was also made by Mr. Christos Lardis, and is made from carbon fiber and epoxy resin.

The hull was completely open and without deck.

 

The first element I had to decide was the design and layout of the deck.

This time I wanted a new and improved deck design, considering my first berlingo build the “Ziggy Stardust”.

As I wanted the boat to be able to carry both swing and conventional rigs, I had to think how I will implement this function in a  simple and functional layout.

The solution came from my IOM projects. As I already had a center deck mold in my hands from my “Filya” project, I thought that it would be convenient to use this part for my new project.

 

To sum up a little bit and explain my basic ideas and parts I choose for this project, I quote the following list for reading and understanding convenience:

  1. Center deck part from IOM “Filya” project
  2. Foils from David Creed in UK
  3. Deeper keel fin compared to my first Berlingo build
  4.  Move Keel fin, Swing & Conventional Rig Box astern (8cm approximately compared with original design placement)
  5. New slimmer bulb made in one piece in Greece. Weight 3.3Kgr
  6. Rudder Shaft must be outside deck level.
  7. New electronics pot and electronics position compared with my first Berlingo

I started the building with keel fin and center deck fitting…

Actually, am still measuring position of placement …

Fin/mast box alignment to deck part.

 

In the pitures below you can see the final alignment and placement of the keel fin and ballast.

 

08/06/2017

Latest update of the build…

The hull construction is almost finished and I continued with the colouring works.  Two part epoxy colour was used in 4 fine soft layers. The overall finish was more than acceptable  and I decided to wet sand the surface later on with extra fine sand papers until 2000 grid. I attach some photos of the coloured hull and stay tuned for the final assembly and tests…

…to be continued

IOM “Filya”

Scale modelling and Sailing was always my passion. When these two elements meet each other the mix gives me the spark for a new project.
The idea of a new IOM design was rounding my mind especially when my IOM “Triton” project was ceased. This time I thought that it would be a great idea to discuss my ideas with a very good friend of mine Mr. Andreas Hoffmann.

Andreas maintains a wonderful RC-Sailing blog (http://rg-andy.blogspot.de/) and he is a keen designer and builder as well.

Andreas has already designed and built an IOM design named “Mamba” and we decided to use it as a base for the new design. We kept the main volumes and base-lines the same but Andreas added a hard chine across the side of the hull and designed a very beautiful deck layout. The hull came out very nice with a unique character that liked me very much.

The name of the design was still missing and we were discussing how to continue with the building.  Andreas had a very good idea and introduced me to Dirk Hiller who has in his workshop some very nice equipment.  Dirk also enjoys RC-Sailing and he is a 3D designer and CNC/3D printing enthusiast.

So our team grew up and now consisted by three persons.

Andreas Hoffmann is the designer, Dirk Hiller is responsible for the plugs and I will build the moulds and boats.

 

 

By the time we became three the name of the design came clearly in my head. We would name the boat “Filya” which in Greek language means Friendship.

I made the logo of the design with the friendship idea in my mind so the three different coloured figures represent each one of us.

 

 

The whole idea of the project started on October 2015 with the first discussion with Andreas. The plugs were built by Dirk on December same year and came in my hands on early January 2016.

Dirk made a very well prepared work during the CNC machining and the plugs were very well detailed and accurate…

 

 

My work started with priming the plugs by using two parts automotive primer sprayed and sanded on different repeated layers. Next step was to wax the plugs and construct the polyester moulds.

 

 

The first hull came out on July 2016 and of course was sent to the designer with honours.

 

Below Andreas hull #1 sailing in Germany…

The second hull was built up to deck level ready for electronics and sent to Dirk Hiller for sail testing and eventually racing.

The third hull was supposed to be built for myself but when I finished it a high interest came from a Brazilian skipper and was sent to him.

Hull #4 followed up and was finished ready to sail.

 

Now I have to find some spare time for sail tests.

Stay tuned…

 

“Tethys” hull #2

   Nowdays I am working on the construction of one more Tethys hull.  Actually I am building my personal Tethys boat because I have sold my old Marblehead some months ago.

This hull is no.2 came out of the mould and is made from a mixed Carbon Kevlar cloth. I wanted to use this kind of cloth because I had some spare in stock and I wanted to test it for the advantages some people describe.

I wanted to keep the total cost of the project in low profile and I decided to make my own fins. I used balsa wood for the core of the fins and 4 layers of carbon cloth on each side pressed into a mould I have made with the appropriate NACA profile shape.

I have even made a new ballast/bulb, shorter and lighter than the one I have made for the first hull.

The next thing I decided to do with this boat was to use a slightly shorter fin than the one in the #1 hull, and so this fin was cut 10cm shorter turned to be 60cm from water-line.

The bulb was fit to the fin and aligned perfectly with the hull.

The fins were also aligned with the vertical axis of the boat, and with the help of the building bench that turned to be very easy and smooth.

And as you can notice from the clocks in the background of the picture above I work late at night 23:25 … 🙂

 

The main deck got placed to the hull and I used a mix of epoxy resin and micro balloons as an ultra light filler to fill all the gaps and small surface defects. That material worked perfectly as it is very hard once fully cured and you can wet sand it very easily.

The hull treated with several grades of wet sanding finishing with 800.

After that, it was sprayed with an automotive grey primer and received it’s final wet sanding before colour painting.

The same primer was also applied to the fins and bulb…

(My excessive beard can’t fit inside any mask size…)

Got up early one morning and sprayed all parts with my cheap Asian but trusty small spray gun…

The chosen colour was a kind offer by a friend of mine who bought a bigger amount than he really needed for his full-size yacht.

Thanks Nikos…!!!

And voila…!!!

Bulb was also painted with the same colour…

While the fins decided to be white…

Here comes the first picture with keel fin and rudder fitted to the hull to see the colour scheme and how the whole boat looks.

Blocks, sheets post and mainsheet attached.

The name of the boat is “The Big Greek Machine” borrowed from a famous full-size Greek sailing yacht of the 80s owned by  P.Goulandris. I made a vinyl cut sticker and put it on the bow of the hull.

Below is a photo of the original yacht racing in the Aegean Rally on late 80s.

 

Stay tuned for rigging and sailing updates soon…!!!

IOM “Triton”

I always enjoy building hulls from scratch and this time I decided to go for a little designing also, something I have never done before.

Inspired by “BritPoP” and “Alternative” hull lines I designed a narrow hull with a very hard chine reaching almost the bow of the boat. I added also some extra volumes on the bow area to avoid nose diving and some more ideas in the deck layout.

I named the design “Triton

 

I firstly build a wooden prototype as I was planning to go for a negative polyester mould.

Despite the fact that the hull looks very similar to BG designs it is a totally different boat with many personal ideas.

Unfortunately I didn’t keep any photos of the moulds. I only have some photos of the ready made boat…

I only built 6 hulls of this design and gave them to some friends of mine.

Prototype #2 sailing in Germany

Prototype #4

I used Dave Creed foils for half of the prototypes and MX Components foils for the rest of them.  Below you can see an MX Components carbon look bulb.

Today the mould is destroyed and the project is ceased.

It’s a pity I didn’t keep a hull for myself… 🙁

 

 

 

“Tethys” Marblehead project

  

In November 2013 during the RG65 European Masters in Lavrion,  I met a skipper from the United Kingdom later turned to be a very good friend of mine, Mr.  Alex Cory.

Alex is an enthusiastic r/c sailor but much more than this, he is a great boat manufacturer.

After a lot of discussion and sharing of techniques and methods about boat building, I mentioned him my idea about the design of a new Marblehead hull.  Alex suggested me to get in touch with Mr.  Mark Dicks , who is a good friend of Alex and tell him my idea.

Everyone into the r/c sailing community knows  Mark Dicks who is a great designer carrying a great history on his back. He is the designer of the very successful  IOM “Triple Crown” as well as the famous  “Dragon Force 65”

https://dicksdesigns.co.uk/

Mark and myself exchanged tons of ideas on the design of a Marblehead project and eventually ended up in the design of a modern and narrow hull.  The hard chines in the bottom of the hull was a personal demand as most of the latest designs follow. After we gathered all the ideas and elements, Mark fine tuned the plans according to my taste and sent them to me to begin the construction.

The chosen name for the boat is “Tethys“.  In Greek mythology, Tethys (/ˈtθs, ˈtɛθs/; Greek: Τηθύς), was a Titan daughter of Uranus and Gaia, and the wife of her brother the Titan-god Oceanus, and the mother by him of the river gods and the Oceanids. Tethys had no active role in Greek mythology, and no established cults.[1]

I will not describe in detail how I constructed the prototype hull, as most already know the planking constructions technique,  but nevertheless I’ll let the photos to describe the whole construction …

When the planking works finished,  putty was applied on the whole hull and endless sanding initiated.

The project included making a polyester mould in order to take some hulls for me and some friends…

The mould was polished thoroughly and the first polyester test hull came out really nice.

After the first polyester test hull a carbon fiber followed with great success and look…

The construction of the first carbon hull started in the custom bench I have built for the proper alignment of the boat.  The boat is sitting on waterline and the keel depth is the maximum of the class (70cm).

The fins I decided to use are made by Dave Creed and their quality and stiffness are beyond my expectations. I decide to use the maximum draft limit of the class rules.

Mast tube for the swing rig is made from pvc plastic electrical tube. Struts made of carbon fiber plates placed to support side forces from the rig in heavy weather.

Brass tubes were used for inlet and outlet of the winch sheet lines.

The deck layout for the electronics pot recess and just before paint shop…

The completed hull just before painting…

After a week in the paint shop I received a shiny beautifully painted hull …!!!

This hull was build for a new friend of mine as he wanted to participate in the local Marblehead championship with it.  I installed all the electronics and built a swing rig for him. The sails came from Mr. Martin Roberts and they were excellent…!!!

The delivery and the launch day with the new boat owner was scheduled on April 2016…

A nice B Conventional Rig was build also and was fitted to the hull for stronger weather conditions…

The finishing positions after three regattas are very promising for the future. Below is the first race of the season into the Hellenic Cultural Centre water canal.

The boat needs further rig and sail tuning and a lot of practice from its owner. I am waiting for the final championship results to see the total development of Tethys.

To be continued…

“MX-14” by MX Components

My second IOM was a commercial boat made by MX Components in Thailand named “MX-14“. It is a Frank Russell’s design also known as “Goth XP” but is slightly modified for MX Components production purposes.

After selling my “Image“, I was searching for a modern narrow design for my next yacht because most of the times the weather conditions where we use to race are very calm.

I was offered a second-handed boat from Italy which was the personal boat of Maurizio Morbidelli the owner of MX Components brand. I couldn’t resist to that offer and grab the boat without a second thought.

The boat came to me in September 2014, very professionally packed and I started the assembly and rigging immediately.

The first thing I did was to install the winch. I bought a S300-XS from MX Components and installed it in the provided mount plate.

Below it is clearly visible where the correction weights are placed.

The next step was to fit my rigs I kept from my old IOM. The main problem I faced was that the mast tubes I was using were 12,7mm and the mast box was for 11,1 outer diameter tubes.

I decided to cut them and make in my lathe an adapter made from ErtaCetal plastic in the desired outer diameter of the mast box.

Absolute fit and the rigs are ready for some serious tests… 🙂

Next thing to do was to install RX and rudder servo.

Top Rig-A fitted and ready to race…

…and here comes a racing shot  !!!

 

 

My first Marblehead – Project “Berlingo”

My first true racing Marblehead was given to me by Mr. Christos Lardis, a senior Greek boat modeller with an enormous experience and great knowledge.

It was an old French design from 1989 and the name of the designer was Paul Lucas, if I type it correctly. I am not very sure.

The name of this beautiful narrow hull is “Berlingo”.

The hull came in my hands as seen on the picture below.

It was made very well by Mr. Christos and he kept the total weight very low.

The first thing I did with the hull was to clean with my dremel tool the carbon/kevlar fabric excesses.

I made a plan in my head about how I wanted to build the boat and what would be my main criteria.

  1. I wanted to use both swing rig and conventional rigs so I would need two mast boxes.
  2. I could make my own foils to keep the cost low.
  3. I wanted to lower the rigs to deck level the most I could so I have to make a lowered deck layout. (this one is the most difficult part)

With these three main aspects always in my mind I started my project with the foils preparation.

I used the  layout and dimensions of the original design and I started with a 3mm balsa core trimmed to the desired NACA profile.

I laminated several layers of carbon cloth with different thickness for each side of the fins.

I continued with some endless wet sanding of the surfaces and then sprayed them with two part automotive primer before painting.

I then made the finbox by wrapping  carbon cloth on the upper section of the keel fin in which I had before applied several layers of P.V.A realease agent.

Next step was to properly align and glue in place the finbox…

Rudder shaft tube placed also and aligned accordingly.

After all of those almost straight forward works, came the time for the most difficult part of the project which was the deck design and construction.

I had to design a deck layout and then to find out how it could be attached to the hull. I liked very much the skiff type deck layout and I tried to make my version by lowering as much as I could the deck level.

The main idea was to have the opportunity of lowering the conventional rigs as much as I could and also place an electronics pot also lowered into the deck.

I started with the build of the deck layout by using carton paper and then transfer it to 3mm plywood.

When the wooden deck was ready I removed it from the hull and prepare it to make a negative polyester mould.

Mould got ready and an epoxy deck came out very nice and light.

Mast boxes for both types of rigs were ready in order to be placed together with the deck.

After a lot of measuring, trimming, aligning and much more I managed to glue the deck in place and the result was very satisfying.

As every part consisting the boat was placed the next step was to apply some putty where it was needed to…

I made a custom putty by using epoxy resin mixed with micro balloons which gave me a very light and high-density media.

Filling and wet sanding before spaying the primer was more than necessary.

I used a nice utility named “Bulb Calculator” to make the bulb of the boat. I made a wooden prototype and from that, I made two gypsum moulds in order to cast the two bulb halves from lead.

The final bulb weighted 3300gr with a total length of 42cm.

The boat was near completion and I had only to paint it. I was thinking to paint it all a pale white but when I did it the final look was too empty for my eyes. I was struggling to find a nice logo or an additional colour scheme for the boat.  For several days my mind was focused to this desired colour scheme I was looking for…

The Story behind the name:

One day I was listening to one of David Bowie’s greatest hit named “Starman“.  Immediately I imagined the boat like a white spaceship… The concept of David Bowie’s album from which this song was a part of, was about space and a fiction character named “Ziggy“. The title of the album was “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars“.

The boat’s logo was finally very clear to me and in front of my eyes. I was going to name the boat “Ziggy Stardust“. I made a logo on the computer and send it to a friend who was responsible for the painting and artworks of the project.

I always get very inspired from music and I like very much to use ideas that comes from songs into my projects.

The colour set of the fins were chosen to match the logo and the concept of “Ziggy”. The lighting which David used to paint in his eye, was printed as the main logo on the sides of the hull.

The colour scheme was painted on the hull on 13 of April 2014.  Who could imagine that David would leave us for heaven on January 2016…??? RIP our beloved Ziggy…!!!

Final steps for getting ready the boat to hit the water commenced by placing foils and rigging…

Construction of the various rigs and eventually sailing…

Initial sailing tests with B-Conventional and breezy conditions…

Rig caused modifications:

The boat was designed only for swing-rigs back in 1989. One of my main and most critical requirements was to use conventional rigs for the lower rigs. I had to face a crucial step during the building of where and how to place the mast box for the conventional rigs. After a lot of research and reading of various sources, I decided to move the keel fin closer to datum for about 4cm.  I then placed the conventional mast box as close to the leading edge of the fin I could and also move the swing rig mast box after a little bit. Below you can find a detailed sketch with all of my measurements.

To tell the truth I was worried about my modifications and I was anxious for the first sail tests. I didn’t receive a clear impression after the first sail tests and I thought that racing would give me the right feeling and correct conclusion.

My thoughts were correct and regatta by regatta the boat evolved to be a real winner. Upwind speed and angle were magnificent, downwind sailing like a charm with minimum nose-diving . My project was successful and manage to win several regattas and two annual championships.

Ziggy Stardust today continues to participate in the Greek championship and still continues to win regattas with his new skipper.

Long Live Ziggy Stardust…!!!

 

 

 

RG65 “Ritalin”

Below you can find my last attempt to build an RG-65 class hull. The designer of the boat is Mr. Arne Semken from Germany and I bought his plan back in spring of 2013.

I have built the main plug from balsa wood which turned to be a bad approach by my side, especially if you plan to make a polyester mold from that.

Balsa wood is not a strong enough material to handle all that stress that the plug will receive from the molding works…

Anyway, even with a very fragile plug I finally managed to make a good set of molds and from them, I have built some nice carbon and fiberglass hulls.

The biggest problem when building an RG65 is to be careful with the materials and parts you are using and keep the overall weight of the boat very low.

My philosophy for a good competitive boat is to use a bulb between 650gr to 750gr with a total displacement of 1050 to 1100gr of a fully rigged and ready to sail boat.

The boat came out very nice and I sailed it on the annual class championship of the same year finishing on the first overall.

I also raced it on the 2013 European Masters and I finished on the 8th place, came to be the first Greek place of the championship.

I really love the RG65 class because is the little brother of the Marblehead class and shares a lot of elements if you divide them by 2.

🙂

 

“IMAGE” … an old design by Graham Bantock

My first IOM was an old, but very completive comparing the Greek fleet, “Image” designed by Graham Bantock. It was built under license by a Greek modeler back in 1999 and participated in a small fleet that era. After that,  it was stored until 2011 when it was basically restored to sail again by Kostas Koroniotakis. It passed on my hands in January 2012 and participated in the half of the local championship.

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After that, I decided to totally rebuild the boat because according to my opinion the boat had a great potential for the Greek fleet.

The works started by stripping up all the parts and components in order to have a bare hull ready for restoration.

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After a lot of sanding and cleaning the boat traveled to local airbrush studio owned and operated by a close friend. I had in my mind a two color scheme with a big logo on both sides of the hull. I decide to name the boat “Deus eX Machina” which in Ancient Latin means “God from the Machine” . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_ex_machina

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The hull painted metallic black and the deck pearl white. A nice logo with a big gear on the background was airbrush on the hull and everything sealed with two nice coats of clear varnish. The boat was totally transformed into a masterpiece which I really loved it. Nevertheless, all of those paint works gave me an overweight fully rigged boat of total 4160gr!!!

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To tell you the truth this fact worried too much and I couldn’t wait the time to hit the water and race against other boats.

The restoration works also included new sail suits and I choose a mixed recipe here.

A Rig from BG sails

B Rig from SailsETC

C Rig from Koronet Sails (Greek amateur sail maker)

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The boat came out really nice and I managed to participate in the Greek IOM annual championship of 2012 – 2013 finishing  2nd.

After that I continued to the next season of 2013-2014, with a better experience and a great focus and I have finally won the first place overall…!!!

The boat gave me great pleasure by racing it but I decided to move on a new modern design which I will write about it in a different article.  Deus Ex Machina finally sold to an Australian sailor and traveled to a new home in the summer of 2013.

Below you can see a very nice video about the story of the boat,  made from a very good friend of mine Kosmas of Cataman video productions.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk2axE0FM8E

 

Nowadays sometimes I think about Deus Ex Machina and the great feelings it gave me by racing and winning local regattas.

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Regards…

 

Vangelis