out of the garage


out of the garage

Alan Andrews gives some insight into the 35′ we featured in yesterday’s Monster Garage

It is great to see Ev Flanders getting some good credit for the job he has done on this 35 footer.  As “Great Red Shark” notes this is the second boat I’ve done with Ev.  The first was a cold molded wood One-Tonner that was launched barely in time for a Kenwood Cup.  After that boat had gone on to new owners, Ev built a fiberglass power cat with and for some friends.  Through this we kept talking about another race boat.  He was looking for a smaller boat, easier to handle with fewer crew, for racing in Hawaii and about the smallest practical sized boat for a Transpac.  Ev had first done that race aboard “Tinsley Light”, Hank Grandin’s Mull 36, and so he knew what it was like in a small boat. Read on

We had won the 1994 Kenwood Cup with the Andrews ILC 40 “Growler” while these conversations were going on and Ev had a chance to see “Growler” while it was in Oahu.  The conversations continued for a few more years and when Ev was ready, he settled on 35 feet as a size that could be raced to Hawaii and then also not need a huge crew for buoys racing out of Waikiki or Maui.  At the time, the rating rule de jour was IMS and the design was initially set up for that rule but also with an eye to the moderate to windy venue so no wooden keel.  As time went on and IMS went to its grave there have been design updates where they made sense with the parts that were still due to be ordered or built.  For instance, the keel is a ductile iron cast fin with lead bulb to provide the most righting moment with the least weight at reasonable cost and the rig now includes masthead asymmetrical spinnakers so it will fly off the wind.  Ev has talked about a carbon rig but he already owns an aluminum one so I’m betting that’s what she will be launched with. 

Going into the project, construction would have to be the best bang for the buck with the knowledge that materials were all paid for in hard, cold cash but Ev was going to supply most of the labor with his own two hands.  He didn’t mind working a little longer to save weight but we had to be careful in where to spend raw dollars to get the best performance.  After building the power cat, Ev felt comfortable with fiberglass construction and this results in a lighter boat than the cold molded One Tonner.  Smart guy that he is, he started building by first vacuum laminating the foam core bulkheads from CAD patterns on a laminating table to have more experience with the cure timing of the resin in his environment before building the big parts.  I think he only had to throw out one part while fine tuning his build practices.  Internal stiffeners were also laminated outside the boat on simple jigs or the vacuum table. 

Next came the hull plug and deck mold which were also built from CAD patterns, faired and made vacuum tight.  Hull and deck construction is a mix of unidirectional and biaxial E-glass skins that were roller impregnated with Gougeon Pro-Set laminating resin and then vacuum bagged.  The core is mainly CoreCell with some balsa in the high load areas and the core was carefully fitted to make the most use of un-scored sheets and then vacuum bagged in place.  In top boat building manner, the core was faired prior to vacuum laminating the second skins in place.  For these big parts Ev gathered a crew that helped with the laminating and fairing.

With the hull faired and primed, it was time to chuck in the pre-made internal structure and bond it in place.  Ev could do most of this himself in the evenings and weekends and as can be the case, the hours stretched over a bit of calendar time.  The whole boat was post cured so the resin would reach full strength properties and to reduce “print through”.   Deck hardware, plumbing and electrical was also installed in a similar “nights and weekends” manner. 

Ev also has the true Monster Garage, built from the ground up for boat building.  How many people have tall enough doors to run a 35 footer in and out, fully keeled and with the stanchions and pulpits on, on your own travel lift?  Other key features of the garage include the high windows on both sides to allow natural light in to the hull and deck when laminating and then fairing.  The mezzanine not only provides access to the boat when on the keel as in the photos, but also is a great place to view the hull and deck as they took shape.   In the end, this boat is all coming together and a lot of us are looking forward to hearing about Ev’s fast Lahaina Return Race over Labor Day. Jump in the thread.