Great news, the boat is now at Strait Marine Boatyard for painting. Primer goes on late today and then we will see what is required to finish up after that – worse case more filler and fairing followed by another primer then topcoat. Best case – only topcoat required after the first coat of primer. We are using epoxy primer followed by acrylic urethane topcoat.
The rudder is about 50% finished and we are now working on the masts and booms (about 40% finished). Karry has been getting the carbon rods ready for bonding to make the keel foil.
The new keel foil was one of the major design aspects in the boat construction for Thunderbird 2012. We did a lot of work making mathematical models of the new keel foil so that we could ensure that it would not deflect more than desired. As we already have the keel from Thunderbird 2011, we found out that we could use the old keel to find the deflection of the new keel. This is possible due to the exact same geometry and size of new keel versus the old keel. The difference is in the materials used, which are all carbon in the new keel versus steel core and carbon foil in the old keel. Using this information to make a ratio between the materials properties of the two keels, we figured out that the new all-carbon keel will deflect well within the desired range.
The heavy lifting will start on the keel foil this week unless the hull is still in need of attention.
We still look like we will be 2 weeks late on our March 15th launch date. We may be able to pick up some time over the next few weeks but even if we make the end of March we should be in good shape for our overall on water testing program.
More pictures from this past week at Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/69199862@N03/sets/72157629472592865/with/6791452860/