Monday, May 23, 2011

Launching the Black Pearl!

It’s not quite finished – I need to give a final rub down and coat of epoxy, and put the deck lines on, but with great weather this weekend I just had to launch it.

Couple of building notes:

  • I used thick minicell foam for the bulkheads. Expensive stuff in NZ but I got a slab of it while on a work trip to the US. I figure it makes for light bulkheads that will allow the body of the boat to flex.
  • The foot pegs are plastic – screwed into tee nuts embedded in a strip on each side. Not sure how adjustable these are going to be – with the small cockpit I can’t seem to reach in to change the settings!


  • I used Maroske’s internal tube fittings but the longest of these just wouldn’t let me extract the PVC tube… no problem, just slice em in half! They’re very easy to re-glue.


  • I doubled the high density fibreglass over 2/3rds of the length for the hull and deck interiors with an extra overlapping strip just behind the cockpit. Feels very robust while getting into/out of the cockpit.

What’s was it like to use?

  • Much lighter build than the Night Heron – on the NH I used 200g cloth doubled over most of the interior. The smaller surface area of the BP plus the lighter building materials (mostly Paulownia strips) means it’s about 14kgs. This makes it much easier to carry and a bit more responsive to my body movement on the water.
  • Very tippy! But secondary stability seems good – I just need to get used to the experience. Very different from anything I’ve been in so far and I’ll take my time to practice rolls before I get into rougher water.
  • Very responsive to my movements and to the water.
  • Lots of fun –which is what I wanted.
  • I was slightly concerned about the ocean cockpit but in practice it’s easy for me to get into and out of so no problem there.
  • Legs are quite straight. Again was a bit worried I’d be too uncomfortable, but actually for me – it’s fine.

So frankly, I’m utterly delighted!