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Soling 50
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In 2000 I built a Soling One Design racing sailboat.  Now known as the Soling 50, here are the highlights of the building process.


Here's a picture of the major parts used in the Soling. The fiberglass hull, deck, rudder and keel all came from HARTMANN FIBREGLASS R/C.  The long curved pieces on the floor are the sheer clamps. They are used by gluing them along the inside edge of the hull, just below where the deck sits and provide for more gluing area than just the narrow edge of the fiberglass hull. The long sticks on top of the hull were used to form the mast and the small box-like structure on top was used to hold the rectangular lengths of wood at a 45 degree angle to allow the an angle to be planed into them so they can be assembled against each other to form the mast.


Here is the mast glued and clamped. The tiewrap was my first idea, but it was difficult to get a lot of clamping power out of it. I then tried an old-fashioned "Spanish Windlass" which loops a line around what you want to clamp, then inserting a stick inside the loop and winding up the string. I could generate quite a lot of force like this and it clamped the mast together quite efficently. The best clamping pressure was just as the string started to crush the sharp edge of the lumber. Up to a 1/16 inch of crush didn't hurt the mast because this was material that was going to be removed.


Here is a cross-section of the finished mast.  This design was taken from a magazine article about building "bird-mouth" spars and masts.  This turned out to be a good, inexpensive approach, but I'm probably giving away a lot in weight to the carbon fiber crowd.  Another drawback is the mast is pretty thick, so it's not the best for this racing sailboat, but the price was right!


This is the hull with the internal structure and equipment installed.  The thick cross pieces forward (top of picture) support the mast, since it sits on top of the deck.  One thing missing here are diagonal "knees" at the widest point of the hull.  These were added after the first few trips out at the pond after the deck started lifting away from the hull under the strain of the mast shrouds.  After re-gluing the deck, I added four knees (diagonal supports) to help transfer the load to the hull.  So far, they've worked.


Another view of the subdeck and equipment.


Here's the deck freshly glued on.  It took every steel tool I owned to weight it down so the epoxy adhered to the fiberglass.  If you do this, be sure to preposition clamps, even slow hardining epoxy kicks off in a surprisingly short time when you're busy looking for clamps.


In the paint shop, a dry day with the sun setting in the west.  I used Rustoleum teal for the hull and red for the waterline, using the molded-in reference lines.


This is masking off the deck.  The surface is grey with white highlights.  The pattern uses the contours molded in based on the original Soling desk made by Vortex.  I also painted the hatch (missing in this picture) white, which was a mistake.  I later found when racing the boat on a port tack the white hatch on a white and grey deck made the boat look like all the other white decked hulls.  The hatch has now been painted to match the hull.


And here it is on it's shakedown cruise.  Named 'Intrepid' I raced her for a year, then dropped out when I became frustrated from losing all the time.  I've since gone on to crew on a full sized racing sailboat, which has taught me how to use the racing rules that the rest of the skippers were using to beat the pants off me.  Now, I'm looking forward to racing Intrepid again soon, maybe in 2014 or 2015.

For more information about the Soling 50 or model yachting in general, click here to go to the American Model Yachting Association's home page.

On to a powered model. GO COASTIES!!!