Friday, September 28, 2012

Geodesic Airolite Classic 14 Part 2

Here's the second part of my series on the build of a Geodesic Airolite boat, a Classic 14 sailing/rowing dinghy. The last entry detailed the majority of the woodwork; this one shows adding the synthetic materials as well as some odds and ends.

Where we left off last posting: here's a photo of the frame with foils (daggerboard and rudder) installed to show their proportions.

The next step was to install the kevlar.  This is a stiff yarn applied on the diagonals to prevent racking when the hull is put under torsional stress.

After the kevlar is attached to the frame, the polyester skin is draped loosely:

A slit is cut in the fabric at the bow and then attached with heat-activated adhesive.

The fabric is attached along the gunwale and transom and tightened by shrinking it with an iron:

Rub rails installed:

Seats were formed with scraps of skin fabric.

Here are some pics of the finished hull:

I made oars following Jim Michalak's plans. These incredibly material-efficient plans allow for a seven foot oar to be made from an eight foot 1x6 with very little waste.  The rough shape is first cut:

The two pieces cut off the sides are laminated to the center part to beef up the shaft:

The shape is then formed with a spokeshave:

Heading for a nearby surburban pond/lake/storm catchment basin:

The maiden voyage:

No leaks!

Seems much better balanced with one than with two:

Hopefully I'll have an update in the spring with sailing rig pics.


Unknown said...

Nice job. Looking forward to seeing the sail said...

Bite the bullet, get yourself some 5 or 6 oz glass cloth, and glass it. I did on my 10' (after 6 years of patching), and I'm delighted. Otherwise you'll spend your life doing leak repairs.

Graeme said...

My SOF Rob Roy doesn't leak a bit after two years with just 3 coats of International Original varnish. No repairs but will have another coat in spring 2013. No need to add the weight and expense of glasscloth and resin. Stay light, use it carefully.
Great looking boat, btw.

Unknown said...


Your Classic 14 boat looks beautiful!

Did you ever finish the sail rig? I would love to see pictures. I am thinking about building the Classic 12 for space reasons. It will fit on my wall that way :)