Building an Ian Farrier designed
As a result of a lifetime in keelboats, it became high time for a new challenge;
sailing and racing a fast ocean going trimaran. This website is dedicated to the building of this boat,
the Ian Farrier designed F-39 trimaran.
In my view, challenges - and dreams - keep people going. It doesn't matter if it is
about the house with a white picket
fence, a fast sports car in the garage or other goals one is going for. My
professional job is one of the goals, while it keeps the necessary money
rolling. But in leisure time it is a 39 foot trimaran moored dockside, and a yearning for
There are more good reasons to buy a new and ready-to-go-yacht,
or a custom made or second hand boat, than taking up the challenge and build the
boat from scratch yourself. One of the good reasons to do it yourself is when
you know you will maintain the best possible quality. One of the bad reasons is
money. It is an aspect indeed, but in reality it
is cheaper to buy a used boat.
On the other hand, such a building project is a
tremendous source of energy and motivation, and the satisfaction of finishing
such a project with a high tech yacht as result is glorious. I did it before,
but smaller and a long time ago, and I liked it. Read the FAQ-section
of this site for more reflections about this subject.
Nowhere does the romance of boat building stray farther from the reality of boat building than it does in a fiberglass boat. I had only
woodworking capabilities and my affecting with composite structures was almost
none. While my quality demands are high, I did not look forward to laminate
large surfaces with relative thin layers of a sticky mix of glass and epoxy. When I studied the various
building methods, I found out that vacuum bagging was a method to improve the
quality of the hand-lay-up laminate. This technique was a step further to
overcome my uncertainty of my building skills. But the problem with vacuum
bagging large components (like a boat hull) is how to do this within the gel time of the resin. And
then there are nasty health aspects, as epoxy is not a human friendly material.
The idea of a large wet layup done by hand with a squeegee just freaks me
At the end of the last century
I did my research on the modern high tech composite
materials, which were all new for
me. This has resulted in the adoption of the Controlled Vacuum Infusion Technique.
In that time this
laminating technique was new
and just a few shipyards were using this
new technique in only an
experimental stage. Using the technique for an one-off
amateur build project
was unusual and getting the right information and knowledge was quite
laborious. Nevertheless, for me this led to a building method with which I
am able to
create high quality composite constructions in a controlled and repeatable way,
and single handed, while eliminating the sticky, messy, smelly handling of
resins. With this process I can now lay up everything dry, and only have to
deal with resin at the very end. The result is a no-voids, tightly
packed lay up. And, last but not least, this has
helped me to overcome my pre-justice against "plastic boats". But it
is certainly not a "quick and dirty job", as sometimes seen in composite
works. On the contrary, one needs a patient and meticulous mode of
The general acceptance of vacuum infusion in the professional
building scene has been slow, among other aspects also because of
the supposed risks involved. This is correct when applied as a trial and
error based method. These days you can see new yards
adopting the technique rapidly, while "settled" building yards are
waiting to see which way the cat is going to jump. Nevertheless, vacuum resin
infusion continues to be the hot topic in boatbuilding today, and while
many builders have already switched to it very successfully, many more
are still weighing up the pros and cons of such a bold change of
possible to use the infusion technique by me as part-time and one-off builder.
There are more builders who were experimenting with infusion techniques, but in
that time nobody wass injecting complete hulls, in- and outside, without a mould and
direct to the foam core. For me this became possible by the planking method of vertical foam
stripping, where the lengths of joins is minimized to an amount which is not too
difficult to make airtight. But the main reason why I am able to do this is the
use of Virtual Boatbuilding, responsible for the word "Controlled" in
the term Controlled Vacuum Infusion. Flow simulation software makes it possible to eliminate the
guesswork and to resolve the errors in the flow process first in de computer
before doing the real infusion in the hull. Read more in the workshop
section of this site.
Well, speaking about challenges,
besides of epoxy
injection this gives
an adrenaline injection too, each time the vacuum valve opens........... it's
the biggest challenge at present.
DIY Starter Kit and CD.
The construction of
my project is finished so that I no longer have materials available to
supply the starters kit. That is why I decided to
discontinue the availability of the Vacuum Infusion Starter Kit.
However, the data on the CD is still available and contains a wealth on
information about the infusion process, how to do it and what materials
are required, cleared up with photo's and videos. A successful infusion
is in the details.
Vacmobiles is my supplier for a convenient cost saving vacuum system.
Full Instruction Package now
I've had great success with the vacuum infusion of my F-39 Trimaran.
It has resulted in a high quality lightweight boat on which I'm very
proud. As the quality of my infusion strategy has now been well proven
for the professional as well as the amateur builder, now is the time to
make my thoroughly thought out infusion plans available for other
things this site was created for following this building project, in particular
for family and friends, but also in a hope that others may be inspired to
transform dreams into plans. I like this
way of sharing my experience, which has resulted in this now very popular
website and a lot of contacts and feedback
from others. That's nice and very motivating! Taking photo's and writing up of
what I was doing turned out to be invaluable and because of that is motivating
in its own right.
I will be adding to this site periodically. Be
It is a part-time project and I work in spurts and bursts, not steadily. So don't expect daily updates.
There are still too many deadlines in my humble life and I don't stand in
need of creating more. I will bring
up to date with the latest developments, when time permits. Please come
back and visit again. Don't forget to
click the REFRESH button on your browser to get the latest upload
(all pages!). Check out the
workshop webcam for the most actual state. Use your right mouse button
and choose "Add to Favorites" to make this one of your
Visitors in my boat shop are welcome but wear old clothes and be prepared to
be put to work! Have a look at my
Blog for the latest developments.
English is not my mothers language and writing the correct things I want to share with
you is time consuming. I do my best to do it right, but cannot anticipate on
mistakes in grammatical and vocabulary. I hope you don't mind! (please give me a
hint when it is extremely wrong).
This site have many interesting areas to explore, so please enter the links in the top
page to guide you through the site. They bring you to the
building project and other pages. I have include some pages about my previous yachts
and some sailing stories. The FAQ-page might be of interest to
understand the meaning of all this. This Click takes you straight to the
build site. All pages are provide with their own menu on the
above left side to explore more in
detail. Click on the appropriate buttons to find out. Most graphics and photos are "thumbnails" and/or
links and you can either magnify the image by clicking on it or the click will
bring you to an extensive image gallery. With the
home-link you always return to this page. For the Dutch kids there is a
page with questions and answers
(and also useful for the Dutch who cannot read English) For some more entertaining take a break with these humor
pages. With this sitemap you can get a quick
overview over the entire Fram website. I appreciate your comments in my guestbook.
Another way of exploring this site is through my
you can search by subject in categories or tags or take a chronological
sequence through the archives.
For Dutch readers some subjects are extensively covered
on the Dutch Sailors Forum and you can find them with