F-33 Arrives In Florida
Tom and Linda Bragaw's brand new F-33 BAHAMA HUNTER has now been delivered and launched in the Port Charlotte area of Florida.
Present to help Tom and Linda with the assembly and launching process were:
Ian Farrier - designer, and rumored to know a thing or two about assembling a folding trimaran.
Dick and Anne Anderson - former owners of the F-27 SATO, and future owners of F-33 hull no. 7, now in process, and keen to see how it all came together.
Elliot and Linda - commercial pilots and boat yard residents who decided that assembling an F-33 looked far more interesting than working on their steel monohull cruiser. Fantastic help too - thanks Elliot and Linda!
The following pictures show the general process, as conducted in Port Charlotte Storage Yard, under a Florida sun that was a little warm at times.
The container arrives at the assembly area after a 30 day voyage from Australia
The first view of the 'boat in the maxi-box'
Hmmmm...not much room to spare in there. Do you think it will come out?
Maybe we should turn it on its end and give it a good shake!
However, not a problem with a little persuasion from Tom's truck.
... the strangest looking boat ever seen was the general opinion by onlookers,
and the betting was we would never get it out of the yard
But with two floats unloaded, the parts were at least starting to look like
some sort of boat. But some did wonder what we were going to do with the
two little ones.
Tom goes for his first ride
Slings hooked up and getting ready to put the main hull on the trailer
....and there it is - everything went very smoothly
First beam in place - so this is how it looks
and it even folds too!
Starboard side now complete
followed soon after by port side
Lacing on the nets, Dick, Tom, and Elliot doing a great job, while Kaya,
Tom and Linda's wild dog from Africa, keeps an eye on things. A very smart
and rather unique dog!
The saildrive leg - the 12.5HP Honda inboard unit proved to be excellent, which
the builders will not like to hear, as it is a little harder to install than an outboard.
But it really did work well - sorry guys - I think Dick and Anne may want one.
The engine compartment - 110lbs of quiet and reliable power. It is located aft
of the aft beam bulkhead leaving plenty of storage space under the cockpit.
Linda Bragaw tries out the safety hatch - a really handy feature and
useful for many purposes.
Just about all done, and time to relax
Folded on trailer ready to launch. The only significant glitch in the
whole process was actually with the Ford truck which developed a
transmission problem and refused to tow any faster than 20mph.
Probably did not like being upstaged by the boat. So it was decided
to launch BAHAMA HUNTER at a nearby ramp and motor the 20
miles home, while the truck stayed at the yard in a huff.
The launching, with Tom and Linda Bragaw starting to get excited.
Almost there - launching proved to be just as easy as with an F-31
and heading out where few other trimarans would dare to go - the
boatyard owner said we would never make it past the bridge. Well we
did have to bend our legs a little.
Heading for home - the motor ran very well for the 20 miles, and averaged
around 12/13 miles per gallon. Top speed was around 8 knots, and it cruised
easily at 6.1 knots at half throttle
Folding effort was easy for a couple of guys, and while harder for just one, it is
still possible. However, a new 'mechanical assist' method was later tested on
BAHAMA HUNTER and this worked very well. With this, it looks like even a 12
year old could fold an F-33 on his own.
Home at last, and meeting the Marstrom mast for the first time. This
is a new larger wing section and perfectly suited to the F-33.
Mast now on board and being prepared for raising.
Mast raising pole in position and the necessary stabilizing wires hooked in
place. The F-33 mast is big at 45' long, but provided the raising system is
setup properly there is no reason why this process should be difficult. It will
also work just as well with the heavier aluminum mast.
Raising line is taken to a block attached to a simple sling around the bow.
Mast can be raised either on the trailer, or on the water, and it can even be
done single-handed. There is absolutely no need for a crane.
Initial liftoff - with Tom winching. Main problem is actually keeping the furler
and its extrusion under control, which Linda is holding. The mast is held on
center by the lower raising wires. Single-handed raising would be easy without
the furler, but still possible with it by taking mast up in small steps, and adjusting
furler position as it goes.
Linda now winching while Tom walks the furler forward.
and it's up! Only took 5 to 10 minutes at most. The heaviest part is actually in
lifting the front end of the mast and rolling it back, but this is not a problem
for an average size man.
Everybody very happy with the procedure as can be seen. Mast was actually
raised twice, enabling the full procedure to be thoroughly checked out.
From left - Tom, Ian F. and Linda.
The mast base area - very clean as can be seen. Mast electric plug is safely
below the deck where it will not be kicked or stood on. The extra heavy duty
mast raising wire 'fold down' deck loops can also be seen, as can the under
deck daggerboard control lines emerging through the deck.
Synthetic rigging with Precourt deadeyes. These stay connected as shown,
and do not need to be slackened off for folding. Just undo the bolts and fold.
The folding geometry has been designed so that stays will still properly support
mast once floats are fully folded in. There is just a slight slackening in between.
One photo tells all - this is another light boat. The aft pilot seats as shown are
in the worst possible place for crew weight, but once tried, no one cares!
They are great with a fabulous view. Bigger boats like the F-33 can however
take more weight aft like this and such seats are probably not a good idea
for smaller boats.
Rigged up and ready to go on just another day in Florida....
The happy crew, from left, Anne and Dick Anderson with Linda and Tom
Bragraw. This first sail saw an effortless 12 to 15 knots of boat speed and
in only 12 to 15 knots of wind - at most.
At home, and now on the Lift
Tom and Linda Bragaw's Web Page
For more construction and other details
BAHAMA HUNTER Interior Photos