Posted by: Mike Randall | July 3, 2011

Air ship

No more building jig! This weekend the boat was lifted off the building jig and onto the trailer. In a weird way this almost felt like a launch, or maybe a lift off…

But before the lift off excitement I’ve continued re installing things like the cockpit and cabin flooring, fixing up paint chips and breakouts and continuing with screwing fittings down.

No matter how tidy I try to keep things everything always seems to look like a mess.

When will it look neat and ship shape?

Aside from oiling the decks and some work on the centreboard the time had come to get the boat outside so I can work on the rigging.

It was time to put the boat on it’s trailer!

So I spent a few evenings disassembling my benches and cleaning up a years worth of sawdust and timber offcuts that I’d shoved under the benches. I’m still finding polystyrene foam from the bouyancy fit out!

Anyway by last Thursday all was in place, I’d organised Shane the warehouse manager to help me do the lift with one of their forklifts. I took a guess that the boat probably weighs around 600-700kg at the moment, so we chose the appropriate forklift from their fleet and got to work. You’ll have to excuse the bad quality of my photos, as you can image I was a bit pre occupied and the focus wasn’t all it could be, but you get the idea.


Cross beam support

Boats are not meant to be in the air

The building jig that served me so well

Building jig gone – no going back now!

The boat meets the trailer

All sitting nicely

While I had Shane and his forklift skills I spent a lot of time lifting the boat up and down to adjust the trailer rollers to fit the hull snuggly. After about an hour I was pretty happy with the way everything was sitting and called it job done.

Thankfully all went without incident.

Before I begin driving around with boat on trailer I’ll spend a little bit more time with a car jack pushing the rollers around a bit more, but for now all seems pretty good.

What’s left to do?

• Oiling the deck
• Fitting the bilge pump
• Rigging
• Drilling and painting the centreboard.

The job I’m really avoiding at the moment is finishing off the centreboard, which requires 3x24mm diameter holes drilled in it. You can see it in the bottom left of the last pic with masking tape showing where the holes need to go.

My main issue is the fact that each hole will need to be through 30mm of cast iron and I’m unsure of the the most appropriate drill bit and drill to use. It seems the proper way is to hire a mag drill (expensive) and purchase the appropriate 24mm diameter broach cutting bit (also expensive).

I’m finding all sorts of theories on the web on how to do this, but I’m yet to settle on the most efficient and cost effective way.

If anyone knows how to do this I’m open to suggestions…



  1. that is just as exciting as a launch. Congratulations on this big milestone! I am looking forward to seeing the boat in person.

  2. What did you use for the cross beam?

    I can see why your focusing skills where not optimal. Even reading the story had me feeling nervous! Still she looks an absolute picture on the trailer.

    Good luck with the drilling. Hopefully there is a mag drill fairy somewhere around.

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