The C2 has progressed to the next stage. I strapped a ladder to the roof rack of my car, collected the plug and drove very gingerly back to Andover.
The polystyrene shapes produced by the milling machine were trimmed and stuck together. Three layers of fibre glass were then applied to make up the basic shape. The layer of peel-ply has to be removed and then the surface can be filled, smoothed and polished, ready to take off a mould.
This was the first time I’d seen the actual size and shape. It seems wider than I thought it would be. However, the maximum beam is 70 cms, which is only 19 cms more the The Darkness. The cockpit width is reduced by 5 cms all around due to the gunwales and flange to support the spraydeck. So the maximum cockpit width for the forward paddler is about 49 cms, and the rear paddler 50cms, compared with 44 cms in C1.
The additional stability means I can raise the seat height to get more leverage in the paddle. It also suggests that it should easily cope with anything on the Tideway during those last desperate miles on DW.
The large area of polystyrene over the cockpit allows the construction of flanges on the mould to mount and secure the vacuum bag for resin infusion and a simple vacuum bag.
I was interested to compare it to The Darkness C1, and a K2 to get some idea of perspective.
When I first laid it alongside The Darkness, the C1 seemed tiny compared to its new “big brother”. I think it’s the excess polystyrene over the cockpit which makes the C2 look so big.
The hull has no rocker, so a straight, horizontal line from bow to stern. This will pretty much guarantee good tracking in a straight line, but I bet it’s going to be a bitch to turn!
The shape of the hull is similar to The Darkness, but the C2 holds a wider beam for longer.
The converted K2 with the sides splayed out, was 60 cms across at the widest point. However there wasn’t much room for the front paddler.
The length of the C1 cockpit is 290 cms and the C2 is 370 cms. This seemed to enable the paddlers to be well spread when the concept was tested in the K2 conversion, but still close enough to the centre of buoyancy.
The design of the rear deck and stern is similar, but the C2 has 5 cms more freeboard.
The bow and front deck are also the same. A steep angled deck to allows water to run off quickly. The narrow profile enables the paddle to be kept close to the boat and no hindrance as the paddle is switched as it forms a natural arc of up-and-over.
I then compared it to a Glass Glider K2 which has a 55 cms beam at its widest point.
Clearly the C2 is a lot wider, but again it is difficult to make an accurate visual comparison due to the cockpit “extension”. I may keep this to enable helicopters to land on the boat!
I don’t know the stability rating for a Glass Glider, but let’s say it’s about 2. Looking at the hull profile in comparison, I’d say that the C2 is going to be fairly stable. My concern is the possible impact on performance.
The position of the front paddler is going to be in a similar place to the K2. In the K2, the front paddlers feet are well within the enclosed deck, but in the C2, they’ll be just at the start of the open cockpit area. The bow section of the C2 is not as narrow as the K2, and opens up much quicker towards the cockpit.
The rear paddler can be further back than in a normal K2 position. However, I hope to provide internal flanges the whole length of the cockpit to enable seats and footrests to be fixed anywhere within the cockpit. This will enable the boat to be trimmed for almost any combination of paddler size, shape and weight, up to a maximum of 195 kgs.
It will also enable the boat to potentially be paddled as a C1, by placing the seat in the centre.
So, a major step forward, but still a long way to go. Progress is now determined by cash flow, and at the moment, it’s all flowing the wrong way!