Bolger FastBrick Stargazer


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FastBrick, design #663 from Phil Bolger and Friends, will be the tender and lifeboat for our 50' liveaboard cruiser Auriga, which is design #668 from PCB&F.  As described in Messing About in Boats, Vol. 22 No. 8 of 01 September 2003, the design has many unusual features in order to fulfill it's many intended functions; among these are a self-contained sailing rig offset to port, watertight stowage lockers intended to carry emergency gear at all times, and foam sandwich construction that makes the hull unsinkable.  Like many Bolger designs, it has  few if concessions to style in order to keep it as simple as possible to build while still meeting the desired requirements.  The boat can be built in any length from 8' up to 12' to suit whatever space the builder has on board the planned or existing mother ship.   We'll have enough room to carry the 12' foot version.  The interior is large enough to allow stowage of a Bolger Big Tortoise punt, so that when the boat is used as a tender, any crew left on board are not stranded on the mother ship.

The 12' FastBrick well along with construction.  The basic hull structure is together, the box forefoot has been built, and it's getting its fiberglass/epoxy sheathing.  I probably should have cut the hole in the bottom for the round watertight access plate that allows access to the forefoot before the forefoot bottom was completed.  As it is, the compartment will get sawdust in it when I cut that hole, and some of it will become permanent cargo.

Another view of the forefoot sheathing, showing the bow transom.  It looks a bit better than this after the epoxy has cured and the drips, rough edges, and other bad spots have been cleaned up.  The hole in the stem for the painter that's shown on the plans has not been drilled.  I don't trust it to hold perhaps 1000 lbs. of boat and gear for launching down the aft ramp of our cruiser, so I'm scheming other solutions.  One idea is to use a pair of bow eyes, one on either side of the stem and bolted through the bow transom, where they can be seen and serviced if necessary from the watertight compartment under the foredeck.

The sides were not sheathed when the bottom was done, mainly because it's far, far easier to get the fiberglass cloth saturated with epoxy when its horizontal instead of vertical.  So, here's the boat up on her side getting sheathing on the port side.  The floor timber forward of amidships is not to plan, but was installed to make a land for the butt of the inner bottom plywood layer and became part of the structure.  Several other temporary floors were used to keep the sides parallel and the bottom from dishing when it was put on, but these have been removed. 

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