The Multihull sailing journal of Gavin and Catherine LeSueur and their three children - Estelle, Baden and Fletcher. Now 25 years and six multihulls down the track they continue the adventure of life at sea...


October 2017

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Tuesday, October 3rd

The finished hardtop from on deck

hardtop (88k image) The clears are designed to open and close readily on zips at the front. The sides roll up and a full sun protection is zipped onto the clears for blockout. Seems to work a treat!
docgav on 10.03.17 @ 05:30 PM EST [link]

The deck layout on the hardtop.

bimini3 (182k image) All wiring is internal in the foam. There are three solar panels, lighting for the cockpit and BBQ and a sliding pilot hatch which give the helmsman a panoramic view of the sails

docgav on 10.03.17 @ 05:29 PM EST [link]

The hardtop is finished!

bimini2 (83k image) It was a labour of love and the final fit and painting took a significant time. Eventually clears, solar panel, pilot hatch and wiring were completed. Now to make the most of it. Our goal was to make the hardtop to a standard that looks like she was original to the design. Critics would say we have added weight. We have, but at the benefit of increased usability. We can reef faster, safer and quicker - and unreef similarly. Maintenance does not need to be delayed and it is sooooo much better in the cockpit. Cooler, more room, no leaks! We removed 43 kg of stainless, bolts screws and canvas. We have added 54 of foam, glass and clears. I think I can wear 11 kg and not have the extra jerry can on back up fuel...
docgav on 10.03.17 @ 05:27 PM EST [link]

Monday, March 20th

Another trial fit.

Bimini (109k image)
Getting closer. I am now down to the last coat of high build, then a sand with 320 grit before sprayiing the final coat. It was time for another fitting and to test the stainless poles for rigidity and fit. Everything lined up. Although to bimini is light it is bulky and is a four man job to manoeuvre it down the narrow jetty and onto Audacious. Thanks Adam, Baden, Pat,Fletcher and Catherine. I will be pleased when the sanding is finished....
docgav on 03.20.17 @ 07:37 PM EST [link]

Friday, March 3rd

Fairing compound again..

fairing With the cockpit top back off the boat and on the verandah fairing compound was applied to the top. Most of this will be sanded off with appropriately named torture boards. This will hide the fibreglass seams and smooth out any irregularities in the glass work.
docgav on 03.03.17 @ 07:17 PM EST [link]

Stringer detail

detail (107k image) The aft supports will be two polished 50mm stailess poles to compliment the steelwork on the stern (wind generators) and give the rigidity to the span.
docgav on 03.03.17 @ 07:15 PM EST [link]

Trail fit take 2

IMG_3608 (132k image) With the composite front supports now in place we fitted the hardtop to determine the aft support pole lengths. The flex is minimal and the span strength seems more than adequate even without the composite poles secured.
docgav on 03.03.17 @ 07:11 PM EST [link]

Tuesday, February 21st


IMG_3581 (98k image)
In the previous post Baden was hauling up the crab pot and trapped inside was a seahorse. I have never seen one as close and was pleased to see it gently handled and released back into the mangrove waters of the Moon river. A special site while we worked away on the cockpit hardtop.
docgav on 02.21.17 @ 10:17 PM EST [link]

Test positioning

IMG_3576 (126k image) With the hardtop now glassed it was time to position it aboard to ensure the heights and slopes are correct. The forward attachment will be a composite foam glass strut and the back corners two carbon fibre poles. The project has guided and helped by Michael, a good friend who has shared many adventures with us over the years. His professional advice and have a go attitude has pushed the project forward as a steady rate.
docgav on 02.21.17 @ 10:14 PM EST [link]

Baking the hardtop

IMG_3557 (163k image) The new hardtop, glassing complete and ready for fairing and painting, has been baked in the tropical sun to increase the stiffness. The pilot hatch has been cut out to the template and the edges cut back in the foam 20mm and replaced with glass rovings/epoxy glue to maintain the strength and stiffness.
The next task is to sit it on the bimini and position for supports.

docgav on 02.21.17 @ 10:58 AM EST [link]

Thursday, February 16th

Edging and stringers

IMG_3549 (89k image)
The hardtop edging is 15mm conduit which will be glassed in and then a strip routed out to provide the track for the vinyl windows and covers. To stiffen the 4m width of foam we have glued in three laminated cedar stingers (each laminate x 2 peices of 15mm x 30mm cedar) using unidirectional glass as the glue. These will be further coved and glassed to finish off.
docgav on 02.16.17 @ 09:21 PM EST [link]

Wednesday, February 15th

The flip

IMG_3541 (88k image)With this inside laid up we flipped the top, position and checked the curve with the template for the jig and prepare for the top layup.
docgav on 02.15.17 @ 08:09 AM EST [link]


IMG_3530 (93k image) Initial layup was 400g unidrectional then 600g double bias. We are using R180 epoxy resin with slow hardner. The carport is air conditioned (blasted in from the house) to keep the wet season heat down a tad.
docgav on 02.15.17 @ 08:08 AM EST [link]

Preparing for initial glass layup

IMG_3521 (98k image) The foam was nailed down with small bullet head nails to the jig. These will pull through once we have glassed the inside of the roof.
docgav on 02.15.17 @ 08:06 AM EST [link]

Foam onto jig

IMG_3516 (89k image)We shaped the foam onto the jig, kerfing where needed to get the tighter angles
docgav on 02.15.17 @ 08:05 AM EST [link]

The old Bimini soft top

IMG_3470 (127k image)
Audacious has a soft top bimini. In the tropics these have issues due to the heavy rain and the heat (not really insulating). On a cat they also limit access to areas of the boom and securing the mainsail if you have issues with the lazyjacks or sailbag is complicated.
docgav on 02.15.17 @ 08:02 AM EST [link]

Thursday, February 9th

Cockpit hardtop

jig (94k image) The soft top bimini on our Crowther 43 'Audacious' is starting to fail due to sun damage and overload from solar panels and rain (we have had a lot of rain....) So the project commences to build a hardtop. To shape the 25mm foam core I traced the current cabin top shape onto some cheap flooring timber and from this shape Michael and I have constructed our jig. The foam will be laid and shaped in this, glassing the inside before flipping. As we progress there will be a few pics and stories for those interested.
docgav on 02.09.17 @ 10:03 PM EST [link]