Strut blocks for the Starwind 860

Our current situation, with regards to the construction of the Starwind 860 power trimaran, requires that we stick to small bits: there simply isn't enough space at the moment to build the entire boat. In order to minimize the time for which we'll need a full size build shed, we're starting with the smaller and more fiddly pieces of the boat. These can fit in our current work space, and by having them pre-assembled, we'll save a lot of time during final assembly.

These are blanks of western red cedar for the strut blocks, which strengthen the critical joint between the struts and the crossbeams.

They are laminated with epoxy, and assembled with hardwood dowels soaked in epoxy. This modern version of the old "trunnel" (tree nail) method eliminates all metal fastenings from the assembly; I do not like using metal in wood-composite parts if it can be avoided. Glued trunnels don't rust and won't loosen over time.

Note the labels written on each piece of each block. With all these little bits of wood floating around, labels are essential to prevent us from losing track of which part has been fitted to which assembly.

With a few passes of the power planer (a wonderful tool, especially when it's only $50) they take on approximately the desired shape. These aren't quite ready; they still need a few more little filler blocks and a bit more shaping before the sleeve bearings can be glued in and wrapped in unidirectional fibreglass. The final parts, highlighted in yellow below, will bring us one tiny step closer to getting this thing on the water.



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