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Fashionably black

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 4 Jul 22:00 UTC
50% of the freeboard at the bow is made up of the chamfer that is part of the deck mould on the Carkeek 43, Scarlet Runner. © Rob Date

And you're going, 'No it's not! It's cyan.' Ah yes young Padawan, but eventually she will be kitted out entirely in black, which is certainly fitting. After all, she does hail from Melbourne, where power dressing is an art.

Cooler than any matt black Geländewagen running around the Southern Capital, and just as noticeable as the raucous burble from said truck's quad side pipes. How so? Well she's going to be quadruple headed, courtesy of that enormous J.

So all in all that would have to make her Lucky 13, or more accurately, Rob Date's new Scarlet Runner: the very funky, part stealth, part in your face, and totally wicked Carkeek 43 that we first looked at back in December 2020's C43, but it's not an AMG.

Just in the last few days her deck came out of the mould, and was then suspended over the top of the yet to be seen hull form, still sitting in her mould. It gave some impression as to what lies beneath, and what the overall vessel is going to look like. The ever-approachable and super friendly owner was kind enough to share is initial thoughts and feelings about this milestone.

"We looked at all the joins, and I've walked around inside. She's big and fat, and it's going to be fantastic. She's got this dreadnought bow thing going on, and I can't think what else to say really. I was hoping to launch it in early June, and I reckon if we launch it in September I think we'll be doing well", commented Date.

In regards to the delays, Date explained, "Oh well, Covid and all that sort of stuff. I don't know what you do. Everything goes wrong all the time. You can't believe the things that go wrong. You know stuff doesn't turn up when it's supposed to. Stuff is just not sticking to the timetable. We waited for ages to get the foam to build the thing, the mast was due in early June, the rigging's coming from the States, and it's all about 6, 7 or 8 weeks late."

"New Zealand rigging are providing the stick, standing rigging is all E3 with some E6, so carbon rigging, carbon spreaders, carbon whatever. The good news is that the electric drive is ready to go. The batteries are ready to go. Of course the electricians are in Sydney and they're presently in lockdown."

"They were due to be here now and we've rebooked them for the 26th I think. They're really busy because of the Southport Race, but I suspect that will get cancelled. My goal is to do the Melbourne to Stanley race in November, what we call Melbourne Cup weekend, the first weekend of November, which will then be our qualifier for the Melbourne to Hobart (Westcoaster - down the blowy side of Tasmania) at Christmas time."

BTW, the record for that race was set by the Short family on a TP, so you never know, the newbie might just have enough horsepower to take it on, weather permitting. The comment relative to all that is, "According to the designers yes we are on handicap, not boat speed wise, but I think we're pretty good on handicap against TP's uphill, but not as quick downhill."

Not over, yet!

Naturally there is "...still lots and lots and lots of work to do. We'll paint the inside. The keel's on its way from New Zealand. Actually, most things are sort of here. All the electrics are here. All the deck gear's here. We're right as far as the list goes, but I'm sure there'll be some extra things. It's Harken deck gear; we've got electric winches for primaries, and mainsheet, the pit and runner winches are manual, and then electric over hydraulic for the jib cunningham."

"We've got structured luff jibs with a hydraulic ram on the cunningham, so God knows how that all works, but I guess it will give me something to learn, won't it..."

"We haven't finally decided yet, but I think we're going very conservative with the theme. We're going to Melbourne colours. That would be Melbourne wintertime colours, not the Melbourne football team colours - so black on black on black, with maybe some hologram beans back aft, and the name across the transom in red. I think. But honestly, until I see the boat finished it's a bit hard to get the final feel for it all."

"God knows how often the plan changes. I'll change it and other people change it. We're not sure of her weight yet, but we'll do that when all the stuff is in, and the deck is on. I went and bought some squeaky stainless steel taps, as opposed to plastic rubbish. So they sort of look snazzy. Maybe it's not the right thing to do, but I've done it anyway. You know there are a few little creature comforts I've ordered, which are not very much, but they're one of them. When I turn a tap on the water will come out, and not spew all over the place."

Brooom Broooom

As for the 'Quad Pipes', Date said, "We've got the four slots for close reaching. We've got the jib, jib top, the staysail and the stormy - all on different hoists." Reflecting on the long J that the aft stepped rig affords, let alone the loooooooong prodder, Date added, "It's just some weird thing with the mast behind the keel. And there's this space, in front to the forepeak."

You can tell that he is very much looking forward to driving Scarlet Runner. Soon. "You know Stanley is usually a crap race. Upwind into 5 degrees of air temperature, and 10 degrees of water temperature. It's a rotten race, but we hope this one's not. It would be nice if it was, 6 or 8, or 10 hours of upwind and then sprung beat and then a reach, which would be good, but you know you can always get what you wish for."

Date is still sailing his J-111 on Port Phillip, which he's had for four years now. "Covid's mucked it all up. Probably only had three years' sailing in it. It's a perfect boat for the Bay. Honestly it's a good upwind/downwind boat. You know the Bay with the short chop; it seems to handle all of that pretty well. Her prime is less than eight knots it's an absolute weapon, and over 20 knots it's off and running. The bit in the middle we struggle a little bit with the Beneteau First 40's, and the Sydney 38's, but outside that it's an absolute weapon. So it's good."

"I'm just going to use the new one for offshore and Festival of Sails, then across to Port Lincoln and gear up the for the Southport race in 2022. But God who would know? How could you plan anything with this Covid deal?"

Builder's take.

Steve Campbell's Composites Constructions in Braeside is a busy little place anytime, let alone when you're trying to get this gem out the door. He's aware, "...that September, or October in the water would be good, so there's a good month before the Stanley race to have time to shake her down. We have to paint the interior, fit all her gear, as she is quite the hi-tech package with the electric drive, batteries and all the powered systems."

"Then we've got to fit the deck, fit the deck gear, and ensure all the hydraulics actuate correctly. Simon Weston is coming down to sort out the electrics, which is great, as he is a whizz. All in all it is pretty exciting to be building a boat of this calibre, in an era when not many custom racing vessels have or are getting built. Great owner, great designer, great gear from North Sails and Harken, as too with all the electrical equipment. She is a hot shot."

"It's a pretty hi-tech construction of vinylester through Eglass. The chamfer goes down to meet the hull, and is about half the freeboard up at the bow. Only when back at the chainplates does it go back to the sheer line. The whole join is rebated, glued up, then glassed in, faired and painted. It'll be strong, and there is a lot of structure throughout. It is all resin infused, which has ensured we are on the money. Every structural component has been bagged."

The fabricated fin with lead inside, has been CNC milled as well, and SR 13 has no bulb. This major element of the vessel is also due to arrive soon, as well. So in the meantime all hands are not so much on deck for now, as under it, getting down below all sorted out.

Cheers on that.

It was after one of our regular weekly chats where we'd been talking about various aspects of the group's sites and you, our readers, that our Managing Editor, Mark Jardine, wrote back to me and said, "Our passion is our pastime, and our commitment is to our readers and I'm so thankful to have a team of editors around the world who know the pointy end of a boat from the blunt."

"I've been overwhelmed with the feedback to 'What's their secret?', including so many classes who are implementing great initiatives around the world to increase participation and diversity. This is, without doubt, a subject I will be revisiting again soon."

"We're not just about sailing, and our group of websites is steadily gaining a strong international following. Last week through I thoroughly enjoyed connecting a Norwegian potential buyer with a high-end Italian motor yacht manufacturer and appreciated the note of thanks I received afterwards. Boating is a global community, so connecting our readers with the great marine industry businesses is a real pleasure."

Right oh - there is plenty of information on the group's sites for you to review when you can. Please avail yourself of it.

Now if your class or association is generating material, please submit your material. Got this newsletter from a friend? Would you like your own copy next week? Just follow the instructions on our newsletter page. Whilst there, you can also register for other editions, like Powerboat-World.

Finally, many thanks for making Sail-World your go-to choice. We're always here to keep pumping out the news. Stay safe, and enjoy your time on the water.

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World AUS

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