Below is a series of articles from the Fleet 13 Website on rigging a bare hull carbon Rondar. This project was completed in May 2011. Rigging a bare hull is a daunting task, but hopefully, this information may be helpful should you chose to take on this major project. For newcomers to the 505 Class, buying a used or rigged boat is highly recommended.

Bare Hull Photos

JB’s New Rondar has landed in Chicago. Stay tuned in the next few months as we document the rigging process.

Bailer Well Installation and Mast Step Modification

There are a few things that we needed to do to JB’s new Rondar before we start drilling holes and installing fittings.

The first project was to install the second aft bailer well that was supposed to be done at the factory. JB opted for twin outboard aft bailers similar to USA 8854. This arrangement will, in theory, cause less turbulence on the rudder in planing conditions compared to the large aft bailer found on most Waterats. The Rondar came with one of the outboard wells installed as well as the stock aft well which will remain unused. The wells have a thin piece of wood in place of the foam core that yields the appropriate thickness to get the fitting flush with the hull.

To form a new well, you need to grind out the inner skin, add the wood core, and re-skin the floor. Note that air tools pretty much mandatory for this project. A small angle grinder with various sizes and grits of sanding disks make for quick work of the inner skin and the foam core. Go slow enough that you can be sure you will not grind through/into the outer skin. Vacuum bagging capabilities are also important for getting a proper inner skin installed over the wood core.

We used the piece of boat that was cut out from the other bailer well to gauge the thickness of wood we needed to bond in place. This was cut to size and bonded in with epoxy and colloidal silica. We used 1/4″ marine grade plywood that had to be sanded down closer to 3/16″ to match the stock well.

The fillets were sanded to the appropriate smoothness and dimension. The well was prepared to be re-skinned with 2 layers of ~8 ounce carbon.

The cloth has to be carefully cut to bridge/taper onto the existing laminate and show no sign of a ridge when the epoxy has cured.

In this case we chose to put the vacuum cup in the center of the well because it was going to be cut out anyway. Generally, you do not want a vacuum cup on top of the part being molded because it leaves an indentation.

As you can see below, the new skin mates well and tapers smoothly onto the existing inner skin. We were very happy with this result. We will show you the finished product in a later post.

The back of the mast gate also needed to be cut out all the way back to the diagonal bulkhead. This allows you to rake to the extreme without running out of play in the mast ram.

The diagonal bulkhead had a lip above the fore-aft beam under the mast step plate. There is a carbon tray that serves as the mast step base and sits on this section of the diagonal bulkhead and the fore-aft beam. As-provided, the lip prevented the plate from lying flat on the fore-aft beam, so we ground down the diagonal bulkhead so the mast step plate could lay flat on both surfaces. The edge that was sanded was then sealed with epoxy to ensure that the wood core would not soak up any water.

As you can see below, the mast plate now can lie flat and be in contact with all surfaces.

Rigging Progress Photos

At last, it’s spring in Chicago, though one might have been fooled by the snow falling on Monday morning. Happily, we’ve had enough warm weather to dive into the fitting out of my new Rondar USA 9042.

Craig and I spent a lot of time talking over the winter about the rigging philosophy of the boat and what systems we thought needed to be implemented. The boat borrows heavily from Craig’s own layout on USA 7346, but has been adapted to the particulars of the Rondar. Overall, we’ve found the Rondar to be easy to layout as the wide centerboard cap gives you a lot of options for placing hardware. The width allows clean leads on the various purchase systems and helps keep them out of the way of the crew.

Here are a few pictures of our progress:

More Rigging Photos

Guy turning block riser plates were molded on the boat for a proper fit to the curvature of the deck. Packing tape and polystyrene foam were used to make a male mold. I use some McLube on the packing tape to help the part release easier. Make sure you leave the mastic covered until the wetted out cloth is on the part and you are ready to lay the bagging film down. if you get epoxy on the mastic, you will not get a proper seal.

Layup stacks ready to be wet-out on cardboard. I used 2 layers of 8 oz carbon twill on the top followed by 3 layers of 6 oz s glass followed by another layer of carbon twill on the bottom. Preparation is key for the vacuum bagging operation. Everything should be pre-cut and staged where it needs to be. Especially when your work partner is playing golf in California and you are working alone.

Shroud tracks were ground to fit the curvature of the deck and bedded in epoxy and filler colored wit black pigment. A small fillet was used on the bottom edge to finish the install.

1/4″ G10 plates were bonded on the side of the centerboard case to mount eyestraps for some shock cord take-ups. The plates were drilled and tapped before they were bonded in. Use some sacrificial hardware coated in McLube to keep the epoxy and filler from filling the tapped holes. These plates were masked and painted with a rattle can.

Custom quintuple block mounted on the forward bulkhead. This block was made using Harken 16mm self-contained sheaves with 1/16″ carbon disks between. Duralac was used on all the carbon/stainless interfaces to prevent corrosion. This block is to lead 5 shockcord passes under the launcher tube; 3 for the trapeze take-up and 2 for the foreguy.

Another bonded G10 plate for the trapeze and foreguy shocked.

Turning block for the guy control line led aft along both seat tanks. This G10 plate was bonded in with 1 of the 4 fasteners through bolted on the diagonal bulkhead. This was a tricky install due to the complex angles involved.

Under deck launcher cleat hardware mounted to G10 plates. Note that the deck on this boat will be super clean as none of this hardware is through bolted. There is just a bullseye where the line exits and the Melges flanges on the aft face.

Aft centerboard case detail.

Guy turning block riser plates being vacuum bagged. Note that the suction cup is placed outside of where the part will be taken from.

Riser plate unmolded, trimmed and sanded. These turned out great and will get clear coated.

Carbon Angled Guy Risers

I used some tapped G10 to accept the cheek block fasteners and some foam to fill the void behind the plates. This was all bonded with a thickened epoxy mixture. McLube on the fasteners prevents the epoxy from bonding to the stainless.


The boat is ready to rock