Precise tooling, moulds and fixtures, make for an accurately reproduced yacht.
Quality assurance in build begins with attention to tooling.
A good friend and fellow engineering toolmaker, Steve, kindly converted my CAD files and machined the moulds-plugs on his CNC engineering toolroom milling machine.
This image shows machining the aluminium plug for one side of the central spine and keel casing mould.
The hull plug was machined from a stable, well seasoned slab of Australian rain forest hardwood, Crows Ash Teak. Who would have thought a race-winning IOM would lie within a 350 year old tree, ( I counted the rings. ) felled 50 years ago!
The deck, stem, transom and internal mouldings plugs were machined from aluminium billets. Fittings positions and alignments were drilled precisely from the CNC while the plugs were in position on the table.
Extra work was done using my own conventional machinery. Here is shown drilling the deck plug core location for the mast ram; precisely and centrally aligned.
These plugs were finished, painted, polished and then from them, epoxy/'glass production moulds were made. The location dowels shown in the hull plug, align the keel and rudder cores accurately on the centreline of the hull mould.
Shown are production moulds, made from the CNC machined plugs, with location cores for the keel, rudder, shrouds and fittings accurately in place.
The keel, rudder and ballast moulds were CNC machined directly from aluminium and steel billets, then hand finished and polished ready to make the epoxy/'glass mouldings and lead castings.
All carefully made mouldings are assembled accurately within a series of alignment fixtures to form the finished yacht. The spine and keel casing sides are firstly bonded together then trimmed for the rudder servo mount, mast well and sheet post. The one piece deck moulding has hardware mounted from above and bonded from beneath, then the hull, stem, transom, spine and deck are aligned and bonded together in one fixture.