>RebelCat 5 Update 12-20-11

If you bought the DVD, please see all of these Updates, especially 10-27-09 and 10-28-09. They describe the new rudder and centerboard (CB) designs that improved the performance of my RebelCat 5 dramatically. One reason for this improvement is that my cat is 21' long and benefits from a large rudder to turn easily in light winds. A larger CB also helps prevent drifting leeward.

Traffic Cones as bows - When used aft, the PVC ring that joins the cone to the pipe need not be longer than about three inches. However, as bows require more strength, I suggest making this ring longer, so that more of it enters the pontoon, making the cone more rigid and stronger, to resist waves and chop. In that case, the pontoon pipe will have to be sealed farther back from the opening, to allow this extra length of the ring. How long should the ring be inside the pontoon? I think 6" would be plenty. Those 6" will fill with water unless filled with foam, so pack foam in the ring.

I found a better way to pack the cones themselves with foam. On the DVD, I used white styrofoam, but closed-cell foam works better for two reasons: it will not absorb water, and it is more flexible.

Placing first foam cone tip into traffic cone

First, I took out the styrofoam I had previously stuffed in.

Using backpacking foam pad foam, which is closed cell, I made a small cone and stuffed it into the tip of the traffic cone.

adding foam to cone Then, after measuring the length of the traffic cone that remained empty, I cut four pieces that would fold together into a funnel shape.
making foam fit cone Using duct tape, I joined all four into a shape that would exactly fit the traffic cone inside.
foam cone Here you can see the first cone stuffed into the tip and the next hollow piece above it.
foam in cone

Next, I started cutting scraps of foam - I already had many, due to the odd shapes I was cutting from a rectangular foam pad.

After packing in the pieces, I cut a disc to cove them, to create a closed layer that ci could then build another layer on.

foam for cone More scraps go into the layer above the last one, and they get pressed down.
disc to close cone Then a bigger disc to cover and close that layer.
stuff cone This is what it looks like after two layers are closed.

Without completing the first traffic cone, I started the second a little differently.

Instead of a small cone of foam in the tip, I just measured foam to fit the entire cone on the inside. Remember, the inside is smaller, so don't use the outside measurements.

cone Just like before, I rolled up this larger cone of foam.
foam cone ...and taped it closed.
cone of foam

This time, I took small scraps of foam and pushed them down into the tip of the traffic cone with a piece of pipe.

The odd color change halfway down the cone is the result of using Photoshop to lighten the lower part of the inside - it was so dark, one could not see what was down there.

cut foam Now I placed the foam cone inside the traffic cone and continued stuffing foam inside.
foam cones But I ran out of the blue foam and had to use scraps of the old white foam to fill the last part.
closing with foam disc

To seal the opening, I cut a disc of foam and covered it with duct tape, then stuffed it into the opening.

The completed cones were then put back on the pontoons with screws.

The re-stuffed cones are more symmetrical than previously, and they are less prone to becoming misshapen from bumping something.

If these cones are used as bows, they will perform well and also serve as bumbers in case the cat hits something hard. Rubber bumpers on a cat - a first!





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