How it Goes Together
2.4 m (8 feet)
(width): 1.2 m (4 feet)
40 kg (88 lbs)
Area: 4.5 sq m (48.5 sq feet)
Construction is plywood and timber. Plywood thickness is 4 mm (3/16") except
for the bottom which is 9 mm (3/8"). Glue, nails and some screws
hold it all together.
Paint can be
brushed by hand. The style suits bright colours, multicoloured sails
and computer cut stick on names and graphics.
Clever Design Features
The design is optimised for foolproof construction. Some of the features that
make building easier are:
1. The deck
is dead flat. This means that the top surface of the building jig
(it is built upside down) is the datum for setting up. So, provided
that the jig is set up level with a centreline, accurate assembly
2. The hull
shape repeats, ie starting at the centre of the cockpit, the shape
is the same in both directions. This repetition means that the two
cockpit bulkheads are identical and the stern is the same shape
as occurs under the mast. If you took the after end one station
(module) further the boat would be double ended, just like the Auckland's
3. The angle
at each of the chines is the same for the entire length. The chines
and gunwales therefore have the same cross section for their entire
length, ie no complicated shaping.
4. Marking out.
All of the above features mean that lofting (marking out) is relatively
simple. Full sized patterns are available if required.
5. The bottom
is exactly a half sheet of ply. This is a check on straightness.
When this is fitted in place any inaccuracies which have occurred
are made clear and can be corrected.
6. Thick bottom
ply. The ply which forms the bottom is 9 mm (3/8") thick. This initially
appears excessive but there are good reasons:
It needs to
be strong for crunching rocks on the beach, bumping ramps etc.
It is also the
cockpit floor - extra strength means no need for floorboards.
It spreads the
loads from the mast .
Weight low down
Class Rules and Copyright
A set of class
rules ensure that the Firebug remains a basic learning class, free
from the 'fat cheque book competition' which dogs some classes.
It is an easy boat to use and does not need expensive equipment
to sail properly. The copyright for the Firebug design is held by
FBHQ. Anyone with commercial intentions are advised to make contact
at an early stage.