Build & Rebuild Log Marblehead Esterel LE

Here I will try to best show the build and continuous rebuild of my Marblehead Esterel LE based on Claudio’s design.
The design was originally called Esterel Diamond (due to it’s shape) but renamed afterwards, since somebody else used the “diamond” name for his design.
LE stands for Lardis Edition, since I did not build the boat, but my very good friend (and benefactor) Christos Lardis, got tired of my constant nagging and various proposals and said “you have it and let us see how can you race it”
I’m not sure which exact version of Claudio’s design did Christos use and to tell you the truth I’m currently looking for details about keel-bulb-rudder since I would like to 3D print those parts.
So let me begin with whatever pictures we managed to find from the original build.

After coating it with glass-epoxy, the boat was cut from it’s supports and the deck was created.

After coating and sanding, it was spray painted with filler and sanded again.

And from the finished model a mold was created. Christos created a port-starboard mold instead of body-deck to get an obvious center line and join the two parts easier.

Then he found out it was quite a task to internally reinforce the joints, through the deck openings, but he finally made it.
The keel was made by pressing foam boards around pre-shaped plywood so the carbon would take it’s shape and stick with almost no bubbles.

The first boat was made of a very lightweight glass-epoxy combination and was quite see-through.
Since it was a test build, it was set only for swing rig sails.

In the following video you may witness that boat’s maiden voyage. The high dock, trees and parked cruiser always made it very hard to find the wind direction and that was one of the reasons we stopped racing at the specific point.
Another was that, now that our “M” fleet has grown, we need much more space.


Following the success of the first build, a carbon version was created using the same mold.

And a third one:

During his search for the best material-weight-toughness ratio, Christos built a Kevlar version that was (hypothetically) a bit heavier than the rest but potentially unsinkable. Later on it proved to be lighter than expected and that beauty, was destined to end up with me.

Here is her maiden voyage.

The boat had a small problem with the keel-box and was taking in lots of water. I strap some, fishing net string, around it before using a light glass cloth and epoxy, to make it as strong as the rest of the boat.
Then had to make her ready for classic (shroudless) rigs.

I also had to cover my fear of getting any water on the electronics. You see, 99,9% of our sailing is done in salt water which is disastrous for batteries and receivers. So I always like to have those in a sealed container to rule out any possibility of contact.
Also I like to be able to quickly turn everything on/off with no switch and change batteries between races.
Usually that means adding much weight but I found a solution that covers me for now.
The top part is a urine sample cup, cut to about a centimeter from the bottom of it’s cap. The cap is sanded to the very point where the screw begins in order to save weight and height over the deck.
The bottom part is from a bottle containing rubbing alcohol. It was heated to shrink on the cup and then I added glue to seal any holes.
The whole part was then glued, with silicone, on a piece of glass-epoxy with which I covered the left opening.

very glad to hear about the finalization of the Class M Esterel.
From the pictures I would says that the model’s design used is the Esterel “Ruby” ND-RB. ND stay for “Narrow Deck” and RB for “Reverse Bow”.
Pity that from the video is not easy to appreciate the effect of the Reverse Bow versus Nose Down.
Any appreciation about the speed is welcome.
True that the name ‘Diamond’ was abandoned because already used and replaced by the ‘Ruby’ with some design changes. Both PDF data are still available on this forum.
Thanks a lot !

When I first got the boat I got many wins and was always among the first 5 in a fleet of around 20 boats.
I can’t say if it was just the RB or the overall design of the boat but, whenever it got overpowered downwind, I didn’t lose control as with other boats using swing rig. It was very sweet and steady.
Upwind the boat could point much higher than the rest, to a level I was getting complains from the other skippers. And of course it was fast!

The next year and after some minor accident’s, I began having problems I couldn’t overcome, since I didn’t have time for practice and only attended some races.
At some point the boat lost it’s balance and in calm water you could see the aft risen a little. It started diving to the point that the whole rudder got out of the water and was out of control.
It also stalled a lot, even going backwards.:smiley:
I found out that Christos had used a shorter rudder which was also not aligned to the keel. So we changed that, but still had issues.

So now we have stripped the boat down. Replaced the servo and moved it, from next to the keel, back in the center and close to the rudder.
The winch was then moved closer to the keel and we are planing on having half of the line, loop outside the boat to be easier to attach the jib line when using a classic rig.
Also Christos has created a custom swing rig mast tube, that will allow us to adjust it’s angle on the bow-aft axes.
As I wrote earlier I’m also planing on 3D printing a new rudder, keel and bulb mold.

Some time ago, a Russian guy had made a video compilation of the boat, with many close ups and many nose dives. I never new why he did it, as well as why he erased it from youtube.
Be patient and maybe this year I will get more screen time.

Thank you Abi, I like your first paragraph of course and I’m very pleased :rolleyes: of course.
What happen after not well understood.

Oh! It is very simple Claudio…i did too many changes, with no testing in between. I also added much weight at various points without checking the balance. It was a disaster waiting to happen and I am to blame 100%
Also (after some research) it seems I was having problems with my transmitter or the receiver so I will have to check those too.
Now I’m waiting for Christos to come back from his summer vacations to continue the Rebuild.

Thanks again for a fantastic design,
I’ll be back soon with more pictures.

Those are amazing!
I love the raw Kevlar look

Thanks Naptalene.

I would love to keep the Kevlar visible but, it had too many mini-holes so we had to eventually coat it with filler.