Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oh to be able to sit

With all the epoxy done for rough work, the seats and floor panels can finally be installed.
I glued and screwed the floor joists in place, note the extra ones I added for my own piece of mind. Not much extra weight added.
The Areas for each panel got a liberal amount of glue before I laid each piece down.
One side then another was laid in place and screwed down tight.
And NO I did not forget to remove the hold down screws for the jig. I reminded myself enough of that small task.

This will be all for the topsides until the bottom of the hull is finished. It needs quite a bit of work on it yet, like the compression post, seat edges, filling, fairing, more epoxy and paint, as well at hardwood trim. Earlier this evening I also managed to Do mine and my wife's Taxes, and put up a new cloths line, a busy evening indeed.

This weekend I will be breaking the Building jig down, and rolling the hull over onto a new low jig in preparation for the hull work.

Time: 4 hr

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


That's what The seismologists said it was. A 3.4 magnitude earthquake we experienced last night. This part of the world is not prone to such things and it was a new experience for me. I felt it though I never clued in to what it was. It was like a large truck with a full load passing by my house. Oh well, I'm far enough above the water not to be worried about a tsunami, back to work.

I applied the first coat of epoxy to the starboard side yesterday evening after supper, then waited until late last night to apply the second coat. I work a normal day like most so the second coat never got applied until 11:30pm last night. Well at least the inside areas are coated. Above the finished floor will need work once I flip the boat back over.

Time: 3 hr

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Epoxy - The never ending story

All epoxy fillets complete. Next Up, Epoxy coating the inside of the hull among other things.
Two coats of epoxy were applied to the port side of the boat. This was done so I wouldn't get stuck in it while applying the second coat with in a 4 hr time period. I get a chemical bond this way. All of the loose floor joists got 2 coats of epoxy as well. I sat on my cool stool and listened to some Pink Floyd on the Ipod while I slaved away. Pretty cozy if I do say so.All the loose seat/floor panels got 2 coats of epoxy 4 hours apart. Now all they need is to have the blush cleaned off, a lite sanding where they lay over joints and their ready for final installation later this week. The Centercase pin arrangement got glued/screwed in place using 3M 5200 adhesive to keep it all sealed up. I ran a 1/2" diameter pin through just to make sure it was still all lined up properly.
I also installed my brass hull drain tube. I epoxied the hole and let it cure just to seal the wood. I cut the pipe about 3/16" over length, then applied 3M 5200 adhesive to the outer tube. A ball peen hammer was used to furl the inside end against the inner hull. I kept it in place as I hammered with a piece of wood wedged against the wall and the back of the hull, There is a good thing in having little space after all. It worked out nicely. It certainly won't leak. This evening... more epoxy coating, only this time on the starboard side of the hull. I can sit on the port side to do this now that that side has fully cured.

The seats need to be in by the weekend, I have a large event planned. Rolling the hull. I have a group of buddies arranged to come over eat my food and help roll over the beast. Should be fun.

Time: 8 hr

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Enough of epoxy fillets

Well at least 99% of it is complete. The areas below the floor and seats are done.

The mounting screws that hold the boat to the jig have been removed. But only the ones under the permanent flooring. I'll be coating the floor panels before installing them. that's next.
One last thing is to install the main brass drain tube before floor frames and the seats go in.
At the back of the boat I mounted a support beam for the rear deck edge. Just for when I inevitably jump aboard and step on that spot. I know it will happen.

Time: 3 hr

Chicken soup for the Sailors soul

I read an article on the Duckworks magazine site this morning. It gives you a mix of feelings but for sailors you can't help but smile at the last sentence. It certainly helped me regain focus on why I started building this boat in the first place, and to keep plugging away at it. Sometimes I do loose focus and view this build as work like in a house renovation. But it's short lived. It usually happens in the middle or near the end of a boring or seemingly unnecessary task.
Here's the link to the article, for you sailors, it's worth the few minutes to read.

The days are getting longer now, and warmer, while my list grows shorter of what things need to be done to complete the Pathfinder. It will be nice to write about where I have sailed that day.

Last of the epoxy fillets

Yet more fillets were added in past days and will be added this evening, but I believe it's the last of them. It's the most mundane task yet worked on with this project, likely due to the fact that its work of my own making or not essential to the build. And the fact that I have floor beams and floor panels ready to install. I'm beating this topic to death, i'll be glad when it's done. How their done is like this; Basically I mix a pot of epoxy, smear on some in an area where two sections meet, then make a pass using a little squeegee I picked up that normally is used for caulking. $2 and works great. Perhaps a picture will help... I'll take some this evening and add later.

Time: 8 hr

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Epoxy fillets (Oh the humanity!)

A small thing but takes sooo much time. Each evening or several evenings this past week I have been adding the epoxy fillets to the inner hull. One batch at a time, and a batch does about one bulkhead area.

I'm about 3/4 done with the fillets I figure. A couple of more evenings worth of mixing and applying fillets. The radius is part for looks and part function. The water should have less of a shelf to collect on should any reach these areas. I am assuming I will get water down in the inside at some point in time. It's inevitable.

Time: 8 hrs (avg 2 hr/ evening)

Cleat supports

As the title says, Cleat supports. I had located them and drilled the holes. Then glued 3/4" thick blocks behind and finished drilling.My father was in town last week and he gave a hand with the drilling.
The deck cleats will remain on the deck not on the floor as I had planned. I gave some thought and decided not to clutter up my floor/sleeping area with more rigging.
Time: 3 hrs

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

OK enough of easter break! Back to work!

Ok so sue me. I took a little break. Over the Easter holiday my parents came to visit, I put my daughter Jasmine on a plane to visit Europe for the next week, I did a bit of visiting, and virtually no work on the boat was done. It's still there, I checked last night, Just in case someone broke in with a chainsaw, 4-5 strong people and a bunch of lifting gear... You never know.
I'll be back at the vessel this evening, though I seemed to have come down with some flu or cold or other illness. It's the first illness since i've started this project from my recollection. Not too bad I guess. I'll sweat it out sanding I dare say.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

musings on floor supports and epoxy coating

Working around the forward floor section yesterday, I noticed some flexing in the floor under my mass... (no comment) All the screws were not in place and not glued, still it seemed a little more than I would prefer. I might add a couple of small cross members to the joists running forward. They won't be heavy or particularly long (only about 10") but they will add some comfort to me jumping around up there. It beats changing the plywood thickness to 1/2".

On another point, for the next week at least, I'll be sanding, epoxy coating and applying epoxy fillets to the inside hull and bottom. So there won't be much interesting to show. It will be like the stringer affair 2 months ago, a lot of effort and not much visible to show.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

floor and seat top dry fit

Final dry fitting of the floor and seat areas takes a little time. there's a lot of holes to drill and hatches to locate and cut to shape. The forward floor got it's drain hole located and all the screw holes complete. I then moved my way back fitting as I went.
I wondered about the location of the large hatches and finally decided on close to the center case so I could walk by the sides while docking and beaching without stepping on them. their 16"x18" hatches... plenty of opening to put things below.

the rear section of the cockpit got my own special modifications. No motor well, but a fuel tank storage compartment and a side hatch for spare anchor and rope.It all will be removed tomorrow and then each piece sanded and given several coats of epoxy. The inside floor area of the boat will get epoxy fillets and several coats as well.

When the assembly is finally glued and screwed in place, the finish work on the whole thing can begin. the seat area gets doublers under the overhanging sections an the whole cockpit area gets a trim back to about 2" of overhang from the seat edge. Don't worry I'll certainly have pictures of what I mean. Looking at the tank now... I think I might just put a nice little lid on that compartment with a lock... Store that idea for another day.

Most of the evening was spent sitting in the boat doing all this. A nice productive work evening with coffee in hand and tunes churning out on my crappy speakers hooked to my Ipod.

Time: 3 hr

Monday, April 6, 2009

Forward floor supports

I Sawed a couple of pieces of wood for the forward floor supports and dry fitted them in place. Some scrap plywood was laid down over floor beams to the hull so I could lay my marks for the edge supports. I marked around small pieces of wood precut and drilled very small pilot holes through the hull. I then drilled and counter sunk the holes from the outside. Mixed up a tiny batch of epoxy and screwed the pieces to the hull.You can see the forward support blocks for possible floor mounted gear, as well as on the sides of the centercase you can see the blocks the will be future drains.

Time: 2 hr

The Outboard

Yes the day finally has come when I'll need the outboard motor. No not to use directly, but to help figure out where the motor bracket will go. I am using a parallelogram motor bracket for my motor. Its location is important so the motor is in the water enough while in use. Some people have little idea of how motor trim can affect greatly the performance of both the boat and motor. the depth of the blade and the angle is important. I'm no expert but I do recognize the importance of these factors.
I decided on a Honda 5hp 4 stroke longshaft outboard. I know the Honda's reputation for quality and have used them in the past. My family also uses them exclusively on the mussel farm. Very durable machines and very quiet and fuel efficient. I wanted enough horsepower to push me through a headsea if the need ever arose. A 2hp I think would be outmatched here. A 5hp also having an external fuel tank means that I have more capacity and no in use refuelings. (spillage on a rough day) I made accomidations at the rear of the boat for this 2 1/2 gallon tank.

The motor was picked up today and though new and exciting, was uncerimonously dumped in the trunk of my car. I brought it home and introduced it to the family, My daughter called it "Harvey".

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I couldn't leave it alone

I only just finished cleaning out the inside of the boat and putting away my clamps When I just got the urge to fix that deck edge. I knew I would change it, but no time like the present.
I used a small square and scribed a line parallel with the deck top then blended the lower end.
Jigsaw in hand and in a few minutes I had made a marked improvement.

I think so anyway. I think it flows better and less tendancy for me to hit my head up there.

I was putting my clamps in a bag and thought that it's likely the last time I'll use them on the boat project. They were envaluable to me and you can never have enough clamps.

Time: 30 min.

combing finish, End of major construction

I Scarfed the forward edge of where the combing splits to go over the deck. This was also done with the deck edge. With some screws and epoxy glue, this part was completed. The rear combing to the transom was glued in place as well. All the trimming will be done once the glue is set.With all the epoxy glue cured I set about marking where I am to trim the combing on above and below the deck. The sail batten was put to good use once again. It being made of fiberglass makes for a very even predictable curve. It was clamped in place and a pencil line drawn for the cut line. I had a long hard look at it before I committed to cutting. I switched blades on my
jigsaw to a fine cut so I wouldn't splinter the plywood so much.The line once cut looked pretty smart. I like the front part and how it met the opposite side. Vary sharp indeed.
I took measurements every 2 ft and transferred the measurements to the opposite side for placing the batten. Clamped the batten in place and scribed another line. This side was cut to match. The inside was done in the same manor. At the front I left a bit more wood near the deck in case I change my mind and want a narrower forward section under the deck, I might be bumping my head reaching for stuff up there.

With the combing now installed, this now ends major construction on this Pathfinder. The small parts and flooring is next but the flooring is already cut and fitted. Up next... Mast supports, floor drains, floor supports, and cleat mounts. Once all that is done I can start final finish work on the inside hull which means lots of sanding and epoxy work before painting... I just said painting.... Wow.. I'm far enough along in this project to utter those words in the same sentence as next.

Time: 7 hrs

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Blocks cleats and cams

One of my last orders arrived today. My blocks cam cleats, jam cleats and deck blocks. A lot of stuff. I did a great deal of shopping around for the best price, unfortunately the poor Canadian dollar prevented me from getting my stuff from Duckworks this time. Shipping didn't help. I did find a place in Ontario and at the time of the order there was a late winter sale, so I got some good prices. All Harken and the blocks are carbon fiber light weight stuff. I was not intending on getting a particular brand, but these were actually the cheapest with the sale price. The biggest ticket item here is the fiddle block with cam which is my main sheet block set. I knew some things were small, but when held in your hand they look puny. If I need anything else it won't be much, an item or two. but I'm glad its here now, I'll be needing some of this for match drilling mount holes soon.

Combing work progresses

The port side Combing was dry fitted pre drilled and sanded in prep for gluing. In place I did a check on the front, back and sides to see how close I was matching with the other side in angle of the upper edge to deck. Close enough as far as I can tell. Both were cut the same and within 1/8" length ways on the boat so it can't be off by much, I can't notice and I'm being picky... or blind.
I mixed up a batch of epoxy glue and set to installing it before I changed my mind and started to fiddle with it and ruin it. I had a couple of small screws placed in the front to hold as the glue sets. They will be removed after.It looks pretty even to me. The light and shadow throws it off some but its not bad. The bottom of that notch in the front will be approximately the finished top edge. It's much higher than it appears in the picture.With that done fairly quickly I cut and fitted the forward deck edge that will interface with the combing. The back inside edge was scarfed along with the lower front edge of the combing. it matched up pretty good with some minor adjustments here and there. It was dry installed so I could make the matching piece tomorrow. Once glued in place with everything else, it will be trimmed on top and bottom. A productive evening.Time: 2 hrs


I have one goal "Get er built" and sailing will naturally follow. I'm not necessarily rushing but nor am I just piddling away down in the workroom. It's not one of those projects that lingers like the guy who spends years restoring a car. I like sailing more than I like building so getting this finished by this coming summer is top priority. To organize my time so I am not sitting waiting for epoxy to cure, I made a basic schedule. Part of which is shown below. Nothing fancy but keeps me focused and as I progress it gets filled in. Eventually I see that I have less and less to do which helps moral in this seemingly unending build.
I have a weekly sheet that I keep a track of daily things that need doing incase I forget something small but important. Like remove screws that hold the boat to the jig before I glue the flooring down!