Saturday, May 30, 2009

The first step

With fairing, sanding and more fairing done, I applied 2 coats of epoxy to seal the plywood planks and give an extra layer of protection to the bottom.
The stem area has a nice even shape to it, the way I wanted it when I began shaping the forward area. When the paint goes on it will look clearer.With a warm room the epoxy cured nicely and has a high gloss look to it. It's almost a pity I have to sand and cover in primer. The pictures look OK, but it doesn't clearly show the smoothness of the finish. Well in most places anyway.

The first coat was applied around 6:30pm, the second around 11:30pm, I finished around 1 am this morning. A late night, but I got 2 layers chemically bonded in the process. If I had more time I would have applied a 3rd coat.

Now I must wait at least 3 days before I clean and lightly sand the hull for the first coat of primer. Some small touch ups inside the centercase to do. It will get a lot of wear so a extra bit will help.

Time: 3 hrs

Friday, May 29, 2009

I digress

I had an interesting day at work yesterday I figured I share.
Were building some Offshore subsea modules for A customer of ours.
Its a truss approximatly 90ft long and it's triangular in cross section. Yesterday I used the computer to make a 3D model of the truss, (not a big deal) and then use math (Hate math) and projections to make a template that would be printed to full scale. This template is used to create this...It's to be installed here.
Still not too big a deal but the fact that the whole thing must have an even gap of 3mm all around for a special weld is! It requires accuracy at every stage, from design to cutting and grinding. The edges must be ground back a specific angle as well for this full penetration weld. It all gets radiographed and X-rayed after. The diagonals are on a jig for test fitting before going on the main truss. An "intense" day needless to say. This stuff is also not cheap, the grade is rare and has to be impact tested before use.

Final pre paint preperations

I spent last evening sanding the little touch ups, and fine grit sanding the hull. Once that was done I used the air hose to blow off the dust from the rafters above, and all other surfaces of the shop. A fan was put in the window to suck out some of the dust while I swept and vacuumed up the rest. The shop got a thorough cleaning and most everything not nailed down got removed. I want to keep the dust under control as much as possible. from here on in, the shop door will be closed to keep dust out, and the paint fumes in.
2 coats of clear epoxy will be applied tonight about 3-4 hours apart. Then it's a 3-4 day wait until I lightly sand and apply first coat of primer (as per the primer instructions). In that Time I will be out in the other part of the basement working on the centerboard finishing.

I have built this hull with all the reasonable time and skills I have to bring to bare. Whatever she looks like after the primer coat is on, is it! The frames determine shape (which I built as accurate as I reasonably could), my skill in making planks and installing them is what it is, so a redo would yield the same results. And my shaping of plank edges and such can only go so far. I hold my breath and begin the process of painting. Whatever results I get can/will be changed only a minuet amount. It's hard to really see the true shape with the bare wood with all its grain running here and there, epoxy patches and glassed bottom. But I have to remember that this is a home built wooden boat after all and each wooden boat has it's own... personality. It's not going to be perfect, but I can say I built it....

"Hey mister where you get that ugly ass boat?"
Response: "my basement"


The sun is shining, it's Friday, and I have a 17ft sailboat in my basement that about 85% complete = big shit eatin GRIN

Time: 2 hr

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sometimes other things come up.

This evening, renown environmental activist, author, genetic scientist, (the list goes on) David Suzuki will be in town for a lecture on the state of our environment, and the lack of personal/government action. I'm not an activist my self, but I am acutely aware of the mess were making and we have the power to control it. I have A teenage daughter who I try to inform and expose her to the proper information and truth about things going on around her. Luckily she's very receptive to this and knows as much as I about the situation the world is in. My up bringing was much different and like many my age and older, were never told or shown that we have to clean up our mess. (not past our bedroom anyhow)
I was glad to hear how excited she was when I asked her if she wanted to go to the lecture. Perhaps there's one thing I've gotten right in this alien sport called parenting.

So a brief pause in the build to spend an evening with my daughter at something we'll both enjoy.
The boat can always wait.

Until tomorrow....

p.s. major peeve.... bottled water, how gullible is the human being? In the span of a decade the worlds cities water supplies are suddenly poisonous and we have to drink $$$ bottled water.... which is from the same source.... I cringe at the genius of marketing, perhaps the same folk who used to do it for Phillip Morris tobacco many eons ago.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More hull work

I finished sanding the hull this evening and cleaned it off. I mixed up some epoxy filler and made fillets around the skeg/keelson, and on the lowest plank edge. I also touched up some minor divot's around the boat here and there. So whats shown is the globs that have yet to be sanded off. The stem area looks pretty good. its nice and even and the skeg I attached has a nice taper to the main stem with epoxy filler. I marked out where the screw holes are on a strip of wood and am using it for a template for when I make the Teflon/poly/plastic runner rub strip. it will run from just under the front pad eye to the centerboard case. then pic up again at the rear of the case.A $1 spatula from the dollar store was used for making the radius on my large skeg fillets. The small fillets made on the planking and other places was done so by this little gizmo. It's for attaching to a caulking gun, but I just use it loose, I also put my epoxy in a old/used Ziploc bag and cut out a corner. like decorating a cake. this was I get even spread of filler and little waste. it's much cleaner to work with also. the excess is scraped off with the long edge and put back in a bowl for use in the bag again.
I clean it off when done and soak it in vinegar and wipe clean for future use.

Time: 3 hr

Hull work

Last evening I started sanding the epoxy filler coating on the bottom of the hull. Needless to say its a lot of sanding. I actually never finished the job I started. Once finished i'll only need to do a bit of touch up areas with filler and a run of epoxy fillet along the bottom plank.
The dust was thick in the air and with my mask on. I didn't take a picture due to the dust.

Time: 3 hr

Mast work

I spent nearly all Saturday shaping the 18ft mast from its many sided shape to the round I intended. A LOT of sanding. but at least that part is done now. It was done while I waited for the epoxy filler to cure once again. All the necessary holes got drilled through for the rigging. The bottom section got rounded off for the tabernacle mounting. But mount hole is yet to be drilled.A final sanding will be done just before I coat it in epoxy later. it was put back up in the rack for final work in a couple of weeks.
(it's shown up in the rack after I worked on it)

Time: 7 hr

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Celebrating Bob Bartlett 2009

Bob Bartlett
World-renowned Arctic explorer. Icon of North American history. From his success on the famed 1909 Peary Polar expedition to his countless Far North adventures, Bartlett is one of the true heroes of the 20th century. Celebrating Bartlett 2009 is a program of events and projects to bring Bartlett’s story to new generations. It will shine light on the legacy of the man whose perseverance and strength symbolize the spirit of Newfoundland and Labrador. (taken from the website)

Brigus, Newfoundland was the home port of Bob Bartlett and celebrations will be ongoing through out the summer, but from July 11-13th there will be major events planned. Brigus is about 30 minutes drive from my house, or about 2-3 hours sail. I intend to sail my boat into that harbor that week and spend a night or two aboard and take in the festivities.
Providing I finish on time!
Cape St. Mary's. A ecological reserve. A fascinating place when it is not shrouded in fog. Millions of birds call this home year round. It must be an impressive view from the sea below for certain.
Just one of many places to visit this summer.
Speaking of which, I'm getting closer to "guessing" my launch date, because in boat building and life, nothing is certain. The hull should be complete by late June with the rest of the time devoted to finishing the rigging, and other parts. Lots of little details that have a way of eating time. Especially varnishing and drying times. I'm figuring on the second week in July will be about the date i'll be set to sail. Just in time for summer vacation.
The mess I made yesterday is not uncommon in this build but I'm glad I have a very understanding wife who's putting up with this projects many side effects. My daughter Jasmine is old enough to understand what I'm doing and why i'm in the basement so much. A lesson in perseverance for her. I make a point of making time for her though, I only get one go at this and she's my only child. This evening there's no boat work, were going to see the new Star Trek movie and hang out at the book store after. Us time.
I was going to name the boat after Jasmine, but she was set against that. I instead asked her to find a name suitable for this boat and the family put it to a vote. In the end though I will choose from the best two. Some great names have come forward and I wish I could name the boat "Kuzcotopia" but there's not enough room on the transom for it.

A short list of potential names;
Jasmine (scratched from list)
Nasmine (scratched from list due to it being "lame" apparently)

Each has significance with me and or the family. The boats name won't be named until launch, A superstition I guess.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A change of pace

I have been working on the hull constantly for the past week or so, and my epoxy is not 100% cured from last evening, so I did something different today. It all works toward the same goal so no time lost. I pulled my mast, boom and gaff from the rack and began to work on them.

The gaff was first, being the smallest, if I messed anything up it would be not so much a problem to make a new one. I Made lines down the centers of each face and a line offset from each a distance I figured out as a guide to plane down the edge of the 6 faces. This Clamp being made of plastic has few uses for heavy stuff, but it's perfect for holding my items in place for planing and sanding.This would then make 12 smaller faces. each small face would in turn get one pass with the planer doubling the number of faces again. This would all then be rough sanded with my palm sander with a 60 grit, and progressively to a smaller grit. Making the lines took as long as actual planing. but the lines were necessary to keep a nice fair line the full length.The results were as I had hoped. I have yet to decide on the style of gaff jaws so the ends are unfinished. The Boom was done the same way. Though the boom is a different shape. I wanted strength but in not much larger diameter so I went with an ellipse of sorts.
Not to worry. It looks ratty when initially glued together, but knowing that it needs major shaping later the most important thing to look for is it being straight.

This is what I intended in my mind when I thought up the shape for the boom. COOL.

The points where I drill through the boom for the boom vang and main sheet blocks were center punched with the end of my dividers so i didn't loose my spot. Its where the backing blocks were installed inside. The outer end was rough sanded and to be finish sanded just before I epoxy it. The Mast once again was done in the same fashion, but over 18ft of it. A tight squeeze.

I made a taper at the top of the mast with a reduction in diameter by about 30%. Mostly with the planer and then working with the sanders. My evening ran short and it was time to clean up my huge mess. But I made some good progress today. I had so much time because I took the afternoon off. The sun shining in the shop made eyeballing the lengths much easier.I think it turned out well for my first go at building a mast, boom and gaff from scratch. The dimensions from Johns plans were enlarged in diameter where i'm using wood instead of aluminum with wood plugs in the ends.

It was a long day, but I enjoyed every minute. Something accomplished among the seemingly slow pace of hull work. I had allotted much more time to this phase so its good to have this part at least partially complete.
Time: 7 hr

Hull work

The hull got its treatment of epoxy fillers over the past days and in days that will follow. The bottom where the cloth tape overlaps is a bit of a sticking point and I have had to do several coats to taper it. I'm still working on it. The epoxy filler takes more than a day to cure in order for me to sand without clogging the sandpaper, so I have to plan other tasks in this wait time.
The plank joints and screw holes got several coats of filler then sanded after each coat to a smooth finish. The underside of the planking got a fillet of epoxy filler as well.

Time: 8 hr

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Days like these

This morning I'm up with the sun. It's too nice to waste by lounging in bed, there's much to be done. I snapped a couple shots of the harbor from my house to help explain. It's mornings like these that I'm building my boat. To be waking up to this in some remote harbor or cove, to only hear the water lapping against the hull and the gulls nearby. A coffee and some bacon and eggs to start the day right of course.

The marina is nestled just down past that crop of trees.Travor, my longtime friend since we could walk, has been my partner in crime on many great voyages across our lake camping and fishing. We have always taken bacon and eggs regardless of the distance, I don't even remember ever breaking one with all the hiking and tossing around of kit bags. We took those trips in my first plywood rowboat. Basically a pram, but with floor boards flat so you could sleep in the bottom of the boat. The seat used for rowing sat in a slot so you could remove it to lay down. I only slept in it twice but it shows that you can sleep in a 9ft rowboat. It was built with plywood, nails, exterior caulking, and paint. None of this fancy epoxy etc. It never, ever leaked except when I punched a hole in it on a rock. My repair kit consisted of a few squares of panel board, some screws and screwdriver, and glue.

When the boat was new, myself and Travor were only around 11 years old and we could sit side by side and row. No communication, other that "where are we going today?" "The narrows" was the reply and we would row. Kitbag's full of food, fishing rods and a bottle or sausage can full of worms in dirt. I remember many days the only thing that rippled the water was my boat being rowed by us, on days just like this.

p.s. My friends Max and Greg now know what I mean when I talk about these days, they have seen the place now too.

Back to building

Skeg is on, time to prep the hull

Friday evening I final fitted the skeg. My friend Travor came by to help lift the rear of the boat so I could screw one the skeg from underneath. Thanks for the help Travor. The skeg was glued and screwed like everything else. All pre-drilled of course, the maple would only have it that way. After the glue had set I used a wood batten to see how much the rear skeg needed to be trimmed. I ran the planer over it and trimmed accordingly. I used the router with a 1/2" round over to finish it.

The rest of Saturday was spent sanding the hull in prep for epoxy filler in the high/low spots. Half of the hull got a treatment of epoxy mostly in the bottom clothed area.

Time: 8 hr

Friday, May 15, 2009

No slacking

We're coming into the May long weekend here and many are hitting the road with their camping gear and such for the start of the camping season. But not me. I have taken some time last week to be lazy and go see a movie and eat sushi. My daughter has her plate full of sleep overs and Carnival rides, while my wife unfortunately is working. So it leaves me with uninterrupted boat building time. I'm unsure how much will be accomplished, but I got 3 whole days of time that I should make good use of.
Steve Earley is making preparations for his long weekend Pathfinder sailing trip next weekend and I have been reading his blog with great interest. Of particular note was his anchoring arrangement which looks like it has some serious holding power for it's size.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Centerboard casing work

It took a little longer than I thought, but I managed to cut and shape the centerboard case keelsons (if that's even a word) All maple of course.Approximately 1" thick and 2" wide. then cut to suit the area. I shaped the forward and aft sections to let water flow better around it. The keelson forward needs to be cut to suit the case as well. It's shown here over length.I also rounded the rear portion at the edge of the case. The keelson is only held on the center line by one screw for the purpose of fitting these side pieces.Once this is all glued and screwed in place, I'll plane the adjoining parts flush. the forward keelson will get screwed and glued in place along with a generous fillet of epoxy glue for added strength.

Time: 2 1/2 hr

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Planning and One year ago

Over the past couple of evenings I have been shaping and gluing the parts of maple together that will make the main skeg/keelson. Not technically difficult but messy and time consuming. Cutting wood from rough cut virgin maple, laminating the maple then planing down to a flat surface then cutting to a template I made from scrap plywood. The front keelson will taper forward of the centerboard to the stem at which point it will be virtually flush with the hull. In doing this I'll put the parts aside to concentrate on adding the epoxy fillets to the plank edges, screw holes, and general fairing of the taped seams etc. A layer of glass biaxel tape was added to the stem area for more abrasion resistance. It will allow for several days of curing before sanding, in that time I'll finish the skeg and glue/screw it in place. Then I can sand the hull immediately after.It has been a year since I started this blog and ordered the plans for the John Welsford "Pathfinder". I have kept pretty well on track since starting cutting and building last September, mostly due to a general building schedule I made that has kept me on track in using my valuable time efficiently. At worst I have a hull to put in the water now and a motor to push her.

Though it is May, here in Newfoundland some places have had some not so spring weather.... How's 25 cm (10 inches aprox.) of snow for spring weather? I'm not missing much excitement on the water yet, the boat fleets are not even in the marinas. So unless I sail with a full immersion Survival suit, its a no go for sailing, besides I might hit one of these.

Time: 8 hr (3 evenings)