Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Step By Step... Slowly

Incremental - perhaps infinitesimal is more accurate - progress over the past week.

Working around cool days, I'm nearly done filling the weave of the FG cloth on the bottom. The stem and centerboard slot surrounds are installed but need glassing, sanding and fairing. Fairing of the hull is approaching that stage of, "just one more time…"

So, work continues at a slow pace but it is progressing. I wonder how long I can (should) wait before priming the hull?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Surprise Results

While I've been figuring what I need to tent off the work area (how much plastic sheeting, lumber, etc), I've been doing a few bits of epoxy work with surprising results.

Temperatures in the barn have been in the mid-50s (outside temperatures in the upper 50s) when I filled a couple of spots between the sheer and adjoining planks. Twenty-four hours later (with an overnight low in the high 30s and outside temperatures again in the upper 50s) the epoxy was soft but not tacky. Eighteen hours after that, the epoxy appears to be cured. I'll let it sit for awhile longer before trying to sand it but I am pleasantly surprised by this result. >br>
The area needs some sort of enclosure and heat but I know work can continue until improvements to the space can be done.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


The weather forecasts were wrong. Thursday and Friday were no better than last Wednesday. Neither were yesterday or today. The centerboard surrounds still need to be installed; the stem and surrounds need to be glassed; the weave of the glass on the bottom needs filling; and, of course, there is still a great deal of sanding and fairing to be done. Lows in the 30s with highs in the low 50s makes that epoxy work tough to do.

So, what are my alternatives?
  • Wait for warmer weather? That could be a long wait...
  • Do the epoxy work and wait for it to cure - at least something would get done... eventually.
  • Close in the area Gardens resides and use a space heater to warm the space to epoxy-friendly temperatures?
This last alternative seems to be the best option right now. There are plenty of beams and rafters from which to hang plastic sheeting which, together with a space heater, ought to warm the space enough to let me work in this cool weather.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cooling My Heels...

Yesterday was cold and rainy. So was this morning although the precipitation ended by mid-morning. This brief preview has me cooling my heels. Tomorrow and Friday ought to be warmer, allowing epoxy work to continue.

The stem is stalled at 5 plies and - based on test fitting of the centerboard slot surrounds this afternoon - may end there. No further cracking or splitting of the plies.

The centerboard slot surrounds will take five plies to match the the stem but they are short enough with little enough rocker so I should be able to install two plies at a time. The surrounds will be installed tomorrow and, maybe one more ply for the stem. After that, I'll round-over the stem and surrounds and fiber glass them to provide a measure of abrasion resistance.

Another thought… and I should direct this to John Welsford… what about a boom gallows? Located foreward of the mizzen and low enough not to interfere with the boom while sailing, a gallows could facilitate a boom tent and provide support for the spars while trailering. Just a thought… deserving further consideration.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Laminating the Stem

Installing the exterior stem (laminating in place) began yesterday morning with the first ply (the plies for the lamination are pine ripped to between 4 and 5mm. No indication of stress, strain, cracking or splitting during the dry fit, so I painted the faying surfaces with neat epoxy, spread a generous amount of thickened epoxy on the hull and screwed the pieces into place. Then we left for a family get-together.

First thing this morning, I removed the screws, sanded the first ply and repeated the process to install the second ply - staggering the seams to avoid/minimize creating a weak spot.

Late this afternoon, I repeated the process again - and nearly got ahead of myself. I installed the skeg piece (which is almost flat and under no stress at all) without doing a dry fit. No problem. But I caught myself before getting too far along installing the stem piece without a dry fit. Good thing, too, because during that dry fit that ply (which measured 5mm) took the curve without any apparent problem but began cracking as I drove in the last screw (which was no where near the crack). Before I knew it, the piece split, held for a second or two and then broke in two.

I quickly removed the pieces, checked the next piece (closer to 4mm than 5mm) and proceeded with a dry fit. This time there was no cracking, splitting or breaking and the installation went well.

Three plies installed, three to go...

I am using 1¼" sheet-rock screws and plywood pads (souvenirs of my Goat Island Skiff build) which worked really well to hold the ply to the curve of the bow without marring the surface of the ply. Because of the total length needed (about 12ft) for the stem and (foreward) skeg, two pieces of unequal length are used for each ply so the seams can be staggered.

While this is a bit of a tedious process - I can add a maximum of two plies a day - the results will be good. And, there is no lack of work to be done before the hull is ready to paint...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Skeg, Stem and Fairing

Installed the skeg yesterday. Lots of thickened epoxy (too much, really, but I'd rather it be that way…), screws, patience and a huge assist from my wife.

Next up is the exterior stem and (for want of a better term) the foreword skeg (stem extension between the exterior stem and the centerboard slot?). Because my earlier lamination didn't fit well enough - and I dinged it up a bunch running it through the planer - I am going with Plan B. Plan B is laminating the exterior stem in place. The plies have been cut and the glue-up will begin in the morning. In the meantime, I glassed the front edge of the bow. The excess will be trimmed away before I begin laminating the stem.

Fairing continues - lots of sanding means lots of dust:

And, yes, I created more work for myself with that bit of fiber-glassing… But, it is all progress…

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Things are Good

The bottom, including the first plank, has been glassed… and mostly sanded…
The first round of QuikFair has been applied…
The skeg has been epoxied and fiber-glassed and is ready for installation…
The temperatures reached the low 70s today… and, it didn't rain…
Things are that good!