Monday, January 21, 2013


Last week, Doryman spoke of uncharacteristically cold weather in Oregon. Over the weekend, Michigan's characteristically cold winter weather arrived. Single-digit temperatures accompanied by double-digit winds provide the cold and turned the shop into a freezer. No significant boat work in the shop for awhile.

But hibernation? No, not really. There are indoor tasks and projects enough to keep me busy:
  • The SailRite kit for the mizzen sail awaits; the sewing machine will soon be put to work.
  • Plastic sheeting will be used to create a sanding/grinding booth in the basement for shaping the centerboard and rudder blade.
  • Internet shopping for a trailer, an outboard and sailboat hardware will certainly keep me busy throughout these cold weeks of winter.
  • And an assortment of crafty wood projects (picture frames, napkin rings and coasters) in need of sanding and finishing.
Progress on these projects will be forthcoming...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Task: Remove Interior Motor Mount

When I built the frames, I intended to build and use the motor-well as designed. However, after assembling the hull I read about the experiences of other Pathfinder builders who chose to use a transom mounted motor mount. Eliminating the motor-well would simplify building the hull - no need to cut another hole in the bottom of the boat! I decided to not build the motor-well. Of course that meant removing the motor-well from F-6A (and adding a doubler to the transom).

Since the space is limited and there is little room to work a saw - any saw - removing the motor mount was a little finicky. With a little patience and perseverance the piece was removed and now F-6A is symmetrical!

I still have to do a bit of sanding to clean up the frame and the seat-front 'extensions' between F-6A and the transom need to be installed.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Heat Lamps and Warming Tents

Getting back into the shop after the holidays for some boat work, I was scratching my head wondering what to do about the temperatures in the shop. While it isn't bitter cold yet - mostly in the 20s with some lows in the teens - it isn't very warm in the shop either: mid-30s. Since there is still a LOT of work left to be done, I want to be able to work through the winter. So, while checking old posts and a few photos, I was reminded of what I did last winter: Warming Tents (focused on the particular current glue-up]!

This year I've added a heat lamp to last year's collection of work lights and draped black plastic over the work area (instead of a hard-frame structure). Here, the warming light and plastic are in place keeping today's epoxy warm and the heat lamp is clamped in place to pre-warm the next section of the hull.

The sequence that is working for me is:
  • Warm the resin and hardener in a warming box (using a 75W bulb)
  • Pre-warm the section of the hull (between two frames) to be worked with the heat lamp and cover with black plastic
  • Apply the epoxy;
  • Keep the section warm with a 40W warming light and black plastic.
This sequence allows me to work up to two sections of the interior per day. The 250W heat lamp warms the hull section to about 70° in the morning and the 40W warming lamp and plastic maintains a temperature of 60° under the plastic. By the next day the epoxy is cured enough for me to move on to the next section. I may have to vary things a bit when I begin painting.

Oh, yes… Happy New Year to one and all!