Saturday, July 31, 2010


I have the luxury of building slowly, partly because my parents have always been gracious to let me borrow their boat. I think of it as the Memory Maker (if there's a reason to keep a log, it's to read/remember all the past times together as a family -- the Trice has been making memories for 43 years!) We love our chance to re-experience our local cruising areas in the San Juan Islands and if time allows, the Canadian Gulf Islands.

My brother Toby joined us this trip. He bought a Nimble 24 on Chesapeake Bay several years ago. He used its shallow draft and trailer to explore great places of history and great cruising grounds on the East Coast. This year he finished the spring season with 6 weeks in the Bahamas. After a two-week trailering trip across the US, he launched at my parent's the day before we left -- and joined us. (He has had many experiences that only a shallow draft and trailerable boat can access -- aspects that originally attracted me to the F-22.)

This cruise was marked by many great sails (some years, summer can be a better cruising time then sailing time, but not this year). It was fun to have another boat to sail with and rendezvous with at harbor.

We picked up my brother Jeremy and his family from the ferry terminal at Friday Harbor. They joined us for 3 days. It's great to share time and experiences together at some of our favorite places.

Teaching my nephew to row.

The Bald Eagle population has recovered and is now a frequent sighting, though not often this close.

Having two boats meant that Toby and I could take an afternoon or evening sail as easily as a row to shore. It was fun to sail together (should I admit that it was my first time sailing on a monohull?).

Nothin' like cruising'!

When we returned I decided to tackle a small problem that I had been ignoring since last month. While lowering my float from being suspended in the garage, the bow slipped out of its web holder and fell about 2 1/2 feet, landing on the sharp corner of one of the 3/4 inch MDF frames that was waiting to receive it. The frame actually broke in the center where it was narrow -- I was afraid to look at the float.

The impact was on the outer side, right at the forward beam bulkhead. There was a circular crack in the fairing material and epoxy coating. It was also indented where the foam was compressed. I suspect that the bulkhead may have minimized the extent of the injury.

Here I've sanded the shiny epoxy coating with a longboard to show the area that was effected beyond the circular crack. Interestingly, the point of impact at the center of the circle showed no damage.

I removed the shallow fairing material and found a white circle in the glass, suggesting a disruption of the fibers. Ian agreed that it was not a structural issue, but said it may show as a cosmetic problem sometime in the future if all I did was re-fair this area. So, I put on a lightweight (~3 oz) glass patch under VB, hoping for the thinest fix possible.

I was lucky that this happened to be an area where the existing fairing material was just thick enough to allow me to place this thin patch without extensive re-fairing. This is my fairing patch placed with a couple layers of tape around the edge. A couple passes of the longboard show the usual low spot in the center of any filled area. The high overfill allowed a single sanding session make the problem disappear from sight.

I'll be more careful next time.

I started working on the inner supports for the wingnet rail. I came to two conclusions. One, I didn't want to have to fair the 'feet' where the rails attach to the float. Two, I decided to make them slightly beefier.
I started with a piece of the cutout from the rail itself. While in place, I added an upper lip under the rail, and after a some filleting material, a lower extension that conforms to the deck edge.

Originally, I had envisioned finishing it with a hand lay-up, but the lower extension was flexible, so needed to be done in place. And it was hard imagine working under the rail without making a mess. So I VB'd the part in place. Because the rail and deck edge are not parallel, the two pieces are not interchangeable. After cure, I released them from the packing tape on the deck edge and slipped out the ends for further shaping before epoxying them in place.

An exciting step -- holes for the deck openings.

I had previously purchased some reinforced plastic hatches. It was difficult to find any information about anyone's experiences with similar products. In the end I decided that they looked more like cockpit storage hatches than deck hatches. After looking some more, I settled on a Vetus hatch. More weight, more money, but designed for the job.

This was my first chance to get a look at the interior. I was most curious about the deck-to-flange attachment. I didn't enjoy doing this 'blind' -- was there enough adhesive, was there too much, did it ooze out all over the inside? In the end it looks like it was OK.

No comments: