Tuesday, August 31, 2010


August didn't include as much work on the boat as I had originally planned. Shortly after coming back from our sailing vacation, my dad decided to take his boat out of the water and do a much-needed paint job. This turned into taking half the windows out to patch areas in the cabin sides, removing all the paint from the topsides and putting on an epoxy base before painting . . . and more. Suffice it to say that I spent all my weekends up in La Conner helping him. Not sure how long it will take, but he and my brother Toby are working on it full time.

I decided that I would work on finishing the second float outside in the backyard. That allowed me to be outside after work if there was time before it got dark, and in the garage after it got dark. I wanted to free up the garage to finish the last projects before I begin setting up the main hull form frames.

After making the same modification to the second rail, I secured the feet, placed the extra tape, and faired this area of the deck. I had only ordered one deck hatch so I could confirm that I liked it. Now the second one is on back order, so I'll just cover up the float as the rains will be here soon.

In the garage I began to put the centerboard case together. It requires a baffle. Having made the centerboard, I knew exactly what dimension I wanted so I constructed a simple mold. The inside corners are filleted before placing the glass.

Then I vacuum-bagged it. My original plan of using a cheap bag didn't work, so I slipped it in the same surfboard bag I used for the centerboard and rudder.

Attaching the baffle to one side of the centerboard case.

I decided to paint the interior of the centerboard case with bottom paint before I put it together. You can find many different opinions on the web about this step - essentially everything from doing nothing, to soft or hard anti-fouling, to copper-epoxy. And of course some paints are not designed to be out of the water or they lose their effectiveness. Also, once you start with one type, many require complete removal if you decide to change to another type. I asked Ian about this and he suggested a hard anti-fouling below the water line.

Where the inner flange is attached to the case, there's extra glass. To accommodate this thickness, I used to the table saw to make this end of the baffle slightly thinner.

I like the bright colors that Pettit Vivid anti-fouling offers and it met the other criteria.
Toxic though.

Poor picture, but shows my plan for attaching the two halves. I also left unpainted the area at the top where more reinforcements go, and the bottom where it will be trimmed and attached to the hull.

I started to finish cutting out all the remaining flat parts. An interesting side note about tools: I purchased a jig saw at the beginning of the project (replacing one that seemed suspect). It was 'entry level' but looked like it would do the job. And it had a LASER! (Not useful.) Well, some time ago I lost faith in its ability, so I did everything I could to chose an alternate tool. After a particularly frustrating time on one part, I'd had enough. A little research online and I found that everyone who commented on my particular saw said that after some use it would become uncontrollable! After looking at several different saws (unfortunately, over twice the price) and reading the comments -- people talking about liking theirs so much that they would use it for jobs I would never consider -- I knew I had to throw this one out and buy yet another one. Wow, works like a charm. Yet again, I'm learning that you spend less getting the right tool from the beginning, even when it's more expensive. I also found a different brand diamond grit blade that is narrower, but cuts smooth and lasts a long time.

My last step while having a large flat work space was making the gluing flange on the forward bunk and cockpit floor. I used some 3M adhesive spray along the peel ply on the side I didn't want the flange attached to. This allowed me to attach a smooth layer of release film and then peel ply over this. I took the peel ply off the side with the planned flange attachment and clamped the pieces together. Then I used the poor man's vacuum technique.

Here's the final, untrimmed glue flange. I found that, even with the layer of release film, it paid to separate them early, while it's still slightly green. With the peel ply removed from the flange, it's ready to use.

Wow,  I cut nearly all the main hull form frames what seems like a million years ago (as in during the first month of this project). I had saved #1 and #2 to be cut out of one of my vacuum table tops. I'll save the other table for making the few remaining interior panels.

I checked the strong back for level, re-glued a couple legs that had worked free from the floor while fairing the floats, and started aligning the forms.

What a great shape! I actually positioned the rotating laser level vertically so that I could check the centerline at the hull shape, as well as at the bottom of the form against my center string. (You can see that I haven't yet modified the forms back in the cockpit from my original plan of doing the aft cabin version.)

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