Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Lifting out the first main hull half -- a pretty exciting step (I've probably said this before, its one of the great things about seeing a project take shape).  After removing a couple thousand + screws I tried lifting.  It was loose in places, but it wasn't going to pop out.  I lifted with a come-along from the forward bulkhead, and leveraged along the outer centerboard case, pushed and pulled -- and then it popped!

I think the problem was from the few screws that had penetrated the foam and required removal and filling prior to the glassing (or the one that leaked and I had to take care of during the bagging with 5 minute epoxy).  These areas acted like an epoxy screw in the batten.  I'll plan on marking them from the outside next time while backing the screws out so I can take care of them individually prior to lifting.

Not being able to lift the hull very far I had to crawl along underneath to remove the screws.  Some areas behind the deck and near the keel were a real challenge.

I hadn't been planing on saving most of the battens, so it was an easy choice to start cutting them up when it became easier to do it that way.

Its quite the archeological dig under the forms.

Somehow I think the outer hull is more impressive, even at this rough stage, than the interior.  It looks like a boat!

Its an easy two person lift by my brother and I when it comes to weight, but holding on and trying to turn it was a challenge, in more ways than one -- meaning we had a couple of false starts.  I measured from keel to cabin top and it appeared that I would be able to make the rotation -- No.

We discovered that the greatest distance was actually from the keel to the gunwale, more height than I had.  So I removed the garage door opener off the ceiling, knowing I was going to do that before I brought the boat back in after joining anyway (and I'd hit my head enough while crawling around that it was about time).

(Before removing it from the forms I had placed braces from deck to keel to add support as necessary.)

This time I recruited a few more people (thanks fellow Neighborhood Block Party participants!) and tried again.  With this many people everyone felt like they weren't doing anything.  But again, so close, but it wan't going to happen.

So we walked it out.

Turned it over . . .

and walked it back in.  Easy.

The only concern was placing the glue flange along the bunk and cockpit floor into a prepared groove to protect it during the next step.

We escaped for a short cruise.  Five days in the San Juans on my Dad's boat.  Amazing to be so close to something so great.

When we returned, I started back filling the seams where necessary and filling the screw holes.  Then it was shaping and fairing with the longboard.

I raised the hull onto 2x4's to protect the flange and moved it over onto an outer support so I could see the centerboard in action.  I suppose we should call it a sideboard or a portboard. I think it looks great.

Here's how I relieved the hull slightly to fit the front part of the board.  Its really a testament to the design and engineering that went into the plans when you see how all the angles come together in the right place with the interior to exterior board transition and the curved hull.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


The next step, though straight forward, was one of those "think twice, cut once" moments -- cutting a large hole in the keel.

The foreword portion of the centerboard case is internal to the hull.  The aft portion extends through the hull.  It also extends aft of the cabin bulkhead.  It would be difficult to get the centerboard case in and out for fitting with the cabin bulkhead in place which is why I placed it later.  I had strategically placed the battens so that I would only have to remove a portion of one.

This is how the cut edge of the plank join looked. I think that cutting one side with the knife and filling with the Zip-Lock bags worked well.

Fitting the case to the inner hull was an exercise (pun intended) of lifting it in and out for multiple trial fits. It really is on the part of the hull side transitioning from flat to vertical.  I was very happy to have left out the cabin bulkhead.

This is the set-up I had to make leveling the case easy and repeatable.  A simple turn of the screws to raise or lower each corner.

Here the cabin bulkhead has been placed (bunk just sitting there).

One of the reasons I had built my centerboard early was to make sure it would fit in the case, and also to try and help decide where to make that transition to the open slot. In the end I left it so that I will fine tune the opening by removing a small amount of the hull foreword of the board, but all the load bearing edge of the case does extend through the opening.  I'm glad I angled the port edge of the board that remains in the case, as the fit against the sloped hull is tight.

I realized that I should make a glue flange along the hull for the settee since this would be easier now than taping it later through the as yet uncut access hatches.

After final placement.  The cockpit floor will rest on the extended end of the case with the control lines coming up through the floor between the cockpit seat and companionway.

Next I extended the glue flange for the bunk along the case, bulkhead, and hull.

Here's the final placement of the port bunk.

The aft beam bulkhead, angled as necessary.

And the necessary angle for the transom bulkhead.  I followed Meno's example here.

This gave me three positioning points for the cockpit floor, here getting its final trimming.

Placing was a two person job.

The dry fit is easy with two surfaces below and one above.  Once those are covered with putty its necessary to put a bend in the floor while placing -- not so easy.

With it just slipping into place, you can see the value of cutting the edge to match the hull shape.  Without doing this the join would require a significant volume of bog and be much heavier.  The plan measurements are for where it touches, so you have to leave this edge long to allow for scribing it to shape.

I also placed the aft end of the seat.  The forward face can't be placed till after joining, so it is just temporary here.  You can't see it in this picture, but the outer edge did not perfectly match the hull. (If I was cutting the bulkheads out again, I would cut the straight edges as directed, but leave the hull edges slightly long.  It's so easy to scribe and cut exact if you have left the necessary material.)  With the larger bulkheads I support them across the hull so that they will be exactly midline.  What I did here was to put the necessary size shim at each end and made up the difference with bog.  Then after the material had cured, I removed the shims and filled the gap with bog.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Obviously I've precut all my layers of material for each of the vacuum bag projects.  This time I went a step further and pre-sealed one edge of the vacuum film.  My concern was how I was going to need to be climbing in and out with a very narrow walk way and wet glass/epoxy – any epoxy on the vacuum tape is a show stopper.

Pulled to the side and ready to begin.

I'll say that the decision to pre-seal the lower vacuum bag edge was a life saver.  I plan to actually move this edge further down (to the right in picture below) the hull and just use a slightly larger bag.  Its a tight and potentially messy area to be walking back and forth. (There's areas that beg for infusion . . . and this is one.)

Removing the disposables.  A picture that can't really capture the satisfaction of another good looking laminate.

Last step – placing extra laminate called for at forward beam.

A proud dad.  My youngest daughter graduates from High School. (I'll boast: 3.97 GPA, Varsity Letter all four years in both Cross Country and Track [State Champion 400 m relay 3 years in a row].  She's chosen a University in Seattle.)

Fitting the bulkheads is a little like figuring out a puzzle.

I started with essentially trial fitting all the parts, beginning with the beam bulkheads.  They have explicit details for positioning based on the gunwale and forms.  From these you can mark the bunk/settee. This can be used to position the other bulkheads.  This can be confirmed by measurements for the centerboard case and main cabin bulkhead.

Of course extending these points over the curved surface of the hull is the trick.

What I needed was really several more points of reference to turn a multi-point line into a geometric plane.  To do this I used my plum bob to extend the points from the hull directly up to the ceiling of the garage.  This gave me 4 -6 points describing a vertical plane.  I used my rotating level, supported across the hull, to connect the dots across the uneven surface and the ceiling.

Here is the line for the bunk / settee / aft cockpit floor which connects all my known points of reference for these structures.

I planned out what I thought would be the easiest order and started dropping them in place.

Here's the forward bunk bulkhead.  My aluminum angle bar defines the center and supports the part. It also controls its fore-aft alignment at the deck and keel. Check that the bunk edge is vertical (it was because I had made sure it was a right angle to the center) and aligns with the bottom of the bunk marked on the hull . . . and the whole things is vertical.

With all that, the question is how to hold it in place while it gets filleted and cures. What I did was pre-drill two holes in the hull for placing bamboo skewers into the edge of the bulkheads.  After setting it in a bead of material, I held it in position while my wife gently replaced the skewers.  Between those and the clamped aluminum straight edge, it was rock solid.

(For the forward beam I added some foam stops that were attached to the peel ply on the hull with 5 min epoxy.  They allowed the bulkhead to be slipped in and out.)

Here's a bamboo skewer that was placed from the top.  Instead of filleting areas that will be removed for the beam mounts I just tab them, as well as areas that are near the centerline which I'll finish after joining the hull halves and trying to align the port and starboard bulkhead halves.

Next up was getting ready to cut the slot for the centerboard.  I chose to do the cutting before officially placing the main cabin bulkhead.

I've been working on finishing the centerboard case.  This is how I'd left it.  It is held at the right dimensions by several scrap carbon cutoffs.  I sanded these down to their lowest profile and then wrapped the edge per the glassing schedule.

Cutout for the turning block for raising and lowering lines from the cockpit.

Finishing the stiffening and attachment flange for the opening at the top.