Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fingers Crossed

Thanks to my buddy Andrew (aka the Shed Monkey) we're fixed up now. Hopefully it'll hold through the winter then we can fix it properly.

Just have to tape the bottom edge of the plastic patch then it'll be good to go! *fingers crossed*

Not much else to report. Just waiting on results of MRI. Standby.....

Monday, November 12, 2012

I knew it was a lil' breezy today but.....

I certainly didn't expect a failure like this!

Funny thing is it's not really blowing all that hard today. This shed has stood up to 70+ MPH gusts and sustained winds of 40-50 MPH. I guess 2 yrs is about the limit for this shrink wrap plastic that gets lots of sun shine. I'm guessing the UV eventually breaks it down. The other side that doesn't get any direct sunlight is fine.

Time to call my buddy Andrew to the rescue!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Catching up a lil' bit

It's been awhile since I put anything on here so I thought I'd just bring you up to speed on what's happening.

Not much actually! :-) Thursday was my last official day as a public servant. So I'm now technically unemployed. Lori and I went into Ottawa on Thurs to complete my out routine and hand in my ID credentials. That's the last official act I guess. The pay cheques will stop and that's a lil' disconcerting until the pension cheques come in which can take 6 weeks.

We saw ZZ Top at the National Arts Center on Thurs night which was fantastic. They're one of the bands I never got to see back in the day. What a great act and the sound that comes from just two guitars and a drum kit is amazing. You can tell they're polished, they should be after 40 yrs together but you can also tell they truly love what they're doing. I'd see them again in a heartbeat if I could.

Yesterday we went back into the office to say fairwell to one of my colleagues. Sylvia was the very life and breath of our office. She's the lady who made sure everyone always got a birthday card and decorated the office for every occasion. I heard she had 27 boxes of decorations to get rid of when she cleaned out her office! :-) Everyone loved Sylvia and she'll definitely be missed there much more than I ever would. I wish her well and am just a little sad to thing I might never see her again. :-(

That's about it. Soon time to hibernate.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rituals of Fall

One of the rituals of fall for us has been the final car club cruise of the year. This year we returned to the Calabogie Motorsports Park. It's a wonderful drive through some very scenic countryside.

At the first stop in Almonte, ON for a coffee break and pickup of a few more club members we headed out, probably 60 cars strong in the group. We quickly spread out along the road and half of us took the long way while the others got a taste of some real twisty turny roads. I missed that part which sucked.

One of the highlights of the trip was this beauty. I hadn't seen it before. Quite exceptional.

I apologize for the crappy cell phone pics. Lori has some on her camera that I'll get today. The cars lined up after the laps on the track.

We got three laps with a pace car on the track. It's a very nice track, 5.25 kms long. I haven't been on a race track since 1987! It felt good lemme tell ya! :-) We didn't set any speed records but it did feel really good to power through some of those corners. The only problem was I kept having to lift off the gas for fear of running over the '69 Camaro in front of me! ;-)

The Roll Out of the first group to go around the track.

One Lap of the Track

Around the track again looking out the other side from Lori's camera.

Unfortunately it's now time to put the car away for the winter. :-(

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Got tired of tripping over sh*t

so added a little organization to the boat shed.

Just happened to be on sale yesterday at Crappy Tire so I snapped it up. I added the shut off valve and the pressure regulator that I had left over from other projects.

My Jeep has developed a case of "Death Wobble" so it's going in the shop on Tues to see what's going on. Hopefully it's not an expensive fix. The Camaro goes away for the winter likely Monday night. *sigh* And......... My neighbor is tuning up his snow blower! :-(

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's that time of year

to start buttoning up everything for the onslaught of winter that'll arrive soon! *sigh*

I had a visit from a fellow boat builder, Peter Lenihan. I don't know if you remember Peter but he built a Bolger Windemere (Turtle Bay) and launched it last year. He came up from Montreal for the day to hang out in the Big Blue Boat Building Building I Built! :-)

Peter fully in command of his vessel!

Peter built his boat in a bow shed similar to mine. He has missed his shed and enjoyed mine, maybe a lil' too much! :-) He looked over the boat project so far and was impressed with the amount of work. He'll be back in the spring to help me with the epoxy & fiberglass work. What a great guy, he even bought me lunch when I forgot my wallet!

Back to buttoning up. Well more like cleaning up and organizing stuff. One of the jobs I had to do was clean out the epoxy metering pump thingy. I'm changing epoxy systems and wanted to make sure there wasn't any of the old stuff left that might contaminate the new epoxy.

This is a great gizmo. All you have to do is ensure you keep the reservoirs full and the pump will accurately meter and mix the epoxy ready to go. No muss and very little fuss. The downside is the reservoirs are small, 4 qts and 2 qts. The ratio is two parts resin to one part hardener. Just means you have to refill them often. The hardener container is opaque so you have to be careful and make sure it's got stuff in it. We learned that lesson the hard way.

All reassembled and ready to go next spring.

Well that's about it. I have to cover the cabin roof with a new tarp and get my buddy Andrew over to patch a few small holes in the shed roof and we should be good for the winter. I know it's not very exciting but it's all I got.

Stay Frosty My Friends.   :-)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm not happy

with the results of the other day's epoxy session. I'm going to put boat building on hold for awhile. Hopefully by the spring my knee will be better and my mobility not as restricted. I'll also go looking for a helper who doesn't want $50/hr, retirement and medical benefits and a company car.

I'm making a lot of amateurish mistakes and that really bugs me because I know better but get in a rush to get through a job and end up wasting about $300-400 in materials.

So aside from a little sanding and filling that's all that's going to get done to the boat this year. Don't be disappointed. I'm not. I knew this was a big project and underestimated the amount of physical effort involved. Time to just step back a little and reassess the situation. It's not a race and we'll be back in the spring. Thanks for looking in.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

These friggin' guys

on the Internet make it look easy! Like hell! Six hours on top of the boat today and I only got one half of the keel epoxied. Up and down, up and down! I feel like I've been rode hard and put away wet! ;-)

I had a hard time getting the heavy fabric to lay over the curves and ended up with some bridging. I'll sand those out and fill them. I don't suspect it'll affect the structure at all. I just don't want any voids in the laminates. My second gaff was having to change epoxy brands mid way! I thought I'd have enough of the old stuff in the metering pump to get the job done! NOT! This monster sucks up epoxy like a drunken sailor with a keg 'o swish! I figure I used three full gallons on just the bottom and one side of the keel. That equated into about two dozen trips up and down the ladder to mix epoxy. *sigh* At least my bum knee is getting a good workout.

I don't think I'll tackle the rest tomorrow. Taking some friends out for brunch so that'll screw most of the day and I intend to goof off the rest of the day. It'll mean a couple hour sanding session before I can get the rest of the layers on. Oh well. That's the best I can do working alone.

Had a Close Encounter of the Third Kind the other day! :-)

Stay tuned!

Monday, September 24, 2012

A little whine with my cheese please

Bit of a frustrating day. The designer specifies two layers of fabric for the keel. The first layer has the fibers oriented in a 45/45 degree pattern. The most common biaxial fabric. The second layer has the fibers oriented in a 0/90 degree pattern. When laid over top of each other you have fibers oriented in 8 directions for maximum strength through the entire laminate.

Here you can see the end of the roll of fabric. The fibers are oriented at 45 deg angles to the long axis of the cloth.

Now the problem comes from the fact I specifically ordered 0/90 for this particular roll and was sent 45/45. *sigh* I didn't check the package when it arrived, about 6 months ago and was bought specifically for the keel. *double sigh* My own dumbass mistake.

In order to get past this lil' screw up I had to lay the second layer of cloth over the first at 45 deg angles. Not really a big deal just a lot more work. I didn't grab any pics 'cause I was a lil' cheesed off hence my whine. I'll get some pics tomorrow if I decide to go up on the boat and start epoxying all this together.

So ends the whine! Now for some brie please!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Working at a leisurely pace

suits me me thinks!

Well on my first day of "retirement" I wandered out to the shed after my morning coffee and started to roll out the long fabrics to laminate the hull.

This is the first layer of 1708 biaxial fabric to go on the keel. It gets trimmed and the other side done the same. Then a second layer 1208 will be added. The orientation of the fibers in the two different weight fabrics will give the strongest solution. A final top layer of 10 oz plain weave fabric will help with the cosmetics.

I puttered away for about 3 hrs or so then headed in for lunch. After lunch my "get up and go" got up and went so I made a command decision and had a lil' nappy! :-) We went out for dinner last night to celebrate the end of almost 20 yrs of carpooling with our former carpoolers and wives. It was a great time and we enjoyed it immensely. Thanks to Greg & Tim for picking up the tab. When it's your turn we'll do the same.

Anywho, more laying out fabrics, which is tricky up on top of the boat and some trimming then it'll all be ready to get glued down.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Swallowing the anchor.

After 32 yrs in the Coast Guard this is my last day! The second happiest day of a sailor's life, walking down the gangway for the last time. It's been an adventure. Now it's time for the real fun to begin! :-)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Take me on a magic carpet ride

well not really. It's a 90 lb roll of fiberglass hovering above the hull!

All the keel seams are sanded and just need to be wiped down. Gotta wait for a lil' breeze to do that so the fumes don't knock me out!

Just takin' a lil' break now waiting for the troops to arrive to help out with the shed repairs.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Boy is it windy out there today!

Winds were gusting to 65 km/hr this morning. I was just about to climb back up on the boat for another session of seam sanding when a gust blew this section off the roof of the shed!

That's funny 'cause I don't remember building in a skylight! ;-) This is gonna be a PITA to fix but it's gotta be done. The inner liner of Tyvek will protect the shed from rain for awhile.

When the weather lets up I'll have to get some help and get this patched up. We've tried taping rips in the shrink wrap and they don't hold. I'm going to have to put another layer on and use some battens to hold them in place.

In hind sight the shrink wrap wasn't the best choice for a shed covering. It was the cheapest option at the time and I'm paying for that now.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I've been thinking.....

This is when Lori always says: "Uh oh!" :-)

Well I'm always thinking. I'm the idea guy! Straddling the line between genius and insanity I say!

I'm half thinking about revisiting the infusion process for some of this boat hull project. Gotta put some more thought into that. I'll eliminate a lot of issues but also adds some expense and a great potential for disaster! No risk, no reward, correct?

Anywho, this morning I tried filling the little voids left in the tape with straight epoxy. It immediately ran straight out. I think that was my problem. The epoxy just ran out leaving dry tape behind. The peelply should have helped mitigate this actually. So I decided to mix up a batch of "baby puke" (cause that's exactly what it looks like) which is epoxy thickened with micro baloons. It really does look like the stuff Daniel used to spit up all the time! :-)

This did a better job and will require just a light sanding before the next layers go over top. There are a few larger voids that'll have to be ground out and repaired.

The tape would just not lay down on some sections. I'm suspecting I got a bad roll of tape. Either got wet or contaminated somehow. Anyhow, no biggie, I ordered another roll from Noah's so we're all set now.

The keel seams are all taped now. Just a few small parts on the very back of the keel to add some extra material for piece of mind.

Once this is all setup it's back to the sander to prep the hull for fiberglass! Thank gawd it's been a long haul with a bum knee and the heat. I'm really looking forward to getting the outside done and this thing flipped!

Time to go put my thinkin' cap on and maybe a power nappy! :-)


Monday, August 27, 2012

Yet one more SNAFU

After yesterday's SNAFU with the epoxy I was hoping things would get better. I was wrong.

This is part of one of the seams I taped and epoxied. It's not normal to have these small voids.

Normally the weave is totally filled with epoxy. Voids can cause a problem with water getting trapped and causing blisters. It's also an issue with structure and possible de-lamination.

I contacted the designer and vendor of the tape and got their views. It may be a roll that got wet or is otherwise sub standard. The tape on the left is from the designer and the one on the right is from another distributor. I've had no problem with the tape on right.

So I'll possibly be able to fix the problem with a good belt sanding and more epoxy. I've ordered more tape from the supplier on the right.

Going to be hot again next weekend! *sigh*

Sunday, August 26, 2012

When it's too hot in the kitchen

get the hell out! How hot was it in the boat shed today? This hot!

That's about $10 worth of epoxy that kicked off within 6 minutes at about 95 degs F! Grrrrrr!

This stuff gets hot lemme tell ya! I had to rip the glove off and toss the tray outside. It was smokin'! No shit sherlock!

I started out in the shed this morning about 8:30. It was already about 80 degs F in there but with the fans going full blast it was tolerable. I wanted to get the final layers of tape on the keel.

Working alone doing this type of job sucks. I had to resort to a lil' 3M Super 77 to keep the tape from blowing around and ending up in the dirt. I know it's not ideal but it's what I had to do.

Once I got the tape all laid out it was onto the epoxy. I knew I had to work quickly and resorted to the roller instead of the chip brush. Both are messy but the roller a little bit less so. I made it from the bow back a little farther than the tape in the lower section of the pic above. That's when I ran into problems with the epoxy kicking off too quickly. I had two paint trays in rotation because a little uncured epoxy will hasten the curing process. I'd leave one to drip out while using the other. I think I'll need to pick up a couple more trays! *sigh*

Oh well, get an early start on it again tomorrow and see if I can get the rest of the taping done. Then it's onto some really big fiberglass! :-)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

It's a good thing

Walker Bay dingy's have a one way valve in their garboard drain! We forgot to put the plug in! Well, sheeesh, it was the first voyage of "Lil' Peace" and we were a little anxious to get going. Haven't been on the water at all this year!

Here's the monstrosity rigged and ready to launch!

I was a little worried the Jeep wouldn't be able to pull this monster! :-)

Underway with the Admiral looking for hazards & snags!

We're going forward dear. The deadheads and rocks are usually the other way! :-)

The Minn Kota 55 lb thrust trolling motor worked well. It pushed us along at a max speed of 3.85 kts and we averaged 3 kts. Half power we were about 2.2 - 2.3 kts.

Time to renew my fishing license methinks! :-)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

More Custom Bling!

I actually prefer simple unless complicated is really COOL! :-)

My lil' mimic panel came in today and I just couldn't wait to stick the LED's in it!

It turned out pretty good. I almost goofed on the switch. It comes really close to the edge. It won't show but it's very close! You can just see it buried under the mess of wires in the lower left hand corner.

Next step will be organizing all the lil' tiny wires! *sigh* I got a few ideas of how to do it but if anybody else has any ideas let's have 'em!

Tomorrow the boat shed again! Standby...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A half day in the boat shed

is better than no day in the boat shed.

I spent this morning sanding and prepping the fwd section for more carbon fiber. Using the peelply sure saves on sanding. It seems a bit wasteful to just peel this stuff off and toss it away though. The work it saves is great though. Catch 22 I guess.

Anywho, got the carbon fiber on and peelplied.

Tomorrow I hope to get up on the keel again and get it ready for fiberglass. Weather is moderating a bit so that's good.

The ole' shed needs a few repairs too. We'll see if we can get to that this evening if it doesn't rain.



Went back out to the shed a few hrs later. The epoxy was hard to the touch. This slow hardener usually takes 3 times longer than that. I peeled back the peelply to see how it turned out. It's ok

Here's something we haven't seen in awhile. It's the main cabin roof that was attached to the outside of the shed.

We had it covered with a tarp that the wind ripped to shreds. Had to get that cleaned up. I think I'll just paint it for now to protect the epoxy & fiberglass from the UV. The exposed side is the bottom side so it'll never be seen.

Planned to climb up on the shed roof and patch some holes but Mother Nature had other things in mind. Hail, rain and thunderstorms for the next four days so that'll have to wait.

Standby again.

Monday, August 6, 2012

I love to feel the rain in the summer time

is the title of a song by the Welsh band "The Alarm". It used to be one of my favorites. So far this year we've seen a lot of weird weather. Today we got plenty of rain almost constantly and it was welcomed. It's been pretty dry around here for awhile and some of the farmers are in trouble having to plow under dead crops.

I took a break from the boat shed and got some cleaning up done around the yard and spent the remainder of the day tinkering with the dingy trailer to get it setup.

All I have to do is adjust the bunks and it's ready to go. The Minn Kota trolling motor should be in next Friday and we'll be good to to on "Lil' Peace's" first voyage on the Galop Canal.

A cold front rolled through right after some major rain so hopefully we won't return to the higher temps we saw last week. Standby....

Saturday, August 4, 2012

It's probably cooler in hell right about now

Holy Crap is it hot outside! 34C and hotter in the shed 37C even with all the fans going!

I had planned to get the first carbon fiber reinforcement on the bow & keel today along with a couple layers of tape. By the time I got the carbon fiber on the heat was oppressive and I had to get out of the kitchen!

The carbon fiber tape I had (got cheap from eBay) runs from the bow to about midway down the keel. This should provide some extra reinforcement in the case of a collision. There's more carbon fiber going on the bow below the waterline and around the thruster opening. These layers will be buried deep under multiple layers of fiberglass tape and cloth. Should a collision occur the carbon fiber is the last line of defense in a hull breach. The upper layers of glass would be easily repairable. That's my twisted logic behind using it anyways. The remainder of the keel will be built up of a couple of layers of basalt fabric and fiberglass. About 5 layers in all.

This is a close up of the bow with the carbon fiber. The epoxy kicked off inside an hour in this heat and was hard to the touch in 3 hours. I peeled back some of the peelply to show the result. Using peelply I don't have to do any sanding before putting on more layers of fiberglass which in this heat is a real bonus!

Extreme close up of the carbon fiber after the peelply was removed. There's a few tiny voids that are only on the surface of the fabric. These shouldn't be an issue. I had a hard time getting the peelply to lay down properly. The peelply I'm using now is really heavy material. It doesn't seem to get any more flexible in the heat!

Picked up this small trailer to use with our dingy "Lil' Peace". I have to modify it a bit but it should work well.

Off to consume another cooling beverage. Stay thirsty my friends!

Friday, August 3, 2012

No putt putt putt .....

for Lil' Peace! We're going all electric for the dingy.

 Minn Kota Traxxis 55-lb Thrust Freshwater Transom Mount Trolling Motor, 36" Shaft

We'll use a Series 27 Deep Cycle battery and that should give us plenty of range. Picked up the trailer today so a few mods to that and we'll be out dingying soon! Standby!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Up up and away we go

I climbed back up on the hull for the first time since I had my lil' accident. Managed the ladders pretty good. Knee felt tight but ok.

I had almost forgotten what it looked like up there! I did some sanding for an hour or so on the taped seams getting them ready for another layer of tape. That's what I was planning to do when I had my lil' setback.

When I looked at the temperature it was a very comfortable 24.5 C on top of the boat then I noticed the "max temp" which records the highest temp since the last reset! 49 C (120 F)! That's hot by any standards!!! Wow, am I ever glad I wasn't up there that day and that was with the exhaust fan going too!

I'm going to try to get as much done as I can this week. I may get some help on Saturday and will fiberglass the keel then. I've decided to do the hull in three stages, keel, bottom and then the sides. It's not ideal but this is a big job, too big for me to do in one session. I'll be using the peel ply to get good mechanical bonds between the steps.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Honest, it's not another woman

I spent some real quality time with my sanders today! Likely more than I'll get to spend with my sweetheart! *sigh*Ok, nuff mushy stuff. She got to drive the IROC to work today!

I thought I'd try something different because pictures of sanded fiberglass is about as exciting as watching concrete harden.

Virtual tour of the boat shed part 1

Virtual tour of the boat shed part 2

Virtual tour of the boat shed part 3

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A lil' goop goes a long way

I needed to build up the flare around the thruster tube exits. I did this with some thickened epoxy, wood flour and silica.

Shaping it is the hard part. Trying to get it nice and smooth without taking off too much takes some work.

Here's the last layer of goop added to build up the flare.

That'll get sanded smooth tomorrow night and a layer of tape put over it. This weekend I hope to get the final layers of tape on the keel and sides. When that's done it's pretty much ready to be fiberglassed. *shudder*

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ok, lets get down to it....

That's 'nuff car talk. Actually got a little work done on the boat today. First task was building up the area around the bow thruster tube. I'm no sculptor and can appreciate the genius of Michael Angelo.

The goal here is to get an even flow of water past the opening which should cut down on turbulence that cause unnecessary drag. I'm building up a few layers of thickened epoxy to form a flare that'll help direct the water flowing past the opening out and away from it. Kind of hard to envision here but you'll see when I'm done. I hope!

I picked up this B&D Precision sander at CtC for $50. It's a handy little sander that'll help shaping the flares around the thruster tube. You have to be careful with this little unit, it can remove a lot of material very quickly..

Next task was the Moon Pool! Well not really but I had to cut another hole in the bottom of the boat. For what this time?, you ask? The Airmar in hull transducer. This type of transducer shoots through the bottom of the boat and cannot have any core between the transducer an the hull. The hole is located just behind Frame B.

I cut the hole a little oversize and used the cutout as a plug. I wrapped the plug in vacuum bagging film and peel ply. This way I'll easily be able to remove the plug and be left with only fiberglass covering the hole.

The cutout above and below being covered with film and peel ply.

That's my "Raptor Nails" stapler. I didn't absolutely have to use it but I did anyways! :-)

Here's the plug back in the hole secured with a few screws. This gets the plug almost completely flush with the exterior of the hull.

And on the outside. A little thickened epoxy filler and some tape. Once this sets up I can remove the screws and put another layer of cloth over it on the outside.

There'll be two layers of glass go over top of this patch and at least two more inside. That'll provide the solid fiberglass hull section for the transducer. This sounder will be very near the fwd end of the boat only a few feet from the waterline. It should give us a good indication of what's right under the bow. There'll be another transducer on the transom showing us what's under our keel at the stern.

We picked up our tender yesterday. I have plans for the V10 but decided once this first boat is done it's highly unlikely I'll have an appetite to build a tender. Saw this lil' gem on e-Bay and got it for a decent price. It's in good condition. All we need to do now is find ourselves a small trailer and outboard.

It's a Walker Bay 8'er. Should prove good and stable and sturdy tender. Lori has named our tender "Little Peace".

Carry on......