Thursday, October 17, 2013

Changing things up a bit

I've decided to put the hull fairing on hold till the spring. I can see the benefits of getting a nice even layer of goop over the hull before sanding to make it fair. I've tried with a number of recipes and have settled on one that I like but the method I'm using doesn't seem to work all that well. I've had to result to multiple layers of good with lots and lots of sanding inbetween to get it even close to fair. No where good enough yet to even thing of priming this surface.

I stuck to a smaller area on the bulwarks to test out my recipes and techniques figuring if I really messed it up it wouldn't be that much of a boo boo to correct later. Well it's big enough and took quite a bit of sanding and three coats of goop to get it near fair. I started up the hull a bit and the larger surface area only compounded the problems I'm having getting a nice even layer of goop on with just a Bondo squeegee and a 10" drywall knife.

Today I mixed things up a bit. I'm thinking ahead of things that I can do or get done this winter. One thing on the checklist is having the rudder shaft modified. When we bought the kit it came with a rudder. I don't think it was actually made for this boat. The measurements don't seem to fit so I drilled yet another hole in a perfectly good hull! Zoinks!

In an attempt to get dimensions for the modifications I used a 2x3 as a stand in for the skeg. It worked ok. I used a Handyman level app on my iPhone to get this (at least this part) level.

I checked it with a small bubble level and it appears to be spot on. You can see in the first pic that there's a lot of the rudder shaft sticking up. This has to go. I'll need as much room between the top of the rudder blade and the hull for two flanges that have to be put on the shaft. These two flanges will allow the rudder and shaft to come out without having to dig a hole under the boat.

Here's the rudder as we got it.

Just above the rudder blad two stainless steel flanges will be welded on so the shaft can be separated. The bottom of the shaft has to be shortened 140 mm and the top of the shaft also has to be shortened.

The bright purple line represents the bottom of the sole in the cockpit. The shaft has to be shortened 105 mm. This end of the shaft will be squared off for an emergency tiller handle should the hydraulics fail. There'll be a small hatch in the sole to access the rudder shaft with a tiller handle.

I'm going to save up some money this winter to buy myself a 'Flexi-Cat' fairing tools. They're specifically made for doing the fairing work. They're a bit spendy but I think they'll be a good investment. If they can save me some time & materials the'll be worth it and I'll be able to sell them when I'm done to recover some of their cost.

That's all for now folks. Standby.....

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Back to it!

Looks like my second career in the Coast Guard is now over. It was fun while it lasted. So it's back to the boat shed. :-)

This morning's session consisted of some Sandinsanity touching up some of the fairing I did two weeks ago.

Feathering out the edges.

Some touch around and inside the thruster tunnel. When I glassed over the tunnel epoxy pooled on the bottom and that had to come out by hand. The only sanding block I had that would do it is the tear drop shape Dura Block.

Once I got that done I mixed up some fairing compound from a recipe given me by a fellow boat builder on  Thanks Paul.

I had to cut his recipe to a third to try out. It consists of one 16 oz cup of cabosil, two 16 oz cups of microspheres and 1/2 litre of epoxy. My epoxy is a little stiffer than his so I had to add an extra 100 ml of epoxy to get it to a very nice smooth consistency.

This is the biggest batch of fairing compound I've ever mixed up. I didn't want to go to the full recipe in case it was too much to get on the boat before it started to kick. As it was, at 70 degs in the shed, I still had to work pretty quick.

The only tool I had to spred this goop out were the Bondo squeegees and the large drywall knife. I see now how a much larger fairing compound board would help. I might try to fashion one of those myself this week.

As it was it seemed to work out Ok. I'll hit it with the RO then go over it with the sanding block tomorrow. I think this will (supposed to) sand much easier than the recipe's I've tried so far. If that's true then this is pretty close to the mix I'll use for the rest of the hull.

I got paid a visit by the Project Director today. He's not usually in the shed when I'm working. His food dish must be empty again! *lol*

The Project Manager was lounging in his chair on the front porch all day! Ahhhhhh the retired life of an ole' Tom Cat!

Stay Tuned. More Sandinsanity tomorrow!  :-)