Sunday, August 28, 2016

Drilling & Filling

Finished up drilling & chipping out the final two holes in the bottom of the keel. Once this was done I waxed up the bolts that'll be used to secure the skeg and taped them 'Up' through the holes I drilled earlier. This will make it easier to line everything up later.
Mold release wax on the bolt shanks
Taped in place from the bottom up!
Next mixed up a runny batch of epoxy & chopped strands. These small strands of fiberglass are only 1/4" long or so. Just poured them into the holes. Quick & easy. These will set to be rock hard and able to take all the torque I can put on them when the skeg is insalled.
Back filled with epoxy & chopped strand fiberglass
Just dry fit a piece of the 'Duragrid' I bought to go on the bottom of the box keel. The flexible water tank will sit on this. Hopefully there'll be enough air circulation to prevent any mould from growing down there.
Duragrid dry fit
Going back out to the shed this afternoon to start the drip tray that'll go under the engine.


Friday, August 26, 2016

More Box Keel

So looking at the stuff I gotta stuff in the keel, skeg bolts & backing plate and the prop shaft tube, I gotta do the skeg stuff first. If I put the prop shaft tube in I won't be able to get to the bottom of the box keel at the stern.

Out comes the ole' trusty laser level! Let's get this puppy lined up!
Lining up the skeg backing plate
I only had 1 reference hole from the first test fitting. I need at least two to get the backing plate lined up properly. The vertical line from the laser makes an easy job of this.
Backing plate in place
I drilled all the holes and dropped the bolts in to see how they'd line up. Just a waste of time really. Next step is to overdrill the holes so they can be filled with reinforced epoxy. This gives a better core for bolting the skeg to the keel.
Drilling more holes in my nice hull! *sigh*
The trick here is to not cut all the way though. You want to leave the outer fiberglass in place. The old hole saw I had has a 1/2" piece of plywood stuck in it so there's no chance of going all the way through the bottom of the keel. Most of the 'digging out' of the remainder of the core is with a chisel & air sander.

Couple of finished holes.
ACME Holes!
 My neighbor, Robert, gave me a 24Volt cordless drill about 10 yrs ago. It's been a real workhorse. Along with the drill he gave me 3 extra batteries to go with it. One has bitten the dust completely.
Pooched 24V battery.
Another one has been intermittent. A real PITA when you need it to work. So in order to see what's going on I pulled it apart. One of the contacts wasn't soldered on and just a weak crimp holding it in place. I suspect that was the culprit so I soldered it fast!
It's on the charger now so we'll see how it goes tomorrow.

35C in the shed when I left 10 mins ago. Fans going full blast and it's still a scorcher.

More tomorrow.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Before the rains came

Wanted to finish up some of the work on the stern bearing carrier before the rains came. Dragged my mockup shaft out of the boat and fitted the parts together to see if I damaged the bearing carrier or cutlass.

First task was to drill dimples into the cutlass for the set screws to lock into. This will prevent the cutlass from spinning in the carrier should the shaft get seized to the bearing.
Dimples cut into cutlass
Used a little electrical tape to protect the threads and prevent me from drilling too far into the cutlass.
Tape added to drill bit to protect threads.
Worked like a charm. Set screws were put back in with some thread locker.

Next up was drilling and tapping for the Spurs line cutter attachments. Little bit tricky as the brass is really soft and if you're not careful the drill bit will wander. As per instructions I drilled right through the cutlass.
First hole drilled & tapped for Spurs attachment
After a bit of tweaking it all came together.
Spurs line cutters & bearing carrier attachment in place.

I did a little spin test of the bearing carrier & cutlass on the mockup shaft just to show it's not damaged. It is smooth as silk!

That's about it for today. More tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

There are times

For the for the first (and only) time boat builder good and proper tools are not usually a priority. If they last the life of the project that's all I can hope for. Sometimes there are needs for specialty tools. Welders, presses, cutters etc. The expense of buying these cannot be justified if they'll only be used once or twice.

So today's task was to press the cutlass bearing into the bearing housing.
Bearing carrier with cutlass partially pressed in
So for this job I decided, upon advice from the Interwebs, to make my own tool for this job. A piece of threaded rod, some nuts and a few large fender washers would do the job (maybe).

I needed to tack the fender washers together due to the large hole in the large one. No biggie, I have a little inverter stick welder. Perfect tool for that job!
These would bear against the bearing carrier and the cutlass. As I turn down on the nut it would force the cutlass into the carrier (in theory).
Using the custom tool to install cutlass bearing
So to make a very long (3-1/2 hrs of frustration) short I ended up only getting the cutlass about half way in. The fender washers collapsed under the stress and split in half making my tool useless.
In the end, after about 3-1/2 hours of frustration I called it quits. See the video below.

Packed up my shit and headed to see my buddy Vince. He's got a repair shop in Prescott and has a hydraulic press! The perfect tool for the job!
The proper tool for the job
Thanks to Vince and Andy for getting me past this step. It's a small step but an important one.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

No Methodology

I really have no methodology on building this boat. I usually have no or very little idea what I'm going to do that day until I get in the boat.  I suppose that comes from never having done anything like this before.

This morning I decided to tackle one of the little jobs that I've been putting off for awhile. It's going to be at least a week or so before the lil' Yammy comes home so I tackled the sanding in the engine bay.
Engine bay getting sanded and maybe a little fairing before bilge paint
It's been a minute or two since I've done any sanding like this. Kinda forgot what it's like! There's something sadistically satisfying in making all that dust!
Sand On Dusty Fella's!  ;-)
So back to methodology. I suppose you can work from fore to aft. Port to starboard or vice versa. Depends on how disciplined you are. I'm all over the map. One day it's bulkheads I'm fixated on. The next it's the gluing and taping of stringers and today it was sanding. I dunno, maybe that's part of the fun of doing it yourself.

It's a lil' warm out there now so I'm calling it quits for the day. Tomorrow I'll finish glassing the stringers! Hey, I have a plan! ;-)


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Progress is Progress

What's that old saying? "You can't rush perfection!"  :-)

Was just reflecting on where I was this time last year.
Middle of Aug 2015 still prepping for glass on sides & bottom panels
It was a marathon run for me this time last year. There were two complete layers of glass to go on the entire inside of the boat. I was covering about a quarter of it a day in a layer of glass.
Huge panel ready for epoxy, approx. 12-14 sq yds.
Pushed my way through it and got it done. Wasn't easy for a fat ole' man working on his own in the oppressive heat! *sigh* Just don't have the 'Zippity Do Da' in my Do Da Day anymore! *lol*

So here we are a year later. I've got three bulkheads, well almost all of three, glued and taped into the hull.
Frame C prepping for install.
I sometimes suffer from brainfarts and forget what it is I'm doing. This happened on Frame C. I forgot all about the 'Baseline' which governs all alignments of the bulkheads within the hull.
I won't forget that concept anytime soon!
I get asked, a lot, when the boat will be done. That's a good question. A rough guestimate will be three summers from now. It likely won't be totally finished, which I'm really bad at finishing things, but it will likely be functional. This is a really big project for one guy which my buddy Matt in Australia can attest. He's doing a total rebuild/redesign on a boat as well. I will eventually get it done though.

All in good time.

Thanks for checking out our blog. Come back anytime and feel free to ask questions.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Ahhhhhhhh That's Better

Finally some reprieve from the heat! A very nice, but lil' muggy, 19 degs in the shed today!

Dealt with fitment issues on Frame C.
Frame C fitted & ready for glue & tape
Starboard side still needs a wee adjustment but I'll deal with that once the glue & tape has set up.
Glued & taped
Notice the 'Remember The Baseline' written on the hull! :-)  Oh my what a brainfart that was! IIRC I was just explaining that concept on one of the forums not that long ago! Doh! Had to have been the heat!

Tomorrow I'll fillet & tape the other side of Frame C. Lots of sanding to come & finish taping fillets up and down the stringers.

The Admiral came out to the boat today to survey the workings. We're planning a sliding work table for her sewing machine. Pretty much got it figured out. It'll be a nice feature.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

At Your Own Peril

When you deviate from the plans, plans carefully considered and drawn by a qualified designer, you do so at your own peril. That's what I've done and this is one of the small issues.

Frame C forms the bulkhead between the sleeping part of the cabin and the washroom. It's a bit of a monster to wrestle in and get fitted.
Frame C sitting in place
I knew there would be some fitment issues as this part of the hull flared out a bit more than expected when the panels were laid up on the strongback. This was a natural occurance due to the stretch in the hull and letting the natural curve of the panel define the hull shape.

So starting down in the keel the small section of the bulkhead is about an inch too high. Not a big deal.
Lower section of Frame C
I fixed that this morning and it now fits well. The upper section will require a lot of trimming to get it to line up with the baseline. Where it was when I started.

About an inch too high
Using a sharpie on a block of wood I scribed about an inch of material to be removed.
Excess material to be removed.
First fit after trimming and it's pretty close.
Damn near right on!
I'll have to trim some more so there's a gap all around the hull. This will get bedded in the same way we did the others. This bulkhead is a bit of a bear to get and keep lined up. It's wobbly and lopsided. More than once it fell on my head!

It's over 90 degs in the shed now I'm calling it quits for the day.

Good news! My son and his wife are having a 'Baby Boy'! :-) My first Grandchild!  Connor Daniel Laporte. ETA end of September 2016!!!  The LEGEND CONTINUES! :-)


Monday, August 8, 2016

More tiny steps

Yanked out Frame A for modifications.
Frame A mods
The top section will be access to the anchor rode/chain locker. Below that will be storage and the bottom just void space. I might be able to get the bowthruster/windlass battery in there. Dunno yet. I'll fab up some nice doors at some point in time.

Flew in Frame C. I'll have a few mods to the stringers to make to get this one in place. It also has a few small pieces that bridge the box keel. I think I know where they are! *scratching head*
Frame C flying into the boat!  :-)
That's 'bout it for today. Got a 'Honey Do' to do!


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Little break in the weather

It cooled off a lil' bit today so I got back into the shed to see if I could find my bearings. Started off drilling (or should I say trying to drill) a hole in the skeg.
3/16" plate plus 1/4" channel
I thought I had the correct drill bits, Titanium, but apparently not. As I've since found out Cobalt bits are better. The trick, as I think it's supposed to be, is to go slow and plenty of cooling fluid. I did try my benchtop drill press but that's way too fast and I chowdered up a few bits.
Details on the 1/4" channel for the skeg
Ordered a couple of 3/8" Cobalt bits to finish the skeg & backing plate. They won't be here till next week. I've tried to find some, for a reasonable price, around here but all they seem to have is Titanium. I guess it's the 'metal of the month'.
Magnesium anode attached to skeg
I actually got to assemble something! Wohoo! Well temporarily until the skeg is fitted onto the boat. Small wonders!

After some more head scratching and navel gazing I got to work making fillets & taping in frame B.
Frame B filleted & taped
My buddy Jimmy dropped over to work on the throttle cable for his sailboat. He was making up a push/pull cable and didn't know how to finish the end that'll move the throttle lever on the engine. I showed him how to do a 'Z' bend and then a light bulb came on. My neighbor gave me an old hand cart that had hand brakes. It had two bicycle type cable thingies that hold onto the cable with a screw. Perfect!!! Backyard Eyeball Engineering at it's best!

Anywho, it got pretty warm in the shed and I scrambled to get the taping done. Pain in the arse all skrunched up like a pretzel in the bow. I may have to find myself a 'little person' to help in those tighter spots. I don't bend very well anymore! *sigh*


Monday, August 1, 2016

Plugging Away

Or should I say, unplugging away. Drilling holes in the hull I've worked so hard on to get watertight is a bit unnerving! ;-)

You caught a glimpse of the skeg in the last post. I've drilled holes in it, no small feat, to align the key components, the rudder shaft and the mounting holes through the bottom of the box keel.
Laser aligning along the long axis of the box keel
I used the laser to align the long axis of the box keel and out to the hole I cut for the rudder shaft. It is so well lined up the laser also lit up the plumb bob through the prop shaft hole! It was spot on.
Measuring for skeg alignment hole
The center of the rudder shaft to the first alignment hole is 65 1/2". I am able to locate this by running a plumb bob from the nearest plank (seen above) to the bottom of the keel. Again using the laser I was able to sink it dead center in the keel.
Oh no, it's never gonna float now! ;-)
I opened up the hole to allow a bolt to go through that I'll use to suspend the skeg from the box keel. I can then go on to work out the geometry for the skeg/rudder assembly.
Backing plate in place
I laid out a 3/16" x 3" 304 SS flatbar on top of the skeg and drilled matching holes into the skeg. It's tough going drilling through 7/16" of stainless. Took me the better part of an hour to drill 3 holes. All I have is woodworking tools so it's a bit of a chore. Titanium bits and lots of cooling fluid help a lot.

By the time I got that done it was hot in the shed and the bolts I have aren't long enough so I called it quits for the day. Back at it tomorrow.