Sunday, 5 August 2012

Midwinter Blues

Well after quite a few months I finally have some time to work on the boat. I have done a few small jobs over the preceding months like finishing and glassing on the cabin top. Trouble is when you get out of the normal routines you can make serious blunders like I did. I forgot to set up the chainplate gussets first before I fixed the cabin top down. Sorting this out has been a giant pain but it is now done.
I drilled holes in my newly glassed cabin top (ouch!) to rerun the bow/stern stringline then managed to slide a piece of chipboard against F089. I made a T section ensuring an accurate 90deg angle and plotted my mast position on the board. The result gave me accuracy fore and aft and a cross check port/starboard from the bow. Now that I had a base to measure from a quick bit of trig gave me the necessary measurements to plot the correct angle from the mast position. I then ran stringlines at the correct angle and double checked all my measurements. Thanks to jray and tford for the supply of Kevin's gusset layout drawing as it provided a technical draft of what I was trying to achieve with an accurate set of measurements that I could check my results against. At this stage I think I am close to within a few millimetres so I can breath again.
Lesson learned: We do things in order for a reason!

As it is now August I have switched to the fast cure hardener (West 205) and am getting good results, both in curing rates and open time for working. Damn good stuff this West System. Makes it simple for those of us who are non-technical in fibreglass.

T section and stringlines to provide accurate gusset positions.

Final gusset position set against stringline.      

Sliding jig works well
I have also taken the plunge and started on my rudder and keel sections. Most builders seem to have started building the keel first but I have left it until last as this work seems pretty daunting for some reason. The rudder is my test bed and if everything goes according to plan I will use the same method for the keel (pretty obvious really).
I am using Tasmanian Oak and Western Red Cedar to try to combine strength with lightness. I set up a temporary work bench, leveling it with my laser level, then built a sliding frame to hold the router.
I have machined both sides and cut a trench in the leading edge and filled with epoxy to provide durability to the finished edge.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Cockpit progress

Well obviously I haven't done a lot over the past month. I have gone back to school to freshen up my accounting skills so that is a major distraction as far as boat building is concerned. I have finished off the cockpit floor substructure and have at last started skinning the cockpit.

 I have the floor glued down. I am not building a monocoque style cockpit as other builders have. It seems more complicated for no real benefit. I am also having to figure out where I need to place the backing plates for the blocks and cleats. It is a little bit of guesswork but I am gluing in oversize plates to give me some room to adjust. I am also installing access hatches on the cockpit sidewalls near the stern and traveller which will allow for installation and replacement/repair.

Adding backing plates
The spinaker prod has arrived. Setting it all up will present a whole new set of challenges. I will have to move the boat out of the shed to make room.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

From boat-shaped to boat. Light at the end of the Tunnel

I am getting close to finishing off the whole cockpit area now. I haven't seen, or heard mention of, how other builders are setting up the underfloor area for the traveler. I have laid a strip of 70x19 across the aft side of F169.5. I routed slots in the stringers and added two stiffeners on the ends and glued the whole lot up. Should do the trick. I haven't figured out yet whether screws will be enough to hold the traveler in place or whether to use bolts. Bolts, of course, will be more complicated. Ain't it always the way!

Also tackled the cabin top. Mk1 went together surprisingly easy. Unfortunately when I tried to move a clamp the front section exploded and I couldn't get it back together for the life of me so it was back to square one. The whole thing didn't seem to fit properly so I started hacking away, trimming as I worked the pieces into the required shape (there's trouble). I don't know what to make of it but my top has ended up much narrower at the front than spec. I don't know whether to keep it or to build a second top from scratch. Leigh is coming over this week for his monthly 'inspection' so I'll ask his opinion. Any other opinions gladly accepted.

This is what happens when you don't follow the plans!
If I do build a new top I will flatten out the arch of F89 a bit more and go for a flatter look (I have already flattened it a bit). I had great difficulty in making the ply conform to F89 and believe the arch is too rounded. Just my opinion of course.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

La Nina' is at it again!

I just checked the blog and realised I've done quite a bit of work since my last post. Anyway started off with a major flood a few days ago (second so far this summer), roof leaking, floor awash etc, luckily no damage as I got the boat covered so it only required a small bail out. Took almost two days to clean up though.
Ok, bunks are finished except for a fillet and tape to seal the bunk/hull joint. I added some vertical stringers between F18 and F53.5 to get rid of some bowing in that section. Seems to have sorted the problem.

Don't try ramming this baby
I have glassed in the cockpit floor supports. I just made mine full height instead of building a beam as I have seen on other boats. I wanted lots of support for the cockpit floor which I think I have achieved with the minimum of weight. I am now setting up all the framing in the cockpit. I still have a small bit of glassing to finish and I'm glueing bits in at the same time so the whole cockpit area is a bit chaotic at the moment. I'm working most of it by eye as I wanted a wider cockpit at F110 and I'm trying to get everything looking smooth and neat. It means a lot of experimentation which takes an inordinate amount of time. Still musn't complain. I've only been working on this project for a touch over 2 months so I guess things are going quickly compared to other builds.

Chaos reigns

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Slowly but so slowly

Well it seems to be taking an eternity but the frame taping is just about finished. I have been following Jeff Dalsin's approach in easing the hull off the frames for a more rounded shape. I let the zip ties go and have been using my laser level, plumbob and 1m steel ruler to check the side-to-side measurements for symmetry.
I have also been working on the bunks, fitting the support panels and shaping the tops. I will fillet and tape tomorrow so that job will be out of the way.
I have made my F124 solid so will install the floor section as I build the keel box. I may have to open F124 (a hatch?) to allow access to the traveler fixings. I have also added an extra reinforcement piece on the front of F110 for the keel box. I'll add one to the back of F124 as well.

I have also started boxing in the stern section. I am considering building storage compartments below the cockpit at the stern so I have only cut the forward lightening holes.
Everything seem to take an age to get done but the cutting and shaping sucks up lots of time so I just need to keep plodding on.

Most Annoying Situation: I cannot reach down into the bottom of the boat but when I get in the boat I'm like an elephant in a shoebox. Thank god there is not much to the bunks. I am definitely not sleeping in this boat.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Christmas comes but once a year -Thankfully

Christmas has slowed things down a bit but I have managed to get the shear clamps glued in and I am in the process of shaping before finally taping all the frames. For reasons unknown my frame heights seem to vary a bit and not all of them meet the lip of the hull.  I'm having to sister a few pieces as I'm shaping the shear clamps.
I used a triangular section 30mmx30mm for the shear clamp which I ripped from 70mmx35mm board.  I made some small blocks to help with the clamping and the whole operation was pretty straightforward. Once the shear clamps are shaped the size looks about right.
Scarfing was a pain but if you space your joints carefully the load is reduced. I used two scarfs per side keeping the scarfs forward of F89 and aft of F124. This resulted in the scarfs being in fairly straight sections of the hull.
I have rechecked all the levels on the boat (incl the cradle) to make sure the boat is accurate. I set up my laser level at the stern and worked my way down both sides of the boat checking hull and chine heights at the frames and remeasured all the frame centres athwartship.  All seems good but I will do a quick recheck before the final taping.
Hopefully I'll have the shear clamps and taping finished by the end of next week.

My patented i550 shear clamp block (vastly expensive!) - will save your sanity guaranteed!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Frames Going In

Started on the frames yesterday. As mentioned earlier I have made F53.5 & F110 12mm just to make things bulletproof. It looks very solid so maybe it is a bit overkill. It is taking longer than I thought but I'm getting there. I got F110 stitched this evening. I will make a spacer for now between F110 & F124 to make sure the keel box will fit snugly.
Not sure how everybody else is measuring things up but I am setting up my stringline and measuring from the front of the stem to get the frame distances (I use a bit of electrical tape round the stringline to mark the spot). I lay a straight edge athwartships and measure from the bow left and right to get the perpendicular. I then use a plumbob to scribe the line on the floor for the frame position. Seems to be accurate so far.

Turns out it's F110 that sits on a panel joint not F169.5. I trimmed a little off the sides of the frame for fit and the outside of the hull looks fine with no obvious deformation apparent except for the very top. This may disappear once the shear clamp is attached but I may add some extra glass tape along the top, we'll see how things progress.
I'm hoping I haven't created a stress point which will come back to haunt me. On the plus side, the hull is looking pretty smooth as it curves back from the stem which is great.

Addition of backing plate at the top of the hull