Sunday, November 28, 2010

Planing the bottom and Goat meets trailer

The epoxy had set nicely overnight so it was time to flip the boat over and plane the chinelogs flat to accept the bottom panel.  We turned the boat upside down and placed it on two sawhorses.  Rather than trying to support the hull by the still somewhat flimsy hull sides we placed the saw horses under bulkheads.  This put the boat at a perfect height for putting some ass behind the plane.  The plane does not like hitting the epoxy joints between the bulkheads and hull sides.  I first used a coarse rasp to knock down the epoxy goobers so that the plane would not get hung up on them.

 Up on sawhorses

 From the stern

The deckplate cutouts provided the perfect place to clamp the boat to the sawhorse for stability.

Having at the chinelog.  Cedar is so easy to work with a sharp plane.

Planing around

Used a long level to check that the bevel angle planed into the chinelogs was just right for the bottom panel to lay flush.

I decided to plane down to the outside edge of the ply rather than planing to the inside edge.  I did this mainly out of laziness but also because the bulkheads were aligned with this edge so it saved a lot of planing of the bulkheads.  The little void will be filled with thickened epoxy which may, as a side benefit, toughen up the chine some and help prevent denting from rocks etc...... maybe.

We trial fitted the boat to it's trailer.  The trailer is our old kayak trailer so now we will have to load kayaks up onto the roof rack.  That's no fun but we can't have any more trailers in the yard :-)  I'm planning on replacing the tongue with a slightly longer one and extending some wooden bunks aft to support more of the stern.  The boat will live on this trailer for the rest of the build which makes it easy to move around.

Total time to date: 205hrs

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Gluing the bulkheads

We left the hull dry assembled overnight and began the epoxying of all the bulkheads this morning.  Rather than working hunched over on the floor we elevated the hull onto a sawhorse and a folding table.  This worked well and gave us easy access all around the bulkheads.  I noticed that a couple of the bulkheads somehow, despite all our precautions, crept up by about 1/8 of an inch during the dry fit.  This is not a big deal but it opened up the gap between the chinelog and bulkhead cutout making it look bad.  Because of the wedge shape of the bulkheads they really want to move up.  We repositioned the misbehaving bulkheads and screwed them back in place using new screw holes.  To epoxy everything together we started at the stem and removed the stem then each bulkhead, one at a time, smeared it with thickened epoxy then slid and screwed it back in place.  I was worried that this would be a nightmare with the hull sides spronging apart while I'm trying to drive screws into place with the screw gun slipping out of my epoxy coated hands.  It turned out much less traumatic than that.  Removing any one bulkhead does not cause the hull sides to move significantly and when they did, like at the transom, the ratchet straps prevented significant springback.

Hull blocked up off the floor, ready for epoxy.

Still have a couple ratchet straps from chine to chine to keep the hull sides from springing back too far when each bulkhead is removed for epoxy application.  This was not absolutely necessary but I was worried that some of the screws would strip out going back into the same holes in the soft cedar

My theory that a lot of the stress at the stem is relieved once all of the bulkheads are in place is proven by this picture.  I was pleasantly surprised that the hull sides did not spring far apart once the screws were removed.  In the picture above, the red clamp is holding the gunwhales from spreading further but there is very little tension on it.  The bottom of the stem is completely unclamped!  The two blue clamps are just holding the gunwhales to the hull sides.

Today Clamp Girl became Epoxy Vixen and helped tremendously by taping, mixing, squozing and generally getting into the thick of the assembly. 

The hull sides wanted to spring apart a bit too much for my liking, once the transom was unscrewed so we used two ratchet straps, top and bottom to keep things under control.

Total time to date: 201hrs

Friday, November 26, 2010


Today, the hull got dry fitted in preparation for final assembly.  It was lots of fun seeing it take shape for the first time.  Kristi, my wife, spent most of the day acting as clamp girl which was a huge help.  The last thing I had to do before the assembly was to cut chinelog clearance notches in the bulkheads.  This was a bitchy little job as the angles get a bit crazy.  The cuts are not perfect but an epoxy fillet will hide the sins.  I used an offcut from the chinelog as a template for the cuts.  Since the bulkhead sides are bevelled the cut has to follow that bevel.

Using chinelog offcut to mark bulkhead.

Clamp Girl preparing to fit stem.

We found it much easier to attach the hull sides to the stem with the hull sides spread apart to the stem angle.  Had to move outside to get the room.

Stem screwed on and bulkheads ready to go.

First bulkhead is in.  It required considerable force to curve the hull sides around it.  We first screwed the bulkhead to one hull side then brought the hull sides together by using a ratchet strap from chine to chine.  We clamped a clamp to each chine and then attached the ratchet strap hook to each clamp.  This worked extremely well and allowed the hull sides to be slowly brought together with little drama except for some scary creaking sounds from the stem.  Some folks reported having trouble with the hull sides cracking a bit just aft of the stem during this procedure so we left two clamps around the base of the stem to help the screws hold things together.  We got a small crack in the first two inches of one chinelog but it closed back up once the rest of the bulkheads were installed.  A bit of epoxy will take care of that. 

Screwing bulkheads in.

You can see the clamps and ratchet strap used to pull the hull sides around the second bulkhead.

The bulkhead bevels specified in the plans are dead on perfect.  I have to touch up one bevel but otherwise they all fit great.

It is amazing to watch the flat ply take on such a graceful curve once persuaded around the bulkheads.

We ran out of daylight but the dry fit is complete.

Transom required the clamp and ratchet strap treatment.

Total time to date: 195hrs

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chine logs are on

It never ceases to amaze me how something always takes 4x the time I estimate.  You would think I'd learn by now... I was hoping to get the chine logs glued to the hull sides, cut all of the bulkhead chine log clearance notches and maybe do a dry fit of the hull.  Yeah right.  I got the chine logs shaped and glued on, thats it.  But it's progress.

I bevelled the top of each chine log so that the joint between it and the hull side will not collect crud, besides I think this will look cool.  The mandatory 3 coats of epoxy were added and then a light sanding to level bumps etc.

The chine log is glued to the hull side with 10mm overhang which is later planed down to a bevel.  A line drawn 10mm from bottom of the chine log will serve as a guide when attaching to hull side.

Chine log being dry fitted with wood screws and ply anti-crush pads.  This is a perfect example of why things always take longer than anticipated.  I had forgotten that I need a kryllion of these ply pads so had to stop and cut them, then wrap each one in packing tape to prevent them from becoming a permanent part of the boat.  The screws are removed after the epoxy cures and the holes are then filled.  Since the outside of the hull is painted no evidence of the holes will show on the finished boat.

Hull sides with chine logs epoxied on.

Total time to date: 185hrs

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm Baaaak

It's been a while but I'm slowly getting back to building.  I was pretty close to hull assembly stage when the build got put on hold so it won't be long before we go 3D.  I just got done scarfing the chine logs and shaping the stem.  The plan for this weekend is to glue the chine logs to the hull sides and cut the chine log clearance notches in the bulkheads.  Hoping to do a dry assembly run real soon.  I'm so out of practice blogging that I forgot to take any pictures.  Instead here is a video (it's in HD) from last weekend's 3 day sail trip to Cayo Costa with the WCTSS.

And the picture album from the same trip.  Click on the slide show to see it big in Picasa.

Total time to date: 175hrs