Friday, August 28, 2009

Fiberglass Kit Arrives

Today I went to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to catch practice for this weekends 2009 MotoGP motorcycle race.

When I got home I had a little present waiting on the doorstep from the UPS man. My Fiberglass kit that I ordered from Glen-L on Monday arrived.
The gallon cans of resin got a little beat up on the bottom but they are not leaking so they should be fine. The fiberglass kit includes the resin/hardener and the fiberglass cloth that will cover the entire bottom and sides of the exterior of the boat making it water tight. It will be well into the fall before I am ready to fiberglass but I've got all the material when that time comes. Glen-L also sends a sampling of application tools with the fiberglass kit. Here is everything from the kit.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Port Rear Side Planking is ON!

Last night I mixed up a big batch of epoxy and attached the Port side rear planking for good. It took every clamp I have plus a ratchet strap to hold everything snug while I screwed the planking in place. The rachet strap really helped to curve the planking around the arc in the side of the transom and gave a great snug fit.
You will notice I chose to apply the side planking in two seperate pieces fore and aft. I think this makes applying the sides less stressful and managable by one person. The downside is its more difficult to get a really nice joint at the butt block where the fore and aft sides will meet in the middle but I think my joint is going to come out very nicely with only a 1/16" gap. Here is a picture of where the foreward side will meet the aft at the butt block.
You might be wondering why there is a darker outline to the planking around the perimeter where the screws go. I was working quickly to apply the epoxy to the chine/sheer/transom and then wanted to apply some epoxy to the planking as well and accidently applied it to the wrong side. So I skimmed it off and reapplied to the back side. The dark outline you see is what glue did absorb into the mahogany. Its not a problem since the entire boat will be covered in a coating of epoxy once all the planking is on. Lets just say I worked a step ahead and not call it a f*&% up.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fitting side planing 2

More fitting of the side planking.

I needed a way to mark the screw holes every 4 inches through the side planking and into the sheer and chine. This is what I came up with. I eyeballed the first and last holes then stretched a string between them and marked for the holes along the string. It worked pretty well.

In the second picture you can see the screws. When fitted the final time the screw heads will driven just below flush and filled over so they are not seen in the finished mahogany side.

Then I drilled and screwed the planking in place for now. The bits of wood block have a screw through them and act like washers along the places where a lot of bend is made so the screw doesnt punch through the planking. When I glue it permanently I wont need these.

Pleased with the fit I removed the side planking so I could glue on a piece of planking to the transom which covers the lag bolts and gives a nice mahogany exterior around the entire boat. Since I put the transom planking on now the end grain of the boat sides will be a little visible when viewed from behind the boat. If done after the side planking the end grain of the transom will be visible from the side of the boat. I think I should have waited and done this after the sides and bottom planking so that if they have trouble fitting perfectly around the radius of the transom they would be covered up. So I think I will be putting on a 1/8" veneer later. Just need to sand the edges of the new transom and the rear side planking is ready to be permanently attached with epoxy and screws.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fitting Side Planking

This week I have been working on fitting the side planking to the hull. I have rough cut the planking to the basic shape. I can now work on the final fitting and drill/screw it in place. I will then use epoxy and screw the planking in place one final time.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Side Planking Arrives

Today I picked up the side planking from Northwest Lumber. They are the only game in town when it comes to specialty lumber and they only have two choices for the planking. The plans specify 1/4" thick ply for the planking of the sides and bottom of the boat. The two types that Northwest Lumber carry are AB grade Douglas Fur marine ply and Mahogany ply. I went with the Mahogany. They come in 4x8 sheets and I had them rip them into 2x8 sheets which they do for free.
The side fairing is basically done. I may have some spots that need a little extra fairing but I just wont know until I trial fit the side planking.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Visit to Todd's Zip

Today I visited Todd B and the Zip he is building in West Palm Beach. I was on a work trip in Miami and made the hour drive north to meet Todd. He has answered questions for me on the Glen-L website forum in the past so it was great to put a face to the name and see his beautiful boat. Todd's boat is waaayy farther along than my boat. I had never even sat in a Zip before today and sitting in Todd's with his newly upholstered seat bottoms installed really got me excited. The work and fore-thought that has gone into the interior of this boat is amazing.
Todd and I had a great chat for a little more than an hour and I got some excellent tips that only another builder who has the experience of already having done it can provide. Thanks again Todd for showing your boat and letting me slow your progress by a couple hours. Hope to see you at "The Gathering" in Oct.

The view out of the Miami Hotel didnt stink either. Nice hotel rooms are cheap in Miami in August, wonder why...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Fairing 3

I didnt get as much done this weekend as I hoped. The hot weather slowed me down quite a bit as well as a couple areas where the sheer fit is not perfect and patching these spots takes time.
Here is one of those spots in the picture below.
What caused this is the sheer notch I cut and installed the sheer into at the transom ended up about 1/8" too deep and left a void that needed filled. I mixed a slurry of epoxy and sanding dust from the sanders dust bag to fill the void. Once this mix cures I can sand it down for a nice flush finish. I have a couple more fixes like this to do before I can get back to fairing.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Fairing 2

Fairing the Chine/Sheer/Stem on the starboard side is basically finished. Here is a photo of the port sheer before fairing and a second photo of the starboard chine after fairing. You can see how each side of the faired chine is now a smooth extension of the frame it is attached to.

To achieve this the fairing took about 6 hours of work for just one side. This is where the extra strength of the purple heart wood works against you. It doesnt sand or plane nearly as easily as mahogany, its much more dense. First, I used my electric hand planer to take off the majority of the material to be faired. When the purple heart was near the level of the mahogany frame I switched to a large, heavy, hand-held belt sander with 80 grit paper to get down even with the frames. The planer tends to chip the frame if you use it too close to the frames surface so its important to switch to the belt sander before you get too much material off. I finished the fairing by using a small lightweight belt sander with 120 grit to take out any bumps or valleys lengthwise. Its important to get rid of any uneven dips because the plywood planking needs a smooth surface to bond/screw into and also will follow the exact curve once attached. I dont want to see wavy-ness ON my boat, i want to see waves being made BY my boat.

To check for a smooth chine and sheer I attached a scrap piece of 1/4" ply to the side of the boat. I will be planking the entire boat with 1/4" ply of a yet undetermined species of 4x8 sheets. I should be able to do each side panel out of 1, 4x8 sheet cut in half lenthwise to achieve the 16ft length and butt joined in the middle of the side of the boat. The very bottom of the boat will be done out of 2 more 4x8 sheets split lenthwise and butt joined at the middle of the keel as well as halfway from stern to bow. I'll be making a trip to Northwest Lumber soon to pick out 4 of the nicest marine ply sheets I can get.
Anyway, here is a picture of the test fitting. I like the fit, I didnt notice any dips, just nice and smooth. I tested all the way forward and aft. Now I just have to do the other side of the boat just as nice.

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