Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A quick update for you

Sorry to leave you all hanging!  Vertigo turned out great.  Have had a blast sailing her and putting her through her paces as well as refining a few things.  Over time I will try get some pictures and stories up on the blog.

Btw..the very first (and only) distance race we did with her this year ('Round Whidbey) we placed Second.  We've since made some tweaks and continue to dial her in and are hoping for First place next year!
 Here is a recent shot in about 20 knots of breeze planing at 15.6 knots.  She is an absolute blast off wind in a breeze!
She also does great in the light air!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Officially Christened!

Vertigo was officially christened October 21, 2012.  It was a fun party with family and friends all celebrating the completion on the boat.  We had music, food, champaign, and of course..fireworks!  It also included a small service with a blessing and official smashing of the champaign bottle on the bow pulpit.  A great time was had by all!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Vertigo Christening

Hey Guess What...Vertigo is nearly done.  I know the blog doesn't show her as being done yet, but that's because I'm a lousy blogger and am perpetually behind in updating it.  I will in time fill in the missing pieces.  Anyway...she is off the cradle and onto a trailer.  This weekend we will be rolling her out of the shop and stepping the mast.  We will then be having a Christening party here at the house for her.  (Oct 21st) If anyone is interested, come on by for the party.  Just shoot me an email and I'll give you details and directions.  The plan is (weather permitting) to launch her sometime next week and do some sea trials, then back to the shop for any necessary changes.  Stay tuned! :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Attaching the Bulb

After bolting the halves together and smoothing and fairing the bulb, it was time to attach it to the keel fin.  At first, I was having a bugger of a time drilling through the keel.  I would get about an inch into it and the bit would bind and get stuck and eventually break.  Finally I discovered the key to drilling lead is to keep it lubricated.  If I kept spraying WD40 on the bit and in the hole, it drilled as easy as drilling wood and I had no more problems.
After bolting on the bulb, I made an epoxy fillet which I then reinforced with glass and carbon fiber. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Playing with Molten Lead

Finally had some time to work on the boat again so I decided to tackle the keel bulb.  For a crucible I used the bottom of a 55 gallon drum with a spout on the side.  I then used an engine lift and attached chains slightly off center to the top of the crucible.  To melt the lead, we put it on a propane crab (turkey) cooker.  I also had a  propane weed burner hand wand I used to preheat the molds and to heat the lead from the top. It took about 15 minutes to melt the 250 lbs of lead for each half of the keel.  Once the lead was melted, we ever so slowly jacked the engine hoist which tipped the crucible pouring lead out the spout and into the mold.  Again, we made sure we had lots of protection and respirators.  Also we had a bit of a breeze and were able to always stay upwind.  I was kind of nervous about the whole process...but it actually went remarkably smooth!
The keel came out of the molds and looked prettty nice.  This picture shows the top and bottom halves put together.  (but it's actually upside down here)  The weight came out to 550 pounds...which, suprisingly, was what I was hoping it would be!  I love it when a plan comes together!
Picture of a very happy me getting ready to chisel off the ridge where the two halves meet.  Later I faired the bulb with compound...but it didnt need much.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Earlier in the year I got a call from David asking about the progress on the boat...because of course I've been terrible about keeping my blog updated!  After receiving my usual scolding, he gave me great news that he had found a source of lead for my keel bulb.  Turns out he discovered an old keel from a scrapped boat at his local marina.  The marina guys told him $50 if we picked it up ourselves.  $50 for 1000 pounds of lead is an amazing deal!  So I borrowed a truck and my dads tilt bed trailer and headed to Poulsbo.  We dug a hole under it enough to get a car jack under it and jacked it high enough to slide a round wooden fencepost under it.  Then using a couple hand winches and some more fence posts, we rolled it right up  the tilted  trailer.  When I got it home and rolled off the trailer, I used a chainsaw to cut it up into managable chunks.  Lead cuts like butter with a chainsaw.  Just make sure to use a tarp to catch all the shavings so they can also be melted down later...and of course make sure to wear safety gear and use the right respirator to keep from breathing lead dust!