Friday, December 26, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Boat House Closed For Weather

I've been dreaming of a white Christmas. But this cold stuff has messed up my boat building schedule. My shop is great. It is roomy and insulated and bright. But what it doesn't have is heat. With the temperatures this last week always below freezing and often in the teens, the shop has cooled to around 40 degrees or a little less. The problem is, the epoxy won't cure properly at these temps. Even the fast hardner is pretty slow at temps under 50. I have an electric heater but need about 10 more before it'll warm up such a huge space. So I'm taking a break right now till the temp warms up. The good news is we've all been having fun playing in the snow, skipping school and work, hanging out as a family. Too bad snow has to be so cold. Next week is Christmas and we will be busy with family stuff and then the first 10 days of January will be spent in a more tropical local so I guess we are at a bit of a delay but hopefully the boat will still be ready to turn over by the end of January.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Helper

Both of my boys have been very interested in the boat project and love to help out in any way they can. Here are pictures I found of Tommy helping me sand the keel joint. He thought it would be a good idea to wear a helmut in case he fell off the bow end of the boat. I thought that was a pretty good idea. Thanks to Denise for putting up with all our dusty clothes all the time! She knows we are having fun.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Finding Treasure at the Beach

Well, I think we've found our source for lead for the keel bulb. Just down the road from my house, we came across the remains of an old keel from a sailboat that washed up in a storm a few years ago. What remained on the boat was hauled off the beach but apparently, the keel stayed behind. In the pictures you can see just the top corner of the keel. It is pretty well buried in the sand and will have to be dug out and it is only accessible at low tide. Our plan is to attack it with shovels and battery powered sawzall's on some dark night when the tides way out. I would think there isn't a problem with us taking the keel--since we are sort of cleaning up the beach. But it will be a night operation just to avoid any questions. I figure there is well over 1000 lbs of lead in the thing. We will just cut it up into managable pieces to bring back home.

Mine's bigger

Well, Scott came by and dropped off the B's rudder. I was sort of guessing at how big to make my rudder and what foil and planform. I was pleasantly surprised when comparing the rudders that they seem fairly similar. After close examination, the foils seem very close. The B definitely has a more efficient planform with its long elliptical curve. My rudder is a little longer and has more surface area--but my boat will be a bit bigger than the B and weigh a bit more so it stands that slightly bigger will indeed be better. I'm trying to decide whether to recut the rudder to more match the B's or to leave mine as is. I'm thinking my rudder's planform while not quite as efficient drag-wise will be a bit more powerful and forgiving as it will start to stall at the tip and work it's way up (giving me some warning) whereas the B's will stall all at once. So I'm thinking I may glass the rudder blank I have to use as a starter rudder. Until we get the boat tuned and dialed in, we will need a poweful yet forgiving rudder--because when it comes to steering, I'm no Scottie. I am going to make a template from the B rudder to use for a future high-performance rudder. Thanks Scott!

Straightening the chines

Well, the bottom sections are pretty much filled and smooth. Now on to fixing a few troubled areas. As I've worked on the boat I've noticed that there are a couple spots on the chines that waver a bit. I've made some battens out of plywood that I can follow the chines with and see any wavers. I've then been building those spots out with epoxy and filler and then sanding with the longboard. I'm very please with how the imperfections are going away and it is a much fairer curve. It's all taking a while to do this but I think it will be worth the extra effort in the finished product. Of course I do have to find some balance, as it will probably never be totally perfect. At this time, I don't think performance is the issue but rather asthetics. I've taken a couple pics but it's tough to see what's going on -- things really are smoother and straighter looking in real life!