Friday, December 2, 2011

A New Rudder

I decided the rudder I had shaped from pink insulation foam was nice practice but that I probably needed something a bit more substantial.  So I went to Fiberglass Supply and bought some actual structural foam core material.  I also had my friend Mitch weld up a stainless rudder post which I sandwhiched in between some carbon and the foam.
I used the same technique for shaping this blank as I had the pink foam one.  I used a template to trace the shape of the NACA foil on the end of the blank.  Then I repeatedly ran it through the table saw adjusting the blade each time for the correct depth to correspond to the foil shape. I then sprayed is red and sanded down to the red refference lines that were made.  Again, this worked really well.  Just a bit awkward with the weight of the stainless post on one end.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Painting The Hull

To paint the hull, I used Interlux Perfection.  It is pretty awesome stuff.  Unlike the topside paint, it is just a single part paint.  I applied it using a foam rubber roller.  It took me a few coats before I really figured the stuff out.  The key is to do only a couple square feet at a time.  After applying a couple square feet, I learned that by rolling it again super lightly that this would "tip" the paint and cause it to lay down nice and flat.  Then, whatever you do, dont try go back and fix anything, just move to the next section...and be quick about it or the sections won't blend!  I ended up with at least 5 coats.  The only problem is this stuff is so glossy and shiny that any little ripple or bump is easy to see and I found myself wishing I'd spent a few more weeks fairing the hull!  But overall, it looks really nice.  Unless you get within a foot of it and really examine it, it looks like it was sprayed.  And hopefully out on the water, no one is ever that close to the boat!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Main Hatch

I figured that with an unproven, homemade boat design, it would be important to have a watertight hatch with some sort of positive locking mechanism.  The first thing I did was to bond a ringframe around the opening.  This would provide the hatch with a nice area to recess into.

I built the hatch out of 3/8 plywood covered on both sides with a couple layers of carbon fiber.  This was to make it stiff and strong and to keep it from warping. (plus I just think CF looks cool!)  While I was at it, I also built the support beam for the traveller.  It is a ply U-beam which I also covered in layers of carbon. 

The hatch fit really nicely.  I then bonded an rubber seal around the inside perimeter of the hatch.  When the hatch is closed, the seal is compressed providing an excellent seal.  Later I changed out the hinges for ones that slip apart allowing for easy removal and stowage of the hatch
I also changed the hatch handles a bit.  The new ones seem to work really well.  I'm pretty sure that with this settup I should be able to lock things up pretty tightly if things start getting a bit sketchy out on the water!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mast Compression Beam

The compression post is installed.  Now some of you may recall I mentioned planning to install an aluminum post.  That was my plan.  My friend Mitch even had a heavy duty thick walled piece of tubing for me.  But then I started figuring how I needed to put on some sort of metal end brackets and would have to measure the length perfectly and get the angle right on the first try and would still need some sort of wood block to match the contour of the cabin top.  I decided it would be easier to just build a hollow post out of clear yellow pine.  It ended up being 3"x2.25" and only weighed 3lbs.  I figure it should take around 6500lbs of compression (which is probably more than the floor will! :) so it should be plenty strong.  I was able to use the sander to sculpt the top and bottom to  perfectly match the contours of the floor and ceiling.  This post was the last structural component on the inside of the boat.  Now I need to do a bit more fiberglass reinforcing.  Then it will be time to sand, fair, and paint the inside of the boat.  Making progress!

A Step In the Right Direction

Started work on the mast step. Laminated multiple layers of marine ply and then cut the wedge shape.  Next I used a belt sander to contour the underside to the shape of the hull.  To get it to conform perfectly, I plan on bedding it in thickened epoxy.  The mast step is stainless steel and is hinged (which should make stepping and un-stepping the carbine fiber mast an easy job!)

What I Think About A Sink

It's been a while since my last post, but I have been working a bit on the project now and then.  Just been busy with the family and working.  But I did manage to install the chainplate supports for the mast shrouds.  Hopefully they are in the right place (or at least close enough!)  I ended up finding some Melges 24s sitting on trailers in Seattle and did some measuring.  I then used my boats dimensions and did some interpolating and came up with these chainplate locations.  I think this should work, I just always get a little nervous about my calculations!  As you can see in this picture, I also made the storage cutout in the sink pedestal as well as put in the "sink"  The "sink" is actually just a really deep plastic salad bowl.  On my current boat, I almost never use the sink.  When I do use the sink it is a pain to drain because I have to reach below and open a sea cock (which is normally closed to prevent it from flooding the boat when we are heeled)   It also seems that gooey nasty stuff is always clogging the drain.  And also having a hole in the hull means there's always a chance something could break, and the boat sinks.  For simplicity, I'm using a bowl that easily pops out and it's contents thrown out the main hatch..overboard.  No worries about sea cocks, plugged drains, or sinking!
A picture of the port chainplate support structure.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sink Pedestal

Today I was able to seal up the starboard bench and rough frame the sink pedestal.  Once this pedestal is finished, the only other major interior structure is the aluminum mast compression post.  Then comes all the sanding and painting inside.

Added Flotation!

Some people have suggested that I fill some of my compartments with foam for some reserve buoyancy.  So in the interest of safety I added some foam today.
Right below the companionway door, there are two compartments formed by the floor grid.  I've decided that rather than sealing these up, I'll use them as storage.  One will be for tools, and dock lines, etc.  But the other more important one I decided to make into an ice box.  This way when we are racing (and are bored after passing everyone :)), we can just reach through the door into the cabin and grab the cold beverage of our choice.  It was kind of a fun little project, although my boat is now full of little tiny foamy balls that flew everywhere when I was cutting the foam panels to shape.  I then glassed the panels, then filleted and taped all the corners.  I will add lids to these compartments later on.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

We Have A Floor!

Yesterday, I cut the other floor panel and glued them down.  It is one solid floor!  I think I've succeeded in building a floor/grid structure that will be able to absorb the mast and keel loads while remaining lightweight.  I also ran the vent lines for the water tanks and added another coat of epoxy in the tanks and then sealed them up by adding the floor panels above.  I used 3/8 ply for this because putting down this floor creates the top to a box beam that holds the keel box.  These pics also show the port sitting bench getting prepped for it's top as well.  As the grids get covered with floor panels, I'm starting to see that I have quite a bit of room inside.  Not exactly a luxurious cruiser, but still lots of room for gear and for camping. (especially for a sportboat)  The quarter berths are nearly 6.5' long.  I also measured and I found I have 4'2" of headroom.  Can't walk around, but with the open floor plan and benches, it will have plenty of room to get out of the weather, change clothes, take a nap, or cook some ramen.

Back from Hawaii!

Aloha!  Back from a wonderful family vacation on Maui.  I've had a bit of time to dedicate to the boat project again.  I know these pics are kind of looking the same..but look closer and you can see progress is being made.  The work has been a bit tedious but productive non the less.  I have been reinforcing the floor grid, turning it into a system of i-beams, adding glass, and preparing it to receive the floor panels. It's involved a lot of gluing and clamping small pieces of ply, and a lot of filleting in weird little tucked away corners.  I also decided to do some plumbing.  Around here in the northwest, for some of our distance racing, we have to comply with PIYA regulations.  One of the regs is to have permanent water tanks installed in the boat.  I've decided to make the tanks in the area on either side of the keel.  This keeps the water's weight down low and near the center of the boat.  Also, with this setup, I'll have two independent tanks so that if one leaks out, I still have another one.  I ran 3/8" pex piping from the tanks under the floor area to the galley area where I will later hook them to a tank selector and a hand pump.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

She's Got Some Sole!

 I've been busy with work lately but this week I did manage to reinforce and glass in the floor and keel area.  I added some stringers and also the vertical faces of the benches.  With this added structure, the bottom of the boat is totally stiff and strong.  I was also able to cut out and losely fit part of the floor sole.  I will need to do a bit more reinforcing before I'm ready to put down the sole.  I will be taking a small break from the boat project for a couple weeks as I'm taking the family to Hawaii!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year everyone!!  Hopefully 2011 will be the year Vertigo get's to go sailing!  Christmas time is always busy for our family but I still managed to squeeze in some time here and there to keep the boat project moving forward.  These are some pictures of the grid structure I've been working on.  These structures will support the keel loads as well as the load from the mast.  I'm really happy with how everything is coming together and how stiff the floor area is getting.  This first picture is looking forward.  The floor area around the aft part of the keel box will be at the level of the aft berths.  Then forward of this

area the floor drops about 6 inches.  Along each side of this lower area there will be benches that run from the aft berths to the v berth area.  Although you can't stand in this boat, the benches will allow for very comfortable sitting headroom.  Also along the starboard bench up at the v-berth will be a small sink and a place to hang my new jet-boil camping stove I got for Christmas!