The last few days have been full of filling, fairing and sanding and getting the bottom ready to glass.
I have been nervous about doing this job and waiting for cooler weather so that I don’t have to worry about not being able to keep up.
I decided to do 1/2 of the hull and then do the other for the same reason so today I laid the cloth on the hull, laid the keel strip down the centre, weighted it down with a couple of toolboxes and trimmed the glass to the edge of the keel strip.
Then, I went around the hull and masked off where I want the bottom of the glass to end and also taped saran wrap to the sides to catch the inevitable drips. I also masked the underside of the gunwales.
This evening at 8:30 I finally took a deep breath and went for it. An hour later 1/2 of the bottom was glassed. It actually went quite well. I had no trouble with bubbles thanks likely to taking the time to prepare the bottom quite well. I started in the middle by painting on some epoxy to tack the cloth to the hull. I left the toolboxes at the ends holding down the cloth. Then I painted on epoxy and poured it on and used a spreader to work it into the weave and wet out the glass. I worked from the middle of the bottom towards the joint between the bilge panel and the side and then worked towards each end, alternating ends to keep a “wet” edge. It went very well…messy as I had lots of epoxy on my hands from using the spreader but I am quite happy with the result.
I went around with a brush to smooth out any runs and also used a fiberglass roller to spread out areas where there was a of extra epoxy. We’ll see how well that worked when I check it in a few hours.
The other half tomorrow, fill the weave with thickened epoxy or Quik-Fair and put on the keel strip if I have time.
Since last post I have laminated the mast halves together, rolled the boat and done a ton of sanding and worked on fine-tuning the rudder leeboard shape. I also tied the sail to the spars just to see what it looked like 🙂
Laminating the mast went ok…it is good that I picked up some more clamps as I needed every one of them. One of the boards had a bit of a kink in it and it took lots of persuasion to get it clamped up tight enough to the other board to get good squeeze-out. The finished product has a bit of a curve in it but I will cut the mast out straight so that shouldn’t matter. I will try and find a wood shop somewhere with a band saw that will do the tapering for me. All the options for doing it myself I either don’t like or will take too long.
The last couple of days I have done a lot of sanding on the outside of the hull. I thought it was in pretty good shape but my memory was faulty as it needed a lot of sanding. Most of the joints had been faired with Quik-Fair so it came off pretty easy. I had been thinking I would glass the bottom this weekend but I don’t know if I have enough epoxy left (I ordered some more on Friday) and I sure wouldn’t want to run out partway through glassing the hull. I’ll wait until the new stuff shows up on Tuesday or Wednesday and then get going on it if the weather isn’t going to be too warm.
The hull is looking pretty good. I added some more Quik-Fair in the middle where the butt joints are as there were a few rough spots that would just have resulted in bubbles and hassle if I tried to glass over top of them.
I keep changing my mind on what colour to paint the boat. Today I am thinking white outside of the hull with maybe a green stripe 6-8 inches wide below the gunwales, gunwales varnished, hatch covers varnished, mast and spars varnished, mast step and mast partner varnished and the rest of the decks and interior painted a creamy white just so it isn’t too bright when out on the water in the sun.
I also test fitted the first layer of the keel strip….
Here’s the sail tied to the spars. It was such a fabulous day today, it would have been wonderful to have been on the water. I think the sail and spars look great!
I have to get a trailer happening!
Over the last 5 days I haven’t done much. Put five coats of varnish on the spars and they look great! Tonight I sanded and put the first coat of varnish on the hatch covers. I am going to use varnish on quite a bit of the boat. The spars convinced me to take the time. The wood looks fabulous!
I went to Canadian Tire tonight and picked up a few more clamps for clamping the mast together. Got a pretty good deal on some 12″ bar clamps – $5.99 each. Not the highest quality but I won’t be using them everyday.
We are supposed to start getting some cooler weather. I think I will take a day or two off work if that happens and finish glassing the hull and putting the keel, transom and stem on. Once that is done it is pretty much sand and paint time…as well as build the mast and finish the rudder and leeboard.
I am starting to get my enthusiasm back!
I got out of the habit of posting to the blog and have kind of lost track of what I have done since returning from vacation. I haven’t done much unfortunately. I have to admit that I am having a hard time getting motivated when all I see is sanding in my future. I have realized that I will not be finished this summer and that is depressing, which doesn’t help my motivation.
Last night, August 14th I sanded the spars and put the first coat of varnish on them. I expected to be able to sand them and put another coat on before leaving for work but the varnish was still soft in the morning. It sure makes a difference in how they look though!! I think I will varnish more of the wood than I have been planning just because it looks so awesome!! I’m also reconsidering the colour to paint the boat. I am liking red and white right now.
I have been delayed getting started on the mast due to a big difference in weight between the two boards. Chuck Leinweber explained to me that this sort of difference isn’t uncommon with Douglas Fir and suggested I weigh them and wait a week to see if the weight changed much. I’m too impatient and don’t have a scale I would trust for that type of measurement so yesterday I picked up a moisture meter and tested the two boards…the heavy one has a lower moisture content (8%) than the light one (11%)! But, they are both plenty dry to proceed with so laminating them may be my project for tonight after work.
While on vacation on Vancouver Island we stayed a couple of days with friends, Bob and Liisa, in Ladysmith. On our last day I went to Coastal Pacific Forest Products and bought two 17 foot long 2 x 3 1/2 Douglas Fir boards for the mast. After supper Bob and I used his thickness planer to reduce them in size and better see what I had purchased as they were rough cut. It was very nice to see lumber with only one knot in it. We cut them down to 14 feet long and wrapped them in plastic to protect them from the rain on the trip home. We drove through some downpours the next day but our wrap job was perfect as I unwrapped them at Vernon BC where Patty and the boys are staying for another 10 days while I fly home to Saskatoon to work.
After I get caught up at work I’ll get busy on the boat. It’s Sunday and I got in about noon and have been at work since late afternoon.