Plywood to boat!
Category Archives: Materials
The last two days have been pretty good but also frustrating. I got the hatches hinged and latched and supported. It was trickier than I thought and I screwed up the first hatch and had to fill one set of holes I drilled in the top deck. But, they are hinged and have latches to lock them shut and spring supports from Duckworks that work so slick it’s not even funny. You lift the hatch until the spring straightens and then “bing” it straightens out and the hatch is supported. To close you just poke a finger into the middle of the spring and lower the hatch. Really simple and effective.
I repainted the leeboard guard, leeboard, rudder, cheek, seats and seat supports to the same colour as the interior. Possibly more boring but the red just wasn’t working with the mahogany.
I also spent time Friday and Saturday trying to find bolts for the various fittings I need to attach to complete the boat. Some have been impossible to find so I will have to keep looking or use inferior methods of mounting them which I don’t want to do.
Here are some photos…
Today I went straight to Benjamin Moore after work to pick up some paint as I had run out of the white paint I used for the hull and inside the bulkheads. They didn’t have any more white of the type I had used so I picked some paint of the same type to be coloured for inside the cockpit and the decks. I figured it would be light so it will be fine inside the rear bulkhead as well.
I looked at the bazilion paint chips and noted that they have a lot of colours named after places in Canada. The one that caught my eye was “Thousand Islands”, a creamy tan that I liked and seeing as how I’ve made about half of my 2200+ skydives at Gananoque, ON with the Thousand Islands as a backdrop I figured it was appropriate.
Came home and started painting. Finished painting the rear bulkhead compartment with the new paint and I really like it. Here’s what it looks like:
Next, I spent a bit of time sanding down the thickened epoxy I put over the lead in the rudder, just fairing that out a bit.
Then I turned my attention to where the gunwales meet the stem. The stem was a bit proud and messy with epoxy. I worked at it with the Sand Shark and sanding block until it looked pretty good.
After supper I went out, mixed up 20 oz of System Three Yacht Primer (16 oz of hardener and 4 oz of resin in a 4:1 ratio) and started painting it into the cockpit area. This stuff is an epoxy primer that is water based. It went on very nicely. Very easy to keep a wet edge, flowed out nicely, covered well…completely unlike that Ameron stuff I used on the outside of the hull…the remainder of which I will only use if I run out of this System Three Yacht Primer.
Here is a shot of the boat showing the three areas in different colours:
It’s almost like a calico cat….tan white and black 🙂
The 20 oz was just enough to finish inside the cockpit and paint a bit on the mast partner and one side of the 2×4’s that support the seats. Was it EVER nice to clean up using a bucket of water! The brushes cleaned up very easily. What a treat!!!! That stuff cost $130 for a gallon (with the shipping costs) but it was worth every penny is how I feel right now.
Today I stopped in at a tire shop and got a bunch of used tire weights. When I came home I went out to the shed and dug out the old Coleman stove we used when I was a kid. I lit it up once a few years ago to see if it worked and until today that was likely the only time it had been fired up in the last 40 years. I should also mention that I used a very new piece of technology to level the rudder…my iPod Touch with a bubble level program that I installed a few days beforehand. I checked it with a regular level and it was dead-on. Really old stuff and really new stuff 🙂
Filled it with gas, pumped it up and it started up just fine. I loaded a bunch of lead weights into an old cast iron frying pan, put it on the stove, opened all the doors to the garage and stood outside with a fire extinguisher and waited. It didn’t take too long for the lead to melt. I put on a cotton glove and two leather gloves, coveralls and heavy boots, Just in case I did something stupid I wanted a little protection.
When the lead was all melted I poured it into the hole previously routed in the rudder. I had also screwed a backing piece of 1/4″ plywood just in case the lead burned through the bottom of the rudder. The wood smoked and it scorched the plywood pretty good but didn’t burn through. I had also placed a big tin pizza sheet under the rudder to contain any lead that may have escaped. Here are some shots…
This was something I have been nervous about doing for a long time so it was good to get it done without mishap. You have to have a lot of respect for metal that hot!
After supper Terry came over to inspect the paint job and after giving his approval helped roll the boat over and put it into the bunks I built. I put some carpet on the bunks just before Terry arrived so our timing was perfect. Inspired by the compliments I started painting when he left and finished painting the underside of the decking pieces and also put a coat of paint into the bulkheads. I’ll see if they need another coat tomorrow. If not, I’ll epoxy the deck covers to the hull and start priming and painting the cockpit, anchor well and engine slop well.
I also bought a Makita 1902 planer today to use for tapering the mast.It will be slow going but I am sure it will get the job done.
Today I took my mast to a local furniture shop to have the tapers cut but when I got there and told the owner what I wanted he didn’t want to do it. So, I had him joint it and get it square. It’s much lighter and it’s nice to have gotten rid of the marks from the clamps and the epoxy squeezeout but I still have a big obstacle in my way.
Today I took the tiller blank and the mast step over to Terry’s to get him to cut off the U-bolt in the step and drill the holes in the tiller for the bolts to go through to attach to the rudder cheek and the other one that is there to help prevent the rudder from splitting.
Came home and cut the tapers on the tiller with the jigsaw and then used the router to trim right to the line. Did some cleanup and shaping with the small hand plane…that thing is so handy I can’t believe it.
Still haven’t decided on the paint. Was looking at the System Three Yacht Primer and LPU paint…both of which are water based. The paint doesn’t even need a respirator…something quite incredible for Linked Polyurethane which usually has isocyanates and requires serious fresh air respirator/breathing apparatus. But baby is it expensive…$150/gallon for paint and $105/gallon for primer. I may just put another coat of epoxy on everything as I have enough to do that, put a coat of the two part epoxy primer I got from General paint on everything and then finish it off with General Paint marine enamel at $60/gallon. I sure like the System Three stuff and not even needing to wear a respirator according to their tech support people but for the cost I think the other stuff will last pretty well.
I’ll think about it overnight.
In the last four days I have finished glassing the bottom, covered everything with Quik-Fair to fill the weave and smooth things out, attached the keel strip, stem and transom and sanded half the boat to nearly be ready for a coat of primer!!!!!!
Glassing the second side was more work than the first. Because the cloth wasn’t wide enough to cover the bottom from seam to seam I cut it in half and did just one side first to be sure I would be able to keep up mixing epoxy, etc.
I glassed down the largest piece, let it get just tacky and then I covered the remaining gap with two pieces cut roughly to shape.
The next morning, I put a coat of epoxy down the middle where the keel strip is going and then put Quik-Fair on the rest. In retrospect, I think using Quik-fair for this was a mistake and I think that using some thickened epoxy would have done a good job of filling the weave, dried smoother and been MUCH harder. Oh well, too late now.
My next project was to install the keel strip. I decided to install the stem first so that I would be able to trim the ends of the keel strip layers to butt up against the stem before installing them. The stem went on pretty easily using EZ-Fillet after a coat of epoxy.
Then it was time for the keel strip. I used EZ-Fillet to join the two surfaces. I had Patty help me by pushing down on the strip as I drove screws into it from inside the boat. I was only using 3/4″ screws but they were enough to grab it and pull it against the hull.
After letting that set up I got the second layer ready. I laid it on top of the first layer, trimmed the angle against the stem by running a Japanese saw blade down the end as I held it against the stem. Then I predrilled and countersunk several holes. After that, I mixed up some thickened epoxy, put it into a baggie and squeezed it onto the two surfaces. Spread that around with a piece of wood and then put the strip on by myself. Cleaned up the squeezeout and let it harden.
Next up I attached the transom with lots of thickened epoxy. Nothing special to report there…I shoved the bolts through and then wiped their threads clean with an acetone soaked paper towel before attaching the nuts and tightening them. Used 7 clamps and left it overnight.
Yesterday and today I trimmed off the excess stem and keel strip, scraped excess epoxy away and sanded. My neighbour, Dan – who knows an awful lot about refinishing cars…among other things – loaned me a long sanding block used by body shops and showed me how to use it. I have been using that and the random orbital sander to smooth things out. One side of the hull is looking pretty good after several hours of sanding to day. If I can get the other side ready tomorrow I’ll be ready for a coat of primer on Tuesday!
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.