Monday, 27 September 2010

Getting really bored of this now.

My goals for this year were to get the hull dried and sheathed, get the keel stubs strengthened and the keels attached, get the boat off the cradle and back down on the ground, fill and fair the hull and deck with an eye to priming and if the weather was good maybe topcoat too.

Well, the theory was great seeing as work is up and down i thought i would get quite alot done, but from the above all i have is the keel stubs ticked off the list......oh yeah i forgot i wanted to mount the engine too, so that's something else.

I don't know what its going to take to get the readings down in the green but i'm fast running out of ideas, the new heater pads work a treat, its literally uncomfortable to stand near them at 100 degrees celcius - thought i had it made but no: left them on for a day and still no difference on the meter, so back to the drawing board.

I went off to the b&q and resolved to spend more money (i don't have) on four cheap wall paper strippers as this is a cheaper way of creating steam than a hot washer £80 vs £700 to buy or £200 a week to hire........"yeah can i call you back,"......i mean where do they get these prices from?

Anyway spent today (Mon) taping down the hull around the waterline creating a big skirt, fired up the strippers and have left them to boil the hull up. I'm going back to the idea of draw ng the moisture out by 'opening' the laminate up then washing off with fresh water at the end of each day.

I don't know whether it will take a few more weeks or the rest of the year but with money tight its not much fun and incredibly boring spending so much time and resources on this one particular problem.


Tuesday, 21 September 2010

A right good decking!

I knew there would come a time when i had to do this but seeing as i was waiting for some more hose for the vacuum system i couldn't get on testing the new heater pads so i thought there no time like the present to tackle the fore deck.

The problem, to walk the fore deck with the boat stationary makes you feel seasick, like walking across a waterbed, the solution is to chop out the rotten core and replace with lashings of wests and marine ply.

Brimming with confidence having re-read an PBO article about a chap re-coring the deck of an old motor cruiser i did what i always do and reach for the tools that make the most noise, (damage) dust (damage) damage.

Having drawn a line 50 mm in from the edge all the way around the foredeck i reached for the grinder, then on looking at how clean the shed was and thinking how long it took to get it to that state i pulled out the jigsaw instead.

I successfully cut a 1 mm line all the way round then got busy with the chisels and wedges - would you believe it, the bond was incredible despite it being polyester and rotten and 40 years old it took all my strength (after quartering the original cut line) to pull out two pieces that made half the deck.

Now the damage could be seen, all the usual suspects: black balsa core, rotten plywood plank that looked like no adhesive whatsoever had been applied to it and a very strong vinegar smell . i decided to follow the route of the plank towards the fore-cabin and realised i'd need to take more of the deck moulding off.

With these last two pieces removed i could start making the core pieces and get them dry fitted, this went fairly quick so after double checking my prep and one last time with the hot air gun it was time for epoxy.

I don't know what it is about this stage in the work but no matter how well i set the tools and materials out it always ends up a bit of a bun fight, this particular job was to be no different. After more careful consideration of the west's manual todays recipe would be thickened with 407 (low density) and 402 (milled glass blend) the last one in particular as it would make the mix a lot more viscous therefore i wouldn't need to chase the stuff around the foredeck.

In the PBO article the chap uses big stones to way everything down, i had air pressure at my disposal so having made what looked like a very messy sandwich i wiped as much excess of the deck as i could (as i by now it was gelling) and got the peel ply and vac bag on.

With a flick of a button the deck pulled down an absolute treat and i now have a deck that's as stiff as a stiff thing with additional stiffeners, all i need do now is grind a 12:1 in the joint lines tape and fill.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Its been a while.................

Indeed it has, work has got in the way, had to do it though given the economic situation but in meantime i got my head around the latest failure with the heat pads and got two custom made, they cost 200 pounds each but have a temperature range of 0-260 degrees celcius so i will get on the case this coming week.

What else.........oh yes i started to turn the boat shed back into a boat shed from a pig sty. This mainly involved digging the old floor up all three tonnes of it and installing a floating floor all the way around the boat.

To do this i first needed to remove the diagonal supports from inside and put them outside to free up the space so with my good friend the post drill i excavated four holes a metre deep to act as the piling i would bolt the new supports to.

With these uber-supports made and installed it was time to turn my attention to the floor, after much ringing-around suppliers i got the best price i could for the timber and flooring even with discounts it still gobsmacked me how much timber has gone up - about 35% incredible.

Here's the result of a couple of days work from last week, this job cost 350 pounds in all ,250 for the flooring materials and 100 for the timber to make the external supports, considering i'm working very infrequently it was a bit of a tussle with my head.

That said i don't want the project to grind to a halt as that's when the motivation stops and it becomes another abandoned project and to be honest i have been feeling a little bored at the moment i think largely due to boat shed looking like a student house so part of the process to get re-energised was to create a more professional environment to work in.

I managed to use a lot of materials i already had left over from various jobs i had done so in the process freed up much-needed space in my wood shed which is no bad thing.

I found i was wasting a lot of time going back and forth to the workshop to get tools and materials so i built a bloody great cupboard at one end of the boat shed to store all the day today stuff (abrasives, power tools, resins acetone etc).

With the floor in i set about building the aluminium towers and parking them adjacent to the boat ready for me to re-core the fore-deck, more of that in a while.