Monday, 31 December 2012

Now with new improved Kevlar

Having had enough of the christmas tv schedules i ventured out to the shed to see if the boat was still covered in condensation like it'd been all last week. The signs were promising so having consulted the tea leaves and my handheld hygrometer/temp sensor i was good to go.

The first job was laminating kevlar rub strips along the keels exposed areas; the reason being if the glass gets compromised then it 'll only be two maybe three seasons before the lots peeling off, so  its more an insurance policy than anything else.

I had never used the stuff before and  was advised to buy kevlar shears - thinking it was a waste of time and money i tried cutting some 200g plain weave kevlar with the tools i use for bi-ax and realised it was a complete waste of time so now i possess the bentley continental of the scissor world and am forty quid lighter in the pocket.

Still very disappointing cutting with them - not so much the 170g but the 300g kind of got chewed up into the required shapes, however after a couple of hours i had two layers on the leading edge and one on the sole then repeated it all again plus some peel ply and now the port keel is finally finished of all its glass work - just needs filling and fairing.

Starboard side tomorrow as long as the water levels in the boat shed don't rise any further - gets a bit dispiriting rolling around in the mud whilst trying to laminate. 


Monday, 17 December 2012

....And You and I

Its a bit 'peter cries wolf' as I've said this before but the keels are almost at an end, just have to laminate a kevlar rub strip onto the leading edge and sole of each and then its hawk and trowel at the ready to smooth over the lumps and bumps.

Got the cradle back together and fitted under the boat, that was a performance but necessary to get the job done then when the kevlars on dismantle it and flog it (hopefully) along with alot more bits and bobs i've got too.

What else........oh yeah had a right result buying some wests off a WOA member (cheers Tony) he used it for his own boats osmosis treatment, its around half a 'c' pack so that should get the hull filled and faired maybe even get the barrier coat on seeing as he kindly included the additive in the sale.

Spent the last couple of days de-rigging the mast back to a length of aluminium, that was a pain in the arse too, spent three hours coaxing the plug in the bottom out, at one point i contemplated making the mast 40mm shorter so stubborn was it but eventually it played ball, well that - a can of WD40 and a bloody great rubber mallet.

Since i started the project i wanted to add a bit more canvas to get the old girl moving seeing as it needs near gale-force conditions to get it going so last year set about reinforcing the deck in various places and adding plywood gussets in the stern to take runners. 

I did all this discreetly thinking it will really need a crew to operate, but to go runner-less and still have a fat roach main requires more brains than i have (yacht design drop-out 1998), so to make it work i have taken some professional advice which required me stripping the mast to take piccies and measurements to send to the engineer.

I know they say yacht design is 10% science 90% art but the thought of the rig coming down and cracking my or various crews skulls open like water melons appealled even less than lots of bits of string in the cockpit. 


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Yours is no disgrace...............

Got the port side keel done last friday (7th) i was about an hour or so quicker than the starboard - think it was the technique i got nailed down although i'm losing patience with peel ply of late. As you may or may not know it helps with adhesion of subsequent layers (amine blush) but the last couple of lay ups using peel ply seems to have resulted with the stuff bubbling off the work piece regardless of heat source or thickness of resin.

I roll the stuff on with a tube and flat out with roller and squeegee as necessary walking away from the workpiece looking all smooth and next day it looks like the surface of the moon where the peel ply's lifted.

The point being where the ply lifts you have the fabric finish that you see  when laminating  next to smooth finished laminate where it hasn't - the result is big indents in places where this discrepancy occurs not to mention sanding and washing down - a major pain in the arse i could do without and one you're not supposed to have by doing the additional work with the peel ply in the first place

Still on a more positive note i got my sums right with the cloth as i've just hit the last ten metre mark on the roll and i only have the rudder and engine bearers to do so hopefully apart from some local reinforcement around the shroud attachments which i'll do from my big bag of offcuts i won't need to buy anymore cloth.

Spent the last couple of days sanding.............well i say sanding more grinding with a 40 grit sanding disc on the orbital; they now look like keels again, now the final yes final installment is kevlar yep thats right kevlar on a centaur. 

It was stupid not putting the stuff on the keels when they were in the workshop but for a reason that escapes i didn't do it, on top of that i promptly took the cradle away and remembered about two minutes after i'd unbolted everything that i hadn't done it - hard to believe when you keep walking past a 50m roll of the stuff in the shed. Doh!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Bit of a mixed bag really........

I spent most of yesterday with the music blaring in the shed busily measuring and cutting cloth for the penultimate assault on the keels happy in the knowledge i'd be fully prepped with no worries about today's job in hand - that of three further laminations around the keels stubs.

The start went flawlessly and considering the size of the panels and accessibility was chuffed to nuts when in under two hours i had the first panel rolled and taped i then stopped for coffee thinking i'd knock this out in a few more hours as each panel size is decreasing, but oh know there always something.

I think where i loaded the area up with an almost filler-like consistency of cabosil and wests it acted like a magnet to the cloth - the minute it touched the surface regardless of where you wanted it it had stuck so trying to remove and reposition meant pulling the previous layer up such was the adhesion.

Still undeterred i threw the offending piece of cloth over my shoulder and grabbed another one and proceeded to do exactly the same, by now you'd have thought i'd learned my lesson so after the third piece of cloth i pushed the sign over the door to 'sulking' and sat at the bench for ten minutes cutting three new panels whilst seething and the heap of waste by my feet.

Weird stuff epoxy; sometimes it works and sometimes its like pushing water uphill, i finally got the job done around 7pm tonight having started at 8am thoroughly knackered but pleased with the results just trying to muster the motivation to do it all again on the port side..........



Friday, 9 November 2012

......I'll need to see the paperwork

When i was young and very ginger as a child - no one likes a ginger kid  - i used to go to the boat shows with my family, a sort of twice yearly pilgrimage first to Earl's Court then Southampton - for me i loved the spectacle and clambering all over the boats much to the annoyance of the attending sales staff but what i liked most was collecting the brochures.

I couldn't tell you where my collection went but a few years back started collecting via ebay and a couple of other online outlets, i thought i'd lost the lot when reformatting an old drive but much to my surprise i've recovered more than a few - heres the westerly collection......................

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Watcha cock!

My new sea-cocks from shakewell have arrived this evening, its a bit controversial to some as sea cocks are made of bronze and that's that but for me the essence of the project is to improve the boat using design and technology not previously available when the boat was manufactured.

The sea-cocks fulfil this criteria as i was crap at chemistry and have a difficult time getting my head around galvanic corrosion so the less metally things in the water can only be a bonus.

These sea-cocks need to be bonded into the hull and through using west system epoxies and additives i know how strong a bond can be created so I'm confident they will be as strong if not stronger than conventionally fitted valves. A fact borne out as all the old sea-cocks i removed were on rotten ply bases which allowed more than a few to rotate and generally become loose in the hull.

Maintenance is required although less with these and the marelon type products than conventional sea-cocks and with no need for a skin fitting as you mount them slightly proud in the hull and sand flush the cost too was significantly less than conventional fittings (even though they were paid for in Helsinki and shipped via Vigo in Spain) so all in all this was a no-brainer for me.



Sunday, 28 October 2012

Back to it

I've finally got some time to work on the boat, so picking up where i left off in August......jesus wheres the year gone........anyway having wrestled the boat off the cradle like steve irwin with a crocadile it seemed fitting to try and finish the hull.

My start point to my embarrassment was the strips of gelcoat where the cradle endplates rested on the hull whilst it was obvious they needed cutting away and glassing in with the usual two layers of cloth and peel ply -  fairly straight forward but somehow in my haste to get the boats hull filled and faired i had forgot to join the three main panels together.

Having dug out the grinder i set about cutting into the fairing compound around the waterline to find where the bow section met the mid section met the stern section, i got all of them opened up and taped everything and then peel plied. All that was left was an 8' x 4' panel in the centre of the boats belly.

I never enjoy doing overhead work but the few panels i've done have largely succeeded by making the panels small so using the tube technique but on a larger scale i was amazed how easy it was to cover such a large area so quickly and against the forces of gravity, here take a look.

More sooner rather than later now i'm no longer living and working on the isle of wight.

Cheers roger

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Now its time............

Having been granted a weeks leave from operation 'chaos' on Jekyll island (IOW) i thought it about time i grasp the thorny issue of getting the boat off of its cradle and onto the ground (or as close as possible).

Having performed David Blaine-esque feats on this project before with nothing more than a pallet truck, a cup of coffee and the look of a dinlow i thought to chance my arm one more time and do the job of raising some three tonnes of boat first up in the air balancing on four car jacks and then 'control' the descent to the floor minus the cradle.

It was during the early stages of jacking up each side that i remembered the mass of the keels is concentrated in the front half as the boat appeared to be taking a bow all be it very slowly but still a problem. My worse fears came to pass when with all four jacks pretty much at full extension the boat slowly started moving forward!

Whilst remaining calm i eased each jack a little but on seeing the boat moving ever closer to the front wall of the shed i panicked and opened the bleed screws on both jacks, with an almighty 'thud' the back of the boat landed back down on the sleepers, only now it was popping a wheelie. I got the bottle jack out of my van and hastily scribed a block of wood to the profile of the bow and chocked the front so it couldn't move.

At the end of the play yesterday i felt like i'd run a marathon, with the boat firmly on terrafirma i spent today boarding over the floor so i can get on glassing the hull.


Friday, 4 May 2012

Rings around the world.

I hadn't realised blogger re-designed their admin software so you can now see from what countries people are viewing your site.

To my surprise this site is well known throughout the globe as far a field as South Korea and China but is most popular in the US, UK, France and interestingly Russia as well as a host of other EU countries. So with that in mind i have added a gadget that translates the site into 1 of 53 different languages.

Hope it helps...................

Oh yeah, nearly forgot i have finally got round to structurally securing the keels to the hull by taping each keel joint with three successively wider laminations (100mm, 200mm, 300mm) of bi-axial cloth. The keels now look moulded-in and will be interested to see how they perform when out on the water as to whether it goes some way to alleviating the stresses on that area of the boats structure.

Happy Holidays


Monday, 30 April 2012

Take a pebble

Had an away-day today as i needed a few things before i could do anymore work, principally the rudder is the centre of attention at the moment strange as its sat under the boat for the last two years since i built it.

Something the old man never did from day one was to replace the rudder bushes,  the original tufnol ones are looking more than a little secondhand so took the opportunity to visit Trafalgar Yacht Services near Portsmouth, very helpful people they were too.

After what seemed like an age i got the rudder dry-fitted to find the fit less than impressive and a little puzzling as i took the top angle of the blade directly from the original before butchering it for the rudder stock, an hour later and i had the rudder moving freely on its stock minus 10mm off the top of the blade.

Next i bonded the skeg on via an incredibly thick mix of wests and a couple of wedges, the positioning of which was done by eye as there is no other way, i'll finish 'bogging' it out tomorrow but other than that i'm very pleased with my new rudder


Friday, 20 April 2012

Welcome back my friends.

Good news i finally got two wheels on my wagon, what with the starboard keel going on a little under two hours ago, i can't quite believe i'll never have to haul the things up and down the driveway or around the garden - that is it they are on end of story.

Now i have achieved this i feel i can do anything so next stop rudder dry fitted so i can get the skeg mounted and then into the engine room to cut, shape and bond the bearers then get the engine in and fitted.

Its amazing how (although physically and mentally knackered) i'm really up for getting this boat done by years end - wish me luck.



Sunday, 15 April 2012

What a difference a week makes.

Incredible really, i've had one of those weeks where everything i've touched has turned to gold. At the start of the week i was finishing off the stub and putting another hit of fairing compound on the hull.
Afterwards i got set on getting the port keel into the shed although seeing the number of obstacles i had to get around to get the keel to this point was a task i was coming to dread.

To my surprise the keel went through the side of the shed a treat but no sooner had I surmounted that problem i was stuck as to how to line up the keel studs with the stub holes, after a quick phone call to a savvy mate of mine we had the keel located and in position within an hour.

The effect of all of this has been transformative for seeing just this one keel in place that has taken so much time and energy has motivated me beyond anything in recent times.

So much so that i'm now almost ready to fit the starboard keel later this week as i have worked all through the weekend and will sheath tomorrow (monday), this all in under 2 days from dragging it into the workshop to repair through stripping back ready for sheathing with all the materials for that job on the bench ready to go, the same process took about two weeks before.

Now i'm annoyed that paid work is getting in the way as i want to get the rudder dry-fitted next so i can mount the skeg and get that glassed in.
I think because i spent so much time and energy last year on the boat and didn't have a lot to show for it was really uninspiring to me but now I couldn’t be more juiced-up.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Where does all the time go..........

I can't believe we're nearly into April, although the paid work i have at the moment has paused temporarily i'm dedicating this week to the boat.

It seems only yesterday i was sheathing the keels happily unemployed planning on having the boat off the cradle with both keels and a rudder attached but alas work's got in the way and after what seems like an eternity i am now able to get on with finishing the job of sheathing the hull.

As usual the debit card's taken a hammering but as i have a few pennies to rub together i want to push on as i don't want to miss the weather window for paint this year.

What else..............oh yes i finally picked up my 30st antal winches as well as another pair of 16's, i'll flog the 8's on ebay but what a bargain. Those guys at marineware are 'tops' i used them as well for my keel sealant as i just can't bring myself to spend in excess of £250 going the sika route.

I'll let you know how it goes when the time comes but for now its on with finishing off the sheathing.



Tuesday, 24 January 2012

stubs away!!!!!!

Got cracking after heating the shed up for an hour. Having all the cloth cut to size proved a real help as it was great picking up each piece and placing it on the hull. The only downside in todays proceedings was losing a whole cups worth of epoxy (600ml) bollocks!!!

It seems i'd done such a good job preheating the shed that it was nearly 30 degrees c so knocked off the heater and got down to business, six hours had passed by the time i got to washing all the tools in acetone. My back neck and shoulders were killing me, i had everything done including peel plying the lot I even had the bag and breather cloth ready to go but after three attempts at trying to get the breather material to attach to the hull i gave up. I was so knackered i could barely get my arms above my head so have had to make do with it being squeegeed & roller-ed to death.

If i have enough strength when i do the starboard side i may go for the bag although i may look at attaching the breather material to the bag so all i got to do is stick the bag on the hull which is easy enough.

I have all the spreader washers cut and shaped for each location, all out of 10mm 316L stainless as i needed to make up the stub floor thickness so this was cheaper than epoxy speaking of which is worrying me how much more i'll need based on what i used on the stub. I calculated i've used around 4 litres which at the prices i pay with delivery and tax works out at £56 to do.

That'd buy me 25 litres of poly but i guess it wouldn't give me the protection though, oh well guess i'll have to keep doing the lottery.


Friday, 20 January 2012

....and start again

Well in all honesty there was nothing to do so i may as well crack on. The financial windfall didn't materialise but the more clement weather did so i revisited an old hobby of mine - that being displacing vertebrae in my spine dragging 600-odd kilos of pig iron around the driveway.

This time cracks had started to appear in the tops of both of them, you may remember when the first keel i rebuilt started to come apart well now both have got the pox. The first keel has now parted company with its top from the middle all the way aft so will have that in as soon as i have the other mounted.

In the meantime i got to work cutting paper patterns with which i could transfer to bi-axial cloth and then epoxy on, i've been doing the same with the wetted ares of the hull for a while and although a largely time-consuming process it makes fitting so much easier when everything is made-to-measure.

Now the first keel is completely sheathed three times over i (rather controversially) am going to tape the keel to hull joint when i have attached the keels as i want a completely sealed joint.

More pictures of the stub to follow