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..........