Sunday, 31 January 2016

Just checked

As I had forgotten to earlier in the day and i can safely say the samples of Wests additives made with Syntac epoxy have all cured.............all are completely blush free & sand very well too - no clogging whatsoever.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Found my Brand - Reactive resins for the win!

*EDIT* Reactive resins have since ceased trading, a real shame if you ask me.

Right, before i go any further i'll say this i am nothing to do with reactive, i'm not affliated in any way, on the payroll, an ambassador / rep for them - nothing. Nada. we go....................THIS STUFF FUCKING ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Gees,.............. if only i found this epoxy, oh i dunno, say 8 years ago - perhaps the project would've gone alot smoother. All i can say is its the absolute conkers. I spent today playing with it in small batches getting a feel for it.

This Syntac epoxy resin is genius, not just because it doesn't blush and is better value than Wests, but because it comes in three different viscosities. I'm using EPAFD the lowest viscosity resin that ratios  2:1 (by weight) with the hardener; the one i'm using is Synamin 220, again one of three available which is their fast hardener but in these conditions you'll have plenty of time. 

I'll be honest i was a little hesistant in changing epoxy supplier seeing as i have loads of West Systems additives still left in the cupboard not to mention a third of a c pack but a combination of anger and frustration with the amount of work that wests requires eventually forced my hand. So top of the agenda was mixing up the Syntac resin and adding it to my array of go-to fillers.

First up was my everyday workhorse - Cabosil - God only knows where i'd be without this stuff, what always puzzled me though with both Cabosil & Wests own Silica was i'd always end up mashing the crystalline rocks that hadn't mixed in properly with the laminating roller no matter how much i stirred the pot.
Not a problem with the new resin - by the seventh or eighth stir of the pot I got a beautifully silky paste all even and mixed, this would be the first of many revalations. 

Next up: 410 Microlight which is Wests fairing additive, again mixed up to the consistency i use I planted it on a board along with 404 Low Density filler and 407 High Density filler all of which by this evening were dry and not atall sticky or waxy. I'll double check that in the morning and report back - initial reports are good.

Which brings me to the work at hand - namely tabbing the ply bulkhead, for this i went three layers of 600g bi-ax cloth on a cabosil-thickened epoxy, i should say firstly i filleted the joint properly with a dense cabosil mix. Oh yeah before i forget - piping bags - another epiphany - god they cut the mess to zero, just started using disposable ones - I almost look professional now when i work. 

Anyway I started laying down the cloth - slight fuck up as i laid the hull side down first and then unfolded the bulkhead side only to find it was overlapping the tape i had applied to the edge of the rebate - this to cut down mess - so that had to come off making the left side a bit amateur-looking but no worries all went fine. I think i worked quicker too as the epoxy is so easy to work being thinner than Wests.

Another observation was how much heat you can put through this Syntac epoxy - with Wests if you held the gun on it point blank you'd fry the saturated cloth solid almost immediately, not so with the new kid - it stayed wet. Because of the temperatures i'm post-curing with a couple of heaters and a quick touch of the cloth earlier this evening reveals a much smoother finish to the cloth too than Wests without peelply and the thought of not having to wash or sand this tomorrow makes me grin ear to ear.

Seriously if you have a job that requires epoxy, forget West Systems - meet your new epoxy system from

Cheers RR fanboy.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Bulkheads a go go!

How about a foam composite Centaur:

Would like to do the rest of the boat in foam but the cost is staggering so will end up using ply for the rest of the structure, looks pretty cool and not a trace of softwood or hardboard anywhere.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Still forward

As i'm writing this think i got, for the first time on this project some kind of reaction with the glass dust despite wearing me full face (gimp) mask and crime scene suit - bloody agony at the moment still i,ve got the first couple of bulkheads in the front, no pictures as yet as i rather embarassingly came to a shuddering halt after running out of laminating rollers.

Had a bit of a palava getting the stringers glassed in, starboard side went down all okay, few bubbles in the peel ply but no real problems but the port side just made my arse drag the next day as the peel ply had pretty much detached itself completely so spent what would've been the day templating and making the bulkheads washing and sanding instead, still all done and looking mighty like a purlin in a roof she now has a ring beam of sorts.

As i'm still waiting for the rollers i'd ordered days ago my attentions have centred on the rudder blade, i think because it keeps staring at me from the corner of the boat shed. Again like so much of this folly it looks kinda well............ meh, you know, not offensive nor particularly pleasing on the eye which as someone like me who permanantly fidgets and is prone to rather impulsive moves started doodling and reading some old text books from my days studying  the subject.

Plus a bit of banter over on the Westerly Anarchy thread at SA got the ideas flowing after a Greek lad got in touch as he wants to change the boats rudder shape - i should point out he has the fin keel Centaur, a Pembroke, and quite rare they are too by all accounts, less than a hundred made, his boat looks in good nick but the rudders profile as it is an absolute howler, its almost eye-bleach terrority to be honest, NACA 0050  anyone?  - Its that bad.

After posting pics of mine and how i went about it plus some good points courtesy of Bob (Perry) and a handful of others got me thinking about mine - i should say i will launch this boat at some point i just dont know when, bear with me it'll be worth it - honest.

After googling and finding a couple of papers on the subject of tubercles and rudder design in general i got to draw some shapes, plus i'm wondering whether to keep the skeg although i guess it offers protection to a degree.

Now i'm the first to admit she's only a boxy 60's caravan of a 4KSB but thats no excuse for not getting her whizzing along (stop laughing) at a half decent pace and seeing as my original rudder looked like a futuristic cricket bat and the last Centaurs ever built had a rudder resembling a childs drawing of an aircraft wing thought it deserved a bit more .........well................ thought.

The only problem on mine is the shaft is worn to the point where in certain sea conditions i can see it jamming against the skeg but will follow this up with re-assembling it on the boat in the next couple of weeks and seeing if its as bad as i remember................................

The Fiddler.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Back to business.

Spent the weekend getting the stringers in the hull, they're all in now, just need to glass them in, was hoping to do this today but got sidetracked knocking-up endless amounts of cabosil-thickened polyester to make the gert great fillets with.

Still all done now, cant do much tomorrow but Wednesday i'll jump back on it get busy with the Wests and cloth to get it all fixed to the hull. I wasn't initially impressed with the corecell when i bought and used it to make the bulkheads back near the companionway as it had a tendency to twist even though each side had been sheathed.

But what can't be denied is how light this stuff is which kinda compels me to use it up front either side of the tank and the anchor locker compartment too. Think theres almost two whole sheets and loads of large offcuts so where its not structural i will use it up for compartments and lockers. The main bulkhead and heads i'll keep to the original 12mm marine ply spec.

Still feels good having binned the lot over the Christmas hols, normally after one of these 'Gulp' moments i spend a couple of weeks aftewards with a dodgy gut thinking what have i done? But not this time seeing as theres no rotten ply, pine, hardboard and everything thats fitted is set to a laser level.


Saturday, 9 January 2016

Like sailing and being treated like a grown-up?

And not like a naughty fucking child who's just crayoned the hallway wall then consider this place your new online port of call:

You couldn't meet a more friendlier, knowledgeable crowd of sailing obsessives than this lot and with great content and an irreverent attitude - what are you waiting for?

Have been here a while but finally got my arse in gear last summer & set up a thread on Cruising Anarchy called Westerly Anarchy  for this rebuild and indeed all things Westerly and get this; they wont delete your account if you swear - even if you meant it...............................

Friday, 8 January 2016

Apparently I was damaging the brand?

 It was worth it though - if nothing else for making a dull day fucking funny. Long live the interwebs!