For the very latest activity, click here: From a Bare Hull

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Build update and eBay auctions

Just a quick update.

Was in Montana, last weekend. So no work was done on the boat. I am now back to work and tired from the 900 mile drive home from Billings.

I have got more materials to order for the next round of build, but, it might not be this weekend. 3day 4th of Julay weekend coming up. We have a strong desire to take the (small) boat out, drop anchor and sit all weekend. I think that is what we will do and try not to feel guilty about not working on the boat. But, the weekend AFTER next, we gotta get some more done.

On a side note, I have pretty much wrapped up auctioning much of the parts that came with the boat (at least the one worth auctioning that we won't use). Total receipts are near $6000. So, if you do not include the transportation costs, the hull cost us around $10,000. Of course much of that money has already been spent on tools and materials for the build.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Bobstay Fitting Installation Begins

Today I started the permanent installation of the bobstay fitting. This included roughing up the interior fiberglass that will get the fiberglass skin over the back of the fitting. Coating the cross laminate cutout with vynilester to reduce risk blistering should water ever creep in. Filling the gap between the sides of the cutout and the fitting with high strength vynilester filler. I also laid down the sealing tape on the inside hull that will be bagged in prepration for vacuum infusion. That is as far as I got today. Next time, fiberglass mat/roving and coremat will be cut, laid, bagged and infused for permanent installation. We are out of town next weekend, so it will be at least two weeks.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

15 More Gallons of Resin

Added 15 more gallons of resin today. It appears we passed the halfway mark. Maybe about 3/5 full. That is a total of 39 gallons so far.

Monday, June 13, 2005

14 more gallons of resin

Infused about 14 more gallons of resin. In five gallon batches. That makes a total of 24 gallons. So far all indicators suggest the keel is not even half full, if mesured by height from the outside bottom of the keel. I am out of resin now. Gotta order more. Any guesses as to how much will be needed total ?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

5 more gallons of resin

Drilled a couple more holes on the side of the hull. Drew 5 gallons of slow catalyzed, 15% acetone thinned resin. The process was more like "vacuum assisted gravity feed". Resin was fed 3 litres at a time over two hours, catalyzed just before it was drawn.

Five gallons took it up to about 5 inches from the bottom of the keel.

There appeared to be minimal heat, if any, released to the outer hull. It appears the compact fine steel punchings absorbed most of it. And, since it was fed 3 litres at a time over two hours the exotherm was also spread out.

Also, the dust collector, which is acting as the vacuum, may be taking away much of the heat.

Tomorrow I will try ten gallons of resin.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Dumped 5 gallons of resin in the keel.

I dumped 5 gallons of catalyzed resin into the keel yesterday. Catalyzed it with 1% catalyst to maximize working time (at 60 degrees F it is about 4-5 hours). I also thinned it with 10% acetone. It was like a very thin corn syrup, but not exactly water. I wanted to see how well it would seep to the bottom. Well, it didn't make it to the bottom at all. Probably not because it cured, but more likely it STUCK to the ballast on the way down (though thin is was still sticky) to leave no resin to hit the bottom.

So, gravity and thinned resin won't be enough. I will have to look into some vacuum approach and draw the resin in from holes in the side of the keel.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Actually Beginning to "Build" the boat

While most activities so far have been more "cleanup" oriented, we just started the first "build task"...

Installing the bobstay fitting.

The bobstay is the cable or rod that connects to a fitting at the waterline at the bow up to the underside of the bow to counter the tension of the forestay (installed later).

The bobstay fitting is this fitting at waterline at the bow. It is installed by cutting a six inch slot along the "spine". The fitting is installed from the inside.

So far, we have just cut the slot and "dry fitted" the piece.

This weekend we hope to permanently bed it with adhesive and skin it with mat/roving on the inside (using infusion). I hope to have pictures.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Resin and Infusion Experiments

I have been doing some resin and infusion experiments in the garage for the past couple days. I have to say, resin infusion is pretty cool. You spend most of your time in the prep: cutting the reinforcement, sealing the bags, positioning the feed and vacuum lines, checking for leaks. Then, when you are all ready, pour some catalyzed resin in the feed pots and turn on the vaccum. Voila! Nice properly wetted fiberglass! With just enough resin and no sticky mess!

The critical points: 1. Address all leaks before infusing resin. Even then, some leaks can be addressed during the infusion process depending on how they formed. 2. Make sure you have enough resin. You don't want to suck air through the feedlines, or you will get air into the laminate.

I have been testing some different flow mediums (stuff you embed in the fiberglass to help the resin flow). But, the surplus fiberglass I have is pretty heavy. I will be getting different samples of fiberglass for more data on how this stuff will flow.

Leveling the hull

This morning we moved the travelift in to level the hull. The original block had the bow pitched up by about four or five inches.

Leveling the hull will significantly improve building out the interior as one can then use builder's levels, laser levels and framers squares to do a lot of the work.

We used two of the cheap Zircon water level devices from Home Depot. You run a long clear tube, full of water, along the length of the boat. Attach the sounding device at the inscribed waterline. Raise and lower the other end of the tube until you get the right beep. Then match the other end of the boat to the meniscus. Do the same thing on the perpendicular axis.

With that done we can now start giving serious thought to building out the floors.

But, we still have to seal the keel. It is still not dry. Some hot weather this week would help.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Sealing the Keel

With about a week and a half to go before I start full time work, I have been trying to make as much headway on the physical work needing to be done to the hull. We have been going back and forth on how to address the case of the water in the keel. It is mostly dry to reveal there is some rust. Rust in the keel in and of itself is not bad. It is just that should the steel ballast CONTINUE to rust by being exposed to moisture, then it will expand. It is the expansion that we do not want. Therefore, the plan is now to do the following 1. "Pickle" the keel in 12 gallons of rust converter. This converts the oxidized steel (rust) into black iron and basically "stops" the rust (not for good though, should it get wet again, rust could begin again). 2. Drain the converter, dry out the keel with the assistance of flushing 20 gallons of isopropyl alcohol through. The alcohol will dissolve any trapped moisture and will easily evaporate. 3. Put the dust collector vaccum on the keel and pull air through it for a few days to get it really dry. 4. Start infusing polyester resin a couple inches at a time (to limit exothermic temperatures). It is not clear yet if it will need to be assisted by vacuum or if gravity will be sufficient. The resin will have to make its way past the fine steel gravel, to the bottom, in the 30-40 minutes of working time. We are using infusion resin which is supposed to be pretty thin. A "test quart" will be poured in in a 12x12 inch opening atop the keel to judge how easily it will flow. This weekend we hope to take care of steps 1-3, with #4 being done over the course of a few days next week. Hopefully the weather will be relatively dry.