Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Other Launchings

BMW/Oracle Racing Launch their new 90'x90' Trimaran Yesterday, after 9 months of construction and 10 million dollars, BMW/Oracle Racing launched their new trimaran that may challenge Alinghi for the America's Cup. This really has nothing to do with building a Westsail 42, but BMW/Oracle Racing has been building this boat right next to my office under strict secrecy and I just had to say something now that the cat, um, tri, is out of the bag. All of us locals can breathe a sigh of relief. The build crew has been working 6 day weeks ever since last Christmas. This boat is both beautiful and high tech. It measures 90 feet by 90 feet. That is the size of the infield of a baseball diamond. The mast is at least 150 feet high. Construction is of carbon fiber. Whether it will actually challenge for the America's Cup is uncertain as the issue is tied up in the NY court system. Rumours are they may use this boat to attempt to break the 50 knot speed record for a sailing vessel. Congratulations to BMW/Oracle and their build team!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Blast From the Past

We are at the PNW Westsail Rendezvous this weekend, in Pt. Townsend, WA. To mark the occasion here is something for you Westsail nostalgics... Ken, a customer that my wife deals with at the boat yard, gave us this original Westsail sales brochure. He found it while cleaning out his house. Ken and his wife liveaboard in Hawaii on their Farr 39 that they built some years ago. The date on the brochure is January 1974. Reading it sorta transports you back to when things were trippy and cool. Where the in thing back then was to "dropout". Dig the hair! Checkout the polyester threads! Dude! Right On! And this was before disco!! (click on the slideshow to view the pictures)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Another Touch of Grey

The boat that is, not me. Ok, well maybe both. The engine room and tunnel got painted. Things are starting to look a bit nicer than that dirty resin stained 25 year old fiberglass.

The center engine compartment down to the bilge is painted with a 2-part epoxy paint for extra toughness. Sides are painted with standard Bilgekote. Hence the slight difference in tone.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gotta Love Modern Chemistry

Methacrylate, the new 'Super Glue'?
A two part structural adhesive that will bond just about anything to anything (except rubber). Different formulations with cure times from five minutes to two hours. Very, very strong. Stronger than any of the resins, epoxy or otherwise.
The most recent application on this project was the finishing of the engine room floors where the lateral cross members were jointed into the longitudinal supports. Also, a six inch "extension" that was spliced into the floor support between the engine room and the aft cabin using only methacrylate and fasteners. And the fasteners were primarily to clamp the piece in place. This an application where resin and glass would have been too messy and much of a hassle for such a small piece.
Of course you gotta make sure you set and clamp the pieces in the correct position because when the glue cures, the piece ain't going anywhere! Removal would require destruction.
Trade names are Plexus and Loctite SpeedBonder. A bit more expensive than epoxy, and requires special dispensing equipment, but the convenience is well worth it!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Engine Room/Aft Cabin Floors are IN!

One of the last lingering floor tasks. The floors for the engine room and hallway ("tunnel"), while they had been cut and fitted, they were simply resting in place supported by a couple temporary cleats. We had not decided on a final height for the tunnel floor. With me being the tallest (6 feet 2 inches), I made the final decision. The floor was cut down two inches. This allowed a reasonable height for me to comfortably crouch down and walk through the tunnel without hitting my head. While still leaving a gap under the hallway floor to run wiring and plumbing if needed. So with that, the pieces were jointed, glued, screwed and glassed into place. The main vertical supports were rabbeted to receive the future walls and were aligned as close as possible to the cockpit walls to maximize width in the tunnel. Also, crossmember support in the aft cabin floors were leveled and laid. The floorboards feel much more solid now. Left to do on this particular task is painting the bilge. Maybe this week. All Floors are Done! With the finish of the engine room and aft cabin floors, I can now confidently say all sub-floor structural work is, save for paint, COMPLETE! One maybe exception is the mizzen mast step. That is still resting unattached on the hull and cannot be glassed in until we get the steering problem sorted out.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Freshwater Tank Design

Wrapped up the details of the freshwater tank designs. Probably obsessed about the details a little too much. No matter. Tried to maximize utilized space in the compartments without complicating tank fabrication. Capacities are approximately 55, 55 and 35 US gallons. Total 145 gallons.
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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Towards a More Healthier Color

Spent the weekend finishing up the sub-floor in the forward salon. Got the pads that will support the floorboards all level and flush. Also took to the bilge with some paint. Including the forward tank compartments.

Took final tank measurements and I may start getting estimates on tank fabrication this week. I must enjoy the bilges now as they will probably never ever look this clean again. Maybe I'll wedge myself between floor supports and sip some chardonnay while admiring the consistent color for an hour or so .

Before the temporary plywood floorboards are laid down I will tape plastic over the tops of the compartments to help keep the dirt out.

The color is designer Interlux Bilgekote Gray (the NEW gray of course, not that OLD out of style gray).

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Other Owner's Projects

Gerry over at http://theincrediblehull.blogspot.com/ is just getting started with some major rework to a center cockpit Whitby 42. I don't know much about the Whitby 42, but it looks somewhat similar to a Westsail 42. Be sure and check it out.