hand hold base plates in the snow

After welding the lower hand hold base plate holders,  I tossed them in the snow to cool them down.  This had nothing to do with any sort of metallurgical strategy; rather they were hot and I had a hard time holding them.

 Mystery pieces......


interior poles for hand holds

To provide hand holds along the length of the interior  hulls, i've decided to offer a few vertical posts that run from the lower interior parts of the  hull to the cabin tops.  I'm using aluminum plates with holes that I will bond in place with epoxy.  The epoxy covered holes should provide a good grip which will prevent the plates from moving.

some of the top and bottom post anchor plates to be bonded in place. 
notice the under side of each plate has been scored to provide good epoxy bonding. I will weld receivers to these plates so that these carbon fiber hand hold posts can be anchored to these base plates; top and bottom,  then epoxy glued in place.


Theoretic boat ride to Santa Cruz, CA

to go for a motor boat ride to see my brother in Santa Cruz, here's the deal:


diesel tanks for the cat.

After thorough consideration, I decided not to make my diesel tanks out of cardboard rather I used it to make sure that the intended shapes would fit where I wanted them to fit.    All I want for Christmas is some 3/32 aluminum TIG welding rods and some 6000 series aluminum sheet for my diesel tanks........


simple paint roller trick

Over the course of this build, I think I may have saved hundreds of dollars simply spinning out my paint roller cores and loosening them up for the next session.  As long as you remember to pull the roller off when the epoxy is still uncured, I've found that if you let the roller handle and core cure, all you have to do is chuck them into something that will give them a good spin ( enough to sort of wear the previously used epoxy away from the spindle) This loosens up the roller enough to reuse it indefinitely........every few dollars helps.   Nice to have a little coffee money after spending a thousand more dollars for another batch of epoxy.



Thinking about a nav station

I've chosen to include dual function seating for a small nav station such that I can use the end of the settee when performing nav tasks or messing around with the SSB.  In this photo, you can see a retro, but fully functional, ICOM m702 ssb with tan old school hand set.  I may or may not configure my electrical panel in this location as I am still scratching my head and deciding how life on the boat will need to be.

The table seen here with the Cruising World mag on it is hinged to fold flat against the galley island when not in use. This location is in the main cabin along the back side of the mast bulkhead near the vessel CG where minimum pitching and rolling should occur.

Interior composite panels

In the previous post, I showed a mock up in cardboard,  After a little bench epoxy work, I created composite panels and epoxy bonded them in place.  I've yet to round off the corners and tape the edges but this particular structure will serve as a locker for foul wether gear as well as a protective covering for the starboard side cable steering mechanism.  A large access hatch will be cut in the face so that full and easy access can be gained to all steering components.



Boat interiors often involve unusual shaped interior surfaces so I've found it helpful to use cardboard sheets and wide masking tape to mock up various panels.  Mocking interior spaces up full scale allows you to make decisions prior to building expensive composite panels.  Fortunately for me, my good buddy works at Full Sail Brewery  ( click here to see some tasty beers  ) and he saves the cardboard sheets that come on pallets full of mysterious beer ingredients.

I use a box cutter and 2 inch wide masking tape to build out interior features just to see If I like the way they will turn out.  If I do, I pull them out, lay them out on my lamination table then build light weight  composite panels using 12 oz glass bonded on both sides of 3/4 inch structural foam sheets.

here are a few panels that I've put into position.  In this case, It was beneficial to do this because I was able to get a feel for how wide the stairway leading down to the starboard hull needs to be. 

 In this photo, I've built a bulkhead that extends down into the port side hull just inside the entrance.  This will serve three purposes. 1  a closet opening will be placed on the end to store foul weather gear just inside the door, 2 it protects the steering cables, 3 an additional closet space is defined down below.   note:  I will create a large opening door which will give me full and easy access to the steering pulleys that are located behind this panel.

starboard side hull looking aft towards the owners cabin


inhabitable post cure oven

Late November in the Pacific North West sometimes requires bringing composite panels indoors to cure.  I try to hide them along walls and intersperse them amongst the decor so that visitors don't have to whisper questions to themselves.  Although these two vertical panels seem to be tasteful modern art pieces, upon closer look they are actually  the interior walls of the aft, port and starboard staterooms.


Intentional Imperfection....."sanding or sailing?"

When building you own boat, in regards to perfection, it is sometimes necessary to honor ones mortality.  Although it is entirely possible for me to smooth the inside cabin ceiling to approximate the smoothness of neonate bottoms, I have chosen to postpone this task until the day that I have nothing more important to do.

In other words,  I want to go sailing and there's a big world out there so I've decided that the darn ceiling doesn't have to be perfect!  Sure,  I could make it that way but;  "do I really want to spend another year sanding, rather than sailing?"

It is in that spirit that I have intentionally added imperfections to the ceiling of the cabin.  However, to minimize their visibility, I have used a high solids epoxy paint, mixed it with microbaloons so that the paint has somewhat of an ability to provide texture thereby blending the surface.  The paint is also slightly matte in finish to further de emphasize these intentional imperfections.


Testing the cutting files

Here are a few of the test window panels that were CNC router  cut prior to cutting the real thing.  

Port side lower cabin window test pieces

Notice;  the window has been cut into three pieces so that a gap can be placed in the middle sections to allow for thermal expansion.  This is done in the same manner as having expansion joints in sidewalks and driveways to keep them from cracking. 

upper cabin side window test piece

a view of the inside cabin from the outer bridge deck.  In this photo, you can see that the green plastic window test piece has come untaped,  fallen down and is no longer covering the forward cabin window opening.  

Since the next step is to install the side windows and two cabin hatches, I need to paint the cabin ceiling so that the fasteners can be installed afterwards.   No real reason to do that other than the perceived need to have the stainless steel nuts show unpainted.


42surfboards and a cat

One advantage of living in the Columbia River Gorge is that there are people with brilliantly active and creative minds that are willing to help me finish this boat.  Amongst these people is a guy who has developed a method of producing exquisitely shaped boards using sustainably harvested wood from the Pacific North West.

fortunately, for me, Lars was kind enough to help me cut the windows for this cat using one of the tools that he uses to design and shape some of the best boards on the west coast.

You can find more information about their work here:     42surfboards   If you would like to support this fantastic effort that is being made to create sustainably made surfboards,  talk to Lars about the possibility of having him make you the perfect board.

CNC router table

cutting out the test pieces.  When I ordered the plastic for my windows, they came packaged on a pallet with top and bottom protective sheets of corrugated plastic.  Turns out that this stuff was the perfect material to use to practice the cuts to confirm the shapes before cutting the real deal.  After cutting the window shapes from this material, I ran them up to the shop, taped them in place and confirmed the fit.  

The final cabin windows   

the router in action......
 This particular router table has a feature that utilizes the gravitational pull of the earth to help hold the cut pieces in place.  By simply standing on the piece that is being cut, a force that is proportional to the persons mass, causes the pieces to stay bonded to the table.  In this instance, specialized footwear is being used to transfer these forces into the table.


Bedding the hatches in using butyl rubber tape

I chose to use a butyl rubber tape to bed all of the deck hardware in place along with stainless bolts, washers and locknuts.  The butyl rubber tape stays pliable for years and while sealing all potential leaks, it allows the hardware to be removed without destruction in the future.  In this case, I ran two layers of butyl tape along the hatch frames and began the process of bolting all 10 of the hatches in place. ( two lower escape hatches and 8 deck and cabin hatches.)

Butyl tape being applied to hatch frame

nuts, bolts and washers.

A cordless driver fitted with a deep well socket made short work of fastening the locknuts from below.  Each hatch requires 19 fasteners.


Coordinated Universal Time

 I picked up an older Icom m700 single side band radio and a SEA antenna tuner so when i need to know the coordinated universal time, all I have to do is tune it to group A, mode A3H channel 2.

notice the incandescent light bulb.  To check the output transmit power functionality, I was able to wire the bulb into the antenna outlet and the bulb lights up brightly when speaking into the microphone.........This is a good indication that the radio may stand a chance of being able to serve a purpose on the boat. SSB's may be old school, but I think that having this unit on board will be a lot of fun.

Also, when it's too cold and dark to work on the boat, having it on a table inside provides a nice place to eat small bits of dark chocolate and listen out for mariners in distress.

the results of properly applied deck non skid

The outside temperature here in the Pacific North West was around 43 degrees today but by splitting 4 big logs and keeping a good fire going in the shop heater, I was able to get the 60 ft shop up to 60 degrees F.  This allowed the deck temperature to settle in at 56 degrees;  again, the minimum recommended application temperature for the LPU base paint that I am using with my non skid.

forward deck non-skid shown here as one coat of cross linked LPU paint sprinkled with granulated polycarbonate. The next step is to allow the particles to become fixed in place as the paint cures then rolling an additional coat of paint over this to lock the surface down.

 Home to a really nice Harken 50 winch.


Incidentally, has anyone seen the painting shown below in their grandmothers spare bedroom?  It's gone missing.  If you know where it is, please post a comment.  It's a painting by Rembrandt and it was stolen from a museum in 1980. Along with this painting, the thieves got away with approximately 500 Million dollars worth of art. I believe that it is the foremost example of properly applied deck non skid. 

the results of properly applied deck non skid 

............poor fellow in the red shirt isn't feeling too good




I can't drive 55

After two stove loads full of wood, the 60ft metal shop came up to temperature such that the substrate made it to 55 deg F.......minimum application temp for my non skid paint.

the above photograph is an example of poor quality imagery.  

Since I dropped my really nice Cannon camera off the deck of the boat onto the cement floor, I have been reduced to taking photos with a phone.  My I mac doesn't recognize the device since I switched from an iphone to a android so I had to load the photo onto the desktop of windows computer, attach it into an email to myself, go to my mac, open up my email account on this computer,  go to finder, drag copy the photo onto the mac desktop, open blogger, then import the photo into this post.........5 back doors to get a photo into this post this time is no good. 

regardless, you can barely see 55.3 F on my little non contact thermometer.

funny thing:  While trying to get the surface time up to 55, they played this on the radio today.
since this is the original 1980s video, they make you watch a 30 sec commercial. click the link, go get a drink of water, then come back and watch it. 

Now it's......
"I can't drive 85"


Applying deck non-skid

Here's a look at all the stuff I used to apply the deck non skid:

and here I am sitting down on top of the port side aft cabin.........I'm wearing my bike hat so I don't skid off and smack my head on the shop floor.

a clip showing some progress:


non skid; non fall overboard.

Out of the thousands of methods of applying nonskid, I flipped a coin and decided to use System Three LPU polyurethane with a cross linker; applied with a small fuzzy roller then sprinkled granulated polycarbonate over the deck while it was still wet.  I let that dry then came back over it with another coat of LPU paint to lock the granules in place.   I'm pleased with the result, although it's a bit difficult to get a perfectly uniform sprinkle pattern over the deck.  I settled in on using a salt shaker sprinkling it from about 4 ft above the surface.

If I ever slip overboard it will be because I've had one too many margaritas or two too many sips of rum not because of lack of traction.

aft port side non skid

stepping up over the kick up rudder boxes

aft, starboard side non skid


She has a name......

"Mariana" hailing from   http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/hail_from   Hood River Oregon

when removing graphic vinyl, sometimes it tends to stick to things...
Here I am with my buddy John who happens to have a really nice CNC vinyl cutting machine.

John ripping the last transfer tape off of the "A"

stern view of Mariana

of the ten million fonts out there, I chose this one because it seems to suggest the present age and at the same time; modernity

Here's my buddy John after the fact.


The Fog of war

starboard side topcoat complete.

You are looking at the bow of the starboard side hull.  The photo looks like the hull has been constructed out of billowing plastic because it reflects the plastic film sheeting that is being used as my spray booth. The finish turned out very nice but not unlike being over served at an establishment, a few areas suffered from slight over application.  Fortunately, this is Awlgrip 2000 acrylic polyurethane  and imperfections can be buffed out without much difficulty. 


Bottom Topcoat

What a nerve wracking, toxic job this was.  It's a good thing I don't do this for a living........  I am very glad that the underside topcoat is behind me.

I think it turned out just fine.  I did have one or two slight "sags" but that's why they make 3M Finesse-it™  http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=11151&productId=21762&langId=-1#.UGKdgdCXSaE


Getting the waterline just right.......

Here I am using a length of tube filled with colored water to mark the waterline mark on the hulls. I first marked reference lines on the hulls which gave me a place to start.  The waterline on the bow of the boat is 57 1/2 inches below the deck surface and the waterline mark on the stern is 41 inches below the part of the deck where the steps begin.

With those marks, I used a tube filled with water to make sure that the boat was sitting horizontal to the earths surface by holding both ends together on the mark and taping it in place, then moving it all along the length of the hulls marking every 1 ft.

This turned out to be more accurate than the "cheap" Ryobi laser level that I had been using.

It became necessary for me to establish the waterline marks on the hull because the Awlgrip topcoat paint isn't intended for "below the water line".

Tomorrow:  paint inner port and starboard hulls


Top Coat

Day one :

Cabin top
rudder boxes
targa bar

Painting is a nerve wracking venture.  Lot's of things have to go right for the end result to be satisfactory.  If one or more things go wrong, the job can cascade into a complete disaster.

After going over the areas that I intended to paint with a smooth cloth, I committed to mixing paint and beginning the application of the topcoat.

After mixing my paint, I began to adjust and make final preparations to the Binks model 95 gun and pressure pot.  Just as I was screwing the flow control valve out a bit, the spring popped out and went flying across the shop.

You can't paint a boat if your paint gun has disintegrated.  At this stage, my heart rate began to rise such that I started seeing small bunny rabbits peek their heads into the shop.  I crawled around on my hands and knees until I found it.

I set the gun pressure to 46 psi and the pressure pot to 12 psi and began...........

port side cabin top

kick up rudder boxes

details of frangible shear pin holders which allow rudders to kick up if some goofball sailor runs out of water. 

I learned a great deal today and was able to make fine adjustments to my equipment to optimize the application process. 

tomorrow is a big day: 

port and starboard mid cabin sides
forward deck
bow beam
aft cabin panel
aft cabin tops and sides