Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Square Meter: Varnish on the top sides

The mahogany planking on the topsides is in fine shape with the exception of two planks that had some rot.  We replaced these and did our best at spot staining to bring them close to the old mahogany color.  At this point we sanded up to 220, blew everything off and started varnishing.
Here are some photos:

The house had some flex in it so before varnish, we added 8oz glass twill cloth set in epoxy.  The varnish will protect this from UV degradation and now the house is watertight and significantly stiffer.
A new small plank section is visible.  This photo is before spot staining.

Ready to go. We dropped the straps before varnish.
The hull is balanced on it's keel with steel angles holding the boat upright.

Before and after the first coat of varnish.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Square Meter: Non skid deck

The original canvas deck was rotted but still intact when we started the reconstruction of this boat.  The decision was made to move to dynel set in epoxy.  It has the same fabric type texture but creates a watertight and structural skin that painted canvas can't match.
A toe rail will be added over the seam. You can see the texture in this closeup.
As you saturate the dynel with epoxy, it continues to absorb it for a while and swells a bit.  This brings the texture back to the surface and provides the non skid attribute.
Here are some photos:

After the epoxy firms up but before it is hard, it is easy to trim the cloth with a razor.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Square Meter: Rudder Fairing

After the rudder was trimmed to shape,  we sanded the surface in order to prep for fairing.  The vacuuming really gets the cloth tight to the tangs.  It is showing its ribs like a starving dog.
To smooth things out we will be adding epoxy thickened with colloidal silica and then outer coatings will be with epoxy thickened with West Systems low density fairing compound (#407) to ease sanding.
On other rudder rebuilds, we have used some foam with many layers of glass cloth to get the strength up.  This doubled over heavy carbon cloth feels as stiff as 1/4 inch steel plate, so glass cloth is unneeded. All we have to do is build up a fair surface.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Square Meter: Rebuilding the Rudder

The original rudder was fortunately with the boat.  This allowed us to fabricate a copy faithful to the original design.
To do this we had a 1 inch steel shaft cut to length and had 5 tangs welded on.
After we received this we were ready to vacuum bag on carbon cloth.  Once the cloth became rigid, we cut it to shape and over the next few days we will sand and add fairing to make a nice foil shape.
Here are photos to date...

The original wood and steel rudder is visible off to the right.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Hull #3, 100% carbon fiber

Our first 100% carbon board is sold and off into the world.
The customer supplied a nice Sea Deck pad.  It has great texture and feel.
Other than the pretty pad and colorful grab loops, the board is all black, including deck hatch and 9 inch fin.
Here are some photos:

Becky taking her new board out for a spin!

Curt holding the board in a gust of wind!
Hold on Curt!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

All Carbon Fiber SUP!!!

After gaining experience with carbon fiber reinforcement in our paddles and blades, we were determined to eventually move away from fiberglass and go 100% carbon fiber as soon as we could.

See this post from 2012: carbon-fiber-molding

With the vast yardage in a SUP we wanted to have the process down pretty well before we committed to the increased material cost.
This year we are doing it.  All of our boards from now on will be 100% carbon fiber.
These are hollow structural skin boards.
No Foam !  No Glass !
We got an order for a board and went ahead and put in a big order with our CF supplier.
Today we pulled our first all CF deck.
Sea State CF12 deck.

Our new roll of CF cloth!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Square Meter: Keel Ho !

After a good deal of prep-work, we have bolted and bonded the lead keel to the 1929 square meter class racing sloop.
The new 316 stainless bolts we installed in the lead casting lined up well with the receiving holes on the keel timber.  They just required a little coaxing as we lowered the hull onto the stationary lead.

The boat is suspended in the barn from 4 points.  We were using cable come-alongs which operate with a ratchet handle.  The boat's owner, Bruce, had a chain-fall hoist.  I had never used one.  They are fantastic!  They are small and are easy to use.  They also allow great control over the load.  This helped with the delicate operation of setting the hull onto the bolts.

Once I discovered how useful they were, I replaced all the come-alongs with chain-falls.
After we did a dry run of setting the hull down, we marked and ground out a few obstructions on the lead mating surface.

Once we were all set, 3M 5200 was liberally applied and the process began.  Here are photos...

The lead keel seen here weighs about 2000 pounds.

Chain-falls are awesome!

Off to scrap.

The mating surface is cleaned up and ready to go.

3M 5200 at the ready.

The holes in the keel timber had some wallow, so the hole was backfilled with 5200 and a 316 stainless  fender washer was added to tighten up the clearance to prevent any water intrusion.

Ready to lower.

Captain Bruce is happy about this step.  The wedge is to help with vertical alignment.

That is a load off!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Square Meter: Keel Bolts

For the last few work sessions on the boat we have been learning how to drill through lead.  It is difficult but after figuring out a few tricks, no problem at all.

We have installed six all thread 316 stainless 1/2 inch rods into the keel.
When the keel was cast long ago, iron rods were embedded in the lead.  These have been cut off at the mating surface and the new bolts are offset a few inches from the originals.

We initially tried using a high speed steel bit to drill into the lead.  No good.  The shavings are not ejected and quickly bind up the bit.  It will either break or become immovable.  We did it both ways.
Next we tried a forstner bit.  This worked well.  It cuts a clean hole and the short walls of the bit allow it to be frequently removed to clean the hole.  Unfortunately we did not have one with sufficient length.

While we were waiting on a special long shaft bit we ordered from Rockler, we tried a new sharp ship auger bit.  (love the name)
While I expected it to be too aggressive and bind up, it just pulled out this beautiful long apple peel of lead.  You can drill about a half to three quarters of an inch then pull the bit to clean it off.

Once we figured this out, the holes were quickly done.  We drilled the primary holes for the bolts and then from the side, we cut in a set of holes we worked into slots to fit in the washers and nuts.

Here are some low quality phone photos of the work...

The 16 inch long Ship Auger bit is visible in the drill at the top of the photo.

Here the doubled 316 fender washers and nut are visible in the slot.

Our first ugly hole.

In this photo the lead is laid on its side to facilitate drilling.  Here, 5 of the six bolts are installed.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Square Meter: Back at it.

After a brief hiatus, we are back on the square meter job.

We eat our wheaties for this project.  We needed to drag the lead keel across the barn, position it under the the suspended boat, spin it around and then hoist it off the ground.

While we used cable come-alongs, this was exhausting.  Now the lead is in the correct orientation and we are able to verify the alignment on the keel bolts.  We have begun drilling the bolt holes.  New 316 stainless bolts have been ordered from Marsh Fasteners.
Once these arrive, we will install them and begin the final lift to the mating surface of the keel timber.
The starboard side planking is not installed yet.  This will facilitate the keel installation.
Here are some photos...

A chain attached to the the barn's superstructure allows us
to lift the keel lead close to position through the opening in the hull framing.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Square Meter: Port side planking

On Friday we removed the pre-fitted planking. After coating the interior of the planks with epoxy, we set them in a thickened epoxy paste and re-screwed them in place.
Hang doggin it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Rebuilding the Square Meter: Planking

Today we started the planking process.
The boat is hanging which helps with access.
The existing planking is sound.
First off was an inspection of the existing planking.  Below the waterline the planking is either sound or absent.  Near the shear, there are a few planks that have rot near butt joints.  These will be dealt with later when we are in refinishing mode.  The planking we will be working on now is over the new framing we put in.  Here are some photos with descriptions...

Here you can see the new framing and the new planking going in.

Here is a close-up.  The planks are cut to fit, forced into place.  We then drill a pilot and a countersink.
After all the planks are fitted and screwed in, they will be removed and reset with thickened epoxy.
This might happen Friday when the weather will be warmer.

Here is an interior view of the same planking.

The tails are long and will be cut to shape later.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rebuilding the Square Meter: swinger

Having the new framing installed, I though it would be a good time to hang the boat from the barn structure.  The trailer is to be replaced with a new double axle trailer custom designed to properly fit the hull.  Hanging the boat will allow us to remove the trailer for a few weeks and have unhindered access to work on the planking.
In preparation for this, we slung heavy line and chain over the barn's massive framing and are using cable come-alongs and wide nylon strapping to lift the hull.  The straps are positioned on the galvanized ribs to properly support the hull.
This boat must have been made in production runs large enough to justify the interior metal work.  There are 4 galvanized frames that the wooden frames are faired to.  This would have required a good deal of tooling work.  I would love to see a photo of the shop they were built in.

Here we are starting to lift the hull off it's trailer bunks.

The hull is lifting off the bunks now.  This strap is positioned on one of the internal galvanized ribs.

The keel ballast is about to be drilled out for new keel bolts.