Thursday, March 26, 2015

We Had a Flippin' Party!

One of the big milestones in building a Pocketship is when the boat is first flipped over to do the bottom work.  To do this requires friends.  Pocketships can become so consuming that friends could be a little hard to cultivate, but fortunately for me I still have a few.  Great friends that like boats in fact.  These are the captains and crew of Stoopid Monkey a J-29, and great boat flippers they are!

Lots of beer and Cheetos later the Pocketship was doing a great impression of "The Poseidon Adventure ".

Before the flip there was the rub rail project because with out the rub rails there would be nothing to grab onto for the flip.  Rub rails are pretty much a week long project.  Each rail consist of three pieces  and one has to be epoxied in place one at a time.   Before the next piece can be installed the epoxy must cure.  During the curing times I was able to work on a few other projects...rudder, center board, and the bow sprit.

The flippin' boat crew.

Hot rags!

I found the best way to bend the last section of rub rail towards the bow where the radius decreases requires a bit of persuasion in the form of hot rags.  I put the rags in the bottom of a bucket and poured boiling water on top of the rags.  They would not stay hot real long but long enough to easily make the bend.

One of the projects during the rub rail installation.

Built the rudder while the epoxy cured.  The tiller was the first thing I built.  It was done before the kit arrived.

Another "stay busy" project.

The center board has been close to being finished for quite some time.  It has been sitting in the corner with the two halves glued together but not shaped and no fiberglass.  It was a fun item to have to work on waiting on the rub rails.

Hole for bow sprit.
Cutting the hole in the bow for the bow sprit was a bit unnerving.  I prefer to sneak up on the is still a bit too tight.  I used a section of the cutoff from the bow sprit stock for fitting to get the size just right.

Cut off from the bowsprit being useful.

The shop sure looks different now.

Everything looked good on the bottom of the boat.  It had been a long time since I had seen the keel.

Bottom side of the rub rails.

Each strip of the rub rails gets progressively shorter.  On top each strip is situated flush with each other.  On the bottom it becomes stair stepped.  This is so the underside has a nice taper.  When the boat is upside down it is the best time to shape the underside of the rail.  I used a belt sander.   My belt sander is really loud and puts out a lot of dust. 

After the belt sanding.

Fairing compound to the rescue.

I found a slight dip on both sides right at the finger joints.  Jamestown Distributors fairing compound is an excellent product.  It can be used on wood or fiberglass.  I prefer to get it on the wood and cover it with fiberglass.  I also use it on my fillets.  It has a good working time but still can be sanded after a few hours.

Festool is nice!

Before I started this project I invested in some Festool product.  I know the stuff cost 3 times as much as anything else on the market but I have been extremely happy with their products.  Yes I am turning into a fanboy.

Takes a lot of glass.

After the wet out.

...and below...or is that above?

Extra protection.

The boat will be used in this year's Texas 200 (hopefully).  The 200 requires several nights of overnight camping and beaching of the boat.  I have four layers of fiberglass from the bow all the way to the front of the keel.  Hope it is enough to keep from grinding through to the wood from the abrasion of a sandy beach.

Finished off at the keel.

This is the last major part of fiberglass left on the project.  I think after all of the epoxy application I am finally getting pretty good at it...well good enough.


My paint comes in today.  A bit more touch up on the sanding and I'll start taping off for paint.  After the paint I'll have another "flippin' party"!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Where Did February Go?

Ooops, I skipped February!  No updates last month but at least the month was short.  Here are my sick (two weeks of no boat building), my daughter's basketball team went deep into the playoffs, snuck in a ski trip, general laziness, and when not dealing with all the aforementioned I have been working on the boat.

Before this weekend I was getting a little discouraged about making it to the Texas 200 with my new Pocketship.  It has been my goal to have this thing in the water at least 6 weeks before the start of the 200. It starts June 8, 2015.  I am typing this on March 4.  Holy smokes where does the time go?  The good news is the progress has rally taken off the last three days.  The companionway hatch woodwork has been done, the entire topside has been glassed and epoxy filled, sanding the topsides is about 50% done, work on the rudder has started, and the rub rails are halfway installed.  The boat should be ready to flip next week for the work on the underside of the hull.

One of the biggest obstacles to getting this beast done before the Texas 200 is all the electronics I have planed (and bought) to install.  Cool stuff like a stereo that will bluetooth to my phone, a depth finder, interior lights, exterior navigation lights, volt meter, master switch, Garmin GPS, well you get the idea a bunch of stuff.  Unfortunately electronics is not one of my fortes.  Then there are spars, a mast, boom gallows, find a trailer, rigging and a lot of painting.  Good thing is it is all fun!

I had a case of "cut it twice and still too short" in the building of the bow sprit.  Looking at the plans I thought the cross section dimensions were 2X3.  Turned out it was 2 1/2 X 3.  There are no really good sources in my town (that I have found) for sitka spruce.  The wood is great for boat builders, strong and light with long straight grain and no knots.  Works great for spars and masts. Turns out a trip to San Antonio for a girls basketball playoff game was also a location of a great wood store.  Told the guy what I wanted, and being the knowledgeable wood guy, he was asked if I was building a boat.

Building the hood for the companionway has been a nice departure from the "epoxy mud pies" and never ending sanding.  This woodworking is a bit different because like the entire boat, a 90 degree angle is rare.  This hood has compound angles on curved edges. It enough to make your head explode at times.  Somehow I got through it.  My high school geometry teacher Mr. Morrison would be proud.  We used to shorten his name to "Moe" because of his haircut looked like Moe from the three stooges, but I am getting a little off the subject.

Speaking of getting off the subject, this boat project is perfect for the attention deficit problems that I very frequently suffer from.  Lately I have been bouncing around with three or four projects going at once.  This is really necessary because as soon as I put epoxy on a part I really can't work on that part for the next few hours.  Currently I am working on the rudder, companionway cover, bow sprit, and rub rails. Works for me.

Another one of those acute or oblique angles...I can't remember which is which.

Router table makes a good workbench.  Every horizontal surface in the shop seems to be full.

Built that router table a long time ago and never used it much until now.  It gets a pretty good work out on this project.
Plug manufacturing for the hood screw holes.
Plugs inserted.

Had some left over bronze screws from the cabin sole floorboard.  I can find a lot of places to use the extras before this project is over.
Plugs flush cut.

Hood in place.
I did the sides in mahogany and plan to leave them with a bright (clear) finish.  I avoided screw holes in the tops by using clamps and glue during assembly. The plywood in the kit is oversized so alignment is easy.  Get it close and trim the overhang.

Found another horizontal surface in the shop not being used...the table saw another great workbench!
One of the roof supports.

I noticed a slight sag in the cabin roof when checking the fit of the companionway hood.  It was not much, maybe a 1/4".  I hated to epoxy and fiberglass with the sag.  Instead I added the temporary braces to straighten things out before glassing the top.

One of those measure 900 times, cut one moments.  These holes are for the storage hatches.

One of the things my dad did was never throw anything away.  Guess that happens when you grow up in the depression.  This asset/curse was handed down to me.  He didn't sell things very often either.  I am really grateful for this.  The 1940's Delta planer works like it did when it was new in his lumber yard he owned after getting back from WWII.  It sure is cheaper to buy rough lumber...
Dimensioning sitka spruce for attempt #2 on the bow sprit.
Quiet machine too!  I can have a conversation while it is in use.  Try that with one of those lunch box planers that are now in vogue.

It smells good too.
First strip of three pieces on the rub rail.
Second strip.

That pretty much catches up with the progress except for some rudder pictures.  Until next time!