Sunday, February 04, 2007

Extreme Makeover: Team RAF edition

Lots done since Thursday. Read on! Friday was spent out at the storage unit after classes sanding and prepping the boats and amas for paint. We also cut the aluminum tubes for the amas that will be used to lash the amas to the crossbeams and installed them.

Our storage unit is all encompassing as a workshop and even has its own paining booth! The primer went on very smoothly and we were on to color in no time. Don't ask why we chose these colors, we just like there. We got one coat of paint on the hulls and amas that night and into the wee hours of the morning. We went with a 15 year ultra extreme weather proof latex house paint for the outer coat. It went on thick with brushes almost like a gel.

Also on Friday, we went over the GOPC to pick up some paddles to borrow for the weekend and some base layers to keep us warm. My mom (AKA SandyBottom) brought us some of her spray tops and fleece layers from "the stash" of paddling gear that lives in our garage.

Saturday we got somewhat of a later start, mostly due to the night before) and put a second coat of paint on the hulls and got the amas up to speed as well having primed them the night before. We also knocked out the foam supports for the crossbeam mounting blocks. We contact cemented the foam into the contour of the blocks to pad the connection. Also note the aluminum tube running through the hull under the beam. This tube will be used to lash the crossbeam to the hull in the same manner as the ama lashing. We plan to use old bike tubes for the lashing since they do not loosen over time and easy to come by. We got ours from All Star Bike shop in north Raleigh. The guys at the shop were very agreeable to us taking as many old tubes from their old tubes box as we wanted. Thanks guys.

The hatches look great and we added some waterproof sealing rubber commonly used for windows to the hatch rims to seal out the water. We have yet to install the hatch hold down hardware (or buy it for the matter) so tape will have to do for tomorrow. No news on the cockpit rims from hurricane kayaks other than that they are glad to help us out. We did not have time to make the field trip out to their factory in Warsaw, NC so the cockpit rims will have to wait till next week. No biggie. Hopefully by next week we will be sailing around with rudders, lee boards, sails, masts, and seats. Keep fingers crossed. But until then...

The plan tomorrow is to take the hulls out to lake wheeler in Raleigh and float them around while experimenting with their stability in different configurations and general handling. We are still rudderless and seat less so we will be kneeling and most likely having difficulty going straight but we aren't going for a 10 mile paddle. Just doing some playing around.

We unrolled the sails today only to find that they are awesome and we cannot wait to get then on the boat. Thanks to Brian Webber who is battling the flu at the moment. get well soon. Mike and I made some measurements and we think we can approach our 100sqft goal by extending out windsurfer masts by about 4 feet. That gives us a 12ft luff and a 12ft foot. The sail has a lot of leech curl to it so there is more there than just a straight triangle. We also plan to keep the sail shape in tack by only removing sail area from the foot of the sail upward. This way the sail will still have a good pocket and sail shape. We are not worried about having too much sail area because of our ability to reef the sail around the mast as much as we desire. Our rig is also unstayed giving us the ability to remove the entire rig entirely just in case. We have enough windsurfer mast material to make masts and booms for both boats so now we just have to DO IT.

Soon we will also be fiberglassing the lee boards but here is a sneak peak of what is in store. My dad came up to Raleigh today and dropped off the rudders as well as some more fiberglass for this job. His birthday was yesterday and my family came up to have dinner in Raleigh with me.

Speaking of birthdays!!! Our very own Matt and Chris Hazard also celebrated their birthdays this week with a nice dinner out with friends after some quality boat painting. Happy 21st guys!! So when are we going out the bar for drinks? Mikes buying!

Here is a pic of a rudder in its preferred location... neat the back of the boat. Hopefully being installed soon.

Stay tuned for pics from on the water with the team tomorrow. Very Exiting!

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