Monday, January 28, 2008

Weekend Warriors

Forging ahead this weekend there was little time for blogging. Here are some quick shots of some of the progress. To date, the Cabin seat tops are glued on and the gussets that will support the side deck around the cabin are also attached. The cabin door is 18" wide and about 33" tall. The center thwart is cut to shape and ready for epoxy and varnish. More pics to come this week.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Right Side Up

The CS20 is back on its feet so to speak. Mike, Adam and Julie volunteered their arms and legs this evening to help flip the boat back over. The home stretch now. All we have to do is finish up the decks, cabin seats, cabin roof, tabernacle, rudder, tiller, masts, booms, hatches, final painting and then rigging. We are still trailer hunting but have some great leads thanks to Ken Potts. Here are some pics of the bottom and of the fipping.

Painting done, click here for slideshow:

Stainless steel keel guard, click here for slideshow:

Flipping done, click here for slideshow:

I found some AWESOME pics of Trey and I on the NACRA 20 from last weekend so I had to put these up here. YEEHAA is pretty much the title of every picture.

Monday, January 21, 2008

2008 Tradewinds (NAMSA Nats)

Trey and I just returned from sunny Islamorada Florida early this morning after some fun I-20 racing. We drove down on Friday evening and raced all of Saturday in the 2008 Tradewinds Regatta. Also the North American Multihull Sailing Association Nats (NAMSA). 80 degree weather and sunny skies were a far cry from the bitter teen temps and snow predictions that we left behind. Just Beautiful and windy. It blew...a lot. 20-25 the first day calming after the second race. There was a 15 boat I-20 fleet and we got in 4 races on Saturday. One bullet, two seconds and a third put us in first place. The best way to stay in the standings was to not flip. We didn't have trouble with that but did have some close calls and one splash between races. Many boats were over as we rounded the cans on the first race. Sunday was blown out. 30 with gusts to 40 and a 180 degree wind shift to the North like clockwork. Miami race week was halted yesterday as well due to high winds.

Founders Park has been a great venue for the last two years and a big step up from Gilberts where we raced in 06 I believe. The path is just me scribbling. We didn't have a GPS on board. We ended up throwing out one of the FOUR races from day 1. Which bumped us to second. We threw out the 3 and they threw out a 9 I believe and got us 4 to 5. But hey for not having sailed together since...I don't even remember (Alter Cup Quals I guess) 2nd was a welcome finish and we were very pleased with how we sailed together.

It was neat driving back past the EC finish as well. We were racing just 12 miles SW of the finish and 25miles ESE of Flamingo. Really puts it into perspective again. The EC is upon us! I'm ready to get back to the CS20 and will be heading home tomorrow after some rest to do just that. Mom and Dad spent the better part of the weekend getting her all painted and I cannot wait to see. After we get the keel strip installed nothing will stand in our way.

I also ran into Jamie Livingston who will be racing in the EC this year on a Tornado. He sailed the TYBEE as well last year but unfortunately the sea took his mast that day on Jupiter Beach and he continued as ground support. We spoke for a while about boats and checkpoints and he mentioned that he has taking up kayaking and paddles frequently. He has a lot of respect for those who race with paddle only. We will see him on the beach at Fort DeSoto. Boy oh boy this is going to be fun.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bikes bikes everywhere

We lined the bikes up in the apartment (we have a few) today when Adam came over to work on our Ironman training schedule.
We tried to follow closely the suggestions from some books my mom got me for Christmas on Ironman training. Mainly starting with moderate volume and high frequency rides and swims to build our endurance base before the build and running to suit our individual paces. Adam already has a strong running base and did a Half Ironman in late September while I am slowly working back up from some painful patella tendinitis in late November and December with some Chi running techniques and frequent stretching of my hamstrings and exercises that my physical therapist has me doing.

Today was our first day in Swim Conditioning class where we were thoroughly encouraged by Coach Brown our swim coach. He was in shock that we had not been in the pool since last friday (oops) "your training for an Ironman right"? Fair enough but we certainly don't lack motivation and plan to be in the pool a lot from now on. We had to laugh when he told the class that we should be spending at least 30min outside of class swimming per week (And yes thats because we plan to spend a lot more time than that). Today we swam about 1600yards (1000 after class, class is only about 45min.)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hair today, gone tomorrow

On Thursday last week I went over to the design school woodshop and planed down the rudder and center thwart. This weekend, Dad and I got all the priming done and started working on the masts and the rudder cheek pieces. The masts need to be painted before the tracks can be installed to prevent the corrosive reaction between the stainless steel track and the aluminum masts. The rudder pieces will be glued together and then painted.
And today, after almost one and a half years in silent protest of haircuts, I shaved all my hair off. It was just baaaaarely long enough to donate to locks of love. My hair has been the topic of much conversation for the last 6 months but I seem to be the only one who doesn't really care. All the girls say leave it long, and my mom grew to like it right about the time I was ready to cut it. With Ironman training and a new swim conditioning class this semester, short hair is easier and thats why I cut it. Also because a fortune cookie told me that I should. Hair today, gone tomorrow. Go ahead and laugh it up so I can go back to not caring. :)

P.S. No one will be faulted for writing "hahaha" in the comments. I asked for it. But try to think of something more creative pleeease.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Primed and ready

Ready that wait for the primer to dry so that we can sand and paint it. 72 hours is how long the primer must cure until we can sand it. Here are some pics.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thats all

Thats all the epoxy she gets. No more on the bottom of the hull. Ready for a last sanding and three coats of high build System Three Yacht Primer! Tomorrow we will DO IT! Yeah its kind of pretty all glossy and wood looking but any way you slice it, its still just plywood and deserves a good painting. You may notice that there is a white buildup around the centerboard trunk. That is thickened epoxy and will get smoothed down but left in somewhat of raised mound to protect the end-grain of the trunk itself from deep scratches from beaching or what not.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Back to the grind

Back to school now. We got another coat of epoxy on the hull last night using a new method that we found to work very well. We rolled the coat of epoxy on the hull with foam rollers and then "tipped" the bubbles that were left on the surface with a foam brush. This leaves a very smooth finish but also a thin coat. Dad was planning to add a second thin coat this morning. Then sand, primer, paint...i hope.

We have been using these SHUR-LINE 4" foam rollers and they work pretty well. They fall apart after a while but they are cheap and you can get them at Lowes. We will use this same roll-tip method for applying the primer and top coat.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Two Forward and One Back

Two steps forward and one step back. We got the entire hull sanded... and then decided that we needed another coat of epoxy on the entire hull. Many a piece of sandpaper met it's end. So although we won't get the primer on before I leave, we will get the last coat of epoxy on which will just need to be sanded one last time before priming. The new plan is to prime either tomorrow or Thursday.

On the upside, the materials from Jamestown distributors and McMaster. The rivets for the sail track and my new favorite piece of boat building hardware, the wonderfully shiny and polished stainless steel half oval for the bow.

Now to address the bow of the hull. From the pictures it sure looks like a pumpkin at Halloween but it really isn't that bad. The holes that were drilled for the steel strip are a full 5/8" deep and they didn't penetrate the fillet that is on the inside edge of the bow. There is already 2 strips of fiberglass tape on top of that fillet and I don't think that we have made the joint any less strong by revealing the epoxy in the joint. We also added a strip of fiberglass on the outside of the hull to the bare end grain of the plywood panels just as an extra precaution. The steel strip will also protect the bow from any impacts that it may experience.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Masts and more

Optimistic as we were the hull had not quite cured enough to sand until later in the evening so instead we added some epoxy filled holes down the keel that will be drilled out later to accept machine screws to hold the stainless steel keel strip and 1/2" half oval onto the keel. The plan to prime the hull is on for tomorrow. We also glued the mast sections together and which look great and were pretty much as straight as we could make em right off the bat.
To finish off the day I laminated the center thwart strips together which will be ready for planing along with the rudder when I head back to school. Hopefully the stainless steel keel strips and the rivets for the sail track will arrive tomorrow from McMaster.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Just 7 Weekends Left

We applied two more coats of runny mayonnaise to the hull today to fill the weave of the fiberglass. With any luck it will by hard enough by tomorrow evening to put on a coat of primer but probably not quite. The plan is to have 3 coats of primer on the hull before I head back to school on Tuesday night. Then this coming week we will try to get the topcoats on and the stainless steel keel strips attached and flip the hull back over next Sunday.

Between coats I filled in the rudder and cheek bushing holes with thickened epoxy and we sanded down the now cured fiberglass mast collars to the exact diameters to nest the differently sized sections into each other. We also plan to assemble the mast sections tomorrow and add a built up epoxy ramp that the sail track will rest on where it crosses over the mast section joints. The masts look great so far so stay tuned...

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Glassed over

Well, we did it. It was a tough fight but we eventually wrestled the fiberglass onto the hull, held it down and poured epoxy all over it. Two long strips was all it took. When it was all over, the mass of cups on the table reminded me of the aftermath of a crazy college party. NO MORE EPOXY PLEASE! Okay, maybe a little more won't hurt.

The hull takes on a completely different and refreshing look with its uniform epoxy soaked wood color. Tomorrow we guessed it, pour more epoxy on the glass to fill in the fabric's weave and make the surface smooth to the touch before sanding and putting on the primer. Maybe finish up the masts too. SO CLOSE!

Friday, January 04, 2008

You've got Mail

We are getting closer every day. Today we got the fillet laid on either side of the keel to smooth it into the hull and put down the fiberglass strips on the chines and the transom. We also added thickened epoxy to either side of the hull joints with a long scraper to help fair them into the hull before the fiberglass cloth goes on. After the tape and filler cures we will scrape down the high edges of the tape and lay down the fiberglass cloth.

After we taped the chines we started working on the masts. Our masts will be made of three sections of aluminum tube each. The uppermost section is 2" O.D and increases to 2-1/2" in the middle and 3" at the bottom. The sections are joined using fiberglass tape to form bushings at the joints which allow the sections to fit snugly into each other. The next step will be to sand down the bushings to fit the larger sections and then glue the three sections together to form finished masts. Then we will rivet on a sail track that the sail will run on.

We've got mail! 2 more gallons of epoxy from B and B yachts and some more fiberglass tape as well as the roll of fiberglass for the bottom of the hull. We also got the System Three top coat paint and primer in the mail. Now there is NOTHING stopping us from getting the bottom done except daylight and waiting for paint to dry. The paint and primer we are using are really neat. They are made by System Three and both are a two part paint BUT they don't have the harmful chemicals that are found in most commercial boat paints. They do not require positive ventilation to work with and they are both WATER REDUCABLE! Thats right, just clean up your brush with water. Don't be fooled though, everyone who has used it says that they make a very tough and hard coating. Can't wait to try them out.

We also placed the order for the sail track rivets from McMaster Carr as well as a 6' length of stainless steel 1/2" wide half oval that will protect the bow from dents from docks, boats, whatever we may run into. And an 1/8" thick strip of 3/4" wide SS bar stock will run the length of the keel to protect against logs, rocks, oysters, turtles, manatees, sharks, kitchen sinks or whatever else the boat may be dragged over or sailed over or onto in its lifetime.

Here is an awesome website I found with lots of great pictures of people actively protesting video games by messing about in small boats. Open Boat. Just try to stop scrolling through the gallery. I couldn't do it.

One more for good measure...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Keel Hauling

This morning we hauled away a few more boards of fir from our local hardware store along with some hardware, a couple of clamps, some more sandpaper and masking tape. We rediscovered our rudder and cheek pieces under a pile of clamps and I cut out the rudder shape from the laminated strips and drilled the pivot hole in the rudder and cheek pieces. Once the holes are filled with thick epoxy, the rudder will be ready to be planed down to 3/4" thick and then shaped. I also riped some more strips to make the center thwart. We ripped down a 16' 2x6 to make the keel and scribe fitted it to the center of the hull. After dry fitting it to the bottom with a lot of screws, we gooped it up and squished it on.

Tomorrow we will fiberglass the chines and add some filler to the fiberglass joints and smooth them into the surrounding hull to fair them and prep them for the fiberglass cloth that is on its way and should be in the mail any day now. We already have the primer and paint ready to go so we hope to be painting within the next 3 days.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Rudders in the bag

We didn't have a long enough piece of wood for the Keel strip and we wanted to do the keel and fiberglass tape at the same time so we decided to hold off on the keel and taping the seams till tomorrow until we can go buy some more wood and work on the rudder instead. I cut and laminated some 7/8" thick fir strips together that the rudder will be shaped from and made a rudder template. Dad cut out and laminated all of the rudder cheek parts and the doublers out of 1/4" ply that will eventually support the rudder and the pivot pin. When I go back to Raleigh, I will take the rudder, center thwart and rudder cheek filler blocks to the woodshop at school so that I use their nice big planer to get those parts perfectly thicknessed (is that a word?) like I did with the centerboard.

All clamped up: Rudder (Left), Cheek pars (Right)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Bottom Job: Day 1

Today we drove over to the new WoodCraft store in Raleigh and bought an adjustable hole cutter bit for the drill press to allow us to easily churn out some mast plugs without buying a bunch of hole saws. The new shop is really nice if not a little expensive but they are now a nice local source for all those woodworking tools that are no where to be found in your local Lowes warehouse. We also bought a chisel sharpening gauge and I did some chisel and plane sharpening.

A while ago Jake from Team Seacats posted a nice how to on bottom jobs for fiberglass boats. Our hull is a little different than an N-20 but the desired result is the same, a fair and smooth surface that will glide through the water.

With the hull over, we rang in the new year with some planing and sanding of the chines and checking the fairness of the bottom surface. I felt a great sigh of relief as I ran a batten over the bottom checking for low spots and watched hours of sanding melt away from the task ahead of us. It seems that all our careful measuring and curve drawing paid off big time. I made us a pair of sanding boards like Jakes out of some plywood and dowels. They worked great and tomorrow we will lay down the fiberglass tape on the chines and work on the keel strip. If we have to wait for stuff to cure we will start on the masts, or the rudder or the tiller or the sprit boom shaping or the center thwart or the hatch molds.

Happy New Year and happy 2008