Wednesday 18th May 2016
I know, I know; no post since August last year. I went to a school reunion dinner last weekend and all my old school mates were moaning about the paucity of information. So here is a quick update……
Building slowed a bit in the New Year. I started a new part time job after my “sabbatical”, 4 afternoons a week should give me enough pocket money to postpone cashing in the pension for a couple of years. Also my mum died in January; sorting out the estate eats into the build time.
I’m working on the engine/battery boxes at the moment. On the face of it you would think that it is a quick job. Don’t you believe it! To get the requisite ply thickness you have to glue stock together. The task is not helped by the discovery that the plans have errors. I also misread the plans and made them too short, and being a mean bugger I had to scarf a section in, rather than cut them out properly. Added to this each box is the mirror image of the other, with the topsides having a camber to mimic the camber of the crossbeams. I’ve also adapted the lids to make two sun loungers…. all in all it has led to much head scratching and cursing. Still close to finishing now and then I’ll turn my thoughts to making the rudders (which are to be adapted by adding a trim tab for the self-steering).
I’ll promise to increase the frequency of the posts. Furthermore I may join Facebook and give Kira her own page (another idea from old school friends). Watch this space!
Thursday 20th August 2015
Lately I have been turning my attention to the engine wells/boxes. The plans show auxillary power from two, 10HP outboard motors mounted on cradles under the deck platform. Simplicity! Not only are there no holes in the hulls, but they can be lifted out of the water, so reducing unnecessary drag. In theory it will be possible to turn the boat within it’s own length. In addition, if one engine goes kaputt, you have another to spare. Furthermore, if you experience a breakdown there will always be someone in far off anchorages with the nouse to effect a repair.
As I progress with the build the plans become less and less clear! I guess JWD feels that if you have got this far you don’t need help. It took a bit of head scratching to work out what is to be done. The engines are mounted on bespoke wells which are suspended beneath the engine boxes with stainless steel rods. The engine boxes (housing fuel tanks and batteries) in turn, are slung between the beams with steel rods. The fact that the engine boxes are not square (the outer side is 15mm shorter than the inner side) confused me for a while, but I think I have it now.
The whole assembly is made from 12mm ply doubled up to make 24mm. In short, there is a lot of fiddling around; a task I thought could have been completed in a weekend, has taken much longer.
The top picture shows the brackets which will support the engine wells under the engine boxes. I was concerned that the 12mm hole might invite ingress of water, so I drilled a 20mm hole, filled it with epoxy, then drilled the correct-sized hole through the middle. Below are a couple of close ups.
Saturday 8 August 2015
This week Janine and I have been busy sticking various bits of hardwood onto the sides of the hull. I perhaps spend a morning shaping wood and then spend the afternoon setting up a production line of applying neat epoxy with a brush, then smearing said piece with peanut butter consistency thickened epoxy, screwing it to the hull, scraping off the excess with a doctor’s tongue depressor to leave a small fillet, and finally a clean up with paper soaked in methylated spirit.
I have also turned my attention to ways of securing the hatches. The plans show a sliding assembly running on tracks, with shock cord securing a watertight seal. Other builders have disregarded this design and opted for a hinge that allows the hatch to be slid out of the way across an aluminium pole; a neat solution, and a solution I was going to adopt until a last minute change of mind. I am going to stick to the plans
My main reason for the change is that a hinged hatch is either fully closed or fully open; a sliding hatch can be partially opened to control ventilation better. You can also slide it shut from inside without having to get onto the deck. I am, however, going to use a hinge for the two aft deck hatches as the tracks will probably foul the self steering paraphernalia, and they quite neatly hinge back and rest on the coach roof.
The other problem is that my tracking (dinghy mainsheet traveller) is unbendable extruded aluminium and the coach roof and decks are curved. It was fun to make the tracking supports from scrap oak. They look so nice it will be a shame to paint them, perhaps I will just oil them.
I am going to have to get into a routine again. The discipline of sitting down at the end of the day and writing about boatbuilding. Janine is doing her embroidery while watching TV and I have a glass of wine and an ipad.
I have various boat tasks on the go. If it is not too hot and its dry, I’ll get on and do outside jobs. If its raining I’m inside doing other stuff. I actually find that warm sunny weather is the most challenging weather of all. If you mix more than one pump of epoxy it is curing before you can use it.
So this week I have cut a hole in the aft deck of the port hull. This will become a large locker. It is the first hatch and coaming set I have made that isn’t square– I believe it is technically an isosceles trapezium.. In fact there isn’t a right angle to be seen so every cut you have to transfer the angle from the boat to the table saw. It is enjoyable work when it goes well; miserable when you cock things up. Anyway it is all glassed now and will be fitted next week after a final sanding.
I also completed the hardwood pads which will support the lashing strake. I’ve made over 100 of them, and having fitted half of them yesterday, I’ve done a few too many. I searched Neil’s site to see how many he used (94) and I think I’ll use 84. Perhaps Gleda is longer than Kira.
I’ve also turned my attention to the rudders. They are all cut out and I’ve scarfed the joints, being mindful not to join them back to front like Cat Named Dog. My sympathies as it is so easily done.