Frustrating Time

Wednesday 10 June 2009

The weather has turned quite cold and very rainy of late. Can’t do much on the boat until the timber arrives. Spent many a frustrating hour trying to sort this blog out. I’m not much of a computer buff so had to muddle through.
I registered my domain name with a host. I couldn’t get kira.com. Flirted with the idea of tiki38.com which was free, but in the end opted for buildingkira.com. My web software is already installed into the Apple Mac (iWeb). I’m trying to publish it through iMe which will allow me to update the site on my PC at home and at work. If I owned an iphone I could use that too. Its a free 60-day trial, so if I don’t get on with it I can cancel my subscription. The only problem is that I have had to change the CNAME with my host, and this is going to take up to 48 hrs. to populate. It sounds like I know what I’m doing but believe me, I haven’t a clue. The upshot is that I still can’t publish this blog yet. Used the time to write a few entries, so the site won’t look too thin when/if I eventually manage to go live.

Arghhhhhhh!!!!!

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Thursday 4 June 2009

I learnt something today. Don’t assume anything until you’ve checked it yourself. I am of a certain age, so imperial feet and inches measurements mean more to me than this new fangled metric lark. Still all measurements on the plans are in millimetres, so I might as well get used to it. Ask me to guess 6’‘ and I will be pretty close; ask me to guess 150mm and I struggle.
Sheet materials have always been 8ft x 4ft in size. This is 2444 x 1222 mm. Someone in there wisdom rounded it down to 2440 x 1220 mm and this is the measurement that is on the plans. So far all the sheet material I have bought has been of the correct size.
I am now at the stage where I need to loft the boat lines again, but this time loft them onto sections of hardboard nailed down to the lofting board. I can then cut out the hardboard and use them as templates to cut out the real backbone and keel. Its also a way of rechecking your lofting lines, as once cut out they can be checked against the original loft lines. Are you following this?
I was mystified as to why my hardboard sheets didn’t line up as outlined on the plans. I spent ages carefully checking all my measurements and still couldn’t spot the error. I then happened to lay the tape across the hardboard sheet…. 2444 mm!! Its that bloody Wickes’ Store again, if they’re not careful I shall go to Homebase instead! Now 4 mm is not much I grant you, but after I had routed the said 4 mm of the edge of the sheet, things fitted together perfectly.
I can’t do anything more until I take delivery of the timber. I have to learn to be patient.

Still Lofting.

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Wednesday 3 June 2009

The curved lines of the backbone and keel are drawn with a bendy batten. At first I used the first bit of timber I could lay my hands on. The first go was a little disappointing as the curve generated seemed flat between my lofting board markers. So it was out with my power sander marker again to erase my mistake. My batten was clearly not bendy enough. I toddled off to Wickes’ DIY store and spent a good half hour driving the assistant mad by checking various bits of wood for the correct bendiness! Well unless it was right I wasn’t going to pay for it. I ended up buying 3 long battens and joined them all together. My first scarf joints! I’m sure they won’t be the last.

The second go was much better. A beautifully smooth and graceful line. I can already see it piercing the azure blue ocean waves, with a dolphin dancing around the bow…….Oh no! I’m getting carried away. Quick nurse, the screens!!!

Start Lofting!

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Tuesday, 2 June 2009

I’m starting to get into this, but in my eagerness to get going, I fear I’m going to make a silly mistake. If I don’t get this bit right the boat will be the wrong shape for evermore! I drew the straight and parallel building lines as per the plans. At first I used a string line pulled tight but quickly realised this was a little too moveable. I then remembered that Philip, my brother in law, had bought me a laser line for Christmas 2 years ago. Much better job. It also generates a second laser line at 90’ to the first, very useful when generating the station lines! An off cut of ply acted as my straight edge and away I went.
I used a fine “Sharpie” permanent marker. Different colours for station lines, bulkheads and base lines.
The lines were quite thin at the start, but became thicker as the pens became blunt. 2mm thick towards the end of the session. Not too bad in a 11,800mm boat but all the same I’ve now moved to a propelling pencil for future work!
Wasn’t all plain sailing. I realised I had put a line the wrong side of a bulkhead and had to erase the mistake using a power sander! Don’t tell anyone will you.

Preparations continue

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Late May 2009

Eager to get going, I toddled off to my local Wickes’ DIY store and bought 10 sheets of 18mm tongue and groove roofing boards. We then spent a hot sunny afternoon gluing them all together with my epoxy. We got into a rhythm and it was all quite fun! Took care to get everything straight and in alignment. Managed to get epoxy on everything and had no solvent for the clean up. The following day the brush was as hard as iron. Still at least I felt I was doing something.
This will become my lofting board. I have read several books on this mysterious art, and still can’t get my head around it. Thankfully, there isn’t a great deal of lofting to be done on this build, and the plans give a step by step idiots guide. Basically you have to transfer the boat lines as drawn to scale on the plans, and draw them out full size on the building floor. My dad thinks it should be painted white but I think it should be OK.
A sizeable order to Robbin’s Timber has been placed, and payment made electronically. The order should keep me going for a year or more. Although its a tidy sum, I have been putting aside £400 a month into a boat building savings account for about 2 years, so I have budgeted for this moment, and it doesn’t feel too painful.

Early Days

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The roof goes onto the shelter

Early May 2009

I’m not sure when a build actually starts. This project has been a long time in gestation but the delivery and birth seems to be looming rather rapidly! It’s been quite hectic at work, but with so much planning and organisation around the build to be sorted, I’m feeling rather frazzled! When I stand back I don’t seem to have achieved much, but there again I am clearly closer.
I’ve been quite disappointed and frustrated with tradesmen and suppliers. They say there is a credit crunch on, but they don’t seem to care much about their customers. Many fail to return my calls. Still I now know not to put any business their way.
Top marks for service goes to Robbin’s Timber in Bristol, as well as Wessex Resins. They have shown an interest in what I’m doing, and so have been rewarded with my custom. So its Robbins Elite Marine Ply BS1088 throughout, along with West Systems epoxy to glue it all together. A bit on the pricey side, but quality products. I repeat I am willing to reward good service.