Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Boat Flipping Party

Well, traditionally builders have a party of people to come over to flip their boat. But my boat is so small, that I only needed a few people. And I tried to video the whole process, but the camera didn't record. Oh well, here are some pics of the boat after it was flipped.

I laid down a bunch of old blankets and plastic sheet on one side of the boat. I put eye bolts high on the wall on the other side. Ropes were tied to the boat and through the eye bolts. Two people (Fransisco and I) lifted to roll the boat as two other people (Valerie and Kristy) held on to the ropes to keep the boat from rolling too fast. Without the ropes, I think the boat would have been difficult to control after a certain angle.

The boat is securely screwed to the strong-back frame, so it all rolled over together. Most of the lumber in the boat is temporary scrap wood and will be removed when necessary. There's lots of glue drips to scrape off, but overall the interior of the hull looks pretty good.

Everything went according to plan and the boat is now lying on it's keel. Next I'm going to install the bow eye and then winch it up on the trailer.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Paint Hull

The hull got a rough sanding so that the paint will adhere. I didn't bother to fill in ALL the little blemishes and get her perfect. After all, I'm building a boat to go in the water, not a museum.

Two thin coats of primer are then applied with a roller. The paint is a high quality 100% acrylic latex primer.

Then two coats of top coat are applied. The paint is a high quality industrial DTM 100% acrylic latex semigloss. DTM stands for Direct To Metal, which basically means that the paint adheres well to almost any prepared surface, not just metal. Latex paint is not chosen to be cheap, (since good latex is actually pretty expensive). I feel like latex paint is the best choice for a trailer boat when considering durability, looks, expense, ease of application, and ease of reapplication. (And its not as much as a health or environmental hazard compared to "marine" paints). After doing a little research, I learned that quite a few people paint their boat with latex and results are generally positive.

Next a few coats of trim color.

And then the aluminum strips (fabricated earlier) are installed with stainless 1" wood screws and polysulfide caulk (nasty gooey stuff meant for under the waterline). I made a mess with the caulk and had to touch up the trim paint after.

The shiny paint reveals a lot of the little imperfections in the hull that I didn't notice before, but the wife is still impressed with how it looks and that's what counts.

That's it for the underside of the boat. Now I need to get some goons over here to flip 'er over.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Skeg and capping pieces glued

Wow, no blog post for a whole month? Sorry about that. Let me catch you up.

It took a little longer than expected, but I've glued the skeg and capping pieces in place. After much deliberation, I decided to glue all these pieces in place instead of just screws and sealant. The glue will make them much stronger and sealed, though I won't be able to remove them as easily. After all the pieces were glued on the boat, I sanded the top flat and rounded the edges.

The bolts were used as clamps while gluing the skeg, then the bolts were removed after the glue hardened. (The bolts are easily removable if they are temporarily wrapped in clear packing tape). The inside of the bolt holes were then coated with epoxy (which helps keep the wood from getting "sick" from the metal). The bolts will be reinstalled later with sealant. (So the bolts will be removable for inspection or replacement.)

The stem capping is two layers of 1/2" thick oak that must bend about 90 degrees.

I broke the first piece trying to bend it into position. Oak generally bends well, but this is a very tight bend and my pieces are very dry (probably kiln dried). So I made a wood torturing jig in the shape of the front of the boat.

It's just a piece of plywood with carefully shaped blocks screwed to it. I slowly poured a gallon of boiling water over the oak pieces as I bent and clamped them onto the jig. The heat from the boiling water relaxes the fibers of the wood and prevents it from breaking. A metal strip covers the outside of the wood piece so that the clamping force is more distributed. After the pieces were bent onto the jig, I poured another gallon of hot water on them, then let them dry for a week and removed them from the jig. (I didn't take pics of this process, sorry). They sprung back a little when I removed them, but they were easily installed on the front of the boat without breaking. (This boiling water technique is similar to steam bending, but I didn't want to make a steam box since I only needed to bend these two pieces. Steam bending probably works slightly better and the wood doesn't take as long to dry).

I drilled two 1" drain holes in the bottom of the transom for draining the bilge when the boat is out of the water. These holes are lined with a brass tube permanently glued in. They will be corked with drain plugs when the boat is sailing, since the boat would flood otherwise.

I also drilled some holes through the stem for a bow eye (in which to hook the trailer winch). This was scary, because I couldn't remember if there were any screws in the way. Luckily I didn't hit any. These holes are also coated with epoxy and the bow eye will also be installed with sealant.

Metal strips were made out of aluminum flat bar. I'm hoping they will add some extra protection for the bottom of the boat. We'll see if they do any good. Brass half-oval strips are commonly used, but I couldn't find that for a decent price. Aluminum should work just as well on a trailer boat, though it may not be quite as pretty. I used an angle grinder to cut them to length and round the edges a little. A belt sander with fine paper polished them up nicely. They were test fit on the hull (which is the cause of all the small screw holes in the previous pics), but then removed and will later be attached to the skeg and capping pieces using sealant and countersunk stainless screws.

The hull is shiny because I coated it with another thin coat of epoxy. The next step is to give the hull a final sanding. The final coat of epoxy has some ripples in it and I need to rough up the epoxy anyway, since paint won't stick to this super shiny, slick surface.

Then I'm going to paint the hull! I'm currently painting a scrap of plywood to test the adhesion of the epoxy, primer and topcoat that I'm using. I'll let it dry and then see if there are any adhesion problems.

The boat flipping will be two weekends from now hopefully. (But there is still a lot of work to be done after that.)