domingo, 6 de outubro de 2013

Here comes the rain

 No epoxy for almost a week. Rain has come and hard too! Still got to keep on so I decided to make the cuts on the side of the cockpit hull to lay down the sette tops.

 Been get some precious help too, here and there, where two sets of hands become much more productive. Here Jano is standing next to a weird contraption we set up to deal with the angle of the top to figure out the correct cut.
 Still need to glass these parts according to plans. Will have to do it with a 280gsm 90/90 stock and a 400gsm 45/45. Plans work with different weights so I will have to work some sort of compensatio that will garantee the same result and at the same time reduce excess weight ans overlaps.
 After all the cuts came out just fine and now the foam is seating in its place and ready for glassing. Monday and Tuesday promise a good weather window so I'm on stand bye.
In the mean time I'm making some stove wood lighthers off surplus parafin and saw dust to stock up for winter. I estimate I will burn through about 3 tons of hardwood to keep the home
warm until about March next here. That also means less work with the guey stuff. Well, there will be plenty of things to do anyway and it even might be interesting doing some sanding jobs. At least it will keep me warm down there.

sexta-feira, 30 de agosto de 2013

Short update

Sorry for letting you all in the dark for a long time. At the end of the day there isn't much energy left to sit down at the computer. Have been out with the family for two weeks too. Anyway work as been going on according do plans with some slowing down due to , believe it or not, high temperatures. Funny that after such a long time waiting for hot and dry weather and the it just gets too hot.
Most of the work has been done on the interior. Latest work was filleting the cockpit setee fronts which are now ready for taping. Next I have to think where I want to place the emergency compartment before I put on the setee tops.
Will have to order some more resin and possibly 20mm foam for the setee tops.
I'll try to keep the blog a bit more fresh....

quarta-feira, 10 de julho de 2013


NOTE: Sorry for the low quality of the images. Both my cameras broke down so i am using the mobile.
Here hardwood compression blocks are seen being glued.
 Front beam lamination done. Given the high temperatures had to laminate the top UD in a second stage. Used DB (45º/45º) over just as in equivalent prior steps.
Current stage. No much new on the exterior ( most of work is on the inside). Bow area can be seen unglassed. Should be doing it soon. Generally the surface looks reasonably smooth and I hope it won't take much fairing build up.

Right now I am working on the front beam central arch web and am finding some dificulty getting a strip with just the right combination between flexibility and stifness. Also expect some tricky work setting up the UD on a tight spot near the berth tops. Will see.

Heat wave has gone past by now and it's becoming much more confortable to work down there!
By the way ,as I had promised these are the molds I used for the beam mounts. Took a slightly different aproach and worked just fine.

sexta-feira, 5 de julho de 2013

No News Good News

Sorry haven´t posted much lately but work keeps going steady and on a daily basis.
Interior almost finished. Next is the cockpit seats and floor and then start fairing. Still hanging on to the goal of painting the boat this year.
Temperatures went crazy (actually under a heat wave right now). Tomorrow may hit 38º!
Can´t complain but got to be careful with resin geling too soon. Haven't done it yet but I think it's possible to putty and sand in the same day. Just crazy!

Sorry no pictures. Lost ( brake down) both of my cameras and now I am using the mobile phone. Will show some work soon.

sexta-feira, 21 de junho de 2013


Multi, functional and cheap!
Family and boat are fine stop ...---... ...---... ...---... ...---...
If you’re not going fast enough don’t stop ...---... ...---...

sexta-feira, 7 de junho de 2013

Pressing on!

Haven't posted for some time but work has been going on a steady and daily basis, sometimes more visible others not so that much but still many hours put on. I estimate by now it takes about 3 hours out of 4 to make get something concrete done. If that is what it takes than so be it.
Since last post the storage space under the front berth has been painted ( 3 coats) and the remaining half is now glued on as well as de dagger board web. Next come the fillets and tape.

Just ordered some vacuum film to laminate de fore beam mount inner laminates. It's the only way to get a strong structure here given the intricate details.

So much yet to go and already working on the carbon mast design. It sounds a bit crazy ( and it has all the ingredients to be just that!) but I thing I may have found a way to make a carbon wing mast with no need for the diamonds. Can I do it? Well I'll have to! Purchasing a carbon mast is absolutely out of my budget and I guess one can't sail without a mast and I'm not settling for less than a wing.

quarta-feira, 22 de maio de 2013

Inner Bow area done!

Good weather is kicking in ( so I hope!) . Forecast points to increasing temperatures. 30’s are expected in some regions in the south. Oh boy is it gonna get hot! Resin will flow like olive oil and exotherms will speed up faster than you can spell it! Time to put on some shorts and stock up adequate hydration. Before have to make room for it.

Use a old freezer as a tool box. Very handy and keeps moisture out if properly ventilated. Most of those rolls are unusable for lamination. They came out in a promotional multi roll pack which made the price of the 4 out of 12 I needed cheaper than just the price the composite lamination rolls. At the time must have bought about 10 packs ( 50 useful rolls). Never saw the promotion again! Luckily just found a great place where I buy them at little more than €0,80 a roll. These rolls are just perfect for hand lay-up. I can’t remember when I had to use the brush other than very small and intricate situations.    

A snapshot of the tool “section”. Got to keep things decently organized. No need to waist precious time wondering around looking for the simplest of the tools.
Yes, the inner bow area is done ( well , curing)!
Now can work on setting in the from berth starboard half.
No paint here. No paint , no weight! No need! 

domingo, 19 de maio de 2013

 Another two steps in the project. In this case to climb aboard the "vessel"

When I look at what I have ahead I ask myself: How am I gonna get in there? Working in the Bow area is by all means a test to body contortionism. Thinking that working at the fore beam mounts area is far from being a walk in the park, there’s no comparison in terms o space clearance. In the bow are in can only work with one arm not to mention the fact that all your body stability is everything but stable.

So far been working on preparations (filleting, glass cutting,etc)  as next weather window is just around next Monday and should old 3-4 days. Snow on the heart of a typical Mediterranean Atlantic climate region at the door step of summer is just not for spiritual believers!

I would be very happy if had both fore beam mount areas laminated by next Wednesday.
Before temps and moisture get back up to decent levels I´ll be busy making the anchor well support strips mold.

quinta-feira, 16 de maio de 2013

Rough footage

 Port aft beam detail with some putty on and some pre sanding, to get the hang of it. Rebates and exterior hull overlays can be seen.  Rough and ugly but a good way to give good use to putty left overs from other works. No need to throw away epoxy putty when you can use it to start filling major lows. With time you should be left mostly with general fairing putty. Got to find a practical way to get that shiny waxy stuff out without hurting the fibre. Don´t simple washing and scrubbing will get there.
Other than the rebated areas it looks like I may walkway with minimum fairing compound, so I hope.

This is an idea I’ve been working on to solve the anchor door supports. I could pre-mold this profile (actually 4x250) and bond them around the anchor well cut out . The alternative of glassing straight on the well edges without vacuum doesn’t please a bit. On the other end, given the weather it´s a good task to take on.

terça-feira, 14 de maio de 2013


Not a bad day today. Thought would do a lot less. Knowing that tomorrow and the day after will be rainy I needed the fore beam mount fillets to be ready for the next good weather window which should run from Friday through Monday. With the beam mounts almost complete I can start thinking about working on the aft bunks, passageway and anchor well ( plus a million things in between!).

If I tell you I may end up building a carbon mast then you know I’m in for the long one.

Right now this is nothing more than a somewhat meaningful composite architecture, and although far from being a sailing boat, it’s getting there a step at a time.

segunda-feira, 13 de maio de 2013

Slow but steady

The plan that I had set for myself to have all 4 beam mounts finished by Tuesday is not going to happen. It´s not the sort of detail one would want to rush. These are critical structural details that need special attention. It should be done correctly and flawlessly. Laminates should be clean and strong and there shouldn’t be no allowance for flaws that could cause premature delamination or structural failure even considering long term stress fatigue. So I take my time and try to laminate by stages making sure that glass is laid down with minimal discontinuities and distortions (especially Unidirectionals). I’m also using peel-ply over the first stage putty filling to allow the following putty fillets to bond well and avoid sanding. So far all has been done by hand lay up ( no vacuum or infusion). I believe laminates are reasonably strong and lean. There are no signs of bubbles,  voids or starved glass. There´s some rainy weather ahead (mainly showers) but should be resuming by Thursday.
Notice that I braced the aft beam bridge with some plywood. I was just getting tired of bumping ( actually fell down once) against the  existing cross beam. Since I have the cabin floor proped underneath there shouldn´t be any problem with this option. Besides it makes going in and out a lot easier now.

quinta-feira, 9 de maio de 2013

Still a long way

For as much as I'm determined to reach the goal of having the boat at least painted before the end of this summer, there's still a long way to go, and I'll need all the time I can get to really push the project forward. Rain has come back but next 4 days should be dry again.
Got to have all 4 mounts finished by then. Right now ( earlier photo) fore beam mount molds are in place and ready for primary putting ( gap filling). This time will try to apply fillets as soon as the primary putty is stable and hard enough so it won't sqaush out . This should allow me to have time to cut all the necessary glass and laminate the next day.
Still have to finnish interior bow details before UD's can be applied across the front cabin top. May go this way first and then laminate fore beam mounts in a single sequence.Will think about it tomorrow.

sexta-feira, 3 de maio de 2013

Paddling on dry

Aft beam mounts are now ready for lamination. Glass and peel ply are precut. Tomorrow is lamination day! Intended to do it tonight but temps just got a bit lower which means gooey epoxy and there’s no need to make things harder than they need to be.  Tomorrow then.Used a couple of extra boards in the slots to stop resin from getting into the UFS slot. Stuff that's capable of gluing a car to the garage ceiling has no business in getting in the wrong places. Putty is much easier to deal with and if necessary I can always cut the whole thing nice and clean. Will see ....
Wasted precious time ( many hours!) preparing molds according to plan. Just couldn´t get the jig to sit straight in place and needed to do some circus tricks to get all parts in place. Took a different approach and am pretty happy with the outcome.

 MVT (most valuable tool) of the day . On the left the old faithfull B&D Scorpion. Never tought this "toy" could stand so much abuse. The blade is a misery but it keeps saving my ass on many situations.
On the right another incredible cutting blade. This is a carbide grit blade. This is a new one, but the old one was still cutting just like new. I guess just one blade is enough for the whole project, and I used it for 90% of the cuts ! Just incredible , thinking that I went through a few other "special" blades that gave their souls ( and teeth) to the creator after a couple of hours. Cutting composites isn't just for any blade. Carbide grit is the way to go!
I think there's a supplier  in the UK who sells carbide grit blades for the Scorpion. Maybe I will buy one.

terça-feira, 30 de abril de 2013

Keeping up the rythm !

Al four beam mounts are now in place and ready for final lamination.

Aft beam molds in place and first fillets on and curing.
This was very time consuming. After following plan procedures wasn't happy with the outcome so trashed it and did it my way. Basically the same principal but much easier to set up and align ( I hope). Instead of using a partitioned panel I used a single plywood board. This way the surface is kept straight all around. The negative inner mold part ( hope to show later) should be easy to remove.

MVT ( Most valuable tool).
Decided to throw in some tips and good ideas that worked for me.
This one is a mixing spatula. Nearly life time reusable! No need to discard wooden mixing sticks.
Just used a broken hacksaw blade, a wooden stub and heatshrink sleeve. The blade has the perfect flexibility for mixing resin and putty ( even heavy putty) and its easely cleaned, sanded if necessary and ready for the next batch. Try it !

sábado, 20 de abril de 2013

Full steam!

The long awaited good weather has finnaly set in. I've been working so intensively that it becomes hard to find time to update the blog. Today I probably put over 10h on the project!
Just to keep you posted here are two photos of the latest work. It doesn't seem much but there's a lot of hours into them. Despite the good weather, temperatures are still mostly  under 20ºC and cool overnights and that slows down resin curing times. Normally I laminate or apply putty on one day , sand the next day and repeat the routine.
Front beam mounts are locked in place. Next come the mold plates, the remaining UD's ( miles of them!) and interior and exterior lamination. Still many hours to go on these.
Today just prepared the aft beam mounts ready for putty filling tomorrow. Photo was taken with the mobile phone and is not very sharp.
So far levels and aligments seem to be ok despite the need to tweek a bit with the portside aft beam. I guess the large fillets used to fix the mount ended up pulling the part about 12 mm aft.
Next week should be shopping for two component polyurethane to start painting some of the compartments at the bow area that will be hard to access once starboard panels are glued in place.
Looks like the good weather is going to hold on for the comming days so I'm looking forward for significant progress on the project.

domingo, 24 de março de 2013

No dog ? Hunt with a cat!

Been waiting and waiting.... for the old temperate Mediterranean weather that make the envy of many living on higher latitudes , but this year it has been raining on wet throughout the whole winter and well into Spring ! Red weather alerts have even been issued for today and tomorrow and have also experienced repeated power shortages. Great for the dams and hydroelectricity but damned for boat building progress. I’m not even considering working with epoxy under these circumstances so decided to take on some preparations in advance that involve mostly measuring, leveling and cutting. In the case, I cut up the slots for the beam mounts. When weather sorts itself out this will give me plenty of lamination to do. As in many other instances along the project I anticipated some tricky business here but then and again it turned out to be much easier and above all very rewarding as I realized the beam bulkheads where almost perfectly vertical and cross aligned.
With the precious help of two lasers its possible to verify the excellent alignent of the beam mount section. The superposition of the vertical beams seen on the ceiling is a good confirmation of that.


Trial fitting the beam mount. It actually seats pretty snugly on the bulkhead cut out.
Great day for boat building!
I'm getting my fingers crossed for the good weather to set in.....
My goal this year is at least to get the basic structure painted and who knows a bit more.

terça-feira, 29 de janeiro de 2013

Some updates

I did make some minimal progresses before wet weather set in. Humidity levels during winter time makes it nearly impossible, or at least not recommended, to work with epoxy, not to mention low temperatures. For the last 3 months it has been raining almost non-stop!
The hull is now on its side . the ideia is to make two stiff births to get the boat perfectly levelled to work on the beam mounts cut-outs and other details. I'll probably make them out of steel tubing with ajustable feet studs.
Here the daggerboard can be seen coming out of the case slot.

 A short good weather window allowed me to laminate the flanges on the beam mounts. Still had to use an infrared heater to keep surface humidity and temperature within adequate limits.

The hull is on its side now. In this position I plan to finish the anchor well profile and some details around the bow and other places inside. Might even consider applying some fairing compound.

At this point I'm basically waiting for the dry weather to show up, give a good two week to dry up the substrate and resume work.