Sunday, February 28, 2010

keel box

I spent the better part of the weekend (ok, the entire weekend) getting this in. It is plumb, square and .....true? In any case, it is "right" in all three dimensions.

Tim Reiter ( made a good suggestion to raise the boat and hang the keel foil out of the bottom of the boat along w/ plumb bobs at the bow and stern on center line to check for square and twist. I felt I could get the same results by not lifting the boat, but just letting the foil stick up from the sleeve and check that way. It's easier to lift the foil than the boat.
I was also cognisant of Kevin's issue of finding out later that the keel bound up in the sleeve. (His blog is and I could pretty much recite every entry he made from memory at this point.) If it slides through now, I should be able to avoid those issues later.
I did find that even though the sleeve slipped around the foil, and the sleeve fit into the reinforcing hardwood at the base and top of the sleeve, and these all fit with the hole in the bottom of the boat.......something odd happens when you put all those components together. There is a subtle compounding effect that makes the openning smaller just because there are all those pieces. And so after dry fitting a few times and sanding, planing, routing, filing, and sawing a little bit more each time, I finally got a snug, but not too snug fit.

Now I rest, and pray that the 2 layers of plastic around the keel foil were enough to prevent it from being bonded in place!!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Keel sleeve and compression post

I am back on track. The keel sleeve is some heavy Kevlar/Carbon twill, maybe 12 oz.?, two layers w/ a layer of 6 oz. fiberglass in between. It came out very nice. I have also been working on the compression post and am ready for the great "REVEAL":

One note/observation/lesson: the mylar I found so hard to source in larger quantities (ended up buying some left over from the only engineering firm in town who bought a roll over a year ago! Thanks Amber) was not the best material for creating a nice gloss finish. I laid hardwood floors in our house a year or two back and hung onto the extra vapor barrier plastic from that project. It is thick, fairly soft, really smooth and great to work with for this stuff. I used 1 layer between the foil and the sleeve to create (what I hope will be) just the right amount of space betweeen the two. I also used it over the top of the Carbon to create a nice finish. As you can see, it creates a super high gloss finsih. But it was also easier to work with than the mylar. AND it is CHEAP!! WIN/WIN/WIN!!!

A big thanks to Gordon for the Carbon/Kevlar.....this is a really cool addition.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Moving Forward!!!

OK, only lost a week on that one!
Got back to forward progress tonight. Laid up the keel sleeve and placed the stringers for the side panels in the forward 3 bays. YAHOOOOO!

Notice the high tech system for persuading the carbon/kevlar around the leading edge (bucket w/ just enough wood in it).......And the equally high tech masking tape holding the stringers in temporarily......oh yeah, redneck engineering at its best!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ashes to Ashes....

Dust to Dust......


The Unfortunate Matt Fiberglass Fiasco......

This is what 2 square yards of .5 oz CSM looks like after 3 hours of grinding it off. (Kind of reminds me of the 80's!)
I will say that given the amount of effort it took to remove a little bit of LIGHT cloth that was BADLY epoxied to the substrate, I have a whole new level of confidence in the rest of the boat, laid up w/ much heavier cloth, and bonded thorougly w/ epoxy!!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Three day weeknd LOST!

I would be telling half truths if I didn't preface this with the fact that we had a GREAT trip to the snow w/ family friends the Links. I really enjoyed watching Mickey AND Molly snow board for the first time, and JP had a ball running around after us all. He also really loved the snow caves.

The boat suffered! Not only did I not get to spend much time on it, but the time I did spend was a complete (fill in your own explitive here) waste.

The keel foil was looking pretty good and fair. I had seen a post awhile back about using a final coat of chop strand matt and some myler to create a real nice finish. I would love to blame the directions offered, but in the end it was operator error. I simply didn't get enough resin into the mix, the mylar didn't lay flat, and the whole thing is a big ol CF.......I also don't want to post the picture, but what the's to FUGLY:

I can see where this COULD work out nicely....jut not this time around.
Hey, nothing that some 80 grit won't fix!

And some shots of the better part of the weekend:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

keel foil glassed....

I spent the last night or two getting ready for this fairly sizeable glass job. 2 layers of six ounce cloth over the keel foil. In the end it took 48 shots of epoxy (more than half of which I'm sure ended up getting squeegied out). Here is before:

And after:

One side came out more fair than the other but I geuss that was going to happen no matter what. It looks pretty good tonight. We'll see what it looks like in the light of day tomorrow.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I made progress on an number of different fronts today. First was openning up my vacuum bag and starting the process of filling and fairing the keel:

Next I pulled the keel molds out of the cement and spent a couple of hours sanding the mast.

The progress seems slow as my main target is getting the interior of the boat built out, but there is lots to do in the meantime and I took care of a number of those things today (as well: more tabbing of the ends of the stringers, bought a dremel to clean up the nooks and crannies, cut some lightenning holes in the bulkheads that I hadn't done previusly, etc etc etc).

All in all, a very productive weekend!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

carbon tape and keel molds.......

Here are the pictures of the channel I routed out of the keel for the carbon tape (gulp...the foil shape was so nice it KILLED me to screw with it) the tape going in, and my first attempt at vacuum bagging:

I also got the keel mold burried in cement in anticipation of some lead......

Funny story there. A friend heard I was looking for lead for a keel and mentioned that one, near the same size, had been sitting on a bank near the local sailing club for a few years. It was free for the taking. Being the frugal builder, I headed over there immediately. Despite pitch blackness (midweek evening after work) and rain and plenty of wind, we (Gordon...seen in earlier posts eating cookies.....and I) located the bulb directly under the sailing clubs dinghy hoist. We wrapped a rope around it and hoisted into the back of my minivan. It was a bit of a wrestling match, but my back and the minivan's suspension made it home safely. There was no way to get it out of the van by myself, so I wrangled a neighbor into helping me get it out. Convinced that it weighed more than the 150-185 lbs needed, I grabbed a bathroom scale to weigh it. Well, the scale overloaded so we grabbed another scale and built a 2x6 bridge between the two. Total weight: 435 lbs!! The next day my father in law came by and, in the light of day, said w/ some authority "It's all steel!" I said "NO WAY, it is a steel strut and a lead bulb!" with utmost confidence. I quickly grabbed a magnet and very proudly pointed out how the magnet stuck firmly to the strut. Imagine my surprise when I moved the magnet towards the bulb and "TONK" it stuck firm! I now have a 435 lb lawn ornament that I can not move and can not fun!

Maybe I could give it to Molly for Valentine's Day!

I also cleaned up a second hand mast that I got from Gordon who got it from Doug McWilliams.

The bits and pieces are starting to show up. I also found a traveler on Craig's list for $25. And a boom and some sails are not far behind.

Monday, February 1, 2010

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.....

She swallowed a cat to catch the bird she swallowed the bird to catch the get the idea.....

I am waiting for carbon fiber tape to reinforce the keel so I can finish fairing the keel so I can create the keel sleeve so I can build the keel box so I can finish the internal stringers around the keel box so I can.......

Here's what I have been futzing with in the meantime:

Internal stringers:

And keel bulb: (I laid 1 layer of light cloth over the bulb so it would keep it's shape then cut it in half again for the mold.....time to fire up the foundry!)