Thursday, March 18, 2010

Glassing the rudder, bottom skids, and an almost finished mast!

AHOY Mateys!!!

WELL, things are not so bad.  As my intrepid readers may remember I had a mini freak out over my poorly glassed rudder and daggerboard.  This was founded on the belief that it was going to take me forever and a day to get them smooth again.  Not so!  With encouragement from others I got right onto it once the epoxy had gone hard.  With a few deft swipes of my rasp, my random orbital sander, and my hand block, I got the rudder all smooth again in just a few minutes.  I also sized it up for glass.

Then, back down to the basement Boatcave for the actual glassing.  I ended up stringing the rudder to a ceiling beam with some string (obviously) and two nails on either end of the rudder.  Presto!  Since I'm draping the glass over the blade, it makes it easier and neater, and I can work at it at eye level instead of hunching over it, which is good for my sore back.  Unfortunately, it can swing around if not careful, so sometimes a hand is needed to steady it.

First, I wet the blade with epoxy and then draped it carefully over the leading edge, with the trailing edge facing down.  Wetting out the glass makes it go clear.  I let the first coat go tacky and then came back for subsequent coats to completely fill the weave.  The extra glass will get sliced off once it sets up a bit.  It look beautiful.  I did get some epoxy runs, but those will sand out (with substantial effort).  Hopefully I won't run into this with the daggerboard, but I have to find out how first.

Then, off to the hull to put down some bottom skids.  These are made of cherry.  The plans call for two, a little over 10 feet long that run down the hull parallel to each other.  I decided to add a third in the bow for added bottom protection.  The bow has a nice rocker to it, but I will be sailing the Maine coast, and I also like to run my boats up onto the beach like a maniacal pirate looking for booty, both monetary and female (I'm married, ladies, so it's symbolic only now, sorry!)  Mr. Storer would prefer not glassing the bottom to save weight, I agree, and I don't want the hassle.  A bow skid was easy, light, and it will be effective.

First, I measured, re-measured, measured again, and outlined the skids, then put down some tape to assist in epoxy clean-up

This was not effective, because I gave myself a little room between the theoretical skid and the tape, and it ended up being too much space.  At least they were good guidance!  My lovely wife aided in placing down the skids, because they would slip around and I was not interested in screwing them down (more holes to fill).  My patented "Forest of bricks" held them down.

Interestingly enough, the forest of bricks didn't get them down all the way.  The two parallel skids rose amidships a bit off the hull, I could actually get some light between the hull and skid.  Extra weight did little to help, and only deformed the hull.  Not acceptable!  I decided to let it go, squeezed in some epoxy and when it dries I'll throw down some mini-fillets to keep water from getting underneath.

I did not notice this during my dry run, so I don't know if it was the glue that bent them funny, or maybe I wasn't obsevant, or what, but I'm not going to freak out over this.


My mast was tapered up.  Notice I haven't added the base taper yet to fit into the mast step, but the wide staves have been taken down to match.  Here's an artsy fartsy photo:

WOW look at that sky!  Hmm Hmm New England goodness!  Don't see that in Seattle too much, lemme tell you, I am happy to be back east!

Here's the mast up against the garage:

So, the mast came out to be a tad wider than commanded in the plans, about 3mm or so... I may enlarge the partner just slightly to accommodate the mast, because I don't want to lose any strength in that area. 

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