Saturday, March 28, 2009

Crooked Keel and What's in a Name

I finished the keel assembly and was all set to get organized for pouring the lead when I noticed the keel was not straight  from the centerboard back and curved left by almost an inch. Considering the entire hull is built around what should be a straight keel and keelson this was to say the least a little disappointing.  I assumed that the keel  blocking I had cut was not accurate and proceeded to cut it away from the keel sides. But there was still a curve. I then did some cutting at the butt joint of the keel sides and discovered that the vertical support for the butt joint was the culprit. I was now able to easily straighten the keel and block it with some lumber and clamps. I am now ready to replace the the keel blocking and crossing my fingers when the epoxy cures that the problem will be solved. A dry fit of the keelson now shows a nice straight keel so if my repair work is successful I can get back on schedule.

It looks like we are getting closer to having a name for the boat. "Forwindidaze" was briefly considered and then Abigale 2 (our dog's name is Abby and our powerboat is named Cay Sea 2 after our first dog Caisi). We want to stay away  from cutesy names and also would like to have something unique if possible. And the winner (well , the captain's choice so far) is ... 


Empresa is Spanish for Enterprise so I can indulge my fondness for Star Trek without being too obvious.  Any comments on the name would be greatly appreciated as the rest of the family is not yet convinced that we cannot find something better.


John C. Harris said...

This is going to freak people out, but I think the keel would have to be out more than an inch to actually be noticeable under sail. Why? Every sailboat in the world sails with some "leeway," that is, instead of the straight down the track, slightly crabwise down the track. At an inch I don't think the difference in handling would be measurable, though in a test tank it could be shown to point slightly higher on one tack.

On the other hand, YOU know it's there... When I was in college I was at a regatta and and I was watching a guy furiously scrubbing the already mirror-smooth bottom of his racing dinghy. Noticing my skeptical look, he exclaimed, "It's the psych factor, man! The psych factor!"

Dave C. said...

My concern was more about how the keel and consequently the keelson attached to it being out of alignment would affect the trueness of the centerline of the hull when stitching the hull panels to it. I was also worried about the rudder being off center since it is attached to the keel.


Hendrik said...

It sounds like you've got a twist in the keel which was my major concern when I assembled the keel. It's good to see that you fixed the problem.I ran into some problems while pouring the lead into the keel. Some clamps came loose and now the keel is a 4mm wider.
We took a survey in my family about your proposed name for your pocketship, and we love it.
Live long and prosper.

Dave C. said...

I should be ready to pour lead soon and now will be extra careful about clamping up the keel nice and tight with heavy concrete blocks and clamps.

I hope you don't run into problems with your keel now, but my uneducated boat building guess is that as long as the keelson still glues on straight there shouldn't be a problem (maybe you will have to drill holes through the keel for stitching on the hull like has to be done at the noseblock where the keel is wider than the keelson).

Thanks for the support on the name.


Hendrik said...

I managed to get the clamps back on while the lead was still molten so the top of the keel is still in line but the vertical middle of the keel has widened. My Quick action at the time turn a major problem into a minor issue. Please wear protective welding gear it save some skin on the day.

Trev said...

A little bit of boat building + wine, and out comes the Klingon.

Glad to see the Keel seems to be fixed.

Don't change the boat name, it sounds perfect.

We've fixed the buoyancy (safety) issue on our boat by adding 8 pool noodles tied up towards the transom on port/starboard. We'll be taking her out in the broadwater again soon.

I thought I was bring pretty creative and original using the noodles, but apparently it's quite common in small aluminium(aluminum) boats, etc around here.


GeminiBKK said...

I like the name :) I am a Star Wars geek myself and was thinking of calling my pocketship I dream of building the Plywood Falcon

Dave C. said...

If you read the blog further you will find out that the final name of the boat ended up different.