Thursday, July 23, 2009

Not My Fault!

I didn't get careless trimming the cabin decking, the stupid ball bearing guide on the flush trim router bit came off and the bit trimmed right into the cabin wall. I guess that's what epoxy mixed with microballoon filler is meant for. Except for the companionway hood, gluing the rubrails in place, and putting the mast together the boat is essentially built. Well except for all the fiberglassing, painting, and just a LITTLE bit of sanding. I'm still aiming for a fall launch and when I start fiberglassing the cockpit and topsides next week I will have a better idea how realistic my goal is. The photos show the results of today's sanding of the topsides in preparation for fiberglassing next week. I still have some holes and nicks to fill in and sanding of the fillets in the cockpit. I have been filling in the small holes from the stitches and brad nails even though I have read that the fiberglassing process "magically" fills the holes in with epoxy.

With all the sanding I have done lately I have discovered another law of boat building. The wind never blows sawdust and other crap out of the garage but only into the garage. Before I start painting I have resolved myself to the fact that I will probably have to empty out the garage so that I can do a thorough vacuuming before starting any painting. I vacuum almost every day but stuff stored in the garage is accumulating a layer of dust.

Monday, July 20, 2009

R.I.P. July 20, 2009

After a life dedicated to cleaning, the Curtis wet/dry vacuum expired while selflessly sucking up liters and liters of sawdust and epoxy dust from the Curtis Pocketship construction. The vacuum was predeceased by its spouse Dustbuster and now joins her in that great Hoover in the sky. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Shop-Vac Retirement Home.

By the way, the photo also shows the transom skirt cap in place and on the right hand side of the floor the mahogany rubrails are milled and ready to have the scarf joints glued. The cabin decking is epoxied on one side and after sanding will be ready to glue in place tomorrow or Wednesday.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Only 88 pages to go...

Officially 430 hours of labour on my Pocketship and "only" 88 pages of the 285 page manual to finish. However, those pages cover a lot of sanding, fiberglassing, painting , varnishing, and all the hardware and rigging installation. Actual construction remaining includes the cabin decking, companionway, and rubrails. Just as I am getting better at fillet work I have only the fillet on the keel left to do once the hull is turned over. It appears the 10 pounds (a 5 gallon pail) of wood flour called for in the plans is going to be just enough for all the fillet work on Pocketship. A 5 gallon pail ( 5 pounds) of cabosil for gluing is going to more than enough although the plans call for using 25 pounds of cell-o-fill. The photos below update my recent progress.

Flotation foam roughly cut to fit seatback compartment. As in the bow compartment I didn't worry about a careful fit but filled the voids with a can of expanding foam insulation once the seatbacks were installed.

Seatbacks glued in but not trimmed flush yet. If you look forward into the cabin you can spot the dorade box inspection plate in place.

Cabin carlins, cleats, dorade box cleats, and sheer clamps finally all planed with matching bevels. Took a few hours until I was satisfied with all the angles and was not exactly the quick work with a block plane as described in the manual. But I enjoy getting the curves just right and being able to caress the fine lines of Pocketship; must be a novice boatbuilder thing. The unseasonable cold weather of late has had only one positive; I didn't get all sweaty (not with the caressing, the hand planing!).

Seatback decking glued in place but not yet trimmed. Trimming will be done once the cabin decking is installed next week. Pocketship construction is generally Monday to Friday since the weekend is cottage time at the lake.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Let's play spot the differences!

How many changes can you find in the 2 photos? The first photo is from July 1st and the second one is from July 11th. The differences are listed at the bottom of this post.

This photo shows additional construction not visible in the other photos. The forward deck has had strong fillets done and been fiberglassed. The upper breasthook is in place and the sheer clamps have been planed. The cabin carlins to support the cabin decking are also in place.

Differences in the 2 photos:
1. Rear cabin wall fiberglass tape installed.
2. All topsides stitches removed and fillets done.
3. Topsides fiberglass tape installed.
4. Sheer clamps and seat back stringers and cleats glued in place.
5. Sheer clamps and stringers planed to accept seatback top.
6. Tricky transom skirt blocking glued in place. Tricky because it has about 3 or 4 different angled cuts to match the seatback top and the rake of the transom skirt. You can see a boo-boo I fixed with a seatback stringer that I cut short before realizing it had to be longer to reach the transom skirt.
7. Interior of seatbacks all epoxied.
8. Transom top was trimmed 1/4 to 3/8 inch to fit the transom skirt. Somehow it was taller than the full sized pattern from the plans. My story is that it was cold outside when I cut the transom and it expanded in the hotter summer weather; I am not going to admit to measuring wrong :-)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Canada Day Boat Building

Topsides and rear cabin wall were stitched on the boat on Canada Day (July 1). The photos now give you a much better idea of Pocketship's overall lines. Pocketship's cabin is integrated with the hull sides which I find more attractive and modern than being just a box on top of the decking like so many of the other older style boat plans I looked at. The aft view shows the seatback frames and emphasizes again how spacious the cockpit is. The lighter colored piece at the top of the rear cabin wall will be cut out later to make way for the companionway opening.

After a morning of topsides stitching I went to the Osborne Street festival Canada Day celebrations. Several blocks of the normally very busy thoroughfare were filled with vendors, extra large patios bars in the middle of the street from the neighbourhood bars/restaurants, and lots of live entertainment. Over the course of the day it is likely that about 70,000 people took in the festivities.