Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Progress on Long Steps and some other things.

Life has ambushed me a bit, so my work on things boating have had to fit in between other things of late.  But progress is happening,  I’ve another frame for Long Steps about done, that’s four.  That last one is the one at the after edge of the cuddly, it has a laminated beam over the top and being a bit short on  “treewood” ( as opposed to “plywood” ) I sliced up some scrap 6mm plywood to make four lamells, ( what you make laminated items out of) and laid out the curve, applied the glue and clamped it all up.

A day and a half later, and this at midwinter with no heating, the epoxy was all hard, and it was time to take the curved beam off the floor jig.
Springback!  Generally four lamells is enough to stop a laminated curve from springing back more than a mm or two, but this one straightened by about 20mm each end.  Plywood seems to behave a little differently from solid wood.
That springback was much too much, so that one will be used for the forward end of the after deck, it will be a little different to the plan but that’s ok, if you’re going to build Long Steps yourself, read the instructions where it tells you how much to increase the bend in the jig before you glue the beam up.

Another little difference,  I’ve used 6mm plywood for two of the frames where I’ve specified 9mm, this is to save a little weight, I’m being particularly careful in this respect so am looking to shave a few grams wherever possible.

But this means that there is a little extra work to do here and there,  the slots where the stringers go through  need to be doubled so I can fasten through the stringer and into the edge of the plywood.  Its hard to get a screw to hold into the edge of 6mm plywood so those little round doublers have been cut from scrap, and glued on, the slots will be cut a little later.

Frame 4, that’s the one that forms the forward end of the side seat boxes and supports the offcenterboard case, its also the forward end of the ballast tank, supports the cockpit floor as well as the “cuddly” sides and the after edge of the cabin top, it’s a busy piece of plywood!.  So there is still quite a bit to do to it in the way of seat supports, the piece that will support the cockpit floor, the edge pieces for the cabin sides and side decks and the piece that will connect it to the central spine that comes back from the stem through the other three frames to its forward face.

I’m also working on some of the background stuff, the organisational and logistics for Howard Rice’s venture south in his customised SCAMP.  We’re actively working on fundraising for the video that will be made, this is not a cheap venture and while we’ve had a wonderful donation there is still a long way to go.
Have a read here,
Please do consider putting a few bucks in or buying some of the merchandise, Howard himself is funding the actual voyage but it’s the video that needs your help.  While we’re doing well, it’s a big commitment, and you’ll see in the funraising section of the website above that we’re making progress.  There is enough now to make sure that its going to happen so any dollars you put in wont just vanish.  This is going to be the small boat adventure of a lifetime, and we want to make sure that we can all share it.
So please, a little each from a lot of people will do it.

Here in the South it was the shortest day of the year yesterday, the warmest on record throughout New Zealand.  Shorts and tee shirt weather for much of the day which was nice, but it’s a sobering thought that the lovely gate sales orchard just down the road no longer grows my favorite variety of peaches, for several years now , the winters are no longer cold enough here to set the fruit.

But the passing of the winter solstice does mean that the long hot days of summer are not so far away.  You people in the north, enjoy them while you can, it will be our turn in a few months.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Progress on Long Steps and a few other bits of news.

Progress on Long Steps.

Stem, frames one and two are done,  frame three is close.  Number three is the one on the forward side of  the cuddy that has the big hatches in  so it wont be completed until I have those hatches done.
I’m looking for a source of surgical tubing so I can make PT Watercraft style hatches, Russell doesn’t make the big SCAMP ones any more so I’ll make my own. There is a high degree of accuracy required to make these, plus design and engineering to make them stiff enough to work at that size but I think I can do that.
If though anyone wants smaller ones, hatches that are truly watertight unlike the plastic ones which seem to leak no matter how expensive they are, here’s the link to the right page of PT Watercrafts website.

They’re good guys to deal with!  Five star service and quality.

 This is B#3 being glued up, I had to replace the engine batteries in the ship recently, and at least until I take them to the scrap merchant they'll make good weights for clamping things together while the glue sets up.

B#1,  B#2 and B#3, I make each of these in two pieces, that is much more economical in plywood.

Stem, not quite complete, there is a little tidying up to do yet. I try and get every piece that will go into the boat as finished as possible while its easy to get at. Rounding off all the corners, scraping out any excess epoxy, filling screw holes and sanding it all smooth.  Much easier than trying to do it while standing on your head in a completed hull!
I've mentioned this little guy before, 10.8 volt Makita cordless circular saw.  Its great for long straight cuts in plywood, will cut gentle curves and is much better for some plywood cutout work than the jigsaw.  it will run about three lengths of a plywood sheet on a charge, but I have three batteries and its only a few seconds to change them.  I prefer its light weight over the heavier 18 volt ones. Its going to get a lot of work in the next few months.

My “Essential skills for the beginner boatbuilder” courses are over for the year,  we had a good time, I’ve made new friends, learned as well as taught, and will be running those again next year, probably March / April depending upon what life throws at me. 
Watch this space!

Also a “Watch this space” happening is the planned voyage by Howard Rice in his Customised SCAMP down through the channels and islands of southern Chile toward Cape Horn, that’s a major undertaking and I have the privelege of being involved, not only in the voyage but also in the making of a feature length video of the event.
We’ve already got some background material filmed, there will be more, and Howard has four GoPro cameras on the boat and will effectively be making a video diary during his several month long voyage.
This is a stunning place, amazing scenery, interesting history and extreme weather.
I’ll be in Chile later this year to help with the preparation of the boat and the filming up to the point of sailing off.
We’re fundraising for the production end of the video making, so far its all self funded, but its going to be expensive so we’re soliciting donations as well as selling merchandise to produce what we think will be an extraordinary movie.
Your help will be much appreciated.

Heres Howards blog with a whole lot of information on the SCAMP, his, choices of boats, his own SCAMP, and the voyage. This is a good read!  Get your coffee or tea, you’ll be reading and watching videos for a while!

Its Saturday today, 7 20 am, the sun is up, but I’m not.
I bake scones for the meeting of our Writers group, I’m starting to write fiction for fun, putting daydreams on ( virtual) paper so I’d better get off my butt and get on with the day. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

I've just run the second "Essential Skills for Beginnner Boatbuilders" class

Three students this time, Thanks Reg, David and Matt, that was a great couple of days.
We had one Pathfinder builder, one making up his mind, and his family visited us while we were having a little break, they have two beautiful children so I suggested that the Pathfinders extra space might make for a less crowded boat when on passage.  As well we had one course participant who has about made his mind up to build a SCAMP.
For the Pathfinder builders, here's a good Facebook page.

Brinson is about to leave to go to the Texas coast to ride along on the Texas 200 with Peter Menedez in his Pathfinder .  Good luck guys, have a good trip.

Thats it on those courses for a while, I'm supposed to be in Chile later in the year, have commitments over summer so am thinking about running two more in April  or May next year. I do enjoy these, come away with new friends, encourage participation soI learn too.

There has been a suggestion that I might consider a " next step" course, I'll think over what might be included in that.

In the meantime, I'll get back to the usual blog posting in a day or three.