Monday, September 30, 2019

Masking and filleting the outside of the hull.

Long Steps is coming along.

Progress, a little at a time but progress nevertheless.  With the hull and most of the internal structure all sorted, its getting down to smaller pieces and the small but time consuming jobs.  Todays was to grind the edges of the chine tapes down a bit, ready for me to run a fillet of filler along the edges and smooth things off ready for the fiberglassing of the boats bottom.
The other job today was to fill and fair the undersides of the top two lap joints, the lowest one will have that done after the fiberglassing of the bottom.

Once that’s done then the skeg and the little protective guard alongside the “offcentreboard slot” can go on, then its filleting and finishing the hulls outside, up to the gunwale, ready for paint.

I’ve taken to masking the fillet lines. It takes a few minutes to get the tape on but makes for a much tidier job.  Microballoons with a little bit of glue powder mixed in does the job, fills any little gaps and will protect the edges of the plywood planks.  I’ve run a gloved finger with methylated spirits ( denatured alcohol) along to smooth it, that reduces the work required to smooth it.

 Taping the bottom chines, these get more wear and tear than other parts of the boat, still have one more layer to go, that being a full sheet of 6oz cloth from the lowest chine across the bottom to the same place on the other side.  The other chines / lap joints are masked off ready for the protective fillet of epoxy and microballoon fillets to be run along them.

It pays to strip the masking tape before the goo has had time to set off hard, I've not done the lowest ( highest as you look at the pic) one as the glass thats going over the boats bottom will come down to that lap, be trimmed off there and only then, will the fillet go along, the intention being to hide the edge of the glass under that.

Painting is not that far away. I’m looking forward to that. Five coats. One of primer, lightly sanded to get brush marks out, then two of high build undercoat, this wet sanded with 180 grit, then two of top coat. 
I’ve decided on rescue orange bottom, black boot top line, and pale green topsides with a hunting green or British racing green topsides strake.  Then very pale green decks and cabin sides, same inside the boat, and a rescue orange cabin top.  Yes, I want to be easily found if need be, I’m hoping to take this boat a long way from her home port.

In between doing things with sticky stuff on Long Steps, I’m making recovery guide wheels for Spooks trailer, at present there is nothing to hold her straight as she comes up the trailer,  so some mods there, and a chest of drawers to replace the MDF chest that fell apart, that’s my pantry in the big ship. I’m getting ticked off with not having somewhere to store provisions so it was beyond time I did something about it.  Two sheets of 12mm construction ply, lots of screws and a big bottle of glue have gone into it so far, nearly done.

 Indy thinks that all work and no play makes both of us dull people. "Well, throw it then". 

Monday, September 16, 2019

I'm getting more done on Long Steps

With some of my other commitments dealt with and the weather warming a bit, the start of spring being just a week away, I'm getting a bit done on Long Steps.  Some friends came and we flipped her over, ready for work on the bottom and I'm getting her faired off ready for fibreglass.  There are patches where tape does the job, that being around the "corners, and along the chine between the bottom panel and the lowest plank, and the corners of the transom to planks and the stem.
I've three layers of 6oz tape wrapped around the forefoot, there will be two more over that, the intention is to protect the edges of the plywood where the boat will be pulled up on a beach or a boatramp. The next two tapes will run along the chine then a sheet of glass will run from under the lowest plank lap joint across  to the same on the other side, then the skeg goes on over that.
I've also put a patch on where each of the rudder fittings will bolt on, thats to reinforce the high stress area where those fittings will be seated.
I don't think that I've mentioned it before, but I've bored the holes for the rudder fitting bolts well oversize, filled them with epoxy mix then re drilled them, that to prevent any leakage getting into the end grain of the plywood as well as increasing the strength through the transom plywood and the big doublers inside.

But todays little triumph is that I've made the fittings that will hold the bolts in place.  The problem is that with the after deck on, access to the inside of that space is very restricted, so I've made some 6mm stainless steel plates, threaded to take the bolts, the bolts will go through these and have a locknut on them to ensure that they cant come undone, then be screwed onto the doublers inside the transom as a permanent fitting. 
The bolts protrude out through the transom, neoprene "o rings" over them, and the fittings placed over those with washers and nuts to secure them.  Here are some shots of the fittings.  
A warning, stainless steel is tough, not hard, but tough, I broke a tap doing this, in part because I didn't have the correct drill size for the tap. Only 0.2mm difference, but like I said, that stuff is tough.  Its cheaper to go and buy the right size drill than lose a tap.

This is the lower one, the ends of the plates are shaped to fit the inside of the planking.  The bolts are the wrong way around but you get the idea.  The fittings by the way are from Duckworks, they're great. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Half a million views!

I just noticed that this blog has hit half a million page views, thats a lot, a lot lot!

In spite of my having been very erratic in my posting for a while, the views keep accumulating, thank  you all, thats very encouraging, with the new season coming up and life seeming to be getting to be a bit more under control, more sailing, more designing and more building of boats, there should be more material to write about.

Thanks again, all of you.


Keeping the phone charged up while away.

With spring just around the corner, warmer weather and the promise to myself that I'm going to be doing a lot more sailing this summer, its time to sort out the small annoyances from last year. One of those was "how to charge up my phone".  The phone being my GPS, my weather forecast receiver, my music machine, my camera and occasionally my communication device.
Now my phone is a Samsung A10, it works fine but a word of warning, with the screen protector on its very hard to make the touch function on the screen work.  If you're going to put it in a waterproof case be aware that it may not work.
But that aside, I wanted to be able to recharge it while away.
I'd been thinking of a solar panel, a deep cycle car battery sized battery, an inverter and a bunch of wiring, but I've other things to do with my time, things like fixing that unprintable excuse of a trailer that Spook lives on, fitting the new to me ( its second hand but unused, thank you Trade Me) boarding ladder, some paint and a few other things.
When I get a statement from FlyBuys loyalty points each month, I'm in the habit of checking to see what of interest that my points might qualify for, and this time, "Bingo", I was about 40 points short of a BioLite solar panel charger.
I do on line surveys for a survey company, mostly consumer or insurance but occasionally political (boy do I have fun with those ones) surveys, each one worth a few points.  In fact I get more points from these than from buying goods or groceries, living on my own I dont spend a great deal so they only add up slowly, the surveys being helpful in that respect.
So, a few surveys later I hit the target and ordered the BioLite panel.

I tried it out a couple of days ago, on a coolish winter day, some cloud and a watery sort of sunlight, it took four hours to take the phone from 40% to over 80%, it will run for two days on the latter charge.
The unit has a battery in it so can be charged up, hold the charge and be used later to juice up the phone, the VHF radio, the cabin lights, the anchor light or the torch.   Its a good trick, compact, seems robust, easy to use, and I think its going to be very useful.
Here's a review.
And here's the advertisment.