Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fitting Out. Part 2.

Last I left off I was adding all the fitting out parts for the PocketShip.  It's amazing how time consuming this is.  Seems like there is an endless list of little things to do once you've got the hull built.  On another note, my sails from CLC arrived last week.  They subcontract those out to a sailmaker whose name I've lost.  Anyway he did a very nice job.

The companion way hood was very tricky to get perfectly aligned on the boat.  I should have marked it better when I was laying it out.  The hatch slides easily but not so easily that it will move around in rough seas.

I really like the way it turned out with the black walnut.

Another shot with it open.

In the front I used white oak for contrast.  I like the way that turned out too.

Nice shot of the rudder with the hardware attached.  Pretty wood.

This is the drop board slides (again black oak) with some trim rings that I used around the vent inlet.  Between each interior vent hold and trim ring I captured a butterfly vent control.  This makes it easy to adjust the amount of air flow into the cabin and it looks nice.  No picture so you'll just have to use your imagination!

Here are the drop board slides installed.  I love that dark wood.

I made up about a dozen of these little guys for  epoxy and (later) painting/varnishing the spars.  They are very handy and keep the after drying touch ups to a minimum.  Not my idea, I saw this on Offcenter Harbor.  Geoff Kerr, the builder of the PocketShip prototype, is a frequent contributor there.  He has a multipart video on building a Caledonia Yawl that is a very good reference to small boat building with epoxy.

If you look at this pile of wood you see the mast, boom, boom gallows, tiller and bow sprit.  These have all had their sealing coats of epoxy and await touch-up sanding and painting.

The "Hull Hardware Package that I purchased from CLC appears to have been shipped without the properly sized lexan drop boards.  In the picture above the template is underneath and notice that the lexan is too small to cover the template (both pieces of lexan are the same size).

Note in this picture the lexan is exactly the same size as the template.  I've asked if this is right on  Maybe it's just a mistake and not the way it's supposed to be.

Hours this session: 16
Hours total: 667

Friday, January 17, 2014

Fitting Out. Part 1.

Over the past few weeks I've been working on getting some of the hardware on the boat.  I purchased the "Hull Hardware Package" from CLC so I've been working mostly on getting the stuff that they provided me installed on my hull.  The majority of my time has been spent getting screws and bolts cut down and then marking the location of them.  I'm pretty careful about making sure I've got things exactly where they need to be before putting a drill bit to the boat.

Here you can see the eyebolts for the rudder.  Installation on this went smoothly.  Installed just like the manual instructs.

In this picture you can see the bushing for the centerboard pendant.  This was a little of a problem and outlined a shortcoming/mistake in the construction manual from CLC.  If you're interested you can find the explanation at the Pocketship Forum.  If you look down at the lower corners of the photo you can see the access hatches for the lazarettes.

The dorade vents went in easy.

The anchor fairleads are held to the rail with 1 1/2 wood screws.

The most time consuming task was installing the portlight lenses.

I chose to differ from the manual in that I used the decorative washers and chose not to countersink the screw heads.  This eliminated the worry of cracking the acrylic lens during tightening.  Instead of using marine calking compound to bed the lenses I chose to use butyl tape as a bedding compound.  It's easily shapable with your hands and stays where you put it.  The dark edge around the portlight above is the butyl tape.  The uneven edges are the squeeze out.  This was easy to clean up by running a plastic knife around the inside and simply pulling off the squeeze out.

I clear painted and mounted the companion way hatch and its spray cover.  I chose to epoxy mine down.  All the planning on it must have been right.  It slides easily and without any play.

Attached the two cleats and drilled holes for the boom gallows.  I still need to line these with epoxy to prevent rot.

The mount for the boom gallows was an awkward install.  Hard to get in there and drill.  I used a dremel tool with a shaft extension to create the holes.  Used the same tool to cut off the outboard edge of the support.  You can see the squeeze out of the butyl tape that I used for bedding.  Aside from the U-Bolt on the front which I used 5200 on, the rest of the bedding has been done with butyl tape.  It's just way too easy to use and it also make future maintenance and cleanup much easier.

Here you can see my nifty outboard mount.  Pull the cotter pin on the center leg and the hold thing lifts off easily leaving behind only the three small mounting brackets.  I still need to fabricate a wooded plate to bolt to it.

I've ordered the sails and the "Sailing Hardware Package" from CLC (that was a fast 3K).  I'm getting close enough now to smell the ocean.  Need to build the mast, gaff, boom, and bowsprit, take care of the electrical, buy a trailer and I'll be on the water!

Hours this session: 12
Hours total: 651

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Topsides Painting and U-Bolt

The topsides turned out rather well.  I chose to roll and tip the topsides because I was afraid of the surface complexity and my competency at using the sprayer.

Rolling and tipping with WR-LPU is a nerve racking experience.  The first coat looks so god awful bad that it's hard to believe that it will work out in the end.

I ended up doing 4 coats of color and 3 coats of clear over everything.  Each coat took about 3 hours to apply.  You can't wait more than 24 hours between coats of the WR-LPU otherwise you have to sand the prior coats.  I had to plan out about 3 days of work to get it all done correctly.

Had a few little runs, drips and sags but nothing that couldn't be taken care of.

I decided to drill the first holes in the hull for the U-bolt.  It was more than a little terrifying to drill holes in my nice hull.  Incidentally this is one of the few places that the manual is a little fuzzy.  The location is noted on the plans but require you to extrapolate the location on the boat.  After a bunch of calculations and measuring I put drill to wood.

Part of my trepidation was that I set the access tube in the front compartment more than a year ago.  I couldn't find the sheet that I had used to make the calculations back then.  So I was trusting that I was going to hit that location with my new set of calculations.  In theory it should work out the same all the time.  Luckily for me that theory held true in this case.  The two holes were almost perfectly centered in the access tube.

The U-bolt supplied by CLC in their "Hull Hardware Package" had legs that were about 1 1/2" too long.  This wouldn't be a problem if I could get a conventional wrench down that access tube.  That tube is only 6" in diameter so there isn't much room to work.  I had to use a socket extension on a 24" T-Bar to reach the nuts.  The socket meant that the legs couldn't extend too far out of the nuts or the socket would loose purchase.  A few measurements and calculations cumulating in about 5 minutes with a dremel cutoff wheel and all was well.  Slather on some 5200 and tighten up the nuts and the deal is done.

Hours this session: 21
Hours total: 639

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Topside Priming and Sanding

The priming of the topsides took 3 coats of high build primer.  Even then there were a few places that I had to go back over and fill with fairing compound.  It's amazing how many imperfections you can find in a perfect finish!

Sanding this primer is very easy and makes for a silky smooth surface.  All that was required was a very light sanding to produce a great surface.  It's easy to sand through and I did in a couple of places.  I don't worry about it too much as long as the surface is fair the WR-LPU will produce a nice finish.

The plan from here is to mask the topsides and paint with three coats of color (white).  Then remove the mask and cover the color and the brightwork in three coats of clear.  This will provide a nice gloss for the topsides and protect the brightwork from UV deterioration.

The green tape is a automotive masking tape that makes a very fine line.  The primer is thick and I can use regular painters tape for that but the WR-LPU paint is very thin and often runs under painter tape.  Even though the automotive tape is expensive it provides a very razor fine paint line.  For those of you following along at home just make sure you "burnish" the edge of the fine line tape.  I use a spoon and go over every square inch of tape.

Hours this session: 8
Hours total: 618

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Topsides Sanding and Masking

I procrastinated a little while before sanding the topsides.  But once I got started it went quickly.  The hardest part of the sanding was the anchor well.  Lots of crevices in there to get smooth.

My plan is to prime all the non-masked areas with high build primer do a quick sanding with 220 and then paint.  I'll shoot several coats of color on the masked area and then a few coats of clear on everything.  That should give a good gloss to the paint and a nice look to the unpainted areas.  I need to do some anti-skid on the cabin roof.

I need to start working on the spars and I need to order my hardware.  I'm starting to think about the hardware I need and fitting out.  I'll probably just go the easy route and get it from CLC.  

Hours this session: 16
Hours total: 610

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I added some carpet to the cradle and attached it to the boat with a webbing line.  After that it was a simple matter of reversing the way that I had rolled it over in the first place.  'Nuf said.

Special thanks to my rolling crew.  Nick, Kris, Rob, Mark, and Scott.

Hours this session: 2
Hours total: 594

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ready for Flipping Again

I finished painting the hard to reach parts of the cabin while the boat was upside down.  White for the top of the storage area between bulkheads #1 and #2.  And clear for the other places like the cabin and berth ceilings.  I really love the way the WR-LPU clear makes the okume plywood look.  It really brings out the grain.

I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record but working in the heat in Florida, under a boat with construction lights blazing is a tough act.  My lovely wife had the foresight when I started this project to buy me a large shop fan that sits low to the ground and can be directed in any vertical orientation.  Once I set that up to blow under where I was in the cabin it became much more tolerable.

All the inverted work is now complete and I will be getting the gang together for another rollover in the next week or so.  The plan is to refit the cutdown cradle while the boat is still inverted and secure it with cargo straps.  Then get the guys over and re-roll it back over to sit in the cradle.

Once that is done it's just a matter of prepping and painting the topsides and building the mast, tabernacle, and boom support then adding the hardware and we'll be sailing.  It's feeling close now!

Hours this session: 4
Hours total: 592