A lovely job Don , I'm jealous !!
A lovely job Don , I'm jealous !!
'' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
The backbone in place and the deck clamps laminated around the moulds – 5 rounds of 1/2” x 4” Alaskan yellow cedar, bent cold. That was fun!
A lack of clamps necessitated using large screws to pull the laminations together. I only did one layer at a time. I couldn’t imagine trying to do all of them in one go. The end moulds needed to be stoutly reinforced too.
Bending AND twisting the laminations would have been impossible, so the bottom edge of the clamp (meaning the top part in the photo) remained proud to be planed fair later.
I’ll admit, removing the clamps probably wasn’t the smartest idea. I learned a lot about springback that day! But I couldn’t think of any other way to get the laminates cleaned up.
Actually, it wasn’t all that bad. I had to fuss with the clamps a bit and managed to get them back in place just fine. Using thinner laminations might have helped and the deck clamp could have been a little smaller in cross section too. But I wanted a stout hull-deck connection to take the beams.
Once I wrestled the clamps back in place, I proceeded to fair them flush to the moulds in preparation for planking. I used a long batten placed along the clamps and moulds and struck a control line, which allowed me easily plane away excess material. Port side is done, starboard awaiting.
Bow shot. Everything has now been faired and ready for planking. The lowermost batten (or ribband, if you prefer) defines the actual top of the bulwarks. It is a bit wider than the planking strips and will be removed once the hull is planked up. Nothing is glued to it. It is primarily there to provide support for the diagonally laid veneers that will be applied later on.
By the way, if anyone has any questions, please feel free to fire away. I'd be happy to reply. There will be a quiz!
your boat looks great. More work than I would want to do, but if anyone ever wants to build one for me just for the practice...
Meanwhile I'll have to make do with your Alaska.
You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.
Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.
Thanks Tom! Congratulations on your article on the Texas 200 in the latest issue of WB!
I too started my build as a bright eyed 30 something...now it's 20 something years later...sigh.In the photos, you will notice that I started out with a full head of hair and a dark beard – that has now changed drastically. What began as a 10 year building program has manged to morph into a retirement project.
Keep the photos coming...please.
My take is that if you poke someone with a sharp stick they'll get annoyed, if you smile and shake their hand they will be your friends.
I had originally purchased a set of plans for his Oceania 34, a plank on frame marconi ketch, that he redrew for me as a junk schooner. I was really into junks at the time but, as hull construction progressed, I grew less and less enchanted with the idea of that rig. It just didn’t seem right any more with its aluminium pipe spars and heavy, fully battened elephant ear sails. This hull has a distinct east coast Pinky look to it (less the swept back sheer) and really begged for a more traditional, western type sail plan - at least to my eye.
I considered going with a Pinky schooner rig, but didn’t think it would work all that well on such a small hull. It had its good points, but in the end I gave it up in favour of a single stick with a large sail area. I long ago decided not to fit an engine, so light air performance was very important to me, especially if I wanted to get anywhere in the light winds that are common in the PNW during the summer.
I finally settled on a topmast gaff cutter. It seemed to me to offer the greatest amount of versatility, in terms of possible sail combinations, for the type of sailing I had in mind - everything from the Inside Passage to long voyages offshore. I wanted a rig that could carry a ton of sail, yet be easily and quickly reefed in a blow. And, it needed to look good doing it.
By now, of course, I had already reworked the building plans from carvel to cold-moulded construction. If I was in for a penny, I might as well be in for a pound, so I drew up a new rig. While I was at it, I changed the deck layout and the interior accommodations to suit my own particular needs as well.
Obviously, I can’t lay claim to this as a design of my own. I’d have to rework the hull lines significantly before I could even begin to consider that. Something that is unlikely to happen and this design will probably remain unique. Not entirely mine, not entirely Tom’s.
Appologies for the quality of the drawing. It's all I've got on paper at the moment. (Click on the drawing for a larger image.)
DISP: 18,000 lbs
BALLAST: lead – outside 5,600 lbs - inside 1000 to 2000 lbs, as required
B/D: 36% @ 6600 lbs; 42% @ 7600 lbs
SA working: 800 sq. ft. (SA/D: 18.5)
SA 3 lowers: 695 sq. ft. (SA/D: 16)
More photos soon.
Now that sketch is gorgeous, the sheer is really something. She's going to be so much fun, worth all that work!
Thanks for the photos
I'm taking the fact that you're finally putting these pictures out (even squirrelled away in "misc. boat related" as they are) as a sign of something Don. Not sure what- but something of Great Significance.
Huh? I just can't resist an audience Toumbi!
The strips for the planking were gotten out of 2” thick Western red cedar. It was much easier milling them with a portable saw than trying to push them through a stationary one. The plank on the left was given a straight edge and used as a guide. It was 12” wide and 24’ long – an amazing piece of cedar!
Most of the timber was long enough to require only one or two scarphs in the strips.
A very simple jig for cutting 8:1 scarphs…
….which were then glued up and clamped with a couple of temporary round head screws.
First round of strips glued up, starting on the second. I usually pre-fit about 4 or 5 strips at a time before gluing them up. I found this easier when working alone. If I’d had a crew, I would have glued them up on the run. Pre-fitting is time consuming, but essential for a solo builder. Otherwise, it can all go south in a hurry, especially in really hot weather with accelerated cure times.
I pre-drilled all the strips and used thin maple dowels to align them in between the moulds. This is essential for square edged strips, which I prefer over bead and cove. In this photo, I’m only pretending to drive the dowel home. It wasn’t really done until after the glue was applied.
Much further along here. This strip is now glued and screwed to the moulds and the dowels ready for driving home.
The transition point in the run of the planking has been reached here. The strips began parallel to the sheer and were laid up until they started to develop a steer horn wave to them. At this point, it was time to put in some long stealers to realign the strips so that they would run out parallel to the top of the keel. The thinking was to have an attractive run to the strips where they would be visible on the inside of the hull. The intention was to finish them bright. In the end, however, they were painted. I think the planking job would have been a bit easier to do if I had run them from a master strip laid midpoint between the sheer and keel instead. Oh well, live and learn.
close up of the transition point at the bow.
It went rather well.
The stern, on the other hand, presented its own set of problems.
Getting the strips to twist and lie fair was becoming difficult. It’s amazing how much resistance a piece of 3/4” x 1-1/4” red cedar has to being twisted. It was time to do some major fudging.
Oh man, this is like those old serial radio and TV shows!!
"Will Don hammer in those dowels?"
"Will he be able to twist the cedar strip into proper shape?"
"How will he decide to paint the inside of his hull, rather than leave it bright?"
"Be sure to tune in NEXT WEEK and don't miss a moment!!"
"And be sure to drink your Ovaltine!"
- Bill T.
"How many politically-correct people does it take to screw in a light-bulb?"
"Look, I don't know, but that's not funny."
The Ovaltine was a nice touch. Took me right back!
Got me hooked!
This is almost as tense as waiting for Lenihan to get something up.
What did you do with the holes in the strips from the screws?
You certainly have accomplished the good looking part.
There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.
Ben Sebens, RN
BB...I wet out the screw holes with the thickened resin I was gluing with and capilary action sucked up some of the glue off the strips. They seemed to fill up nicely. I used pipe cleaners to wet the holes out with. They worked like a charm. In some places, I used dowels too. I didn't skimp on the glue and made sure I got plenty of squeeze out between the strips. When you buy Epoxy in 45 gallon drums, a "little" waste $ is tolerable.
Lenihan is my Muse!
Don, I notice you don't seem to have anything protecting your molds from squeeze-out. No problems removing the hull?
Yeah, I noticed that in the photo too Rod. Then I remembered that I waxed the edges and a bit of the sides. It must have worked because I have no recollection of having any problems removing the moulds.
The problem was trying to get the stealers to land fair on the supporting strip. Because of the tapered ends, it was difficult to get the pointy bits to completely conform to the bend. The strips above the stealers, the ones that land on the sternpost, needed some judicious sculpting too.
This photo more clearly shows the points protruding beyond the supporting strip and the difficulty I had trying to get the upper strips to conform to the twist at the sternpost. Ultimately, I beveled the inside surface of the strips to lie fair to the post. This meant that the strips would be a little thinner here, but only along the land of the post. Forward of that they remained full thickness where it counted.
Normally, planks end in a rebate, but I chose to eliminate these and let the strips run out. This gave me a much larger faying surface and any reduction in thickness of the strips in this area was of no significance structurally. Still, all this would have made me a bit nervous if the hull was only going to have a single layer of planking. I still had 4 layers of 1/8” veneers to go.
Looking not too bad, except for that little hollow appearing near the stern...or is that a hump at the next mould forward...hmmm. I wonder how that got there?
There’s always much discussion about the best way to apply glue to the strips. Some like to brush it on, some like squeeze bags, others prefer rollers. But I have found a plain old stick to be the fastest and easiest applicator for my needs. It takes a bit of practice to develop the skill to use it effectively, but, once acquired, it’s pretty slick.
I simply load up the stick from a deep container and then scrape off the sticky stuff in a gentle sweeping motion along the strip. The trick is to learn how to control the amount of goo that comes off at a given time. That’s a judgment kind of thing that one acquires quick enough through practice.
After the initial application, I use the same stick to spread the glue out more evenly over the strip and redistribute any excess globs to any starved areas. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a very fast way of applying and spreading the glue. And it’s surprising how much control you have over the process and how good you become at getting just the right amount of glue down. I like it!
I must say, the run of the strips looks a heck of a lot better at the front than the back. Bloody canoe sterns! Bloody amateur builders!
Ahhhh...fairing the hull. I really enjoyed this part. It looks so pretty once it’s done!
An assortment of the tools I tried for fairing the strips. The electric, slow turning grinder was the first item I deep sixed. Talk about dust! Next went the wooden block plane, then the two handled sanding board. In the end, I found the spoke shave to be an incredibly fast and very controllable fairing tool. It allowed me to sculpt the high spots at will and remove big swaths of wood in a hurry. Inside curves were a breeze. It’s a tiny looking thing, but it has a large blade that does a lot of work in a single stroke. It also helped that I kept the strips well aligned, for the most part, and had very little wood to remove as a result.
Once I got the planking as fair as I could with the spoke shave, I employed a sanding board to remove the blade marks and any high and low spots that I could not see or even feel from the wood. That’s it standing up against the stem. It was just a very thin piece of fir about an eighth of an inch thick with a half sheet of 60 or 80 grit sandpaper attached to it with a 3M adhesive that allows the paper to be peeled off easily, once it is used up, and replaced.
In practice, I held the bottom edge of the bare part of the board in my right hand and pushed down on the sandpaper part with my left. The flexibility of the board allowed me to bend and twist it at will to conform to any curve in the hull, convex or concave. It worked extremely well and smoothed the hull in no time.
By now, I was also developing an enviable six pack – a rather agreeable side benefit to all this work.
I did have one significant low spot in the planking though. Rather that fill it with goop, I just glued in some thin fillers to build up the strips and then worked them down with the spoke shave and sanding board. Turned out kind of nice.
Up next: applying the veneers. It will probably be a few days before I get these photos sorted and posted. Please stand by.
Do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,do it,now!
This boat was built with ten thumbs.No fingers were harmed in anyway.
Great stuff! Please keep it going, I'm interested in this as a parallel but slightly different approach to coldmoulding a hull. The other one up in Building Construction, the Gartside yawl thread comes at the process slightly differently. really interesting to have the 2 going at the same time.
Thanks Allison and a big thanks to Dave Lesser, of the other cold-moulded thread, for getting this going. I hope someday our two boats will cross tacks. Ain't that Gartside yawl a beaut!
Don, they are both very beautiful. I've learnt a lot watching both. I have a friend who keeps talking about building a coldmoulded Sq Metre boat, a Skerry Cruiser, so I watch and read with interest!
I like the banana-seat bike with the high-rise handlebars in the second-last pic of #54. Dated!
Hi Dave. Glad to hear it wasn't just me struggling with the maddening intricacies of canoe sterns. But it's worth it, I think. They are lovely to behold!
Fall of 2012 sounds good. Do you have an anticipate launching day in mind? I'm hoping for this Spring, but then...I said that last year.
And, appologies to all. I've hit a snag with getting the slides scanned. I hope to get that resolved soon. Sorry for the delay...
Don has been a valuable member of our community here in Nelson. The show has gone on for over 25 years and honestly when the he is done building her, he and Sanda will be leaving. That is not something we look forward to although we will wish them all the best and help them on their way. I have been visiting this spectacular event since the dinosaurs (sorry Don) and it has been great, the yacht is absolutely beautiful. This guy does not skimp or even consider not doing it right. It has taken Don a long time and part of that is due to people like me who he is always willing to drop whatever he is doing and help. Hopefully we will all be helping tear down the old shed this year and get that beauty in the water. Another beauty of his was recently in the launchings section. Did anyone see it? Have a look, I'm not going to say what that little beauty is. Great job Don!!!
"Another beauty of his was recently in the launchings section. Did anyone see it? Have a look, I'm not going to say what that little beauty is."
I saw it - another Myst!
Geez you guys...
Next post will be up tomorrow. Promise!
Okay! I finally managed to get things sorted out.
A few years ago I bought a flat bed scanner with a slide adapter, so that I could eventually scan all my slides. Well, it turns out that it does a crappy job on positives. I tried playing around with the settings, but it was super time consuming. Finally, I just decided to bite the bullet and let the ladies in the photo department at WallyWorld do the scanning instead. The poor quality of the images can be attributed to my lack of skill with a camera, however.
Just to back track a bit. I found a couple more photos of the clean up and fairing process. This is the spoke shave in action. For the most part, the strip planking was pretty fair and all I was really doing was removing the epoxy glaze that remained after the initial clean up. This wasn’t hard to do, but it could have been easier had I taken the time to mop up more of the uncured resin with solvent soaked paper towels before it had a chance to set. I now do this on a regular basis and find that it actually does save time in the long run. Cured epoxy is hard on blades and sandpaper; wood, not so much
For cleaning up goop, I prefer methyl hydrate. It is cheap, works just as well as acetone and evaporates off the work surface much faster than vinegar (which I mostly reserve for cleaning up hands and hair, being non-toxic). I also like to use Isopropyl alcohol as a solvent and thinner, but it is pricy in small quantities. It’s sold in drugstores as 99% pure rubbing alcohol. For thinning epoxy, nothing is better. It’s what the pro’s use and I have never had a problem with a proper cure when I have used it as such.
Of course, there is no substitute for proper skin and respiratory protection around any of these chemicals!
The sanding board. I always try to get things as fair as possible using blades and resort to sandpaper only for a final smoothing out of minute bumps and hollows, or removing tool marks. Even at bulk prices, sandpaper can eat up a lot of money! And who needs the dust?
Striving for fairness throughout the planking process minimizes the need to remove a lot of wood or add a lot of filler to make up for it if you don’t.
Preparing the veneers was the next stage in the planking process. When I decided to convert to cold moulding from carvel construction, I wanted to retain the same planking thickness as originally designed – 1-1/4”. After some study, I settled on the scantlings provided for Golden Dazy, an IOR 2 tonner built by the Gougeon Brothers in 1975 for the Canada Cup Challenge. The thinking was to create a very rigid, monocoque hull that would require very little internal framing to maintain its overall structural integrity and strength. This also meant a lighter hull than the original mahogany on oak specified, which would allow me to increase the weight of ballast by at least another 1,000 lbs. Since I was also converting to a tall, gaff cutter rig from the original two sticker, I figured I could use a bit more leverage in that department.
The Dean Company in Gresham, Oregon was still in business at the time and I ordered 3,000 sq. ft. of 1/8” WRC veneers from them. These came as flitches from 6 to12 feet long and 4 to 10 inches wide. None of the edges were straight because the veneers were sliced off of quartered logs with massive blades, not sawn. In the above photo, I am squaring the edges of several veneers stacked up at a time. Only one side needed to be straight, as we shall see.
A nice pile of veneers all prep’d and ready to go. This is only a small part of the stack – the first layer. Luckily, most of the veneers were long enough so that I did not need to resort to butts anywhere along the hull.
After preparing the veneers, I set up a gluing bench. Thickened Cold Cure Epoxy was applied to the hull as well as the veneers to ensure a proper wet out of all mating surfaces. I wanted no voids.
And, since it was summer and hot and we didn’t want to drip sweat on the surfaces of the wood, we employed this little beast to cool us down and blow away any fumes we would be exposed to. It moved massive amounts of air, but was really noisy. It felt like being in an aircraft hanger at times. We used to tell visitors who new nothing about sailing that, because our boat was to have no motor, this is what we would use to blow air into our sails in a calm to get us going. It’s amazing how many actually bought it!
Which begs the question: If one of the laws of physics states that… “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”… would a fan placed on the aft deck of a sailboat, in a flat sea and a dead calm, cause the boat to move forward or backward?
What a fantastic thread.
Thanks for so much detail.