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Thread: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

  1. #1
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    Default Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Hello. i will open this thread along i am building my own sailboat, a 21 feet dudley dix design cape henry. i live in Chile, santiago, work as a orthopedist doctor, bones and tools is my job, but this is relaxing and challenging backyard proyect but one i enjoy a lot. this will be my bigger boat and my third too!

    first was a john welsford pathfinder who i still use and sail every summer in our chilean waters. this took me almost 8 years, 2 different houses and 2 kids.

    IMG-20170208-WA0004.jpg

    the next was one 7 feet nutschell pram for the sa,e kids. this took 4 month.

    20181007_131131.jpg

    now is the cape henry...i guess, hope, dream will take 2 years....

    so some pictures.

    thanks.

    pablo besser

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    the first thing was to find a good design and designer. both was in the hands of dudley dix. the boat suit me with small size, just enougth to be moved by normal car and trailer, keep dry in winter and sailing in the summer in the different areas we had in chile, like many lakes, the central coast,( the pacific is not so pacific...) chiloe island in the south and the patagonian fiords. alsowas important to find a boat with room for 4 . wife and 2 boy 10 and 12 years old. and mostly a roof to sleep at night more protected. last but not least a little traditional taste and also some modern materials in good balance.

    all of this took me to this boat.

    ch21rig.jpg


    the firt job was to arrange a shop. actually 2 shops. one barely big to keep the boat inside...the second one to build all the rest. many tools from my last boats. and the materials.

    one important point was to build a assembly table. perfectly flat or near to... to build and assembly all the pannels and pieces, glue and shape...etc. at good level, strong and flat.

    20191013_171351.jpg

    next come from dudley who send me the cnc files to make the plywood cutting more fast, clean because the dust stay in the cnc facility and precise. so after some search found a small shop and some nice guy who cut the pieces really nice. first time i use this metod.
    the problem came with the plywood. here the last years all the local wood species are no longer used instead pine and eucaliptus is the rule. they grow so fast and cheap. so no way to get a native plywood and they dont import gabood okume etc...because is no market for that. also pine plywood are cheap, made by resorcinol waterproof glue and good quality veneer, so instead of okume, the pine will be my choice at least for the bulkheads...probably for the exterior hull will try to find a good native good one plywood but the last 3 factory just move to pine....
    so the plans says 9 mm bare plywood. i choose 12 mm fiberglassed both sides plywood. stronger and encapsulated.

    IMG-20191017-WA0003.jpg

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Welcome Pablo, there’s another Cape Henry on this forum here by Max F

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...uilding-thread
    Last edited by Andrew Donald; 12-08-2019 at 01:26 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Must be almost a lifetime of places to take a small boat in Chile. had some friends spend 3 years in "the channels" and they say they only scratched the surface. Nice job on the Pathfinder.

    Interesting with the plywood, what was used before pine and eucaliptus? . Many builders in Europe using pine, have used it myself on some smaller projects, and the quality has been good. It is far heavier than the Okume, but often half the price.

    What timber was used for your table frame? Good design. Look forward to watching the build come together. Do you have a local brand of epoxy or do you import?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Subscribed! Very interested in watching this project move forward. Chile is a place that is on my bucket list of countries to visit.
    I swear I'm half done.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Nice boat you choose.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Pablo, nice choice of boat.
    Your words ' i choose 12 mm fiberglassed both sides plywood. stronger and encapsulated.' You will have difficulty with the lower panels at the bow. Read Max F's thread on it. 9 or 10mm is tricky, 12mm will not go. Two layers of 6mm would do it. I used 10mm for the hull, but laminated 6 & 4 for the bow.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    yes, i know. he es is much advanced. but i guess more photos and data is better.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    yes, thanks for the advide. the planks i will try 9 mm. the already 12 mm is much stiffer and heavier... only hope to find a good plywood. in the old time, just 10 years ago was prety easy to find good native wood plywood. the pathfinder was done without any pine on it. only coihue and tineo, both south american woods very nice to work and water proof.

    the epoxy es mepsystem a local company who supply goood epoxi 1:2 mixure. expensive as in any part of the world.

    pine is not bad the only issue if you dont fiberglass they check and crack easily. just a layer of glass and is stable for long time and ready to paint.

    20180909_182226.jpg

    here i am fiberglassing the pathfinder deck after 2 season. now is glassed and epoxy painted and hope will last enought...

    about the cape henry, when i got all the bulkheads panels i check the zig zag conections like a puzzle, make a little more round the edges with a router and glued together. i love a mixture of epoxy and floor dust 50% silica powder 50% to make the epoxy thiker like a glue.

    5.jpg

    then once glued , sanded, i cover both sides with fiberglass 200 gr biaxial ideally with 3 hands of epoxy, and some of then i used peelply to get a better surface and smoth, ready to paint.
    my idea was to do all the work possible in the bulkead in my table befour i set up them in the floor to conect them with the stringer and later the planks.

    20191019_163640.jpg

    this makita 1/4 battery router is a must for this work. every day i am using more and more learning in the process.

    20191021_105940.jpg

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    This thread highlights one of the best aspects of the forum,the opportunity to see what other boat enthusiasts are doing in places far away from us.I look forward to seeing this build progress and judging from the boats that have built already it will be a great success.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Looking very good Pablo
    Im looking forward to follow your thread, and happily will answer questions.
    Max

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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Max F View Post
    Looking very good Pablo
    Im looking forward to follow your thread, and happily will answer questions.
    Max

    thaks max. also your boat is getting really nice.

    is good to have this building forum because everybody con get good or new ideas.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    here i keep glassing the bulkheads and also assembly the rudder. 4 layers of 12 mm plywood and a couple of metal bars included along the main axis to make stiffer. later glass and several layer of epoxy. once i epoxy i like to use the heat gun to remove any air bubble trapped and also this break some superficial tension and this make a smooth surface.

    20191105_202737.jpg

    the stern piece. 12mm doublers plus a 9 mm plywood both sides glassed. the plans call for a special frame to get this cuve, i did in the oder way bending the doublers first and laterl glued to the plywood with the help of some brute force.
    20191027_164646.jpg

    3.jpg

    rudder ready to glue. inside was 2 metal bars like beams following the long axis to make a strog foot inn the rudder.
    20191019_154759.jpg
    some clamps...

    20191110_131342.jpg

    making trhe profile, first cut long line at different depth with the skill saw, well makita. and then carve them to the final shape. not so difficult.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    20191110_131852.jpg

    cutting the lines, different depth.at the same interval. all mesurement taken from the plans rudder profile.

    20191110_123134.jpg

    tools of destruction. chisel, hammer, sanding tools and a small battery planer.
    20191112_202000.jpg

    ready to epoxy...and the heat gun. now my best tool for epoxy surface.

    20191125_173209.jpg

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    20191025_170959.jpg

    the doublers, the plans call for some extre pieces at the roof to form the roof beams or doublers, because is only plywood this must to be 3 layers and also one strong wood at the underside all together glued and laminated. so i like to put some carbon or just glass tape in betwen the doublers when i glued them,. normally is enought epoxy to saturate wood and the fiber and probably i got a stronger beam.

    20191025_202350.jpg

    this 2 bulkhead recive all the force of the mast so must to be strong but also they use a mast post just under the mast tabernacle and this get most of the load.

    the plans call for some 450 kilos of lead as ballast. they call for shotgun lead or something like that mixed with epoxy. in chile no was possible to get lead on this form so at the end i got some heavy lead lingot. 12 of them about 30 to 42 kilos each.

    some 350 kilos goes inside the boat at the bottom but the rest will be in the form of a wooden centerboard.

    the plans ask for a metal 25 mm thick metal centerboard. but just to cut this and get the shape and bevels with the grinder machine or some heavy nasty noisy tool will be a problem in my house and sure all the next houses arround so i ask for another option to dudley the designer and he offer me a wooden solution wich means a extra thick centerboard and centercase made of wood, fiberglass and lead inside. so i must figure a way to store 110 kilos of lead bars inside them,
    the problem is the lead lingots are much bigger to fit inside so one option was to melt them in another shape or plan b call for cut them....

    20191127_172111.jpg

    450 kilos of lead.... about 800 dollars!! not cheap at all.


    lets see wich option is better, to cut or to melt the lead...

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Cool project and you're off to a good start. I'd worry about making the boat too heavy. Is the designer OK with the heavier scantlings and reinforcements?
    -Dave

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Melting lead is not that difficult.
    I made all sorts of forms with gypsum, concrete or even sand.
    Make sure the forms are dry.
    Melting can be done outside with a gas torch or a camp fire.
    Just take very much care that you dont get burned, and wear a gas mask.

    IMG_1063 by capitan Max, on Flickbr /> IMG_0115 by capitan Max, on Flickbr /> IMG_0129 by capitan Max, on Flickr

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    110kg in a tip of a board would be the best way to use the benefit of lead, and perhaps casting the bottom of the foil with lead might be the best way to go, depending on how involved you want to get with casting. Many a wood keel/foil has had holes drilled or cut into it to pour in lead, and this is another option that can avoid having to think about ballast fastenings. You might end up with a slightly higher centre of gravity doing it that way, but it can still be more effective than a plain steel flat plate. The drilled hole method does at least allow doing lead pours in small amounts, rather than a large pour in one go, should that bother you. Many ways to skin a cat!
    Ian. AKA RusBot

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    A sure sign of the Apocalypse.

    I agree with Skaraborgcraft.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Cool project and you're off to a good start. I'd worry about making the boat too heavy. Is the designer OK with the heavier scantlings and reinforcements?
    hi dave, you are right but i didnt ask. mainly because is not so much extra weigth change from 9 mm to 12 in only the bulkhead. the hull is another thing and this cannot be done with thicker plywood because is too stiff to bend and get the correct shape.

    and also i like to take some detours from original. are not big or structural change, only some kilos more. i guess all the homebuild boats are no clones from the original

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    finnaly about the lead centerboard i follow the advice from the designer dudley and also one article in the watercraft magazine where they build a cap henry and also too the wooden option in the centerboard.

    so i build it, 5 layers of good marine 9 mm plywood, the only one i was able to find in the city and leave a center hollow to be fixed with lead.

    and the lead lingot i choose to cut in long pices, so first build a wooden box to collect all the lead dust, use a repirator and a makita circular saw....

    20191207_185949.jpg

    this box was used to kked all the lead particles inside to avoid pollution in the shop and also use them later.

    the lead lingot cut very easily with the saw, just some time, also if you do in dry mode the saw get stuck inside the lead, so if you wet the blade with sawing machine oil works much better but the oil get burned and release smoke so when the oil bottle was empty the only thing available was a bottle of wd-40 and this work fantastic and didnt burn like the oil. so at the end in two evenings i cut all the lead and get the 100 kilos 3 cm thick pices, later with hand plane and chisel gewt the proper finish.

    20191207_161354.jpg

    the heavy lingots and the cutting.

    20191208_124427.jpg

    and then i glued the pices of the centerboard and put inside to test my inside ballast.

    20191208_195927.jpg

    20191214_192208.jpg

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Nicely done!

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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Flying along! Thats more lead than i was expecting, that would not have worked using the "hole-fill" method. Time to get another saw blade eh?
    Ian. AKA RusBot

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    A sure sign of the Apocalypse.

    I agree with Skaraborgcraft.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    hello. the centerboar is almost ready.
    fist i put all the lead bars glued in the center of the board. and also some mix of lead dust and epoxy. to get the dust i collected all the chips and pieces and put all in a mixer machine form my wife,,,she was not very happy! but works fine and get some really nice lead dust. all this protected air mask, gloves etc.... then mixed with epoxy and fill all the gap. laterl using a router make the surface flat then glued the top layer of the board. (5 layers of 9 mm plywood) AND THE BEGIN WITH the fiberglassig process to get enough lateral stregth, the designer says 6 layer of 300 biaxial, only got 600 gr so i used 3 layers by side, peelply in between the layers and a final one of 200 gr carbon. then the other side same process.

    20191224_164642.jpg the lead dust machine!

    20200101_195253.jpg the lead insert sanded, ready to be glued the top layer.

    20200102_195759.jpg after glued and done the final shaping of the board i cut the end edge and the frontal edge an then glued again to the same place and sanded back to almost the same shape with the idea to get a water barrier from the frontal edga when get damaged so this epoxy glued layer works as a proteccion barrier to the central board.

    20200104_201411.jpg ready to final touch, i hoist the board from a wood beam i put on the roof and some pulleys is a easy job to handle.

    20200104_201418.jpg

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    then the fiberglassing is more or less easy. in santiago now is summer with 30C so epoxy set very fast,

    first layer of 600 gr biaxial and the peelply to get smooth surface and take out all the exsess of epoxy.
    20200105_124848(0).jpgthe board ready and flat to recive the glass fiber 3 layers.

    20200105_130733.jpg with this plastic spreaders is not difficult to wet out all the epoxy. then the peelply. if i use a heat gut after that to heat the peelply this get much wet and works much easier.

    20200105_204222.jpg this is the layer number 3 of 600 graims biaxial fiberglass and epoxy. and covered by peelply heated by my heat gun

    20200106_125649.jpg then the last one a thin 200 gr carbon fiber layer, to get a nice finish. this is wet with epoxy.

    20200106_130257.jpgthis is after the peel ply, last layer. you can see the big difference in the corner complete black this is when you heat a little the peelply and the same time press a little with this foam roller, the peel ply get easily back, this means will collect all the excess of epoxy and put all the fibers more close to the surface and not swiming in a thick layer of epoxy.... if you only use the foam roller alone is difficult to get this kind of wetness in the peel ply.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Nice job! Are you using that blender to mix your epoxy or your cocktails?
    Ian. AKA RusBot

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    A sure sign of the Apocalypse.

    I agree with Skaraborgcraft.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Nice work Pablo

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Nice work Pablo,I have a sheathing job to do myself but its about 6 degrees here.I suppose you could say that on average we have it about right.........

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Two years...or two months? You work fast!

    Nice work!

    WgMkr

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    20200106_212549.jpg ready after take out the peel ply, nice surface. need to be faired and epoxy again with some thicker powder and sanded. this weekend will be the time to do the other side as will be 32c in santiago.


    20200106_212558.jpg in 2 places concave, the peel ply doesnt stick to the surface so the finish surface was very different.
    nothing cant be repair with a little of thickened epoxy and sand paper.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Building a cape henry 21 gaff cutter.

    Pablo beautiful work. I will remember your tip about using the heat gun with peel ply. Can you show how you treat the edges of the centreboard. Do you fold each layer around?

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