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Thread: The Birth of the Night Heron

  1. #1
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    Default The Birth of the Night Heron

    My son saw the progress of the ply on frame flat bottom dory I was building in the backyard and suggested I post it on this forum as it may provide a few "on the fence" would be wood boat builders the stimulus to build their own. So, here goes guys/gals for all it's worth:

    In October I celebrated my 75th birthday and while swinging in a hammock in the backyard, I got this idea. . . I know not from. I had just finished designing and building a Dock and a Pergola, so I was not in a building frenzy. . . but. . .
    JGC in Hamock.jpg

    After planning the whole thing in my mind as to LOA, Beam, configuration, displacement, etc,. I started to draw and put together a few thoughts. In a few days I came up with the following sketch and a whole bunch of notes for the build.

    Night Heron Specs.png.jpg

    Not wanting to "re-invent the wheel" or better put, re-invent a dory from scratch; I went on the net to see whose design best fit my hull sketch. I found that the Spira International Albion Pacific Dory to have the framework I required. The cost for the hull prints were inexpensive and within a few days they arrived via "snail-mail."

    Why a flat-bottomed Cuddy Cabin Dory? We live on a canal fed by the Myakka River that flows into Port Charlotte Bay that in turn flows into the Gulf of Mexico. We, my better half and I, want to explore these areas and stay overnight either on the rivers (the Peace River also flows into the bay) or the beaches on the keys of the Gulf of Mexico.

    Framing Plan Top View.jpg

    This is the framing plan for the Albion Pacific Dory that I modified to 20 feet LOA, 8 feet Beam. I also made a design change to the half angle of entry to narrow and elongate the bow. In lieu of a epoxying and screwing together the frame elements, I opted for half-lapped joints for strength and a nicer chine frame mating intersection. The transom knee was made from one piece of lumber for aesthetics as well. The overall freeboard was increased to provide the height necessary to make a proportional cuddy cabin. Recalculating the displacement I was amazed that the hull modifications would displace 4800 pounds (2177kg) the same as calculated by Spira for the design, or, zero gain.

    The boat was christened by my better half almost instantly when she saw the sketches and the Spira blueprints.- "Black-crowned Night heron." Not wanting to have such a long name, we shortened it to "Night Heron." On a post in another part of this forum - a thread was started about the origins of your boat's name that I responded to. I posted a few photos of our "Supervisor" and "Wallenda" our two resident Black-crowned Night Herons. They are not our "pets" as they are free to come and go, but as they have a sanctuary with us and are fed on a twelve hour schedule; they have made our home, their home. I designed the boat's signage a few days ago in their honor.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Kapiteinterzee; 02-28-2020 at 07:44 AM. Reason: Added more information.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Very cool! I was just down your way visiting friends in Punta Gorda. I managed to squeeze in an afternoon paddle among mangroves.
    Keep us posted on your build.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Friday morning, 28 February 2020

    The "logo" of the Night Heron are actually two - they are designed to be positioned on the boats hull port and starboard quarter showing the Heron flying "forward." Or, when view both logos show the Heron flying towards the bow.

    Slide1.jpg
    As for the boat. . .

    Here are the initial photos showing the build of the strongback in the backyard. . . and yes, Florida canal homes are not meant for boat-building in carports. Especially when building a 20' LOA, 8' Beam boat. The strongback's 5 posts are cemented 18 inches into the grassy, sloped yard ground with high strength 5000 pound cement mix. The biggest challenge was the slope of the ground towards the canal. I lost my hammock hanging space but was rewarded with a very strong, strongback.

    IMG_4016.jpgIMG_4094.jpg

    The "Lofting Table" was assembled every morning in the carport and disassembled at night to house the Jeep. The table also served as the work bench to build all the components. Since we don't have a proper shop, the carport was used to set up the power tools such as the drill press, the circular saw, and an assortment of hand tools apropos to the build. Setting up every morning was a half hour affair and the take-down and subsequent cleanup in the late afternoon, another hour.

    The front of our house faces dead North; the carport creates a venturi effect. . . when we had winds from the South, Southeast or Southwest, wood shavings and sandpaper dust would sprinkle the Jeep, the driveway and the front lawn. This added another 30 minutes to cleanup that included sweeping, hosing down the carport floor and walls, Jeep and the driveway. Ahhhhh. . . what we do to satisfy our passions!

    IMG_4022.jpg

    More to follow as today is "waiting for the epoxy to full cure day."
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Kapiteinterzee; 02-28-2020 at 04:10 PM. Reason: missing photos

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Nice Mods. Looking forward to seeing more.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Friday morning, 28 February continues. . .

    [Too bad this forum restricts photos to only 5 per post.]

    The saga continues:

    Note: All the framing elements are Southern Yellow Pine; every plank was inspected and selected to be clean, with tight knots and as close as possible to quarter-sawn lumber. It took various trips to a number of big box stores to sort through, literally, hundreds of SYP lumber planks.

    Transom

    We started the boat build assembling the transom as this was an easy build with which to start. It was also pretty easy to cut and assemble inside the carport, even on rainy days. We used pocket screws and epoxy to build it.

    IMG_4033.jpg

    Frame Work

    The frames were cut on the table saw to lengths as specified but with a change as to configuration. After the framing elements were cut to size they were half-lapped at the rib to frame cross-member joint. Additionally, the ribs were tapered up towards the sheer clamp. The reason we went this route, though more labor intensive and time consuming, was simple - we want to make this boat's interior look aesthetically pleasing and more of a people cruising, than a fishing/work boat. BTW, we too fish but this boat is not just for that purpose.

    Modern and traditional ("Old School") woodworking techniques were used. . . power table and miter saws, chisels, hammer, Japanese pull saw and hand planes all contributed to the final product.

    IMG_20191114_100853907.jpgHalf Lap Frames.jpgRouted Frames.jpg

    Mounted on the strongback the task started to look like a serious effort at boatbuilding and not as our neighbor, Dan, thought. . . a thought he shared with us a few days later - "Joe must be building a bird perch for feeding their Herons."

    IMG_4085.jpg

    That's it for this 5 photo post. . . it'll continue in a few more moments.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Still Friday morning, 28 February 2020 [and still waiting for the epoxy to fully cure.]

    Another Materials Note:
    The screws used for assembling the transom and frames are silicone bronze. We consciously made a decision that any part of the boat that may come in contact with salt or brackish canal water would be silicone bronze. Any part of the boat above the waterline and in the interior not a part of the frames would be 316 stainless.

    The epoxy we used was loaded with cabosil and wood flour generated by our power belt sander. These elements gave us very strong and well filled joints. A few lapped joint cuts were a bit "loose" and had to be refilled with the epoxy. These joints not only look good but are super-strong. The epoxy/filler formula we concocted is simple; the instructions were found in a post from many years ago on this very forum. It is 1/3 cabosil, 1/3 wood flour and 1/3 epoxy. It works so well that we're using it for planking too!

    Frame Positioning and Fairing
    Ok. . . so positioning the keelson, stem and frames and fairing them is tedious, frustrating and a pain to get right.

    To begin, we set the frames onto the strongback holding stands that were made to the appropriate height and length as per the Spira blueprints.

    Then we made two wood guides with dimensionally correct spacing tabs along their length, one for the port and one for the starboard side of the frames. These spacing guides made the task of aligning the ribs easier as both sides were exactly at the same dimension. They also made the keelson/frame fixing a breeze. Notching of the frame/chine log slots was a faster and more precise task once everything was fixed. The the starboard side guide is visible on top of the frames near the notches for the chine log. As we all know. . . this is a crucial task and should be carefully performed.

    Notched Frames and Chine Log.jpgNotched Frames 1.jpg

    The actual notching combined new and traditional woodworking tools. . . a vibrating blade multi-tool and a Japanese pull saw. The electric tool gave me the rough cut and the pull saw gave me the fine finished cut. I called this last operation "finessing" the notch. This part of the build is also "crucial" as the planking will not lay flat to the chine log if these slots are off on angle and depth. A funny anecdote here worth mentioning. . .

    I was "finessing" a slot when the better half announced lunch, to which I responded - "Can't stop now because I'm finessing the slot." She replied - "Don't you use those vulgar song lyrics to answer me!" [She thought I was using the lyrics of a song named "Raw" by Valee & Chasethemoney, a hiphop vulgar song we heard a neighbor's son play on his car sound system.] So much for that. . . the lunch was good.

    The keelson, chine logs and sheer plates had to be lengthened by scarfing two lengths of lumber together the old fashion way. . . using hand tools.

    IMG_4118.jpgIMG_20191209_122204274_HDR.jpgIMG_20191209_085354489.jpg

    And that is my five photo allotment for this post. . . more coming. . . hang in there boat huggers. . . or are we just tree huggers applying the trade(?)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Friday afternoon, 28 February 2020

    I can't believe that I'm still at this. . . maybe I should have titled this post - "The Old Man and the Boat Build". . . [Sorry Papa, when we get to 1600 hours we'll do your favorite drink - a very cold and dry martini - in memoriam.]

    Framing (continued)
    The framing deviated from the blueprints once assembly on the strongback began. We decided to embed the stem into the keelson and to strengthen the bow, i.e., the stem/keelson/chine log junction as we anticipate landing on pebbly peaches and riversides and the occasional bump when near hard water.

    Stem Embedded in Keelson.jpg

    Frame 11, just behind the stem, was also modified and moved forward and strengthened to suit the new half angle needed to elongate the LOA to 20'.

    Let the sanding frenzy begin. Fairing the frames to accommodate the planking is a female dog! [Not that we have anything against female canines. . . so please.]

    The flat plywood 1/2 inch (12mm) quarter panel we used to fair every frame got heavier as we worked our way from the stem to the transom. The hull sides were a routine of place the panel on the rib, hold in place with hand clamps. Pencil the frame to the correct angle, remove the panel and go to it with a belt sander and 50 grit sandpaper. Repeat for 22 ribs and the transom and then, repeat on the starboard and port bottom frames where the planking will lay making for a flat and sloping bottom.

    Not to worry it only took three weeks of six, 5 hour days (about 100 hours). . . BTW, we did not work the boat on the sabbath, or obviously, when it rained.

    IMG_20191211_130335156.jpg


    Plywood Planking

    Here comes the controversy(ies). . .

    What is the best plywood to use for planking a ply on frame boat that is cost effective.

    We looked at Marine, ABX, BCX, and all those others many have touted and/or denigrated, ad nauseam. Yes, Marine is the preferred ply but our issue is cost as we are retired and can only count on a 401 pension and US Social Security. While these incomes are sufficient for us to live relatively well, they do not provide much of a cushion to splurge on our "like to haves." After researching countless hours on what others used in lieu of Marine Ply, how they used their boats and the maintenance they provided - we settled on BCX coated with a very popular penetrating epoxy (another controversy in-itself.)

    We used 6, 1/2" (12mm) ply sheets for the hull sides and 5, 3/4" (19mm) ply sheets for the bottom and transom. The total expense for plywood and epoxy was within our budget and the cost was expensed over a month's worth of direct deposits from our retirement sources. The bottom's and transom plywood planks were nailed to the frames, using 1 3/4" (45mm) silicone bronze ring nails at 4" (100mm) spacing. Above the waterline on the hull sides we used 316 s/s 1 1/2" (38mm) # 8 screws on 4" (100mm) spacing.

    IMG_4164.jpgIMG_4235.jpg


    And that brings us to the end of this post as the machine will not let me have my allotted 5 photos.

    To be continued after lunch.
    Last edited by Kapiteinterzee; 02-28-2020 at 02:38 PM. Reason: missing photo

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Friday afternoon, 28 February, 2020 about a short hour to toasting Papa with the very cold Dry Martini in memoriam.

    Hull Fairing
    Cutting the plywood panels to size was relatively easy as we followed convention and used the boat's stem, transom, chine log and sheer plates as guides. To have as little backing plates as possible, we cut the hull side panels to the nearest frame when the panel ended past the frame rib. Doing this allows the following panel to butt up against it on the frame, hence, no backing plate required. This worked well for the hull sides but did not for the bottom planking where we had two seams where the bottom panels butted to each other past or short of the frames.

    However, fairing was another issue - it was a time consuming and delicate operation requiring constant assessment of the straightness of the "lines" along the chine, sheer and transom planes. Rounding the edges of the plywood panels to allow good epoxy/fiberglass adhesion was a very time consuming and tiring activity; a day of this breathing mask, safety glasses and hearing muffs on and off and more sanding and sighting left me exhausted as I lost track of time and worked into the evening. Only the better half's insistence on stopping all activity at 1730 hours kept me from suffering exhaustion.

    IMG_20200114_120731196_HDR.jpgIMG_20200116_092215378.jpgIMG_4232.jpgHull Epoxied.jpg

    To fair the bottom to the hull panels we used a jigsaw for the rough cut and a router for the closer cut that left a 1/16" (1.5mm) proud edge along the bottom. A belt sander with 80 grit sandpaper carefully applied made the panels flush to each other.

    Oh great. . . now the machine stopped me at 4 photos. . . oh well, I guess I'll stop here for today.

    Tomorrow Saturday morning. . . fiber-glassing the beast.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Looking good, great progress.Put some radius on those chines before glassing.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Hey Oldad,

    You got ahead of me on this particular item. . . I was going to post these tomorrow but now that you brought it up. . .

    IMG_20200228_171926062.jpgIMG_20200228_171938719.jpg
    Yes all corners have been radiused.

    BTW, when these were taken, these guys were on the hull after the bottom had become hard.

    IMG_20200227_070917484.jpg

    That's Wallenda on the stern and The Supervisor near midships.

    Have a great evening!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Looks great
    Skip

    ---This post is delivered with righteous passion and with a solemn southern directness --
    ...........fighting against the deliberate polarization of politics...

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Great job on the glassing, now how about some stringers on the bottom?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Saturday morning, 29 February, 2020

    Happy Birthday to those in the cohort that were born on this leap day. . . wherever you are. It's 48 degrees outside and you can bet that I'll be in here writing and not out there fooling around with the cold cured epoxy.

    We left the last post at the cutting, mounting and fitting of the panels to the frames. We did not touch the adhesives used and here is why:

    Materials Note: Epoxies

    This is another controversial subject between boaters, professional builders and us, the garage or yard boat builders. We cannot endorse on this forum one brand over the other because I believe each person has a favorite marque and, well, we all know about personal preferences. However, we will provide our personal preferences without going into brands or manufacturers.

    First - We prefer the 2:1 (resin to hardener) ratio epoxies because of the simple math involved. It's easy to remember the "two to one", even in the heat of preparing multiple batches with the added pressure that the fiberglass cloth you're wetting is setting up as you mix for the next application. When you're fiberglassing a hull's worth of 6 ounce (170gr) cloth measuring 50 inches (1.27m) by 20 feet (6m) and your epoxy set time is 20 minutes, well. . . you'll know first hand what pressure is, especially if you're working alone.

    Second - We like using one epoxy for Framing members and Planking, one for penetrating the plywood panels and another for wetting the fiberglass cloth.

    Frames and Planking - We used an expensive epoxy from a well-known manufacturer that cost around $160 (145 euros) for one gallon (3.8 Lts) of resin and 1/2 gallon (1.9 Lts) of hardener. We purchased this epoxy because it's considered "soft" although you can't tell by feel or touch. On the Shore Hardness test this epoxy was at the lower quadrant compared with the "harder epoxies." As we all know, structures are subject to stresses on all planes and boat frames and hull "skins" are always in movement when on the water. We wanted a soft epoxy that "flexes" as the frame and plywood sheath flexes. An epoxy that is very hard can become so brittle over time that the joint fails, even in our small crafts. This may or may not be a concern to most boaters but it is to us.

    Plywood Panels - We purchased penetrating epoxy to give our inexpensive BCX plywood panels a "fighting chance" at longevity. This epoxy is from a well-known manufacturer and even though there is controversy over the effectiveness of these "penetrating epoxies" we figured that for the small investment involved, we'd give it a try. The total cost spread for the BCX ply and penetrating epoxy, when compared to Marine ply sheathing, is very notable.

    Fiberglass Skin - We purchased an inexpensive epoxy (1/2 the cost of our frame/planking epoxy) not because of it's cost, but because of it's hardness. On the Shore Hardness scale this epoxy was in the top quadrant for hardness. We're using BCX plywood panels so we want the best protection for the hull we can get from our two layer fiberglass skin. This hard epoxy is an exceptionally better product for our application as the hull will be subjected to canal, Gulf of Mexico pebbly beaches, river muck and rocky shores. We also made a fairing compound test patch with this hard epoxy and although it was a bit harder to fair. . . the results were excellent.

    So, there you have it.

    IMG_4234.jpg
    Frames to plywood panel using thickened "soft" epoxy and fasteners

    IMG_4305.jpgIMG_4310.jpg
    Fiberglass sheathing (two layers) the hull with "hard" epoxy

    IMG_20200212_101313913.jpg
    The "Finished Product" as my daughter calls it.

    IMG_20191218_115900511.jpg
    The Finished Product under it's weather tarp awaiting the next step - Hull fairing . . . stay tuned work begins the Monday, 02 March 2020.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Great thread so far -- Thanks for posting





    Rick

  15. #15
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldad View Post
    Great job on the glassing, now how about some stringers on the bottom?
    Hi Oldad,

    Flat bottomed Dories do not need stringers either on the bottom or hull as they are monocoupe construction.

    I believe you are referring to the strakes that make for better handling while providing a measure of wear protection for the bottom.

    Bottom Strakes.jpg
    Thanks for asking. . . Best regards.

    J.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Looking very good -- keep them photos a'comin!
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    Looking very good -- keep them photos a'comin!
    Hey Thorne,

    Like your tricorne hat!

    We have a few hundred photos. . . here are a few showing our efforts to round out the transom's square outboard cutout, the transom knee and the work platform.

    Rounding the Transom Corners.jpg
    Rounding the outboard cutout at the corner required making two wood arced plugs, epoxied into the corners.

    Transom Knee.jpgTransom Knee Shaping.jpg
    The transom/keelson knee was shaped on a table belt sander after the general shape was cut by a jigsaw. The 17 degree angle was a Bear.

    Building The Work Platform.jpg
    To access the starboard side of the boat's hull we had to build a work platform as the slope is a 17 degrees drop ending at the seawall.

    Reference Manuals.jpg
    We believe everyone should read these FREE publications, available on the net, if they want to successfully do a wood boat.

    That's it for today. . . time to run out to Denny's for breakfast! [BTW, Denny's is not a sponsor!]

    J.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    Very cool! I was just down your way visiting friends in Punta Gorda. I managed to squeeze in an afternoon paddle among mangroves.
    Keep us posted on your build.
    Hey Fellow New Yorker,

    Thanks for your comment. . . always a good thing to hear from our city folk - once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker.

    Now you know where the Night Heron will be cruising after the splash; we're glad you enjoyed our neck of the woods.

    FYI, we used to go down to Staten Island from Manhattan when we were young adults on summer vacation to relax on South Beach. We stayed there with a few relatives that lived off then newly christened Capodano Blvd. Memories. . . it was great doing the Ferry (no automobiles, public transportation) and once settled, walking over to the beach on those hot humid days of New York summers and watching the big boats motor into New York Harbor.

    Your note sparked these good memories. . . thanks!

    Best regards johngsandusky.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Very nice! Great project and the photos make it a great record of the build so far :-)

  20. #20
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Great work so far! A few performance tips:

    1. Build up the bottom edge of the transom to 1/8" radius with thickened epoxy. Water must break cleanly off this edge.
    2. Use an even number of bottom lifting strakes (4). You don't want a strake directly forward of the outboard.
    3. Check the transom rake angle. Use tapered motor plates if you need to get closer to 14 degrees.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiff Man View Post
    Great work so far! A few performance tips:

    1. Build up the bottom edge of the transom to 1/8" radius with thickened epoxy. Water must break cleanly off this edge.
    2. Use an even number of bottom lifting strakes (4). You don't want a strake directly forward of the outboard.
    3. Check the transom rake angle. Use tapered motor plates if you need to get closer to 14 degrees.
    Thank you so much Skiff Man,

    Your sage advice is highly appreciated and we will take it!

    We'll change our transom edge to make it more square; we certainly don't want water swirling and causing drag on the stern.

    The modification to 4 evenly spaced strakes is golden - this should have been obvious as the outboard should not have any obstruction in front of the anti-ventilation plate.

    And finally, you're right on the 14 degrees. . . we'll do a retake to see if we can adjust it as we don't want the thrust angle to be off at idling speed - a posted requirement in these canals and some areas of the rivers and Port Charlotte Bay.

    Thanks again!

    J.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Friday evening, 2100 hours, 6 March, 2020

    Hi All,

    It's been a heck of a week. . . or "That was the week that was!"

    On Monday morning, 2 March, the task of fairing was on the agenda and to begin, we made a 12 ounce (355ml) batch of compound with 1/3 cabosil, 1/3 talcum and 1/3 epoxy resin. We spread the thickened epoxy over a number of places where a few overlapped fiberglass cloth ridges occurred. We also found a significant amount of slight indentations on the transom and filled them too.

    As the epoxy would take 24 hours to harden; we set upon our second task - making a "Night Heron Shoulder Buster" to sand the dried epoxy once set.

    IMG_20200303_101440054.jpgIMG_20200303_104604097_HDR.jpgLongboard in Use.jpg

    The Night Heron Shoulder Buster is a 17 inch (43cm) long x 3 inches (76mm) wide homemade long board made from scraps of materials found around the house. The wood board is cut from 1/4 inch (6.35mm) plywood to length and width noted. The 3/8 inch (9.5mm) thick rubber pad was cut to the same dimensions as the plywood; the pad was cut from an old yoga mat that was sitting in a closet gathering dust. The two handles were cut from an old wood drape rod made from pine wood, measuring 1 1/2 inches (38mm) diameter. The two handles are 3 inches (76mm) long and drilled in the center to accept a 1 1/2 inch (38mm) long number 10 wood screw. The drill diameter is the root diameter of the #10 wood screw, 7/64 inch (2.7mm). The plywood piece is drilled at each end, 3 inches (76mm) from the edges, centered and countersunk. The screws are attached to the handles through the plywood and epoxied with 5 minute epoxy to insure tightness of the handles to the plywood. The rubber pad is epoxied with 5 minute epoxy to the plywood panel, capturing the screws inside. In 5 hours the shoulder buster is ready for use.

    The sandpaper is either 40, 50, 60, 80, 100 or 120 grit as required, and comes from our belt sander that uses 21 inch (53.3cm) x 3 inches (76mm) sanding belts. We purposely used 17 inches (43cm) for the longboard's length because the sanding belts fit over the ends of the longboard with no need to modify them. We hold the sanding belts on the longboard using a strip of duct tape at each end. Keep it simple. . . and saved $30 USD (26 euros) to boot.

    The fairing nightmare started in earnest on Tuesday and lasted all day Wednesday. . . about 12 hours worth. My shoulders were sore after that activity and I soaked in very hot conditioned water in the Jacuzzi tub every afternoon after the task. It helped a little.

    IMG_4335.jpg

    Thursday and today, Friday, was spent (or invested?) setting the waterline tape around the hull and priming the ransom, port and starboard surfaces [with a few bouts of "fairing the few spots missed"] using a high build primer we used many years ago. BTW, the high build above the waterline primer we used has the same ingredients as the "best selling" marine primer sold for three times as much. When you get to the "priming the hull activity" we recommend you take my better half's suggestion to "read the labels and shop around." You may end up saving a bunch of bucks. Again, personal preferences.

    IMG_20200306_131829077.jpg

    The hull is primed and awaiting sanding. . . another longboard activity using a finer grit to get the surface prepped for topside paint.

    The bottom, stills needs the strakes to be mounted and the trailing edge (transom) squared to 1/8 inch (3mm) radius as suggested by Skiff Man- scheduled for next week.

    After those items are done, we'll paint the bottom black with a "hard bottom anti-fouling paint" designed for power boats that do not sleep in the water for more than a days at a time.

    Wow, now we know why professional fairers/painters in boatyards make the big bucks!

    My photo allotment of 5 has been met so. . . until next week.

    Thank you all - your good comments and suggestions inspire us to continue the effort!

    J.
    Last edited by Kapiteinterzee; 03-06-2020 at 09:48 PM. Reason: missing photos

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Virginia
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    It's always great to get some paint on the plywood (visually). But I think you are a little premature with the priming. I would install sheer strakes now (maybe 0.75" by 5"). Your washboard/deck will get glued/screwed down onto these (2% athwartships slope). Then your rubrails (maybe 0.75" by 2") cover the end grain of the washboard/deck. You also need to install the outer stem, and the spray rails half way up the topsides. Drill your hole for the bow eye now in the outer stem using the drill press. Then use it as a guide to drill through the inner stem.

    If you are going to be running the boat up on the bank, and keeping the boat on the trailer, you might consider a graphite bottom finish. The high-build primer on the bottom might be too soft. Also, why not use epoxy/microballoons for a fairing compound? Your project has me psyched up for my next build! Keep chugging along. Once you completely finish the bottom, turn the boat onto the trailer for the rest of the build.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New Zealand's Far North
    Posts
    9,739

    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    I'm enjoying following your build, and admire your productivity!
    I would rather have doubt than be certain and wrong.
    Richard Feynman.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    North Port, Florida, USA
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiff Man View Post
    It's always great to get some paint on the plywood (visually). But I think you are a little premature with the priming. I would install sheer strakes now (maybe 0.75" by 5"). Your washboard/deck will get glued/screwed down onto these (2% athwartships slope). Then your rubrails (maybe 0.75" by 2") cover the end grain of the washboard/deck. You also need to install the outer stem, and the spray rails half way up the topsides. Drill your hole for the bow eye now in the outer stem using the drill press. Then use it as a guide to drill through the inner stem.

    If you are going to be running the boat up on the bank, and keeping the boat on the trailer, you might consider a graphite bottom finish. The high-build primer on the bottom might be too soft. Also, why not use epoxy/microballoons for a fairing compound? Your project has me psyched up for my next build! Keep chugging along. Once you completely finish the bottom, turn the boat onto the trailer for the rest of the build.
    Hey Skiff Man,

    Thanks for the recommendations, but this time we have a set of circumstances that are, well, "old man stuff" we guess you'd call it.

    First, we got this hair. . . no use repeating that old foul saying - but looking at plywood brown with a yellowish tint got the best of me. So, the remedy? Prime it!

    Secondly, everything else you noted will happen but not in the order you logically laid out. The two bottom strakes (now in process) will be on by Wednesday, 11 March. Once these are on we'll re-epoxy the bottom, prepare it for bottom paint and paint it with the hard black anti-fouling. The two bottom rakes should be OK as we don't plan on doing landing craft beachings. The spray rails will also go on after these chores are finished.

    Thereafter, the real fun begins - smoothing the hull's primed hull and above the waterline finishing with top-side paint. This looks like, roughly, two weeks out.

    FYI, we looked at Graphite as a bottom paint alternative, but as the boat will be tied to our dock in the canal's brackish water for about three weeks, we decided to go the safe route with anti-fouling. It'll take about three weeks to build the launching and retrieval slipway we designed. BTW, our home designed slipway will have pneumatic tires to facilitate launchings and retrievals with a 120VAC power winch to lower into the canal and pull the boat up on the hard. As we near completion of the build, we'll post the slipway design and the "as built" photos on this forum. Maybe some other boaters may be interested in a slipway if they live near the edge of the water.

    We do not plan on trailering at this time - maybe in the future but not for now.

    As for the top rails and sheer strakes - we just can't work upside down on these as they will be highly detailed - another right-side up project. We also worry that the hull flipping to right-side up may damage the strakes and rails. So we'll be extra cautious and work on these when the hull is flipped.

    Finally, the Bow Eye is also a boat right-side up task as we want to test a few heights for aesthetic and functional (slipway appropriate height) reasons.

    And that's it, Skiff Man. . . keep those ideas coming as this build is far from being finished. As an old proverb states - "It takes a village."

    Thanks again!

    J.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    North Port, Florida, USA
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Sunday, 15 March, 2020

    Hi All,
    A week has passed since my last post - this week was dedicated to making and mounting bottom strakes, squaring the transom edge, fairing the primer and experimenting with a touch of color.

    The Strakes
    We made the stakes from a large batch of white oak flooring my neighbor, Stan, had taken up from a house he purchased and was remodeling. We enjoy recycling and getting 60 inch (152cm) x 6 inch (15cm) x 5/16 inch (8mm) white oak planks that we felt were seasoned enough after 40 years in a Florida environment to recycle into boat lumber.
    My better half said that we were making silk purses from sow's ears. . . I couldn't have said it better.

    A Sow's Ear 2.jpgThe Bottom Strake.jpg
    The oak floor boards still had vinyl floor tiles still stuck to them so cleaning and sanding was a few days worth of work with the portable electric plane, the table saw and belt sander. Once these were at dimension, we epoxied the pieces into a 14 foot (4.24m) long, 1 3/8 inch wide (3.5cm) x 1 inch high (2.54cm) strake. To prevent white oak adhesion, expansion and contraction issues, we nailed # 8 silicone bronze nails spaced every 8 inches (20cm) to provide some stability to the wood. The strakes were secured to the bottom using thickened epoxy/wood flour/cabosil mix and mechanically using silicone bronze screws at each frame/bottom skin junction.

    The Transom and Fairing
    The transom's edge was "squared off" using the epoxy/wood flour mix and is awaiting full cure to smooth it out on Monday. 16 March. Additionally, we faired the transom and experimented with a few fairing mix ratios to fill a number of "pin holes and pockets." The rest of the Hull's primer was faired using the longboard and our special fairing primer mix of cabosil and primer to make a thicker fill where needed (pin holes/pockets.) Even primer fairing was time consuming and a strain on the shoulders and arms.

    Transom Bottom Edge.jpgIMG_20200314_154610195_HDR.jpg


    Hull Details
    This last photo shows the mounted strakes; the re-epoxied bottom to avoid "sack finish" and smoothing out the fiberglass surface; waterline stripe experiment for color and durability and: the bottom paint experiment to ascertain how hard it really is. All in all, we were pleased with the results.

    IMG_20200314_154543780.jpg
    OK. . . here is one for the cohort. . . "to spray rail or not to spray rail". . . We like the lines of the hull and have mixed feelings about putting a slanted piece of wood on it. Any thoughts?????

    Well, my five photo allotment has been consumed so we will update next Sunday, 22 March or maybe earlier.

    Stay healthy all and until next week.

    J.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Virginia
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    I guess you already got my vote on the sprayrails. I wouldn't build a flatiron power skiff without them since the chines forward tend to send slices of water up the topsides then they blow into the boat. 1.5"x1.5" exactly halfway between sheerline and chine, starting right at the stem to just past half the boat length (or the entire boat length if you want, two pieces of 0.75" laminated). Round off the top of the sprayrail, but leave the bottom edge sharp. Taper and round off the ends. Ha!

    I also voted for 4 bottom strakes. Flatbottom boats like this have poor lateral grip, particularly forward, and blow off in crosswinds. The 4 bottom strakes usually straddle the trailer bunks.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    North Port, Florida, USA
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiff Man View Post
    I guess you already got my vote on the sprayrails. I wouldn't build a flatiron power skiff without them since the chines forward tend to send slices of water up the topsides then they blow into the boat. 1.5"x1.5" exactly halfway between sheerline and chine, starting right at the stem to just past half the boat length (or the entire boat length if you want, two pieces of 0.75" laminated). Round off the top of the sprayrail, but leave the bottom edge sharp. Taper and round off the ends. Ha!

    I also voted for 4 bottom strakes. Flatbottom boats like this have poor lateral grip, particularly forward, and blow off in crosswinds. The 4 bottom strakes usually straddle the trailer bunks.

    Hi Skiff Man,
    You're right. . . spray rails are required and we admit it was a foolish idea not to make and install them. We are now in the process of making these following a triangular shape we found in a study on the subject of "Benchmark Testing of Spray Deflection. . ." by a Swedish postgraduate student in 2018. BTW, your 1.5 inch X 1.5 inch (38mm X 38mm) dimension is very accurate. . . Did you arrive at those dimensions by experience or did you follow some naval architect's recommendations?

    We revisited your recommendations for working on Night Heron while upside down and, we're not proud, you're right. . . we' ll continue to do as much as we can, including working on her interior too.

    The bottom strakes are still an issue and lateral resistance, which we've had experience with over the years, has me thinking about increasing the wetted surface of the two strakes mounted by adding another inch (25mm) to their height. The extra height will not cause any draft issues as the outboard we plan on using will drop past the transom edge by, approximately, 6 inches (15cm); all told the bottom strakes will project 2 1/4 inches (57mm) for the entire length of 14 feet (4.27m).

    Any more thoughts are appreciated!!

    The boat lettering and logo arrived yesterday. . . attached a photo of the artwork that will be placed on the starboard quarter. The port quarter has the Heron facing forward too.

    Night Heron Logo.jpg

    An update with photos will follow on Sunday, 22 March.

    Stay healthy!

    J.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Lexington, MA
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    J.-

    Thanks for making this thread. It's been fun to follow along on your build.

    When you're through, don't forget to chronicle you adventurers every now and then. We get to watch the build, but we rarely get to see the boats in use.

    Kenny
    Almost everything about boats involves so much more time and money than one anticipates that rational and accurate planning will deter even starting. Ian McColgin

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    North Port, Florida, USA
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Quote Originally Posted by minuteman View Post
    J.-

    Thanks for making this thread. It's been fun to follow along on your build.

    When you're through, don't forget to chronicle you adventurers every now and then. We get to watch the build, but we rarely get to see the boats in use.

    Kenny
    Thank you so much minuteman,

    The saga is not over after splashing. . . we'll report the "sea trials" and the areas we plan to motor to on the two rivers and bay nearby.

    Stay healthy.

    J.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Virginia
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Quote Originally Posted by Kapiteinterzee View Post
    To have as little backing plates as possible, we cut the hull side panels to the nearest frame when the panel ended past the frame rib. Doing this allows the following panel to butt up against it on the frame, hence, no backing plate required.
    This concerns me. The hull topsides are like the web of an I girder. They carry the loads that cause longitudinal bending of the hull. You are down to a layer of fiberglass and a very narrow splice carrying the shear stresses across your topside butt joints. Plywood topsides are spliced using one of two methods: Scarfing or butt blocks. Scarfs are 10-15 thicknesses long, and butt blocks are 20-30 thicknesses long. I would cut those frames out at the butts when the boat is flipped, and laminate in a couple layers of 1/4" plywood to bring the boat up to strength. Butts are usually centered between frames to accommodate the butt blocks.

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    North Port, Florida, USA
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiff Man View Post
    This concerns me. The hull topsides are like the web of an I girder. They carry the loads that cause longitudinal bending of the hull. You are down to a layer of fiberglass and a very narrow splice carrying the shear stresses across your topside butt joints. Plywood topsides are spliced using one of two methods: Scarfing or butt blocks. Scarfs are 10-15 thicknesses long, and butt blocks are 20-30 thicknesses long. I would cut those frames out at the butts when the boat is flipped, and laminate in a couple layers of 1/4" plywood to bring the boat up to strength. Butts are usually centered between frames to accommodate the butt blocks.
    Hi Skiff Man,
    Just saw your post re the panel butt joints at the frames - a build detail we noted in one of our earlier posts. You did an excellent analysis of a failure waiting to happen, so we figure it's time to describe our design for these 4 frame/joints. We realize now that we should have gone into more details on an important issue that is skin/frame integrity.

    Our plan was and still is to fiberglass these panels using 1708 cloth on both sides of the frame from chine log to sheer clamp. The cured thickness of the 1708 will be about 3/8 inch (9mm) thick and 2 inches (50mm) wide on the panel and frame. The boat's bottom has backing plates that are the same thickness of the ply - 3/4 inch (19mm) as required and of no concern.

    That's it. . . and thanks for the observations, do appreciate it and keep them coming.

    Be well and stay healthy.

    J.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Toodyay, Western Australia
    Posts
    1,214

    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Good thread. Nice to see the local wildlife taking part in your build. I often have some local maggies enter my shed to check out what all the noise and dust is about this time. They dropped their black and white marks of approval on my boat at various stages of her construction... and I reckon this is why she turned out so well. I'd say with your bird visitors helping out your boat is going to turn out amazingly successful for sure! Looks great so far.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    North Port, Florida, USA
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Quote Originally Posted by Small boats rock View Post
    Good thread. Nice to see the local wildlife taking part in your build. I often have some local maggies enter my shed to check out what all the noise and dust is about this time. They dropped their black and white marks of approval on my boat at various stages of her construction... and I reckon this is why she turned out so well. I'd say with your bird visitors helping out your boat is going to turn out amazingly successful for sure! Looks great so far.
    Thank you Small boats rock,

    Always good to hear good comments. BTW, our two Herons, Wallenda and The Supervisor have baptized our hull since the fiberglass skins were laid down on the ply and we decided to leave the hull "out in the open" with no protective tarp. Since we wash the hull almost every day; we figure that the boat is almost ready for it's first communion. . .

    Be well and stay healthy.

    J.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    North Port, Florida, USA
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: The Birth of the Night Heron

    Sunday morning, 22 March 2020

    Hey All,

    Here is the latest installment of our daily saga with Night Heron. . .

    Our last post took us to the primer stage when out of desperation we needed to change that plywood brown/fiberglass yellowish color into something more pleasing. Call it an "old man's" fetish or whatever, but we needed a color change. What followed those three days of coating; one coating and sanding per day became a vicious circle of fairing, adding primer to cover pinholes and gashes, and fairing again.

    Primer Fairing
    The Night Heron Arm Buster with 230 grit sandpaper became both my best friend and worst enemy. At night, a shower spewing very hot water directly on my shoulder and arm muscles and 3 "Aleve PMs" before bedtime became a ritual for the whole week. But. . . gotta done!
    Fairing the Primer 2.jpg
    Or so we thought!

    Bottom Masking & Painting
    Before continuing with hull painting, we masked off the primed area and proceeded to paint the bottom with a very hard bottom paint. Three coats with three hours between coats gave us time to do additional masking of other "to be painted areas."
    IMG_4373.jpgIMG_4376.jpg

    Spray Rails & Gunwales
    Between bottom paint applications we managed to affix lumber to the hull to size and fit the gunwales prior to scarfing and final fitting.
    Sizing the Gunwales.jpg

    Above the Waterline Painting
    We started to paint the hull a very shiny white Alkd Topside paint. As some of you may know, painting with Alkd paints is a dual to the death with time and technique that can only be mastered with practice. Something we lacked. Roll and tip sounds easy but it's not and ignorance being what it is we attempted to give it go. All in all it turned out OK, not a very professional application, but acceptable to us. The procedure is time consuming too - wash the primed area with solvent, paint one coat and wait 24 hours for the paint to cure. The next day, lightly sand the paint with 260 grit sandpaper, wash with solvent and apply 2nd coat. Let dry 24 hours and repeat the process before painting the third and final coat. Let dry for 3 days or more.
    Alkyd Painting the Hull 1.jpg


    Oops. . . my five photo allotment has been met. . . continued below
    Last edited by Kapiteinterzee; 03-22-2020 at 12:12 PM. Reason: photo missing again

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