Monday, 30 March 2015

Crazy woman with drill

Was too impatient to even change out of my work clothes.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Laminating the Skeg & Stem

I'd laminated the stem previously, from three thicknesses of 4mm Tassie Oak. Here it is finally attached to the boat, sealing off the end-grain at the bow:

I'm currently doing the rest of the skeg, from laminations of my favourite timber to plane, Jarrah. This is done in three pieces - bow, centreboard case surrounds, and stern. I've mostly finished shaping the bow and stern pieces. The bits around the centreboard case need another bit of 19x40mm Jarrah laminated on at the stern end before being planed down to shape and then screwed and glued in place.

My upside-down boat makes a handy workbench.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Clinker planking detail

This is the detail of the joins between most of the planks on my Navigator, or at least what I'm aiming for :)

Monday, 16 March 2015

Fairing and fibreglass

I spent a few evenings prepping the hull for fibreglassing. This basically consisted of sanding back the rough edges and filling holes with filler, then repeating the exercise a couple of times until I was reasonably happy things were fair.

I bought 10m of 135gsm fibreglass, and laid it in two strips either side of the centreboard case, with a little overlap where the keelson will end up. Here's the first side placed. It was quite a bit easier than I anticipated. Just lay the fibreglass on the hull and pour some unthickened epoxy on top, then work the epoxy in using a plastic squeegee. The fibreglass just lays down nicely. Then once the epoxy has had a little time to set up, the excess gets trimmed. The photo shows in between trimming the edge and the stern.

At this point the weave of the fibreglass is clear, but it's gone completely transparent. This shows it's properly wetted out and that there's no excess epoxy, which would allow it to float off the surface of the ply.

The other side is done exactly the same. Lay the glass down and soak it with epoxy. Here's what the fibreglass looks like immediately prior to mixing the goop.

Once both sides have set up, I coated it again in a coat of unthickened epoxy, then a couple of coats of thickened goop, thickened with micro-balloons to the point where it was still just pourable. My squeegee is the perfect tool for application, followed by the sponge roller to even out any overly thick bits.

Once this has set up, I'll sand it smooth and then coat out the rest of the hull with thickened epoxy.

Saturday, 7 March 2015


I'm really, really sick of fillets. I figured that rather than grinding on with the interior, I'd flip the boat over and have a go at the underside. So today was flipping day.

We started by hoisting the boat straight up. Some Jarrah beams rigged between two industrial shelf supports provided a lifting point, and we used slings around the hull. Once the building frame was pulled clear, the boat is now hanging by a thread, as it were.

Then we slid the rope along the sling to rotate the boat. It was incredibly slow, hard work. Mogget's a little offended that his favourite perch is now at 45 degrees.

Mogget shows his extreme bravery by wandering underneath while it's suspended. His mum's knot tying abilities are nothing to write home about.

I was pondering doing more work on the fillets at this point. Much better access.

Here's the tipping point. There wasn't quite enough space under the beams for the boat sideways, so we had to lift them up a bit. I did this one corner at a time.

Everything happened quite quickly after that, so the camera was forgotten. Here's the boat resting on it's king plank and one sawhorse at the aft, after breaking the sawhorse I tried to use to support the bow.

A couple of hundred dollars later we had some high zoot-factor Kincrome sawhorses, and the boat was lifted again (this time from the centreboard case end logs) and placed delicately on the sawhorses.

Last step is to open a bottle of Kiwi wine (in honour of the Kiwi boat designer - John Welford), and drink a toast. Thanks Perry. I know I yelled a bit, but it all worked out well in the end. The bottom of my boat looks a right mess.