Yesterday after consulting Ian Oughtred’s guidance on whether or not to paint the hull with epoxy before painting. He is adamant that it is not a good idea. So I decided to go straight to priming the hull.
My next resource is the small book by Joni Blanchard “Tricks, Cheating & Chingaderos” a collection of knowledge and tips for varnishing and painting wooden boats.
I liked her suggestion of wiping down with denatured alcohol to try and have the surface as clean and dust free as possible. The only problem is try finding denatured alcohol in Canada. You won’t find it in the paint section of the hardware store. I found it as burning ethanol for garden fireplaces and stoves at Rona called Bio light. Otherwise the other option was marine stove fuel or 99% isopropyl alcohol à the pharmacy. But that only comes in small containers.
I also found a neat little tool to mark the waterline in such a way that it would remain visible under the paint.
It comes from our sewing kit. And leaves a nice little series of small bumps.
I’ve sanded and added low density fairing epoxy filler to the parts that needed it. Then the process of sanding continues. Each time a thin layer of dusts covers the hull everything appears more fair and smooth. This dangerous as I have learned when mudding drywall, what lies beneath needs to be exposed to be sure there aren’t any bumps, holes, bubbles or ripples that would be even more apparent once the paint is applied.
So switching up the tasks from laying the strakes is a big shift and the boat is really feeling substantial under my hands now. Each action is now in relation to this compound shape and having to add or remove material to fit something new. I have started working on the stems.
Just placing the outer stems on the hull before I had done any preparation just started to transform my conception of the hull further.
I have now started to plane down the faces of the stems to match the curve of the outer stems I had laminated with the inner stems months ago.
I have now also cut the douglas fir stock I had been keeping for the outer keel pieces.
I decided for simplicity’s sake to build the keel in four pieces and glue it together rather than shape one single piece of wood with the centre board slot cut out. This approach should be just as strong and offer much more ease of building.
I have also started to look for materials and hardware that will be needed. most pressing will be more fir for the gunwales which I still have in stock. Early in the process I bought rough dimensional 2×4 fir from Dicks lumber that was still green. It has now seasoned for several months, I used some for the stem lamination and kept the rest for the outer keel and the gunwales.
So the hardest piece of hardware for me to source in Vancouver so far has been the half oval brass rub strips to go on to protect the keel and stems. Either it is not possible to ship from US based distributors to Canada or shipping from Classic Marine in the UK would be cost prohibitive. I did find Tendercraftboats.ca
who are based in Ontario as a supplier of 1/2″ half oval but not 3/4″ half oval that is necessary. Their catalogue was however very good and I was able to find 6″ long bronze machine screws for the rudder gudgeons that will get through both the outer and inner stems.
I also found that the supply a bronze bow eye that will work well with a 6″ machined bolt. Peter at Tendercraft boats has been very helpful and I am looking forward to my shipment arriving.
For the half oval after some searching I considered UHMW (ultra high molecular weight plastic) which was done by Yeadon on his Hvalsoe 18. I found a quote from Associated Plastics that was almost the same price as what I found from Alaska Copper & Brass who have an office in a suburb of Vancouver for brass half ovals. Going trough their catalogue I was able to find exactly the half oval dimensions I was looking for. Both 3/4″ and 1/2″ in 12′ lengths. I will end up with a little left over which I’m sure I’ll find used for elsewhere on the boat as rub strips or chafe protection.
Today I started on the beveling of the landing for the sixth strakes. Before starting I laid them up in place to see how they landed and mark where I’ll cut the gains on the ends. It also feels good to get a preview of what it will look like.
I was able to include my children with the removal of the clamps after it was glued up and they participated in roughing in the seventh strake on the starboard side.
I’ll close this post with a little video of my daughter helping me with the removal of the clamps.
I have to squeeze my boat shed time between other competing obligations and interests. Not to mention a desire to hold on to a good nights sleep. As such my boat building seems to progress in micro-bursts.
I in a few hours I was able to cut the bevel and the gains on the port side garboard to get ready to glue the second strake.
The change in angle between the garboard and the second strake is large enough that it seems that the bevel takes away all the gain. So that the plank does not appear to sink down into the garboard.
Maybe it is possible to do it by cutting down deeper and reducing the gluing surface. But to my eye, it seemed better to focus on the fair landing of the plank on the stem rather than trying to worry about the gain on the garboards.
My hunch is that all the subsequent strakes have much smaller bevel angles and so the gains will look better.
I managed to get out at 8:15pm and glue the port strake #2 this evening. I’m pretty pleased with the way it looks.
Today I tackled something new, cutting the gains on the garboard so that the second strake appears to taper nicely to meet the profile of the garboard as it gets to the bow and stern stem.
To accomplish this I needed a rebate or a shoulder plane, which I don’t yet have in my tool kit. So I got a membership to the Vancouver Tool Library to allow me to access the tools I don’t yet have. As you might imagine shoulder planes or rebate planes are not super common tools, but they are precisely what makes the tool library such a wonderful service. I can easily imagine some kind of franchise where clusters of a few blocks have something similar.
Last night I escaped after dinner to the boat shed to keep the momentum established over the weekend. All the fairing and bevelling was with the intention of glueing the garboard strakes. The most interesting part was as I was dry fitting the garboard strakes to see the angles of the curve of the board at each floor.
What happened after that was a lot of epoxy… Pre-coating the surfaces with unthickened epoxy to sink into the fibres, then applying epoxy thickened with West Systems 406 colloidal silica. For the next couple hours my latex gloves were wetted with epoxy and I had started a process I could not stop.
When I finally pulled off the gloves, the two garboard strakes were on, all the squeeze out epoxy cleaned off and it was one in the morning. Fortunately gluing is quiet so I did not bother any of the neighbours. It will be interesting to see how the second strakes line up, in the meantime it feels good to reach this milestone.