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Showing posts from January, 2018

Wampum VM Ballast Installed and Faired

This week has been busy with life, but I've also been able to get a bit of boat time in. I've installed the ballast and started the fairing process. First, I cut the boat free from the building board, and then did a number of float tests with the lead simply pinned in place. Ended up using a bolt cutter to trim off some lead from the aft ends of the ballasts. Then I installed the lead onto the keel with thickened epoxy. When that dried, I then drilled several 9/64" holes all the way through the two halves. The holes were filled with short pieces of 1/8" stainless steel rod, and then thickened epoxy was piped in with a syringe. The lead is now epoxied and pinned permanently. Then the fairing started. I'm using a variety of thickeners. For strong adhesion, I used phenolic powder to stick the lead to the keel. I've had good luck with it in the past. It's the reddish stuff you can see. But then I'm experimenting with silica. It's the whitish

Waterline Marked

Before the Wampum VM hull is cut free from the building board, it's a good time to mark the DWL (Design Waterline). I made a jig that can be adjusted. It's very basic, but worked well! Nest step... cut the hull free!! Aloha!

Wampum VM Epoxy Filler Coat

Yesterday I was able to fiberglass the Wampum VM. Today, I sanded the hull well. It had a lot of runs, sags, curtains, waves, etc... The sanding evened out much of the issues, but I still needed to add a second coat of epoxy to raise up some of the low spots. Tomorrow I'll sand the second coat and probably add a third. Here's how it looks with the second coat of epoxy. I really like how the inner plywood keel pieces show. They add a bit of accent to the cedar. Nice. Aloha!

The Magic of Fiberglassing a Wooden Hull

The Wampum VM received its first coat of epoxy and fiberglass today! Well, OK, it received its only layer of fiberglass, but the first of probably three coats of epoxy. Pouring the epoxy over the white cloth is magical. The cloth disappears and the wood takes on a saturated look. Here are pictures from today's adventures: I used one piece of cloth with a slit cut in it instead of two overlapping pieces. It just makes for a nicer finish with less sanding to do. I trimmed it with about an inch or two overhang.  Here is a lesson in why you MUST examine your faired hull closely BEFORE applying the epoxy. I had inadvertantly scratched the hull with a knife at one point. I immediately sanded it off, but clearly not well enough. Take a close look after you fair your hull for any scratches. If the wood fibers are torn, then it will show up. Ugh!! At least most of this scratch will be under the bottom paint, so no worries. This was the best part of the hull af

Wampum VM planking completed! Hull faired.

Today I faired the hull of the Wampum VM Vintage Marblehead RC sailboat. First, I sanded it with my Random Orbital Sander with 80 grit paper. If you do this, be VERY cautious, as 80 grit on cedar will grind right through if you're not paying attention. Keep the sander moving. It looks great! Since the final wide plank didn't go all the way to the keel, I had to add some filler strips. The real purpose of these strips is to keep the thickened epoxy from falling through when I add it tomorrow. A couple layers of thickened epoxy will easily build up the 1" garboard curve required by the Vintage Marblehead rules. Next steps: 1. Build up the 1" garboard with thickened epoxy. 2. Fiberglass the entire hull! More later! Aloha!

Wampum VM planking update

I've been making progress on planking the Wampum VM. Today I installed the 14th plank, which is covering the flat "floor" area of the hull so I could use a very wide, shaped piece instead of a normal plank! This got to very near the end of the planking process. Stupidly, when I designed the frames based off of the original lines, I included the 1" garboard fillet in the frames. Had I simply run the frames straight all the way to the keel, I could have made this the final plank and then simply filleted in the 1" garboard curve with thickened epoxy. Before making the frames available to the public, I think I'll go back and redo that part of the frames. It would be easier to plank. There are two other little areas that may need adjusting too, but I won't know for sure until after I fair the entire hull. In a few areas on each side, I had to use wooden plugs to "nail" down the wide plank onto the frames. They'll be easy to cut off and shape

Cast Lead Bulbs and Ballasts!

Today I finally made my first attempts at casting lead bulbs and ballasts, and it turned out well! Over a month ago, I made some female molds out of refractory cement. They are now fully cured. One mold was for torpedo style bulbs for the Sun Winds and Rip Tides. It has two slightly diffferent-sized bulbs in it. The molds I made seemed to just miss the sweet spot. I made one slightly smaller than the other in the hopes that one of the two molds would produce a 4.5 lb. half-bulb for a 9 lb. total bulb. The smaller mold turned out a 3 lb. 5 oz. half-bulb, and the larger one turned out a 4 lb. 14 oz. bulb. However, I think I over-poured the larger one, and if I take better care in my pouring I think it would make a 4.5 lb. half-bulb. So I'm really close! Yes, I made "half bulbs" instead of a solid bulb with a slot in it. My system for mounting the bulbs is to have an thin inner-core of plywood that the two halves mount onto.  I also made ballast halves for the Wampum