Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Finishing Quicksilver

After the One Sheet, One Weekend, One Boat project built out, I had myself the woodworking all set for a boat. All that was left was to make it float! That means epoxy, fiberglass tape, more epoxy, seal it up and paint it. Then add the hardware to join the two sides, and it should be ready to take out for a water test.

Front half ready to glue

Back half ready to glue

Now with more epoxy

and fiberglass tape over all of the seams

No fiberglass tape on the inside of all seams

but I did epoxy the inside pretty thoroughly
All of the seams got a coat of epoxy inside and out, and the outside got a layer of a 3" fiberglass tape where it was going to be anywhere close to the waterline, and then another layer of epoxy to seal in the tape. This should seal the seams and prevent leaks, keyword there is "should".

painting the hull

fitting the joinery

Inside paint

I added a seat from the scrap 1/2" plywood and painted the inside of the back half

Happy Boatbuilder in the shop
I painted the outside first with a plain exterior house paint from Lowe's. I used a color called Quicksilver. At the same time I'm doing all of this, my wife's cousin finished his masters degree from NC State, then took his first professional job and moved to Colorado. When he thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, he picked up the nickname Quicksilver. I'm very proud of the kid, he's one helluva architect. So when I saw the paint color (I was looking for a gunmetal gray) I was sold. And it's likely I'll give him this boat when he moves back to NC if he wants it.

It looked like it was going to rain some, so I pulled the boat back inside the shed and put a coat of paint on the inside. Then got creative with the table saw and leftover 1/2" plywood to fashion a seat. I screwed the seat into the braces in the back half, then gave it a coat of paint too. All that's left is a water test!

It's important to assemble on the front yard first

Fits in the truck, even when assembled!



My legs hit the divider at a really funny spot

but I fit in the boat!

It sits a bit low in the water

yeah, really low in the water

paddling around

Back home and resting on top of My Busted Foot
Turns out that I outweigh the stated capacity for this boat by about 20 lbs. Cousin Quicksilver is easily 50 lbs lighter than me, young skinny bastard. I took it down to Lake Raleigh for the water test, right down the street from my office. Only brought one canoe paddle instead of the kayak paddle that would let me paddle easily from both sides. It didn't handle particularly well, spinning in circles a lot. But I was able to stay out on the water for about 45 minutes before the leaking had me concerned enough to head back to shore. This thing leaked like a strainer. Got to add some more epoxy and get it all sealed up. But it easily fits in the back of the pickup truck, and was a lot of fun to put in the water and paddle around. This was an experiment, it might be a failed experiment, it might turn into a nice gift. Who knows. But I do know that it was a really fun project to build & finish, and I'm glad I did it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Boat Design

Lately I've been having trouble finding the "right" design for my next boat build. Been looking for plans for a 17'-19' sailboat with maybe a sloop rig or different mainsail. But everything that length has a cabin and isn't just an open bench plan. I want a sailboat that can seat about 6 -8 people so that I can carry my whole family and maybe another one on the water for an afternoon on a windy lake. So I thought maybe I would have to design it myself. Enter the $5 book from Amazon How to Design A Boat

Turns out, there is a lot of math in boat design! It looks like drawing would be the main focus but it's mostly covering calculations to ensure a goal for the boat. There are some outstanding descriptions and sample drawings for different hull types, lots of different boats from 10' up to 67' long.

I'm kind of a math geek to begin with, I make a living as a software engineer so it's all math all day anyway for me. This book took water physics to a new level. The displacement effects from different hull shapes is fascinating. It's a great read if you're into that kind of thing.

I was looking for more specifics. Like with a 6' beam and a round bottom, how deep should the hull be? Baseline displacement weights how deep below the waterline is required to stay balanced? How deep/long do you need to go before adding a water ballast? I guess I was looking for more general guidelines than calculations.

So the bottom line is that - thumbs up - I really enjoyed this book. But I still don't feel quite confident enough to design my own sailboat. I could probably come up with something on paper with absolutely no confidence in how much sail was needed for that size boat, or how deep it should sit at the waterline. This is an older edition of the book. It's totally worth the $5, if you want the updated versions you will pay more but the facts are still pretty much the same. Check it out if you want too, I'm really glad I read this one. It still gives me a really different approach to reading other plans.

Friday, September 1, 2017

One Sheet, One Weekend, One Boat, Day Two

After getting the basic frames built up on Day 1, it is time to finish the carpentry on Day 2. I had a goal today to get the One Sheet wrapped up. Spoiler alert: I finished.

I started by adding the gunwales, but the plans called them "rubrails" so I'll likely use both terms now. They were actually rough cut on day 1. I added some relief cuts to make them bend easier and screwed them in place from the inside.

added skids on the bottom of the back

added the deck & stiffener to the front

Deck & stiffener on the back

There is a floor stiffener on the bottom as well. No way that left joint will hold water out.

Happy boatbuilder with a happy boat
And just like that the carpentry is done! I added a top to both halves, and stiffened up the floor some. Actually had enough of that 1x2 to add 2 boards to the back floor. Plans say you can double that floor if you are a heavier guy - and I am about 20 lbs heavier than the rated capacity for this boat. After the rubrails went on I added corner caps at all 4 corners as well.

Everything had to be rough cut to length or shape, then trimmed to a final fit. The corner caps were frustrating, as they had to be the same for each half, but inverted. strange. The front half is supposed to nest inside of the back half, but I think I left the gunwales too long. The point in front looks great, but I think it's going to be too long to make the fit.

Top got a skid too
And that was all on 8/6/17. Carpentry is finished! All that's left now is to epoxy the seams, add fiberglass tape, seal the inside with epoxy as well, and give it some finishing touches. This has already been a fun project and I have no idea if it will float.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

One Sheet, One Weekend, One Boat

The concept of a one sheet boat has been around for a while. I saw it as a challenge in time as well as space. Work is doing summer hours right now, so I took off Friday afternoon and went out for supplies.

It's pre-boat, and this is it!
I really liked the idea of the One Sheet+ plans from Ken Simpson so I bought them. The BOM called for a single sheet of 1/4" plywood, a 2'x4' section of 1/2" plywood, and 5 1x2 furring strips. The furring strips came bundled as 6, so I figured I could use the extra one to cut some chines. This was laid out so I was ready to roll on Saturday morning!

Starting to cut up
I didn't follow the plans exactly. They call for tape & glue construction, with no screws at all until you add the skids to the bottom. I couldn't make that work, so I decided to cut some chines. It looked like there would be plenty of scrap furring strips so I decided to cut first and chine later.

First I cut out the split parts from the 1/2" plywood. They go back to back to get the same angle cut into the sides, and that helps you line up everything else. Then the plans had you start cutting at one end of the full sheet of plywood and eventually spec down to the other end. Cut then assemble, then cut more to spec then assemble again. I decided to cut as much as I could first, then assemble as I could. Mostly this gave me the flexibility to measure the gunwales out of the 1x2, then use the scraps from those boards to cut chines and assemble with screws.

Problem #2 was that I didn't have screws that were the right size to go through the 1/2" plywood! oops. I used a 3/4" flat head screw setup for most of it. But then I had to make a return trip to Lowe's to get some 1" screws, d'oh!

Rough cut is done, time to start assembly

Hot in the workshop today

Assembled the front half with a spacer installed

detail on the stem
The plans actually did not call for a stem but I wanted to add one anyway. I've been reading about stem construction from lofting lately and wanted to try those same techniques on my experimental boat here. It's a straight stem, so I marked out the rabbet, apex, and bearding lines and cut it out on the table saw. Then test fit with the cut plywood sides and finally cut out the bearding angle onto the front. This was a really nice detail when it came together and the one part of the project that I'm actually pretty proud of. And nobody can see it in the final product. ha!

the back half

Now it's starting to look like a boat
ah, it's more boat than plywood now! With no bottoms yet, you can see the basic shape of how the boat comes together. This is a nesting plan, so the front half is supposed to fit inside of the back half. That means you have to build the front & back separately. At this point, I was able to measure & cut the 1x2's for the rubrails (gunwales) meant for the outside top of the boat - creating scraps that I needed for assembly!

I already had one extra furring strip, figured I would use that for the chine rails to attach the bottoms. I started by ripping it in half, getting two strips that were 3/4" square. Then with that same setup on the table saw I ripped three of the scraps in half to use for the corners. I needed three strips at least 11" long, then ripped in half to make 3/4" square strips for the vertical corners in the back/back, front/back, and back/front of the sections. The stem already took care of the front/front.

I used Titebond III this time because it is totally waterproof, that's what the plans suggested. Glue & screw the plywood into the chines, keep those joints nice and tight. Then it's time to cut the bottoms to spec by tracing them out from the assemblies.

The front has a bottom

It turned out some nice clean lines

The Back got a bottom too

Happy boat builder
And that all happened on 8/5/17. That is one solid day of boatbuilding!! I started out buying supplies on Friday and ended up with fully formed boat parts on Saturday. They might even float in this condition. I've got roughly $38 invested in this project so far, and still have plenty of woodworking to go on Sunday.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Canoe Forms

I finally managed to get a weekend free from the deck building in order to get some other stuff done. That stuff started with the two extra sheets of 5/8" plywood clogging up my shed that needed to be cut up into canoe forms!

You can barely see the pencil outlines on there
These sheets have been laying around since before I started working on the rowboat. I had the plans duplicated around the time of the Masters golf tournament, then cut them out shortly after. So now the plywood is there, and the first step to building a canoe is cutting out the stations. Next up I'll have to buy the cedar and cut it down into 1/4" strips, then attach those strips to these forms. Time to cut some forms.

getting there!

Now that's a pile of plywood
Forms are cut and on the shelf until I buy the cedar. Glad to have those sheets out of the way.