Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sorry for being away.

I have moved the blog.....

That's why it's been a bit quiet here.

we've had the boat in the water.

A few problems:
jib no good-going back to classic jib until I can get a new high aspect.
Spin sock no good-basially fell apart due to me putting it together at 11pm the night before the launch-will fix.
c/Boards need hold downs-I knew that but didn't get round to doing it.
All in all it went well.
Next time in the water I will video and photograph.

I have moved to:

Under readers projects.

This site is a wiki and it would be great if any of you have the inclination to create pages.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A little more progress.

Once again, just when you think you are almost finished, those couple of little details end up taking a whole weekend to sort out.

Mast up.

Sewing the jib.

Jib up. Not happy with the zipper pocket as it is screwing up the shape. going to remove it and redo.

Jib track.

Kite up.

More kite.

Traveller etc.

Deck layout.

More spinnaker.

The spinnaker snuffer. A kids toy cart, perfect shape. Just got toput a bit of ten mm aluminium tube to take the haliyard abrasion.

Experimenting with the snuffer position.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sign Writing

Apologies to anyone who may be a sign writer.

I have a real problem with paying $300 for a simple sign that just requires someone to hit print on the vinyl cutting machine.


I did it myself.

Pretty happy with the result.

The mask.

Mask on hull.

Removing the mask.

No excuses when your brush has a name like this.

Still waiting on the taxi checker tape. Ordered it from the States and got absolutely massacered on the exchange rate.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

All those little jobs

Spent the weekend with he who can't be named doing all of those little crappy jobs that look like nothing but end up taking half a day.
Footstraps on, rudder pintles on, rudder foils sanded, CB's sanded, and more buffing.

Pintles Fitted

Foot Straps

And hey Joann, no I haven't bounced on it but I've found someone who has.

Also...Florin Isvoranu, how come when I go to your cat blog I can't get in???

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Tramp and Buffing.

The trampoline is tensioned up and finished. (Broke one rivet gun on the 5mm monel rivets, second one lasted.)

The tramp is from Goodall sails (AHPC) and they were awesome. The guy who made it included a hand drawn diagram with the button spacing measurements and a couple of long distance phone calls just to check on what I wanted. Highly recommend them.

Above and below pics show underside of beams with attachment points.

Apart from that we've been doing plenty of buffing, fitting the centreboards, and a bit of tidying up on the mast.

Starting to get a shine up.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I'm back.

So, after a long layup of being seriously distracted by other issues I'm back onto the boat.

I know I've probably been slack but....

The other day I was talking to a friend and he asked me how close was I to launching. I replied that I could probably do it in two weeks if I got stuck into it but that there is really no hurry. I have enough stuff going on in my life that is urgent or has deadlines. This is supposed to be fun, so that's why I am sometimes a little casual about progress.


Hulls assembled and doing final buffing.

Trampoline half fitted. (At least now I know it fits)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

One Down and then the Rain

My wife showing interest in the project.

It took a while...But I never said I wasn't a bit thick....

I just couldn't understand how you can get a good finish with a paint that you can't cut and polish. (For those that don't know, the 2pac is best not touched out of the gun, any attempt to cut and polish will diminish the gloss)

That's OK in a spray booth but at home, what do you do about insects, stray dust etc?


You buy about 12 plastic drop sheets @ $2 a pop and line your work area with them.

Ceiling, walls and floor.


Really happy with the result. Good gloss and no more work to do.

Apart from that I've been performing the really fun task of removing sail numbers (my main has the wrong numbers for this boat.)
What a demoralising job. Takes about four hours, half a can of thinners or turps, and a six pack to remove three numbers.


No work on the other hull this weekend because of this.

Next weekend may be in doubt too as my wife's car will probably need some work to pass Rego'.

I think I'll use the bad weather this weekend to start building up the main beam, dolphin striker etc.(or maybe I'll just do nothing.)

Also. I think the seals have gone in my compressor, which didn't come as much of a surprise as it is just a "Heap O Shit" brand. It's still OK for blowing stuff down and pumping up tyres etc, but I am worried that oil maybe getting into the moisture trap.

So, I think I'll hire a good compressor for the next hull as the paint is too expensive to risk and buying another "Heapo" is just a waste of time.

I'll post some more pics of the painted hulls and some of the actual painting when the weather clears up and I do the other hull. Probably in a couple of weeks time.

Also, you've gotta love this (blatantly stolen from SA, where it was probably stolen from somewhere else).

Friday, May 2, 2008


Sorry for the absence, we had about three weekends of bad weather where I couldn't consider painting. Then I had to work pretty long hours for a couple of weeks so nothing much got done.

We have just had a good weather window which allowed me to finish the port hull.

I applied the primer with roller and brush, "tipping".

For those who haven't heard of te method what you do is this:

Apply a small area (around 0.5 sqm) with the roller, this gives you a nice even paint distribution. Then you run over it with a high quality, 100mm brush, which removes the dimples left by the roller.

This method gives a really nice finish as good or better than most amateurs can achieve by spraying.

Unfortunately, in my case, I had no choice but to spray the top coat. Reason being I am using yellow and with the brush/roller you will always overlap a little on each section you do. With yellow this results in a highly visible darker area.

I was all keyed up to finish preparing the other hull for painting this weekend but there is no longer any hurry as the forecast is for rain so.....
Maybe next week.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Too much rain !

No painting happening due to the fact that it's pissing down rain and according to the weather bureau it is going to continue.
There is almost $500 worth of paint on each hull so I shan't be attempting it in this weather.
At least I've been sailing.
Gavin, on RSA 36, kindly invited me to sail with him on the last race day of the season at Kurnell.
He has a beautifully prepared Tornado and it was a good opportunity for me as I haven't sailed a sports rig before. (Been a while since I trimmed an asymmetric kite too, which I fear became apparent).
We had two Ts, a few F18's & A's, and some Nacras and smaller cats.
Light shifty winds but it was great to get back on the water and the club put on a brilliant event.
The day was the Darren Lowder memorial, which is held every year at Kurnell to remember Darren who was sadly lost eleven years ago when the boat he was moving made contact with overhead power lines.
Three races with a barbecue after.

I hope to get some paint on this weekend, weather permitting....

Here's a pic from Sunday.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Trimming up

As I suspected, with the white primer on I have discovered all sorts of bumps and dips. (On the deck)
So I've been sanding them away, quite happily as I know I need a good base to achieve a good finish.
So...... more sanding.

Between work and the weather there hasn't been much opportunity to get on with the job but that's OK, I could use the rest.
Did a little filling today and some more sanding.
The trampoline arrived the other day so the parts are coming together. Just need rudder stocks and a heap of little fittings.

I've been watching the preparation for the Vendee Globe and would dearly love to go and see the start.
It's an amazing race, to see those boats and realise they will not make port for almost 24000 miles would be really something.
Is it the pinnacle of our sport?
Most of you guys would be off the beach sailors like me but even though I'm not an ocean racer I really aspire to the achievements of these guys.
The Vendee
But... maybe the money could be better spent.
We will see.
after the paint it's the rig (she's still wearing the old classic rig).
Then there will be a boat mounted video cam as well as heaps of stills of our sailing adventures.
We're not planning on being totally focused on round the buoys racing.
We will be doing a lot of sailing in the ocean and trying to find some distance races for off the beach cats, as well as some coastal stuff even if that means unofficial starts with the keel boat guys.
I've spent a fair bit of time sailing small boats and also a bit of time skippering commercial fishing boats and I don't understand why we don't make more use of the fantastic coastline we have rather than sailing in lakes, harbours and bays.
I guess it's an insurance thing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Wet and Dry

Been sanding the primer with wet and dry ready for the top coat.

The boat is going to be yellow and to paint any kind of yellow successfully you must have a perfect base as far as tone and saturation goes.

Any dark or light spots will keep coming through regardless of how many coats you put on.

OK, so far so good.

My garage used to be a carport.

It has been fully walled in except for one doorway leading to the back yard which is always open.

I can only remember one occasion when I've had a bird in the garage and it was one of those stupid pigeon/ dove things that live on seeds.

Well today I evidently had a visit from a different kind of bird.

Now I'm not an ornithologist, hell I don't even have a budgie, but I am prepared to bet a weeks wages that the bird that visited today lives on a diet consisting exclusively of berries.

Red berries.

How do I know this?

Because it sat on a roof beam and shat on the hull.

When I got home and discovered this I wiped it down.

Not good enough.

Red stain right through at least two coats of white primer.

I was a little disappointed.


I guess I'll touch it up.

No photos of me sanding because everybody knows what sanding looks like.

Instead, here's a pic that I never tire of. It's from the Worrell see the site here:


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Primer On!

Well on one hull anyway.

I've decided, due to my limited space, it's going to better to finish each hull individually rather than priming them both then top coating them.

So this one has received three coats of primer and now I'll give it a couple of days to harden up before I cut it back.

Good paint, it seems to go a long way and has pretty good filling qualities. (Northane Shipshape)

I'm applying it with a roller.

The topcoat will be tipped. (Roller application followed by brush strokes.)

Really happy with the paint application so far. Much better than I could have achieved by spraying.

I'm used to spraying auto paint which is almost dry when it hits the surface.

With the 2 pac you spray a coat on, looks like it's OK. Then you turn your back and the whole lot slumps creating horrendous runs.

One thing about a largish boat is the extra paint. I'll have to buy more for the other hull, I don't need another four litres but that's what I'll get just to be on the safe side. (Still have foils to go too)

Sorry about the short post. Too tired tonight to say much more. I should have more news next time.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Final Checks

Just re-assembled the hulls to see if I need to do anything drastic before the paint goes on.
Also presented me with an opportunity to de-dust he workshop. (What a great job that is.)

Got a bit of sanding to complete and that bloody stripe has to come off the starboard hull. (This can happen outside)
Hopefully this will all be taken care of Friday afternoon.
Then Saturday morning is primer time.
Also, I don't know if you guys (and girls?) realise how much your dolphin striker contributes to platform stiffness.
I bolted the hulls up, hard, the real deal.
Still, when I lift a bow, heaps of flex.
I know the hulls are stiffer than before and the beams are more substantial.
So I start checking it out.
Ended up with a string line taught across the main beam.
It is deflecting, a lot.
Then I go down and lift a transom.
Probably less than half as bad.(No flex until wieght goes onto the main. The rear beam is a heaps stiffer section than the main.)
The D/Striker plays a huge part in platform stiffness.

Had a wierd experience today.
I went to an engineering supplier to get a 3/8 tap so I could clean out the threads for the main beam.
Been into this shop several times before with no problems. You know, I tell em what I want, they get it, then we shoot the breeze while they type up the invoice.
You probaby aren't aware, but I am a tradesman. I dress and usually shave accordingly.
Today I was on my way ome from a funeral so I was wearing a suit. Clean shaven, the works.
I tell the guy I want a 3/8m unc plug tap.
He says "You sure you want imperial?"
I say "Yeah"
He says "What do you want to do with it?"
By this stage my patience is wearing thin.
I say "Have you got one or not?"
He says "Yeah, just want to be sure it's what you want."
I say "Just get the F***ing thing and let me pay for it".
Now I know how women feel when they go into a hardware store.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lots of little steps

As you already know I am not going to get primer on until next Saturday.
(When I posted that I intended to go to work on Sunday, turns out I changed my mind and didn't go.)

It wouldn't have happened anyway.

The last coat of epoxy that I put on the deck didn't fully kick. It was almost there but still was sticky. I have had that experience before with polly making surfboards and the only solution I am aware of is to apply a hot coat over the top. (You can't sand it off or do anything else with it to my knowledge.)

With the epoxy I'm pretty sure you can't even do that. So I put it out in the hot sun for the morning and it hardened up as good as gold.
The reason for the slow set was because the hardener pump coughed when I was mixing the resin. I was aware that this happened but didn't think it would be bad enough to compromise the mix. I was wrong. And lucky.

Oh by the way, my neighbour's son is now having his rest in the psych ward. He was transported there in the back of a police wagon. My way would have been a lot simpler. (I didn't call the cops, I only found out about it this morning).

Now, back to the jib...
The sail is totally dismantled now. I highly recommend doing this to anyone who is in the least bit interested in sailing. It doesn't matter if you are an aspiring sail maker or not.

Pulling a sail apart will serve two purposes.
It will increase your understanding of how they work.
And it will probably stop you whinging the next time you hand your cash to the sailmaker.
Even a small, simple sail like a jib contains an incredible amount of sewing.

I was going to re-cut my jib to suit the self tacking and I probably still will. Then I'll see how it turns out and order some laminate and make a new one. That way I'll get free experience on the sewing machine and with the sailcut software.
My old jibs are, after all, no use to me now so I may as well practice on them.
Maybe some people are different but with me, I can read all the books you want about something,(and I have) but I get so much more understanding from dismantling the thing to see how it works.
Maybe I'm just thick?

Also as mentioned earlier I reckon I have a bump in the foredeck of the starboard hull.
I've been looking at it and decided I won't take any action until I've seen it with a coat of white primer on it.
It's really difficult when you can see the plywood as your eye is immediately drawn to the line of the laminates. maybe with paint you won't even notice it. (And maybe, as I'm right on tolerance, the bump will cause the hull not to measure. Oh well, if that happens, Gordon and I will just have to hand the gold medal to the guys that come

Speaking of gold medals...
We are currently having our Olympic swimming trials.
Apparently, some chick took six seconds off her PB. (Must have been 1500m surely?)
If that happened in China or Europe the Australian media would be screaming "Drug cheat!".
At the moment we're just hearing what a good effort it was. (And I agree)
We're a pretty parochial lot us Aussies.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Slow Progress

Well I've got the stripe off. It took the best part of two days (with a bit of an interruption which I will explain later).

Climate change, WMD, Terrorism.....nah, in my opinion the end of civilization will come about due to adhesive residue.

It is all pervading, insidious and evil. And I still have the other hull to go.

Scraping that damn stripe off with a razor blade and paint thinners.

I was progressing well with it yesterday until my neighbour's 38yr old son decided to have a psychotic episode and include me in it.

Same thing happened about a year ago when his parents were away on vacation. That time Lisa and I managed to convince him to take a ride to the hospital with us where he was sectioned and had a nice little rest in the psych ward.

Trouble was this time Lisa was at work and I'd had a couple of beers so I couldn't drive. Anyway I once again talked the guy into taking a ride. Tossed my keys to his father and said "Let's go".

In the car I said to the father "You know where we're going?"

He nodded conspiratorially and said yeah.

After driving around aimlessly for a while I said to him "You do know where we're going?"

He looked at me with a blank expression and said "No, where".

"The ****ing hospital!"

To which he said "Oh no I couldn't do that, it would be like a betrayal."


May as well go home then.

We got home, the son is still on fire (He has schizophrenic episodes due to earlier drug abuse. During these times he is a danger to himself and others.)

I suggested the father come over to my house alone so we could discuss the situation. He did and I lit into him.

So much so that I had to ring him later and apologise.

I think it's a generational thing. His attitude is just "wake up to yourself, snap out of it and stop carrying on."

Stiff upper lip stuff. He will not accept that the only solution is medication.

You may think it's none of my business but actually it is. Not only are we Friends but the episodes a year ago involved him hassling my kids, which led to me threatening his health if he didn't stop and then ultimately to me and Lisa spending several of the early hours of the morning at the hospital with him.

As is always the case in these situations, when he takes his medication he is cool.

If any good can come from it its that I can look at my kids and realise how fortunate I am.


That blew a hole in yesterdays schedule.

Consequently I've missed the painting window. We currently have really dewy evenings so it is best to get the paint on early in the morning. On dayshift this week so no mornings available 'til Saturday.

Looking for a way to spend a relaxing afternoon?
Here's what you need, in this order:
A six pack in the fridge.
Laptop plugged into your plasma screen playing youtube music videos (JJ Cale, REM, The Clash).
A de-stiching tool.
A sacrificial jib.
A packet of band aids. (try not to bleed on the sail.)

An exercise in learning sail construction.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Filling & Sanding.

Actually that should say filling, sanding, sanding, sanding, sanding .

First photo shows screw holes filled, one hull trimmed-one not.

Here is the self tacking jib setup recomended by Harken:

Harken rigging page.
This is a pretty good facility. The diagrams have part numbers and if you click on them it brings up the a picture, specs and price.

This is the part of the project when the cost can run away unnoticed. I remember the last boat I built, walking out of he boat shop with a little box containing a couple of cleats, traveller car, bits and pieces, and being around six or seven hundred dollars lighter in the pocket.

I've been following these guys Builing F16s in Norway
I noticed a comment saying it is easier to keep motivated when doing a project like this in a group rather than solo.
This is probably true. Personally I find I have to keep at it at every opportunity to make it through the mundane, boring phases. It's all worth it when you hit the landmarks like assembly, painting, rigging etc.

This photo shows the worst job I have had to do so far. Removing the adhesive left from the stripe.

Trimming up the decks.

I am always protecting myself from epoxy. Now it looks like I have developed an allergy to latex gloves. Pretty sure it's ecsma (never suffered from it before) maybe from sweating in the latex gloves?