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First Assembly

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Date Description
6-May-2006 Use body filler to fill in the gaps in different heights in the layers of the keel and knot/screw holes in the sides.
13-May-2006 Sand and then round over the outer bottom edges of the keel with my router.  Acquire a long splinter.
14-May-2006 Lay out the fiberglass on one side of the keel.
15-17-May-2006 Fiberglass both sides of the keel and discover that polyester resin melts the plastic beer cups I'm using to mix.  It took the better part of a day for the resin to cure which is why this took so long.  Since I was able to lay the keel flat on it's side I was able to put a nice coating on that pretty much filled the weave on the first coat.  On the third day I stood the keel on edge and brushed on a final coat then hovered around it cleaning up drips and sags.

18-May-2006 Fiberglass one side of the bulkheads and transom.  The lighter, more tightly woven fiberglass is difficult to work with.  It takes longer to wet out and bubbles form more readily.
Form the metal strip around the stem of the keel and try to drill the holes.  My 3/8" drill bit has finally given up and will need to be replaced.
19-May-2006 Last day of vacation.  I'd expected to get the boat assembled by now but with cool temperatures and a too optimistic schedule it's not going to happen.
I did get the other side of the bulkheads fiberglassed though.  The outside of the transom will wait until the bottom is glassed.
22-May-2006 And the rain rain rain came down down down ....
In spite of the rain, I was able to form my steel keel shoe around the bottom of the keel and drill the through-holes needed.  I haven't permanently attached it with my bedding compound yet - I'll need to wait until the bottom is on the keel so that I can seal up the drain plug hole.
to 6-Jun-2006 Just because I haven't updated anything doesn't mean I haven't been busy.
The keel is now glued down on to the bottom.  I did it slightly different than the plans (surprise!).  I first attached the transom to the bottom with the assembly sitting upside down on sawhorses.  Then using lines attached to the garage rafters, I lowered the keel down onto it, first into the notch at the bow and then the stern.   The intention was to use the weight of the keel to form the shape of the bottom, hopefully eliminating gaps.  I did have to call on the assistance of my daughter to hold the keel onto the centre lines drawn in the middle and use a pipe clamp on the stern.   I did end up with a significant gap at the stern end of the bottom.  I tried several things to force the bottom down but finally gave up and used body filler and a lag bolt.
I was not able to find the 9" eyebolt for the bow that holds the bowsprit down required in the plans.  So instead, after much searching, I found an "eye nut" at Brafasco that works just dandy along with an 8" stove bolt.
The metal keel strip is now bedded onto the bottom of the keel.  I chose to use roofing cement for this purpose and so far it looks pretty good.  At the same time, I also had the roofing cement go into the holes for the stern eye-bolts and definately into the drain pipe which is also installed.
Add stringers for the inside of the cabin sides.  I used a piece of 3/4" plywood for the front part that will have to wait until the deck is installed before it can be put on because it goes against the front bulkhead as well.
Mask off the areas on the deck (I hope all) where joining pieces glue up and coat it with resin.  After the resin set up (a windy day) paint the areas in the forepeak and cabin with what's left of my white paint from the CSD pirogue project.  It's much easier to work on the underside of the deck with it upside down and not attached to anything.
11-Jun-2006 The deck is now installed!  I rolled the boat out of the garage and then using some rope and support pieces, hoisted the deck to the rafters, rolled the boat under and then lowered the deck on.  I supported it from the rafters until I was able to get the bulkheads in place.  Everything fit together pretty well (as it should from trial fits).  The sides of the cockpit seem a bit "soft" due to the extra joint there so I'll have to be careful of that when installing the sides.
The original placement I expected for the bottom of the forward bulkhead was wrong but I used the cardboard template I had made giving the correct angle to place it properly.   I put a stringer completely across the front of the bulkhead, not leaving a gap for the mast box, but more on that later ....
Deck all assembled together. It turns out that I should have put the stringers for the forward hatch on the TOP of the deck - oh well.
Steel strip - covers complete keel. Orange string is for fishing the wire for the bow light.  YES - the boat is square - it's the world and the photographer who are out of line.
The wiring for the bow light will run out of this plastic tube that runs through the keel and is trimmed flush at the front.
I let the tube run out the back of the keel - at least for now.
Sitting on the dolly.
Still sitting on the dolly - but from a different angle.
I ran the steel strip all the way up the stern post. This was more to strengthen the rear eye-bolts than from any plan to sail backwards.  You can also see the top eye-bolt that was installed for mooring.
In case I do decide to sail backwards into things, the stringers are actually made from 2X4s rather than bent 3/4" pieces. I found these easier to make and install and they should be lots stronger.
Finding a 9" long 3/8" eyebolt proved impossible. I do think that the eye-nut shown here should work out well.
The drain plug is installed and sealed with roofing patch compound.
FINALLY! Glued together.
Everything Seems Nicely Lined Up
12-Jun-2006 - 25-Jun-2006 The pictures tell the story.
The steering shaft is made of steel rather than wood as per the plans. It is 3/4" pipe through the lazrette front expanded out to 1" pipe for the drum part and then down to a small fitting that fits over a bolt mounted into the transom.
To attach the wheel I can now use a steel floor flange which should be quite strong. To keep the pieces from spinning out, I have drilled through them and pinned them with a nail which is then covered with tape. The wheel itself is secured with a cotter-pin. I will need to make this strong so that I don't lose steering.
To attach the pulleys I've glued on pieces of 2X4 to the transom and lazrette front and to the underside of the deck. The pulleys now line up with the steering drum and the tiller. To attach the u-bolts I used threaded inserts which I first tightened down on the outside and then drove into the wood. There is no way for this to come apart - hopefully that's a good thing.  I also positioned the U-Bolts so that the pully allows the tiller rope to run from the steering shaft drum to the tiller with no twisting.
Here's the open rudder box. I'll be fiberglassing the inside of this. You can also see the wooden dowel that I'm using as a pivot. Due to the way I mounted my eyebolts with a nut on the outside edge, the rudder sits aft about 2" or 3" farther than designed.
The other side of the rudder box. You can also see the steel brackets that I've installed for a possible motor mount or reboarding ladder.
A preliminary lash-up of the tiller. You can see here the folly of deviating from the plans. According to the plans, I would have been able to cut off the end of the tiller that had been sliced by a previous saw cut. Now I can't. Later I'll fill in the saw cut with shims that I glue in.
Aren't all these pictures of steering exciting. To get at the rig, I have cut a hatch opening in the top of the lazrette. It's handy now and allows easy access to the steering. You can see here that I've filled in the saw cut on the tiller and attached a steel plate which is then shackled to a metal eye that actually holds the tiller rope.
On the other side, I've incorporated a turnbuckle to tighten the rig. The rope is also knotted to the metal eye rather than whipped so that it can also be tightened later. I've left the whole rig under tension for a while to stretch.
Using a jig, I cut a disk of 1/4" plywood the size of the finished wheel. I can re-use this for the disks that mate the pieces of the wheel together but for now it lets me know the size of the wheel so that I make sure to leave room for it when placing the seat stringers.
On the left you can see the pivot for the steering shaft. The other disks on the inside of the transom are to provide reinforcement for the bolts that hold on the motor mount / ladder brackets. They have threaded inserts so that the bolts can be removed and replaced easily.
1-3-Jul-2006 Make the stem gussets - another use for my hand planes - out of 1 1/2" lumber.  This is larger than is called for but will be a stronger joint that I can more likely hit with my screwdriver.  It also give a place for the bitts to rest.  I also made the bitts.  I added stringers for the seats and the companion way storage box.  Additionally, I got some fiberglassing done of one side of several hatches, the inside of the rudder box, the inside of the mast box, the cockpit floor, one section of under the cockpit seats and the inside of the lazrette.  I was able to use scraps from earlier fiberglassing for all of these tasks.  Where pieces will be glued up, I used masking tape and the cut away the fiberglass and removed the tape once it started setting up.  The lazrette fiberglassing job looks really ugly, pieced together from several pieces of cloth just laid over top of each other, but no-one should ever have to look.  I did forget about the seat bulkhead stringers so the port side one will have to go over the fiberglass while the starboard side one will be bedded onto the bottom.

I had some challenges with placing the bitts - it turned out that my holes were a shade too far to port so I had to make the larger.  When the bitts are glued in, I will have to shim them properly.  I also need to decide if I will glue the bitts in place before putting the sides on and fiberglassing the deck.  For lumber for these, I found some older spruce that had a very nice, tight grain.  All the more reason to salvage lumber - it's hard to come by that sort of quality any more.

Glue the bitts in place
Glue the mast box in place and cut out the hole in the deck
Finish fiberglassing bulkhead parts and boat sole.  During the fiberglassing I found that if you completely ignore all best practices you'll
Find small scraps of glue under the fiberglass
Have pieces mis-aligned because you didn't pre-fit well enough
Have bumps where the resin cured too fast because you mixed too big of a batch
Have lots of air bubbles

I now have a lot of work added to fix up the mess and re-do some sections before I can move on to putting the sides on.

You can see the drain holes I added to the bottom of the mast box to try to prevent rot problems. I also added a 3/4" piece of plywood to the bottom of the box so that the holes are actually at the bottom of the tube
The inside of the mast box was fiberglassed prior to assembly
The hole in the deck is now in place as well. I will put a dam around this to keep water on the deck from going down into the mast box
I probably will need a better sail than this
Sides would be helpful too.
The stringers for the seats are in place on the cockpit sole. I still have to put the ones on the lazrette before I can close in the boat
15-Jul-2006 Well - in the list of things that you can do wrong in fiberglassing, I managed to do most of them.
I didn't do adequate surface preparation. It seems that if you leave lumps of glue or unfilled screw holes and knots that bubbles will form around them.
I mixed too large of a batch - resin that is in the process of hardening doesn't spread well.
I worked on too large of an area - having random sections of resin all rapidly curing at the same time causes lots of stress.
I picked the hottest part of one of the hottest days we had to do the work - in direct sun with a nice breeze blowing. Woo hoo - watch that resin set up on that flapping cloth!
- I used a very tightly woven light cloth - it seems that air bubbles (see the first point) like to stay under the cloth if it can't get through.
I didn't pre-fit the cloth well. It seems that when you go around corners that you need to cut the cloth properly - not hack at it with a utility knife hopeing to get it laying flat before the resin cures.

The "good news" is that I was fiberglassing the cabin sole - which I believe many people don't bother doing anyway - and isn't visible to people outside the boat. I've cut out the bubbles, used a surform (love that tool) to smooth things out somewhat. A bit of sanding, some patches of cloth and some filler and I should be good to go. Since this happened a week ago - I've even managed to remove most of the resin from my hair and skin from where it landed during some of the more frantic moments.

23-Jul-2006 Install the rest of the stringers necessary for the seats.  I did this at this time because the lazrette is still open for me to access to put screws in.   I did make a mistake and cut all the stringers square - I had to go back and cut and glue in a beveled filler piece for the horizontal stringers that go on the aft side of the cabin bulkhead.  The angle was just too much to fill with glue.  I'm also not completely sure that I have the correct placement of the seat back stringers - with the way I have them, there will be a twist in the seat back.  This is due in part to my making the cockpit slightly wider at the aft end to accomodate my feet and then measureing the plans distance for the seat back - yet another reminder that when you deviate from the plans that everything changes.
Aug 19-27-2006 Not a lot of time lately.  I did manage to get a few things done including putting the sides on!  I also patched up my fiberglassing mistakes from past days.
Build the companionway storage box. It has a surprising amount of room in it although the opening on the top is quite small.
Drill a hole at the top of the mast box for the masthead wiring to come out of. Also, drill the holes to allow wire to be fed back to the stern for the eventual motor and stern light.
The sides are on!
I messed up on the port side and cut on the wrong line. This resulted in the side being about 3" too short. I had to make a patch and a backer block.
I also used my router with a round-over bit to cut down the sides. I will be using a different top rub-rail method (stay tuned).
The joint between the fore and aft side panels. I have used a single screw with a washer on it to hold the but block in place. Once the PL Premium dries, I'll remove this screw and fill the hole.
I used a piece of 1/4" plywood for the backer block. Hopefully it will be strong enough.
To Oct 9th There's been few updates, but a fair number of things have been accomplished.  I can't remember which specific date they were done on but here they are - more or less in order:
Build the wheel.  The spokes are out of some oak scraps that I had.   To make the wheel more solid, I also doweled the pieces together rather than just trusting to the plywood rings.  I also am using a galvanized floor flange to connect the wheel to the steering assembly.
With some welcome help from my son, I got the lower rub-rails installed.   You may notice that the sides have been cut flush to the deck.  I'll be putting a top rail on on the top of the deck - more to follow (probably not until spring).   The rub rails were ripped down from a 14' 2X4 that my younger brother gave me.   I had to scarf in another 2 feet at the stern and like all my scarf joints, these failed too and I had to drive a screw through the joint into a backer block inside the hull.
Over the course of a couple of weekends I got the seats installed.   Prior to final assembly, I painted the inside where I would be unable to reach later with latex house paint (all I had around at the time.)
I also had some challenges with the seat backs. It's not obvious in the plans but other builders reassured me that the seat backs go from nearly vertical at the stern to having somewhat of an angle at the cabin bulkhead.  I also was unclear as to how the seat backs should match to the deck so what I did was to have the seat backs come up to the top of the deck up until where the deck curves and then notched them to go under the deck.   Both seat backs required quite a bit of fiddling to get to fit as the seat tops ended up not being flat as well.  I also remembered to run a string through the port side seat back up to the forepeak to fish wires later for the stern light and possible motor wiring.  After installing the seats I also installed the cabin bookshelves which concludes the bits and pieces that were in the way of sealing and painting the cabin and cockpit.  Also in the first couple of pictures, you can see the backer block that I had to put in to hold the screw through the scarf joint in the rub rails.
After applying a single coat of resin to the inside of the hull sides, I painted the inside sides of the cabin with 2 coats of rust paint while it was still easy to do.  The cabin sole only received one coat so far.  This was also after fiberglassing the deck which ended up not going too bad but there will still be lots of patching and repairing to do.   The last picture in this series shows a pretty typical problem where I had a build of of resin in one place and rough joints between pieces of fiberglass.  The surform shaper is a great tool for dealing with these sort of problems.  One of the challenges I've had with the light, tightly woven fiberglassing I bought for the upper surfaces is getting the cloth wetted out and bubble free.  I discovered right toward the end of the process that if I applied a layer of resin to the wood first and filled in any missed imperfections that the cloth laid right down on the resin, wet out well and had fewer bubbles.  It also laid down better on the sides of the boat as I ran the cloth down the sides a couple of inches from the deck to try to prevent that joint from cracking.
A seam and bubble are shown here.  The will need to be ground flat and/or filled.  There are a number of seams on the deck, but fortunately, few bubbles. =
21-Oct-2006 Cut out the cabin trunk front and sides.  Rather than follow instructions, I made the sides full length to avoid patching later.  This was possible since I had used scraps from other projects on the seats and had lots of material left.
Sadly the temperatures are well below the appropriate temperature for curing glue so I couldn't install them.
30-Oct-2006 We had a rare warm day.  The cabin sides are are now installed.   They fit just fine although the front piece required quite a bit of persuasion to fit to the tight curve.  I also installed the piece that was cut out of the deck to the top of the front of the cabin trunk.  I don't know if I'll get more done this year and it's a pretty tight curve.  The more support I can give it, the better.

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