Sunday, May 31, 2009

Stern & Sanding

Took the screws out from last night's glue up. I use coarse drywall screws as clamps, over and over until the heads fill up or strip out. A soldering iron is helpful if the epoxy sticks, just warm up the screw and out it pops.
Cut and laid out the centerboard core. It has quartersawn fir center with a hardwood leading edge and handle.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Did openhouse today at Ai. Then worked on Spartina until 10pm. Installed support "frames." the Idea is that using thin material and reinforing it with ribs will give a lightweight but stiff hull.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Chocks and Tanks

Silent Maid was being painted, spars varnished, chocks for the rig, hardware and brass blocks arrived, the engine pulled to place the drip pan. Cabin beams are in, hatched framed, Phil was working on the gaff jaws.. The interior is growing smaller everyday.

Spartina got her air tanks epoxied and the cuddy sole reinforced.

A 20 year old sharpie returned to the seaport. Isobel is green and white and sank slowly as she takes up in the boat basin.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Cabin Cabinent Making

Spartina lockers were sanded, aft deckbeam installed, and finished rudder.

Busy Day for Silent Maid.

Silent Maid has lockers behind the settee.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day

At the cape. Made laminated outriggers for FIDDLEHEAD.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Engine Room

SILENT MAID gets her engine. And more interior joinery. to see the planking of Silent Maid, see
My students give their presentations in the the rotunda. Spars are down. To see how they were assembled check out

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Aft Deckbeam

Installed the aft bulkhead beam. and sanded, and sanded.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Attended Philadelphia University's commencement exercises as a candidate for graduation in Aug. Pic from the Phila U website.


glued in starbord bulkhead yesterday, filleted it today and am fitting the port one.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Presentation went ok.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pete's Plans

A simple skiff, wider than URCHIN, with a beamier center thwart an transom. The second one is known as a file bottom. Not flat bottoms,rather with some deadrise like a sharpy. May be an attempt to mimic a round bottomed boat and improve the usefullness and abilities of a flat bottomed craft.

Tiller Time

The first graph shows the mass of filler that had to be added to epoxy to make a usable mix for filleting. The tallest bar is the ash. It was by far the heaviest. I can barely lift a 5 gallon bucket full. I have used the bucket several times in place of clamps.

The second graph shows water absorption by the different mixtures. The fourth point is plain epoxy, so I can only suggest that those fillers before either take the place of epoxy or are hydrophobic.

Finished the tiller with 5 coats of varnish. I love varnishing. The smell, the smoothness of the finish. Assembled the rudder temporarily with screws.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Culler on Skiffs

Usually, a hull form is chosen to fit a particular place and use. All rowboats are not necessarily good sailboats and vice versa. Long straight keels keep a rowboat on track, but will also make it harder to tack. Rounded bilges have a smoother underwater profile but have less stability pulled up on a beach. These pics show what I want the boat to do. Sailing first, rowing and sculling when there is no wind, and easy to beach.

I like skiffs. Smallish workaday boats, good for messing about in. These are a series of pics from the book, Pete Culler on Wooden Boats.

Paint & Varnish

Worked out some more details on the filler and rudder cheeks. Cut the spacers. Trimmed the edges of the cheeks. Sanded the blade and primed it. Tried out the Bio-Solv from MAS. It works well for cleaning brushes.
Sanded the mounted samples to 180 grit.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Last night, I sanded 2mL samples with 100 grit paper 30x to abrade past saw marks.

Squeegeed epoxy fairing compound (microballoons & epoxy mix) over rudder to fill surface imperfections and fair in edge of Kevlar edgeband.

Today I flipped the rudder and completed fairing other side.
Laid up cheeks for rudder with 50/50 glass carbon cloth. This was a pretty heavy and stiff cloth. I am hoping it will be stiff enough to not need the extra mass and turbulence of the lower doublers. I re-designed the cheeks to accept a slide in tiller instead of the permanently connected one specified in the plan. This will allow more flexibility for locker storage and trailering.
Made a fiberglass tube for the pennant to slide through.

Varnished a tiller. I found five tillers in my garage ( one 420, one lazer, two sneakbox and one unknown) decided to recycle the anonymous one rather than make a new one. Am also recycling a pair of pintles and will have to make some size accommodations since they are not the right size.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Edge Banding

The trimmed rudder blank is edgebanded with Kevlar 3/3 twill fabric as a protection from impact with rock or other river debris. The concept here is to replace the half oval brass I usually use for that situation.

Material Science

Samples were obtained by mixing MAS epoxy with medium hardener at recommended proportions and then mixing 5 mL of the mixed resin with enough dry sample material to create a spreadable mixture that retained its shape. This is the "peanut butter" texture from the West System epoxy book. These were placed in 10mL conical tubes to harden and 1 and 2 mL samples were sawn from the tubes 24hrs later. The 1 Ml samples were attached to glass slides with expoy and the cut surface viewed with an inverted microscope at 600x resolution. Dry samples of the fillers were sandwiched between slides to allow comparison. Images were captured with a Canon PowerShot A720IS camera directly from the objective lens. Images were opened in CS2 Photoshop and cropped to 1 mm squares allowing for measurement and comparison in the same scale.
A few interesting samples are shown above.

The 2 mL slices were massed and then immersed in water at room temperature for 48hrs. The cylinders were wiped dry and placed on a Kim wipe to absorb any further moisture released. The samples were massed again at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, 3 hrs, and 12 hrs to determine if they would absorb water.