Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Progress On the Tiki 8ms

I have been very busy here lately and have a lot of photos of the Tiki 8m in progress.They aren't all in exact order but will illustrate the process. The companionway hatches are right and left handed, unfortunately we only got the mold for the port hull. We will have to build a mold for the starboard side. This photo shows the hatch mold with gelcoat applied.

The masts have been delivered to us and are ready to be stepped and rigged.

This hole is for the forestay bridle.

These are the beam lashing cleats. We have over-drilled the bolt holes and packed them with high density filler and glass fibers. These bolts go through the hull/deck joint.

Below are the beam locating blocks. they are made of Coosa board. This is a high density polyurethane foam reinforced with fiberglass fibers.

Here you can see we have prepped the deck areas where the beam locating blocks will be bonded.

Here the blocks have been glued down to the deck. We used epoxy to attach these blocks for it's superior strength and secondary bonding characteristics. After the epoxy kicks we will fillet the blocks into the deck with polyester putty and gelcoat. Then we will sand and polish them for a smooth finish.

We built these beams from divinycell foam and unidirectional glass fibers and carbon fabric.
Below you can see the flange that will support the cockpit. We have also started to build the brackets to support the jib winches.

Where ever hardware is attached to these beams we must "pot" the fastener. This entails overdrilling the fastener and filling the area with a mixture of hi-density filler and glass fibers.
The pots for the mast step bolts are visible here.

This photo shows the winch brackets and the pots for the mainsheet traveller track and the cockpit support flanges.

In this shot we are gluing the beam locating blocks onto the bottom of the beams. First we had to align and level the hulls.Then we put thin spacers in place to achieve the desired clearance. Then we apply epoxy and clamp the beams in place and clean up the squeeze-out.

Now we can lash the beams in place. We are launching this boat in an incomplete state so that we can verify everything is just so before final paint. These two boats have been modified from the original design in several ways and we want to be sure that everything works perfectly for our customer.

One of the modifications required is that the boat must maneuver in reverse under power in tight quarters.This is not one of the Tiki's strong points. In order to accomplish this we have removed the skegs and are fabricating kick-up rudders. This will enable us to size the rudder for adequate turning force and allow us to put some counterbalance area forward of the rudder shaft. This is much more complicated than the stock rudder design but is what our client requires. Here we are working on the upper end of the rudders. One of the lower blades is visible on the bench under the grinders.

These rudder parts are built of Coosa board and then sheathed with carbon fiber.

The upper parts of the rudders, the cases, are drilled for the lashings. These are potted just like holes for hardware.

Here we are using pvc pipe as a form for the tiller receivers.

We are using a square and a level to drill the holes in the stern post for the rudder lashings.

These holes go through solid glass and don't need potting. The are painted with gelcoat to seal them and are then sanded and polished.

Here the rudders have been lashed on and a blade has been inserted.
Here we are gluing in the gussets under the deck below where the mast beam is attached. These gussets will help prevent wracking from the mast loads. Under the aft beam attachment is a structural bulkhead that provides support.

Here we are gluing in the ash staving for cabin ceiling.You just can't have too many clamps.

We have made some teak ladders for cabin access.

In the meantime we have also been working on the cockpit.

In addition to the normal cockpit these boats have an aft station for the captain. Here is a view of this part upside down in progress.

We have now added glass to the bottom of the captain's station.

Here is the topside view of the captain's station showing the foot well and the pots for mounting bolts.

In this photo we have just glued the window into the frame. We use Sikaflex for this. The small blocks are super glued to the paper film on the acrylic to hold it in place while the first application of Sika dries. In the morning we will remove the blocks and top off the Sika and tool it for a nice smooth finish.

We have now brought the boat to our local municipal ramp for launching and sea trials.

Here she goes!

Around the corner to the beach and up with the mast and on with the sails.

We have some adjustments to make but she moves along nicely and we are very pleased.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Reuel Parker's Ibis Revisited

Reuel has been back in Fort Pierce for a little over a month now. I was able to get away for a few hours the other day to go up and visit with him and see the progress on his almost completed 45' sharpie Ibis.

She is really looking good at this point, almost ready to taste some salt water.
This shot of the rudder shows the 30" draft, the counter balanced rudder, and the rudder endplate.
Behind the boat the centerboard waits to be installed. This board is very heavy. It is made of plate steel over web frames and filled with lead and epoxy. As you can see from the shape when it is lowered it is a NASA foil section fin. This will probably be a very well sailing sharpie.

At the bow is an A-frame of stainless steel tubing.This will serve to raise and lower the tabernackled masts when raised to a vertical position and will serve as a bow pulpit when it is lowered to a more horizontal position.

Reuel knows the benefits of adequate ventilation in a boat in the tropics. The boat has many hatches and opening portlights.

Here is one of the mast tabernackles.

Moving aft the bimini is installed, a dodger is forthcoming. The cockpit will have cushions of 2" closed cell foam. There will be some seats mounted aft P&S for the helmsman.

This is the forward cabin.

Aft is the head. This boat has both cabins and the head in the forward house. The galley and saloon are in the aft house. In between are two substantial storage holds.
Looking out the main companionway into the cockpit.

Here is the fwd end of the galley and the dinette.

Boats are certainly very personal and one flavor won't suit everybody. This is a very simple basic cruising boat. One that is set up for extended cruising for a couple or a small family to have lots of fun on and be able to go places that many other boats of this size can't go, both in the water and on the highway. This boat at 12,000 lbs and 10' beam can be trailered quite easily so cruising the Bahamas this year and the Sea of Cortez next year would certainly be an option. I will be visiting this project more in the coming weeks.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tiki 8 meter catamaran moveing forward

With the hulls well underway we have started building the decks. They are much more complex pieces to build as there are lots of facets and corners. Again we are using 3/8" divinycell foam as coring and vacuum bagging it in place.

Here we are laminating the two hull halves together with bi-axial tapes.

Three of the four hulls out of the mold. These colors had to be specially mixed to the PMS #s given to us by the hotel.

This deck is just sitting atop the hull for us to visualize the interior space that we had to work with to modify the liner mold to accommodate a marine head

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wharram's Tiki 8 meter catamaran in US Production

We have started building our first fiberglass Wharram. James and Haneke had a set of molds built based on their very popular Tiki 26. They built one boat and for various reasons the project fizzled. Earlier this year we had the molds shipped to us here in Jupiter from England. The molds were in pretty good shape but we spent many hours fairing to improve the quality of the finished parts. Below is one half of a hull mold. The hull is laid up in two halves and then taped together down the center line. After waxing and waxing and then a little more waxing we spayed red gelcoat onto the surface of the mold. After this tacks off we applied a layer of 3/4 oz chopped strand mat (csm). This bonds well to the gel coat and helps prevent print through form the structural laminates. Earlier this year a fellow named Bill Holmes joined our team as a carpenter. Less then two months later we signed a contract for these two FRP boats. "Holmsey" has worked for several large fiberglass sail boat builders in the past and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our program. It's funny how things work out sometimes.

After the mat sets up we apply a layer of 1708 fiberglass. This is a layer of csm backing two layers of unidirectional fibers oriented at +/- 45' to the length of the fabric. This biaxial fabric is much stiffer for a given weight than woven cloth.

These outer layers of fiber are applied using vinylester resin which provides protection from osmotic blisters. After the 1708 skin sets we then vacuum bag a layer of 3/8" Divnycell foam into the hull half.

The picture below is after the bag came off with some of the pvc bleeder manifolds still visible. You can also see where the vacuum has pulled resin through the perforations in the foam. These holes are to ensure that no air becomes trapped between the foam and the laminate. The craftsman in the photo is Bill Holmes.
After the foam another layer of 3/4 oz mat and another layer of 1708 complete this hull half.

Once the two hull halves are ready the molds are bolted together along the center line flanges. There are locating dimples that key the two halves into precise orientation.

The next step is two apply 5 layers of 1708 fibers to the center line. IN the photo below the bolts have not all been drawn up, hence the daylight visible at the bow.

A very poor picture shows the first mold coming off the hull.

Our first hull is complete. Very exciting. Our shop is jam packed at the moment. We are delivering the sportfish interior we have been building for the last several months next week which will free up a lot of space. Then we will have room to start assembling the boats