Saturday, December 31, 2011

First Fiberglass Ariki Hull

With the mold well waxed we put a sheet of plastic over it to fit our fabric.

 Below we have sprayed the mold with PVA, a mold release coating.

 Here we have the first layer of glass on. 

 After the inner skin is layed up we start adding Coosa board to high load areas of the hull. Coosa board is a high density foam filled with layers of glass fibers.We will use it along the rubrail, the keel and stem,where the chainplates and beam lashings go and where through hulls will penetrate the hull.

We have cut the foam to fit and are getting ready to coat it with resin and vacuum bag it to the hull.

 This is our first bag of the foam and we started small.

Here we have all the foam on and have added the keel and stem strips. Along the entire stem and keel we used a 6" wide piece of 3/8" thick foam instead of the 5/8" foam that we are using for the hull. Then we feathered the 5/8" foam down to the 3/8". This allows us to have some space to add the keel overlaps and doublers without causing a hump that would be difficult to fair out.

Here is the skeg and the stern post added and partially reinforced.

Next we will cut a shallow rebate into the foam for the glass overlaps in the outer skin. This will make our fairing easier.

I didn't get a photo of the rebate before we got glass on it.
This is with the first layer of glass on. The clearance for the next two layers is visible here.
Below the clearance at the top for the hull to deck joint doublings.

Below we have the next layer of glass on. We will next put two more keel strips and a layer of mat for the outside surface. Then we will roll on several coats of bog and start fairing.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Liberty Yachts Revisited Yacht Interior

Liberty Yachts closed their doors in 2009.  But Bill and Linda who we built the interior for on "Lidda" (Liberty #18) really like their boat. In fact they like it so much that they bought Liberty #17 and are having us remodel and refurbish  the boat. We are doing this work in Cracker Boy Boat Works in Riviera Beach, FL. Bill and Linda are very experienced boaters and had their boat built and equipped just the way they wanted it. Liberty #17 was set up differently than Lidda and had some different equipment. We are changing the interior and some of the equipment. Below is the interior as we built #17 originaly 7 years ago.


This interior was built for the guy who first had the boat built. Bill and Linda saw this boat as it was being built and were impressed with our work among other things about the boat. We then built this interior for them on #18.

As part of the remodeling of #17, we are adding a washer dryer under the forward  bunk. This requires a new bunk as it needs to raise up several inches for clearance. We will also remove the starboard settee and cabinet and install a cantilevered table with two barrel chairs and a slide-up TV very much like their other boat "Lidda" is set up.

Here's a picture of us getting started on this remodel by removing the forward bunk and starboard settee.  More information and pictures to come in future posts.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Waxing Ariki Catamaran Mold

Well we sanded and sanded and then we glassed the inside of the mold to stabilize it. We went from a period of moderate humidity to our normal very high humidity and the mold started moving on us. So we added a layer of CSM to the interior surface of the mold. This closed it up and then we were able to sand some more to complete the fairing. The guys were not excited to be almost done with the sanding to realize that we had to fair it again. The has now been done and we are now into the polishing phase.

Now we have sanded the surface of the mold to 320 grit. This will be smooth enough. This surface will be the interior surface of the hull and will get bulkheads, floors and furniture bonded onto it and then painted. We will wax it 7-8 times over the next few days and then we will be ready to build  our first hull form this mold.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sand and Sand and Sand.......

.People say that when you tweak a design that you will cause yourself much work downstream. I'm here to tell you that that be the truth brotha. The camber that we added  seem to be a big deal,, until we tried to fair in the sides to the stem. We pulled out the first and second frame from each end and reshaped them to gradually change from a convex shape to a straight line at the stem. I didn't want any hollows to detract from the original classic Ariki lines. We narrowed up the entry and put some of the gautness back into the fwd sections. Lots of bogging and sanding. At the stern we let the shape roll through from convex to a concave line to include the skeg.  

We have added a flange to the bottom of the mold to stiffen the partand allow someplace to bond pull points to dor demolding the part. This will also be where we sealof the mold for vacuum bagging.
We precut the two top pieces of fabric.

We are using polyester resin for this mold and after  the fiberglass was apllied we rolled on two coats of thickend resin to fill the weave and give us something besides just glass to sand.

Here is a view showing the camber. Three inches over 80". This camber is good in a composite stucure as it implies a lot of panel stiffness.  This allows for the elimination of stringers on the interior hull surface which simplifies building and maintenence. We will now get the longboards out again and sand this surface fair. At that point we will spray the mold with gelcoat and sand it some more.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wharram Fiberglass Ariki Catamaran

We have a contract to build a new catamaran for a fellow here in FL. He decided that he wanted an Ariki. This is a 45' classic design from James Wharram. I have several other folks interested in this size boat as well and I had been getting ready to build a hull mold for a Tiki 36. Well I thought about it and decided that a hull mold for a boat that was sold versus one on spec made alot of sense.   My client agreed to have the boat built in foam core glass and Hanneke of James Wharram Designs modified the lines a little bit to make it a little better for the glass and here we go.
This shows a model of the Ariki built by my friend and very talented designer/artist Kevin Hutchinson. He has had the hots for an Ariki for 15 some years. He had this model floating around his studio and when I told him we were bulding one he brought this down for inspiration. Alongside are the frames for the model of the Tiki 36 that Kevin helped me work up. Next to the left is the mold that we made from this set of frames and a little more to the left is one of the hulls we pulled from this mold.

We are going to build the Ariki using the same technique. This is referred to as building from a male mold. It does mean we will have to fair off the outside and paint it, but the inside will come off the mold ready to tab in bulkheads and will be very fair.

We put some tables together to loft the boat out full size.

We then transferred the frame shape to some 3/4" plywood and added legs to attach them to the strongback below.

Next we leveled out the strongback and attached the frames and the stem and sternpost.

Below we have started strip planking the mold. We cut 3/4" strips from 2x6s and screwed them to the frames. We edge nailed them with an air gun and connected the butts on the inside with little squares of 1/4" plwood screwed on.
The strip planking went very smoothly and we have completed both sides up to the stem foot.

Next we will have to sand and fair this out for a layer of glass to use as the surface of our mold.
The graffiti is a guide coat to help us sand and fair.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Mast for Wanderbird

Wanderbird is a 50 tear old wooden ketch  with a pronounced work boat flavor. The owner had built the mainmast for more than 25 years ago from a tree he cut down in his backyard. It is visible behind the trailer which has two utility poles on it. It is literally falling apart.
These poles are not  actually very straight when purchased. The pole was 12" at the butt and 8" at the top and our spar will be 6" at the base, 8" at the partners and only 4" at the top. We used electric planes to straighten the spar and start to work it down to size.
This is the headstock of my lathe. I also have a full set of face plates for this lathe with the largest being 10' in diameter.

This is the tail stock and also a center rest/support that we built for this application. We poured 12" thick concrete pads under the head stock and tail stock and bolted them down in place.

Here we have the spar chucked up in the lathe and are ready to go.

Here is the tool holder for this lathe.It weighs several hundred pounds and takes 3 of us to drag along the work.

 The problem with this whole set-up is that the pole is not round and in column when we start working on it.
This means that the pole flops around on the center support.It seemed as though it would be simple to just plane off the high spots. But when we marked the top when it spins I can't tell if the hump is on the bottom and pushing the pole up or if the hump is on the top and just needs to be planed off. The pole,  at 50' long is also very spindly and flexible.You can see the out of roundness in the photo below. When the wood spins around and hits the cutter the pole flexes away and starts wobbling harmonically.Even with very light cuts and a sharp cutter the flopping would happen.

My center support started off as a pair of pneumatic wheels that were woefully undersized. The flopping blew out one of the tires. 

In this photo we changed the two pneumatic wheels  with 4 steel wheels of 14" diameter. This didn't work out any better because there was no give and the flopping was just more violent. The wood also was compressing where it rode on the wheels. I learned that the folks who really know this stuff have a center rest that is round and opens up and clamps onto the pole and the rest the rolls on rollers and any out of roundness can then be trimmed off.

We ended up finishing the shaping of this spar with the planes and sanders. We ended up using the lathe just to hold and rotate the spar.
We completed the shaping of the spar and painted it and mounted all of the hardware to it.

We have delivered it to Indiantown Marina for installation.

The crane has just set the mast.
The owner is in the foreground and is very happy with his new stick. We have learned a lot about the process involved in turning a long part. next time we will be more up to speed.