Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
In the book they suggest splitting up a foam roller sleeve and attaching pieces to sticks with a slot cut in the end and using them as resin applicators. Well I tried, but obviously I had the wrong kind of foam roller, so I tried again with pieces of closed-cell foam from the end of a camping mat, and two pieces of 4mm play bound together with tape, and individually bound with plastic parcel tape at the foam end to allow re-use.
It works really well. I'm able to get a far more even spread of resin than when using a chip brush, and the cost is considerably less as well, not to mention the waste. I'm hoping that using better application methods, I'll make a much tidier job and therefore a faster, better build than with my first kayak.
There's no hope of getting in the garden today, the wind is wild and the rain is lashing down. I got the side panels cut out and planed down during the week, so today was a scarfing day. I laid the bottom panels out on offcuts of exterior ply covered with polythene sheet and screwed down the new centre section. I then screwed each of the remaining parts of the original bottom panels to each end. I did the same with the side panels, but in this case there is only one join to make.
I also put the sheer clamps back in the scarfing jig I made. On each side there is a long piece of 2x1" (50x25mm) to act as a straight edge and these and the bottom are again covered in polythene. Down the centre is a strip of mdf about the same thickness as the sheer clamps. I use offcuts of the 4mm ply covered in plastic parcel tape to bridge from one sheer clamp piece to be held over to the centre piece of mdf scrap. A screw near the sheer clamp end provides the clamping pressure but still allows a slight amount of adjustment until I'm happy everything is properly aligned.
I was not happy with the results, though. I was getting air locks in the hardener pump and once batch of epoxy just didn't go off, even after 72 hours. I'd used it to scarf the sheer clamps and also to repair a patch of the glass butt joint on the bottom panels that had air bubbles in it.
I decided to take drastic action. I cut out a section of the bottom panels 9" (225mm) either side of the 'bad' join and put a new 18" (450mm) section of ply in the gap. I also decided that supposed speed methods (applying glass to both sides of the join at one time) was actually sloppy, messy and would use more time in cleaning up and making good later.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Greenport, Long Island, USA. He is the first to inform me that he and his family have built a version of my Island Bay Dory design. Hopefully he'll mail me some pictures soon, and with help from the comment he made on his build, I'll be building an Island Bay Dory with my son in the coming weeks.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I'm trying out the Selway-Fisher Rhum plans at 1:10 scale before trying it for real. The reason for this is I want to change the internal layout, moving bulkheads and fitting permanent side seats, and I want to make sure it all fits. Even small boats are fairly complex 3D shapes an it helps to make sure the visualisation I have in my mind will actually work for real.
Last night I swapped around the bulkheads and made the forward one, the one the mast step and partner are against, full height. This will allow a small foredeck to be fitted, with storage underneath.
I think this will be a really usable little dinghy and I'm quite excited about the build. I just nee to keep the end in site and make sure I don't add so much unnecessary stuff that I can no longer walk the boat down to the ramp. Pictures will follow once I've got the deck fitted on the model.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
While I was round, Daniel invited me out on his big boat for a race the next day. So Mid-winter's day I was on a 33' racing/cruising yacht reaching at 8.5 knots in a 20 knot southerly blow around Auckland's harbour. There were only 2 boats in our none-spinnaker class, but we won on the line and on handicap. We also beat 3 spinnaker boats over the line, and they had a 5 minute advantage at the start. It was a beautiful clear and crisp day, and putting up with the cold was well worth it for a great day out on the water.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
If you want to have a go, please read the disclaimer and be realistic about this boat's ability. It's very small and has little load carrying capacity. The flare can be experimented with, more will add stability and buoyancy, but at the expense of freeboard, so its a smooth water only boat. Also, the flare adds rocker, so this boat will probably nod around. Perhaps a small amount of ballast in either end will help overcome this. If you weigh much more than 75Kg then be very careful getting in, I estimate that with that much of a load, the boat will sit around 150mm deep, leaving less than 150mm of freeboard amidships.
I had to post the instructions as JPGs because unfortunately the blogspot software does not allow such pleasant attachment types as PDF or DXF. If you build an Island Bay Dory, real or model, please let me know via the comments box.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Meanwhile, I read a book on DIY projects for the owners of cruising boats and saw a nice little 1-sheet dory style dinghy. I like the idea of trying something like this with my son, since he is light enough to float in it. I wasn't too keen on the shape of the boat in the book, but I liked the concept. I've worked on it some more and my second attempt came out nearly right. A little more refining and I'll have the plans available for the plywood part. It's not a true one-sheet boat because it will also require some wood for the seats and gunwales. And in fact to avoid exposing my lad to epoxy, I'll probably try making it with gluing batons planed to the right angles, polyeurathane glue and stainless screws.
Finally, I've also sent off to Selway-Fisher for plans to build the Rhum 11'6" dinghy in which I hope to learn to sail.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Currently I have half-hatched plans for a 16' 3-ply sheet proa. I've got a model made that proves the shapes I have designed end up looking like a boat of sorts, I've just the rigging to add. Because I intend to make this boat for very little money, most of the materials will be sourced from large DIY outlets, and so I thought the name 'Big Shed' appropriate. I'd like to have this in Maori, or even better, what ever the native tongue of the Marshall Islands is, but I'll have to be careful to get a good translation and not rely on Internet tools of questionable validity.
Since starting the model, I've been thinking about the difficulties of shunting the real thing (changing the end of the main hull at which the sail is tacked and changing the direction of travel while keeping the outrigger to windward). One solution is to go for a sail with no lower spar and the upper spar hoisted from its mid-point. Such a rig is tipped from one end to the other and is called a Gibbon's Rig. I think it would suit a smaller, single-handed proa and would have to be called the 'Funky Gibbon'. I think it would have a large silhouette of a brachiating gibbon painted on the polytarp sail just for good measure.
These are side projects. I really want to get going on making a dinghy over the winter so I can learn to sail in my own boat. I've decided on another Selway-Fisher design, the Rhum. It will be light enough to trolley down to the beach, can take a small outboard for a spot of fishing and can be rigged with a Gunter rig, similar to the UK Mirror dinghies. It will need a name and I've been thinking along musical themes. I've been looking through song names by my favourite bands to some up with something less in jest than the proa names. Likely candidates are 'Hope', 'Spindrift', 'Red Barchetta' (but only if I paint it red, which is unlikely because its a notoriously difficult colour), 'Working at Perfekt', 'Born of Frustration', 'Anthem', 'Earthshine', 'Beautiful Machine' and 'Pacifier'.
'Pacifier' is likely to be reserved for a bigger boat, should I not like the name it comes with. I like the idea of its relation to Pacific, as in the ocean and the calming affect that messing about in boats tends to have. Rather than building a camp-cruising boat, I'm on the lookout for a good trailer-sailer with sleep-aboard accommodation for 4. This needs a bit of preparation work, firstly I need to learn more about sailing (hence the dinghy build) and secondly, I need to prepare a space on the driveway; more landscaping work.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I’ve determined enough to categorically state that she is not the scow that I first suspected. On my last visit to her mooring I took photos but made no attempt to gauge her dimensions. On this latest trip I manoeuvred my Dart carefully in the strong outgoing tidal current and judged her to be only 2.5 Darts long and not quite a Dart wide. In more conventional units, that’s a waterline length of around 35 feet and a beam of around 12 feet. This is roughly half the recorded size of the scow ‘VESPER’, and even allowing for the somewhat rudimentary means of measurement, I don’t think I could get it that wrong.
The need for heavy cargo boats of shoal draft comes from Auckland’s location. Situated on an isthmus the city is squeezed between the Manukau Harbour to the south, which opens into the Tasman Sea on the West coast, and the Waitemata Harbour to the north, which opens into the Hauraki Gulf to the East. As the population of the region grew and more of the land was settled, so resources such as timber for building and livestock to feed the city folk needed to be sourced in larger quantities and from further afield. Scows weren’t used exclusively in the Auckland region by any means, but for a while, they were the lifeline for this burgeoning community.
The sailing scow 'VESPER', taken around the turn of the 19th to 20th Century
Captain Biddick commissioned another vessel of similar design, this time 76’8” by 21’8” and built by Bailey and Lowe in 1902. She was called ‘VESPER’. The picture from Anthony Flude’s site on Auckland history show a far more refined shape than the smaller ‘TED ASHBY’, a reproduction of an earlier design with the more modest dimensions of 57’ by 18’. It was the refined lines in this picture that gave me hope that the ‘VESPER’ I had seen was the same boat, but the dimensions rule that out. Incidentally, the scow VESPER’ was last recorded as being used as a mussel barge in the Marlborough Sounds in 1992 according to Mike Subritzky’s book ‘Subritzky Shipping’.
The 'TED ASHBY' at the National Maritime Museum, Auckland
So I still don’t know the origins of the flat bottomed, gaff rigged schooner ‘VESPER’ that is moored in the Upper Waitemata Harbour. I’ll send my photos off to the National Maritime Museum and see if model maker and scow enthusiast I was talking to has any clues...
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
I must admit that I like the idea of not only building my own boat, but also designing its lines. And through reading Gavin's blog, I've developed a respect and increasing interest in older boats and ships.
While I was paddling round the upper Waitemata Harbour at the weekend, I was fascinated by the many boats I saw moored up along the way. One of these I suspected to be a converted sailing scow, a commercial vessel from 100 years ago, essential in the development of Auckland as a city.
Today I went with my parents to the National Maritime Museum. We took a look at the racing boats and sponsor's yachts and launches, here in town for the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series and then headed for the museum. They wanted to potter around and enjoy the waterfront, but I was on a mission.
I took lots of notes and photographs of the exhibits in the Hawaiki hall, especially of this Kiribati canoe. It is a proa, that is it does not tack but shunts, the outrigger stays to windward and the lower point of the sail is moved to the other end of the boat and it 'reverses'. This is in fact a western prejudiced way to think of it, for in this type of boat the axis of symmetry is shifted 90 degrees and there is no front or back, but a windward and leeward. Anyway, I want to build one so I thought I'd examine an original rather than use plans of a western interpretation.
I also wanted to check out the Ted Ashby, one of the few remaining sailing scows still working for a living, albeit as a harbour cruise distraction for the paying visitors to the museum.
Between the Pacific craft in the Hawaiki hall and the quay where the Ted Ashby and other vessels are moored, I came across this beautiful rowing boat. It spent its working life in the Auckland Islands, 300 km south of the main New Zealand land masses. It appears to never have been used though. It was stationed on the islands along with cashes of food and clothes in case of ship wrecks.
I intend to deliver more on each of these vessels. I'll digest my notes and try and define the critical forms, structures and mechanisms of the sailing canoe, determine whether the boat I sighted was indeed an original scow (with the help of a volunteer and model maker at the museum) and publish more photographs and details of the boat and the castaway station on the Auckland Islands.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I went out about 100m, rounded the wharf and paddled into Island Bay (which completely empties on a low tide) and then back again. The boat was very stable but quite a lot of water came over the bow. A spray skirt will be necessary before I cross any rougher water. Also, the paddle could do with being about 200mm longer. I may achieve this by adding an aluminium section to the middle and making it a two-piece paddle.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
I was really busy getting ready for Christmas, then we went camping for a few nights and got back on New Year's day. I went back to work the following Monday, so tried to spend the weekend doing fun, family stuff rather than sanding.
I finally got around to sanding the first coat of primer and adding a little knifing putty to some of the less well prepared areas (the ones that only show up once its all the same colour). I did a big session of sanding last night and got it close enough. I'm brush painting the top coats so once the minor scratches and edges in the filler are smaller than a brush mark, I don't see the point in spending any more effort getting it better. I will, however, be asking for a random orbital sander for my birthday.
So this evening I put on a second coat of primer. I'll flat it off with a quick rub of 220 grit paper, with a little more attention being payed to a few inevitable runs and drips. It was around 25 degrees Celsius when I was painting in the early evening, and the water based paint was drying as fast as I could brush it out, keeping a wet edge was nigh on impossible.
In the background, between coats, I've also prepped the seat for top-coating, rubbed the paddle down ready for a final coat of varnish, and spray painted some deck hardware in satin black enamel after etch-priming (its all galvanised steel).