Saturday, July 25, 2009

Started on the deck

Today I got a start on the deck of the XCR. I drilled stitch holes diagonally through the gunwales and matching ones through the deck panels. I started wiring in the middle and worked my way towards the ends. For now, I left the ends un-wired; I will glue them down directly to the gunwales and backing blocks with I apply the epoxy tacking to the rest of the deck. I cut out the fore and aft deck triangles and have them temporarily clamped in place. Tacking is next!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Progress on bulkheads

First off, here is a picture of one of the kevlar taped frames:

Tonight I worked on the bulkheads. Over the past couple evenings, I fiberglassed both sides of the bow and stern bulkheads. Tonight, I cut big holes in them for the hatches I am installing in each of them. For now, I just glued the hatches in and will add some stainless screws when I get some. With the hatches glued, I wired the bulkheads into the main hull and tacked them in with some thickened epoxy. Here is a pic:

And finally, I cut out some backing blocks that will install under the deck ridge between the bow and the forward bulkhead. These will support the deck, as well as provide a strong attachment point for a carrying handle. This is repeated at the stern...

Frames Done

Last night, I got the sailing frames filleted and taped. I used a technique I read about in this book, and it worked great. I started by pre-cutting 24 small sections of kevlar "tape" cut out of my leftover kevlar. Each small section was cut to fit a specific joint. Small section of 4-mil plastic (just larger than the kevlar bits) were also pre-cut. Then I applyed a thick bead of thickened epoxy to the joint between frame and hull, then smoothed it down with my finger. After all joints were filleted, I mixed up some unthickened epoxy and wet out the sections of kevlar tape, which were resting on the small pieces of plastic. Once wet out, I picked up the tape + plastic, and pressed it into the joint. All I had to do was work out the air bubbles a little, then move on to the next. The whole operation took little more than an hour. This morning, I pulled all the plastic bits off leaving perfectly filleted and smooth joints. Awesome! I'll post a picture soon.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another quick progress update...

Got a bunch of little things done today in preparation of the next few major steps:
  • I added a section of 6" wide tape from gunwale to gunwale to smooth and strengthen the joint of the two kevlar sections
  • I stitched and tacked the sailing frames in place (permenantly!)
  • I fiberglassed one side of the fore and aft bulkheads
  • I laid out and cut the fore and aft deck triangles
Now I just need to wait until the epoxy is dry before I can do anything else.

Interior Glassing Done

All major panels of interior fiberglass are now complete. I have a couple small patches to add; at the bow and stern, and one in the middle to smooth the transition between kevlar panels. I will probably do those in conjunction with glassing in the bulkheads and frames. Here is a picture of my kids in their new boat. My daughter thinks I am going to paint it pink for her, but I think I am going to have to disappoint her... Maybe a pink paddle like Boo and Hannah...

From Bens Boatbuilding

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Interior Fiberglassing Continued

Last week was a vacation week, hence no boat building. We went camping at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and had a great time. I definatley see a lot of opportunity to use the XCR there once it is completed. One trip I would like to try (eventually) is to launch from Glen Arbor, sail / paddle along the shore to Sleeping Bear Point, then make the crossing out to South Manitou Island. The spend a few days sailing, hiking, and camping around both islands. Maybe someday!

View Larger Map

Anyway, once back home and unpacked, I got rolling on the XCR interior again. I first feathered the edge of the kevler, then laid down the fiberglass on the interior starbord side. It went on in one long, narrow piece. It goes from the chine between panels 1 & 2 to the gunwale. I got the port side prepped last night, so hopefully I can get that laid up tonight.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Some cleanup and prep work

Got a couple things done on the boat today. First, I did some cleanup on the kevlar edges. I did a pretty good job of keeping the edges flat and smooth when I was applying the epoxy, but there were a few rough edges here and there. I was a little unsure of if I would be able to do anything to the kevlar, but it wasn't too difficult to cut using a chisel and plane. I also got the two sections of fiberglass that will cover the inside from the gunnel to the joint between panels 1 and 2 (first chine). I turned the XCR on its side and rolled the full width (60") cloth out on the outside of the hull. I lined up one edge with the gunnel and then cut a little above the first chine. Now that both pieces are cut, I plan to add some fairing compound to the kevlar edge, roll the fiberglass out over the wet epoxy, then complete the wet-out. Some pics from today:

Friday, July 3, 2009

Kevlar done

Today I got the kevlar laid up on the interior of the XCR. I planned on doing only the front section, but the process went really quickly, so I ended up doing both sections. First I coated the bare plywood with epoxy. Then I laid the kevlar in the wet epoxy and got it positioned. I used a foam roller and a couple of plastic squegees to get everything saturated and looking good. I am pretty happy with how things turned out; fiberglassing the interior sides is next.

Pictures of flooded garage

Here is a picture of my garage during the floods we had last weekend:

The water was about a foot deep in the garage and my boxes of cans ($0.10 refund in MI) all floated away. Fortunately, nothing was really damaged or ruined.