Sunday, November 10, 2013

End of Season

I did finish up installing the forward floor and final stiffeners. But the garage temps are on a steady decline and I didn't get the aft floor installed. No pics of the final install, just fillets all around. I am debating about water storage, since the middle of this area is the center of the hull fore/aft. That's a good place to keep water. I think I may just go simple and use 5-6 gallon jugs. The pro is they are cheap, easy and can be removed for filling. The con is they are not the most efficient use of space. I estimate that the space that two 5 gallon jugs use could hold 15+ gallons if I did a built in tank in the same area due to the flaring out of the hull sides.
Dry run for floor installation

And finally I moved the Tiki on to casters. I needed to rearrange the garage and move the Tiki hull to the side to make room for the storage of our sports car for the winter. Everything fits but its tight:) Off Tiki subject Note:
The MX-5 is the best overall sports car for the street for the money IMO. I say this having owned/raced Porsches, MGs, Datsuns, and RX7s. There are other cars faster on the track but for the street the Miata is my choice. Although the 3rd generation NC cars have gotten a little too complex up market for my tastes.

Tiki in good company for a winter nap.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Decided, glass and no hatch!

I made up my mind and may thanks to commenters and the kind folks over at Wooden Boat Forum for their input.

First I'm going to use 4oz fiberglass cloth to cover the areas under the floor. From the bottom up to about 6-7 inches is glassed in. This should be more than adequate to keep any moisture damage in check.
4 oz fiberglass ready for epoxy on the keel backbone side. 
Then I covered the bottom of the floor with 4oz fiberglass cloth.

Floor bottom covered in 4oz fiberglass

After much internal debate I decide to K.I.S.S. The interior glass on this compartment is going to keep it rot free for may decades, probably beyond the point when the pine box I'm in the under the ground has rotted away. Unless there is exterior damage, in which case I'll just cut out a hatch when I need it.

The floor wasn't cut tightly to fit, it's really not necessary to have very tight fits since there needs to be room for the epoxy, so I used a couple wedges to get the sides bulging a slight bit to give a nice fair curve. I had spaced apart the hull sides when I installed the stringers but it didn't hold most of the curve so I put the spacer back in then the wedges.

Dry fitting aft floor
I'm happy with the dry fit of the floor, but no epoxy fillets today. It is late September and the maple leaves are turing beautiful colors, also the outside temps are routinely hitting the low 40s at night.  The garage has no central heat so the temp has been easing down and now it hit 60F. It was after noon and I didn't what to turn on the portable heater since it would take a couple hours to warm things up. So tomorrow I kick on the LPG heater early.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hatches in the floor/sole

Floor half width doesn't leave much room for an inspection hatch.
I've been managing to get an hours or so every day working on Tiki. Mostly nothing too exciting just installing stringers and stiffeners and many yards of fillets. I've gotten probably 90% of the fillets done. These include 1 inch radius fillets on each side of the bulkheads and 1/4" fillets on the tops of all the stringers and stiffeners.

I did get a little to zealous with fillets and made some where bunk supports will be installed:(

Next on the agenda is the Floor/Sole. The plans call for a solid floor permanently in place. The volume is then vented via small holes in the backbone and in BH4 and finally a hole with a 90 deg angle fitting in BH5. Then a hose brings the hose up near/above the waterline.

Problem is that I've seen Tikis with lower hull rot and I believe this is due to condensation that can collect in this "sealed" volume. There are about 4 layers of fiberglass on the exterior but in the interior there are many areas only covered by 2 coats of epoxy according to plans.

I don't like volumes that I can access and inspect so I'm thinking about couple flush hatches in the floor to allow annual inspection and to let the volume air out in the off season. Problem is the design. I'd like to be completely flush so feet or supplies won't catch on anything. And they need to be watertight.

Any ideas will be appreciated! Thanks

Thursday, August 29, 2013

OK I made a mistake Wharram Tiki #164 IS NOT FOR SALE

Sorry for the confusion, I guess I was in a deep funk. I had been spending weeks grinding, sanding, caulking and painting our house and had no time for anything else. But really after finishing the house last week I really thought over where I'm at in my life. I retired from the cubical life back in 2005 and thought I'd cruise for the next 20 years. Well after a few years I was itching for something different and my wife and I decided to buy an ultra cheap Concrete Geodesic Dome on 5 acres. The house is very cool but wow the work needed was extensive. It only had basic framing inside. Then my own personality quark got involved which make me want to do everything. It doesn't matter if it's plumbing, electrical, carpentry or tiling...I want to do the job. So this house plus building a Wharram and the constant tug-of-war between which has priority sometimes sends me over the edge. And It doesn't help that I also bough a old Pearson Triton and then there is my Hobie Cat the needs sailing, plus I'm actively looking to buy a local business. And I though I left stress back in the cubical:)  So now I'm in a better place and Tiki is staying here.

So now a little, very little Tiki news....
Work on Tiki this week wasn't much but important. I put 4oz fiberglass cloth on the interior lower hull section in the bow. The idea is that the entire lower 2ft or so is encased in fiberglass to keep the wood dry and rot free. The forward compartment will not get checked often so I can imagine a little standing water sitting for months doing it's damage.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A hard choice but a choice must be made.....For Sale

Yes this project is for sale. I've hit the point is life of too many projects and too little time. I hate to, but probably should give up on a Tiki 30 build. Starboard hull is finished to lower topsides, bulk heads installed, the keel fillet done, all stringers and stiffeners made and some installed. Also for the port hull I've completed the bulkheads, skeg, keel backbone, and stem. Also both rudders P/S are done.

I have all the 6mm and 9mm marine quality, BS1088, plywood to complete the build, 4.5 gallons of Raka epoxy and more than 20 lbs of wood flour. I would be willing to sell for cost of materials which as of today is at about $5900.

I believe I've done high quality work and built a very strong start of a Tiki 30. My guess is this represents about 1/3 completion to a simple build.

Everything is located in Knox Maine, about 12 miles west of Belfast Maine, or 1 hr from Augusta or Bangor.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

When not to work...


The other afternoon I has some time to work on Tiki. After deciding to mill a channel in a stringer I set up the dado blades on my trusty old, cheap, Craftsmen table saw. Looking at the picture you can see there are zero "safety" gadgets on this saw. I put safety in quotes since in my experience many of these gadgets just get in the way and make power tools more dangerous. But and its a BIG BUT, these power tools must be treated with respect! Think things through, total concentration. These tools are like a Black Mamba ready to strike. Ready to take a finger off or kill. So here I was about to pass these stringers through.  The problem was, my mind wasn't ready. I was in a funk which had my mind wandering off on stupid tangents. I was an accident waiting to happen. Thankfully I recognized the situation and I just stopped, put everything down and walked away.

I wish I could say I had this type of awareness all the time:) As I've gotten older I do find myself thinking through the "What ifs" of situations much more often. In part this means I always wear a face shield when working with power tools that throw material and wear a respirator when power sanding fiberglass or working with fillers like West System 406 Colloidal Silica.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Experimenting with Xynole -- 374 hours

I got the idea of using Xynole from David at BoatSmith, he is a professional Wharram builder down in Jupiter Florida. He had told me once in a conversation that he used Xynole on the hull exterior instead of FG as called for in the plans. Also on the RAKA site they call Xynole the poor man's Kevlar.  It's supposed to have much higher impact and abrasion resistance than fiberglass.
So in with my last epoxy order I bought a couple yards of 68ich wide 4oz  Xynole. It was $8.75/ydr compared to $6.50/ydr for 60inch wide 4oz plain weave fiberglass cloth.

My test spot was in the stern buoyancy compartment below the stiffener, a small triangular area. I wanted to observe the wet-out up close and make sure the wet-out was thorough. So first I cut a pattern using craft paper then cut the Xynole and did the wet-out on my plastic covered work bench.  I found out it really soaks up the epoxy. It seemed to use 2 or 3 times the amount of epoxy than my 12oz FG biaxial tape. Next the transfer from bench to hull was tricky since the cloth stretches and flops around easily due to the open weave.
Stern buoyancy compartment, Xynole experiment. 
I think it's obvious this is not the material to use for a clear coat:) Above the stiffener the plywood has just 2 coats of epoxy and sanded. Oh well, this is why I did my experiment in the bottom of the buoyancy compartment, a place only viewed by serious contortions. But should there ever be a puncture event in this area, the Xynole will deflect and absorb the hit and hopefully keep water from entry. I'm debating if I should use the Xynole on the interior of the bow buoyancy compartment, this is the area most likely to encounter some mysterious object in the middle of the ocean in the middle of the night.

I should note that I've planned not to paint the buoyancy compartments and other lower areas of the hull. I don't ever want creeping wood rot hiding behind paint. If there is a problem, I'd rather see it earlier than later.




Monday, July 8, 2013

Keel Fillets and glassing DONE!!! -- 373 hours


From Stem to 

Stern. 
Not really too much picture worthy with this work, just pouring epoxy to a uniform level in the 7 distinct keel compartments from stem to stern. The front four were actually much easier to get done since I was able to lift the rear of the hull to get the three front compartment keel areas close to level. This made it easy to pour a less thick mixture and let it self level. The rear three compartments took longer since lifting the front wasn't as straight forward as lifting the back. The skeg is only a few cm off the floor so really to get the rear near level the whole hull forward of the skeg needs to be lifted. This seemed too hard, so instead I used thicker mixtures and made small dams about 15cm apart. Then I'd pour a thinner mixture in between, creating steps that then were filled with thicker mixtures. This worked pretty well between bulkheads 4/6 and 6/7.  But from bulkhead 7 to the stern post the buoyancy compartment swings upward quickly so mostly very thickened epoxy is needed to stick to the near vertical gaps.

I feel like I've had a pretty good run this past month but it's time to throttle back on Tiki work and  put more time in to other household projects e.g. crack repairs.  After a minor earthquake last October we had several hairline cracks on the SW dome face. We didn't realize it until this spring when we got back from our southern vacation. So I've started cleaning and caulking, but many hours ahead since we also decided to change house colors.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Don't let this happen.... -- 353 hours

It takes a lot of epoxy to fill the keel and attach stringers/stiffeners so don't do like I did and wait until you start the last gallon bottle of epoxy resin to order your next batch from your favorite supplier:(

The issue is that I have several, what I call, "wet edges" of epoxy kicking and I'm very low on epoxy and about to run out.

With epoxy I use the term "wet edge" (which is from painting) for the time period after pouring during which when new epoxy is poured and it will still chemically bond with the first pour. The type of hardener, the ambient temperature, and volume of epoxy all combine to set the wet edge time frame.

The temperature in my basement is about 72degF and dropping slightly. This past week has been cool and wet here in Maine, for instance today we had a high temp of about 61degF. And I'm using RAKA 606 slow hardener so the wet edge period is about 24 hrs. Around this time the bond becomes less and less chemical and more mechanical until after about a week when it has completely kicked. The point being I what to keep that chemical bond going as it is much stronger than the mechanical bond.  Also after this wet period is when amine blush can develop, although luckily I have virtually no issues with blush at this site.

Lower hull stringers between bulkhead 3 and 4.
A little tip to help spread the hull when installing stringers/stiffeners. First dry fit the port and starboard pieces. I use two screws on each piece to hold the stringer. Then using two pieces of wood with notches over lap them and use safety wire to hold them together. Then using a screw clamp its easy to carefully adjust the spread to get the desired "fair" curve of the hull.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

What feels like real progress -- 343 hrs

The couple pics don't look like much has changed but at this point the keel is about 57% poured and glassed. The keel is complete from the stem to bulkhead 4 and started from BH4 to stern post. Also bulkheads 1,2,3, and 4 are properly filleted in place to the height needed at this stage. This stage of the build is epoxy intensive, I've gone through 4 gallons of epoxy, 5 or 6 pounds of hardwood flour and a couple yards of 12oz biaxial 6inch wide fiberglass tape. In total I've used up about 15 gallons of epoxy since the beginning of the Tiki build. But not all of that was used on the Tiki. Last spring I built a Tear Drop camper and dipped in to my epoxy stash a bit:)

I also finished off my supply of Douglas Fir making the lower hull stringers. After installing the bow buoyancy compartment stiffeners I modified the way I make the stringers/stiffeners. When installing the port and starboard stringers/stiffeners are pushed outward to give the hull a fair curve. Well this puts quite a bit of pressure on the stringer/hull side joint and forces a lot of the epoxy out of the joint. Epoxy joints are supposed to have only light clamping pressure or else a weak "dry joint" will result.
The bow stiffeners wedged apart to give the proper curve.

Completed bow with extra fillets on the stiffeners.

Modified stringers/stiffeners.
I used the router table with a 1/2" mortise bit to cut the epoxy channel. 




Monday, June 24, 2013

2 parts resin+1 part hardener, mix 1 min, add wood flour as needed, repeat.......... 305hrs

Epoxy Table, I'm spending a lot of time standing here:)
The title about sums up what I've been doing the past few days and it looks like what I'll be doing for the next few days. With the measuring cups, mixing cups and other stuff it seems a 3/4 cup per mix is about optimum, especially when using fast hardener. I would like to mix larger amounts but with the weather warming up, 75degF in the basement, the Fast hardener is too fast. It starts to kick in about 10-15 minutes, heck it becomes warn to the touch in the cup before I can walk from the epoxy table to the boat. So I have to be ready to spread it out quickly to slow down the reaction. Using the slow hardener extends the initial cure time to 2-3 hours. Thats great for working it but I then have to remember to come back to smooth the fillets, like on the bulkheads, later before it kicks hard and be careful not to get a wayward elbow in a soft fillet:)
An early pour.

Bow, stem area. Keel timber finished with fiberglass, stem still
needs more epoxy build up. 





Friday, June 21, 2013

Let the big epoxy pour begin! -- 302hrs

Happy summer solstice to everyone. I hope everyone enjoyed this longest day, northern hemisphere folks a least:) I was up at the crack of dawn but didn't get time to work on Tiki until the late afternoon.
All wired and aligned, ready for epoxy!
This week has been exciting and tedious. Tiki is finally looking like a boat, the exciting part, and long hours of alignment and tweaking of bulkhead, tedious part. I've been managing to get a couple hours a day on Tiki so progress is being made. This week has all been about installing bulkheads and final stitching up of the hull. Each bulkhead seemed to have a unique issues, e.g.   bulkheads 1, 3, 6, and 7 all needed the lower ends narrowed to get a proper fit. Talk about tedious, I think I had BH6 in and out 5 times before I was happy with the fit.
Modification to lower bulkhead for tighter fit.

Check out these pictures of the plans, sure looks like a goof to me.  Sheet 1 of the  plans show the lower edges as 20mm wide while the matching keel, stem, sternpost and timbers are all 18mm wide.
Then sheet 2 appears to show that the bulkhead bottom edge is level with the hull sides. But the bulkhead sides from the lower side notch is longer than the hull side at the corresponding location, for instance BH7 was 10mm longer. I wonder if newer plans have changed in these areas, I bought mine for hull #164 2nd hand so I have no idea how old these plans are but the sign off date is 1993. A lot can change in 20 years, I know I have:)
10mm half measure at bottom, equals 20mm total width.

Two 9mm Ply pieces is 18mm. 

Looks like the bulkheads end above the keel bottom, even with
the hull sides. 

I didn't pick up these discrepancies until the wiring began and there were either large bulges at each BH or wide gaps along the timbers.
Once bulkheads were installed a lot of time, maybe too much, was spent aligning the hull, i.e. getting all the bulkheads between the stem and stern lined up. Also making sure each bulkhead was vertical and perpendicular to the keel backbone. I used a laser level with it clamped to the stem or stern to check the bulkheads. I suppose this may be overkill, I don't expect most Pacific Island Wharram builders use anything more sophisticated than an eyeball and piece of string. But the task is done, time to start the epoxy process and lock it down, and in the process this hull becomes, theoretically at least,  able to float! That's a nice milestone:)

Then finally today once I was happy with the alignment, the big epoxy pours began, .75 cups per mix:) Probably 1/3 to 2/3 drips out as I'm intentionally making the first pour thin enough to get in to the joint completely. It will take several pours over a couple days before the keel is done.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tiki 30 assembely practic run...

A few days ago I had the opportunity to help in the launch of a Tiki 30 located about an hour and half south. I have had several concerns over the ease with which the Tiki 30 could go from trailer behind a truck to floating and in sailing condition. I'm very pleased with the results. For the owner and a couple friends this was the 3rd or 4th years launching so they had some refined idea and practices which will go a long way with my own future solo launch attempts.

The Tiki arrived on an old pontoon boat trailer with a few custom supports. It seemed very well suited to the task. After removing the cross beams, mast and support lumber the boat was splashed. It was then moved around the floating dock so as to not block the public boat ramp. Four boxes with short cross beams, two 2x4s in a T configuration, kept the hulls together while trailering and initially while in the water.

The next steps were to remove the cockpit and then separate the hulls using another set of temporary T 2x4 beams that placed the hull at the proper distance for the real cross beams.
Then install the center, mast support beam, and then the fore and aft beams.

Next the cockpit floated under the beams in to position then using one of the temp T-beams and a winch lift the cockpit. Two of us lifted the aft end high then the forward end is dropped to the mast cross beam and then we lower the aft end. Pretty simple to do with three folks. Two could easily do it, but one would take more prep.



Now it was time for the mast. It's attached to the thumb at the mast base, then one of the long T-beams was used as a gin pole. Once all the stays and guide ropes were all in place it was surprisingly easy to lift the mast.


The two big areas of concern for a solo launch is the mast and cockpit. The mast was wood and heavy. It takes two to move. With a cart it would be possible to maneuver it solo moving one end at a time but not easy. This has made me really consider using aluminum for the mast.

Next was the cockpit. While this cockpit was built to spec and not like some luxurious cockpits I've seen on some Tiki 30s it was still a two man job to move from atop the hull and into the water. I suppose a system of slides and winches could be used to move the cockpit to water and back, something to think about. But more specialized materials to build and store.  

The cross beams are pretty heavy but would not be too difficult to move solo, but it sure makes me think of carbon fiber:)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Could it have been the wine? --- 279 hrs

High water mark.
What a shame, I felt like I was making real progress and a boat was taking shape. The hull sides, keel, stem, stern and BH 4 were wired/screwed together....but there was that problem.
Going backwards:( Notice all the shiny copper wire pieces. 
Once I got the starboard keel backbone out and on the bench it was pretty clear the keel sides did not have a fair curve or even hit the offsets by less than 2mm in 3 or 4 out of 7 reference points. How did this happen? I'll admit, I still drank, red wine, back when these keels were built but I don't think I ever  BWD(built while drunk), but it's the only idea I have to explain the results. After seeing this my head hurts from banging it on the wall. Oh well, I gave up drinking last fall so that excuse can't ever be used again and hopefully this type of bonehead maneuver will not happen again:)

Man, what the hell is going on here?
Next the small circular saw was used to cut out the new curve, then I used a wood chisel to remove the offending material. The curve looks much better now but the proof will be when the hull sides are set.


Now that looks right!!
On Monday I set the keel back in and the starboard side looks great, but the port side is still off. So the only thing to do was take the whole thing apart. Then I spent a day measuring hull sides, bulkheads, and the keel. On the keel I measured the port vs starboard sides every 4-6 inches figuring the starboard side was correct. They were equal to within a mm right up to the last forward 6 inches where the starboard was high by a couple mm. But just looking at both sides, the curves both looked fair. I wasn't sure if this was enough to cause the problem.
This is what the fit should look like. Now to get the port side to match. 
Even though the side to side difference didn't seem significant, I did clean up this small error. Then it was time to rewired/screw the hull sides together, reset in the cradles and finished the screws in the keel area. Results...much ,much better. Port/starbroard look good, BH 4 is wired in and the floor bearer is only fractionally high. So now I'm finally ahead of were the stop work occurred, YEAH!!!!!
BH 4 is wired in, and BH 3 is ready, progress!
Also note that I wised up and am using multipart block and tackle to lift/move the hull. At this point I'm able to lift a hull end one handed! This made it really easy to level out the hull fore/aft and get the cradles and keel supports just right:)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Going backwards:( Some days suck. -- 254hrs

I finally got back to Tiki today and figure out what was going on with BH4 floor bearer not landing even with the keel backbone. I then checked BH3 and it also was off:( The answer is in these pictures...

BH3 area. There shouldn't be a 1/2" gap

Forward of BH3, end of keel sides.

Those hull gaps then cause this:(

Looking back, I had problems with building keel backbone a couple years ago. I couldn't understand the plans well enough to get the curve correct for the keel sides. I don't remember if I understood at the time but these sides are where the hull sides land so the curvature is important to allow the the hull top edges to be at the proper height above the keel backbone and the floor bearer to be at the correct height. I suspect this is my problem because when I pulled the port keel up on the bench and measured the six  distances found on the drawing, from the backbone top to the top of the keel sides only one or two were spot on. Then when I checked to see how fair the curve was...well it wasn't:(


So now it's a step back. Tomorrow I'm going to disassemble the starboard hull and free the keel backbone. Then measure, mark and draw a fair curve and add/subtract as needed to have a fair curve for the hull sides to land on.

All in all a pretty depressing day, but I've got a plan which I didn't have this morning and that's progress!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Feeling like a wingnut......



Alright, this is really a basic safe shop practice, leave the shop when tired. Tiredness is the proximate cause of spilling Acetone on the battery and charger for my Ryobi drill and saw. Chain of events, first clean a piece of work, but leave the can sitting on the floor and the cap not tightened, first bad move. Next move the charger to the epoxy table, why I did this I don't recall but obviously another bad move. Then grab the acetone can and attempt to place it next to the charger on the epoxy table, but instead allow it to slip from the hand and spill a cup of acetone on the plugged in charger. I'm not a chemist but I know acetone will melt plenty of plastics and wow did it eat up that charger. The black sections quickly became soft and the obvious staining on the battery. Not much to do to but unplug and allow the acetone to evaporate. The question is whether the circuity in the charge has been damaged? I'll open it up and give a visual when we get back and hope for the best.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Finally...Looks somewhat like a boat:) -- 250 hrs

I've had a couple good days working on TIki #164. The rudders are damn near complete, just some fairing and drilling out the hinge holes on the starboard rudder. But the big advancement came with stitching the starboard lower hull, keel,stem,stern post, and two milled keel timbers together and dropping the collection in to the two cradles.
BH1, not stitched, just spreading the lower hull sides.

BH4 goes immediately forward of the butt strap in view.


The first real challenge started with trying to install BH4, which is the first to be installed following the build instructions. First thing I noticed was the aft floor and bunk bearers were too long(not the only problem unfortunately) or should I say they were full bulkhead width IAW sheet 2 drawings. The problem was that BH4 is right in front of a hull side butt strap. Which is clearly shown on another sheet. So the fix was to remove 6mm off each end of the aft bearers. Not a big deal but just another delay, but with a back saw from an old miter box set and couple sharp chisels and the job was done.

Removing 6mm from the floor bearer.


Then there was the forward keel timber, an 18mmx45mm milled piece that also needed the aft end tapered, which I didn't realize until the hulls were stitched up and sitting in the cradles. So out came the sharp chisels. Good chisels are becoming my favorite tool.

Really don't what to sound negative, in fact I'm really happy seeing the hull setup, but if your building a Tiki 30 these are issues to watch out for. No more progress for a couple weeks as we head out to pickup another boat in Maryland. But before closing up shop I discovered another problem with starboard BH4 and this time the the problem is completely on my shoulders, the floor bearer is to high! The bearer is about 8mm high when the bunk bearers are flush with the lower hull side top:(  A few  quick measurements show that my build tolerances added up a few millimeters here and there. Oh well, something to ponder, best way to "fix" this error, on the long drive to Maryland.