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!