Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Seats tops in

This morning I washed the amine blush off the underside of the seat tops using detergent and a scotch pad. Also attacked the inside planks of the boat with my new orbital sander. Does the job great. Glad I followed John's advice and got a 125mm sander rather than a 150mm sander. Gets into smaller areas between stringers well. Even Patrick had a go with it today. He enjoyed it.
After dinner we put the seat tops in. First we wet out the bare wood, end-grain etc. with raw epoxy. Then we mixed up ziplock bags of thickened epoxy and colloidal silica. Gladwrap bags work well for applying mix like a cake decorator. Then we put seat tops in. Kelly stood on them to hold down while I drilled and screwed them down. Boat looks tidier now. I can see the next few days will be spend filleting and sanding. Hopefully no more than a week. I do have to work this week a bit.
Introduce them young to power tools I say! 
Seats are scarfed together using glass to form one large seat top. The tops are 18mm Gaboon as it seemed stiff but light. I wanted something a little stronger as I am at the top range of a "Finn's Ideal Weight". The seat tops have two layers of 200gm boat cloth on for abrasion resistance. The same as the floorboards.

Thickened epoxy on top of frames. All interiors have 2-3 coats of raw epoxy. I figure if I ever need to epoxy something in the future or do a repair it will only need a quick sand with 60-80 grit and get into it.

Seats in. Yay

Peel ply left on seat tops for now. Lots of filleting and sanding to go

A bit of detail. Half round Vitex (New Guinean Teak) glued to Gaboon Ply to protect edges. I routered 20mm X 100mm plank and then trimmed of hald round and glued on) 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Yay!!! I have a boat in my shed

Finally all planks on. It is officially a boat. Bung in and centreboard in and it would float. The rest is details.
What a good feeling to see it in the shed. We put the final forward top plank on. We also sanded and epoxied the seat tops ready to put in tomorrow. They seats needed a bit of work were we glued hard wood onto the leading edges. My new Makita orbital sander with a vacuum is awesome. I can see the next week or two will be filleting and sanding interior ready to paint. Then we will flip boat.

Dark, wet and cold Canterbury Night. Lucky got a great heater.

Final plank on. Seat top is beside boat ready for tomorrow

Just some filler, a little sanding and a lick of paint aye?

Last plank

Last screw going on. DONE!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Last row of planks and Anchor floor

All hands on deck for putting on last row of planks and anchor floor. Tomorrow will finish very front planks near anchor well. Then we will have a boat.

Kids helped mark out where epoxy has to go on planks, saw ends and help screw on planks. Wifey helped mix glue powder. All went pretty well. By the time I'm finished my filleting will be average.

Marking on plank were to epoxy

Little helpers

Screwing on start of last row

She screwed on this row of planks...

Anchor floor glued in. Filleting to go.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Painted Cooler Box

Painted Cooler Box. Want it to look nice and fresh with white paint. It is also covering the fibreglass. Used Altex No3 Epoxy Primer and Altex Elite PolyUrethane 'Snow White'. It is the first time I have 'Rollered and Tipped' two pack polyurethane. Went on fairly easy and wet out well. I used small mohair rollers and a large 2-1/2" Brush. I will be more than happy to use this painting method to finish my boat. There are a few dust spots. To be expected as I didn't dedust garage.

The rest of the undersides I will leave raw epoxy. Hopefully in the future I reckon it will be easier to just paint on epoxy as required. Also maybe easier to repair too!

Tack Rag for dust (Pity garage has so much dust blowing around in it)

Rolling paint on. 

Water steaming of damp chair this morning. Bit chilly

More power tools. Hooked up hose to fit shopvac. Works well. Big jobs for it coming up.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pete's Trip in Pelorus Sounds, NZ

Hi. Just received awesome pics and story of sailing a Pathfinder in Peloros Sounds, Marlborough, NZ. He is happy for me to post on my blog. Unsure how to get video up but here are the pics.

"Hi Brian and Leo,

Pictures attached.
In the vid we are sailing Kaiarahi across the northern end of Hikapu Reach, with Nydia bay behind us. About ten minutes later the main (its already reefed) came right down as the wind funneled down the reach hit us.

I ran the dividers over the map, and reckon we clocked up about 125 km all up - about half and half motoring/sailing, on around 11 litres of fuel which was actually a pleasant surprise.

Day one was from Havelock to just inside the south side of Kenepuru - there is a wee campsite up in the bush.

Day two was as far as Chance Bay (brilliant anchorage, crap beach. Going down Hikapu Reach we got to fully reef the main in pretty unpleasant conditions - the PF sat head to wind with just the mizzen and no hands on the tiller while we sorted out the main, just like JW said it should. Absolutely brilliant. We actually spent about a third of the sailing time just on jib and mizzen it was so windy. It wont point very high like that, but it does feel totally safe, and still gets along OK on any other point of sail. the GPS said we hit 12.5km/hrona broad reach like that.

Day three we went out to Norwest Bay, then back to Chance Bay for the night. We had some really good sailing that day. We didnt go out as far as we could as the wind was from the south the whole week, and I wasnt looking forward to motoring all the way back into a head wind.

Day four was Chance Bay back to Kenepuru. We didnt get quite as far up the sound as Portage, and definitely came closer than we ever have to capsizing. The wind swirls around a lot in Kenepuru sound, and we got stuck with an unintended gybe from a massive wind shift, that turned into a big gust that had us climbing uphill back across the boat in the space of about 10 seconds. It probably felt worse than it was though - I dont know if it even got the rail under the water. The cruising guide does warn you about this!

Day five we motored around Mahau Sound then back to Havelock then home.

Lessons for next time:
Pack the boat more carefully - we had way more stuff than we needed and with the cabin I was a bit too casual about just chucking stuff in without tying it down.
I put the entire chilly bin in the freezer the night before we left, and the stuff at the bottom was still frozen (mushy, but only just) 5 days later.
Take a dinghy - the "beaches" aren't very wooden boat friendly and getting ashore was a bit of a drama. Throwing the anchor over the side and paddling to shore would have been much less hassle.
Plug the ends of any tubular spars, unless want to listen to the wind warbling away through long metal pipes all night.
Loosen off the stays slightly at night, unless want to listen to the wind turning the whole boat into a gigantic string instrument that drones at night - occasionally it will harmonise with the wind warbling away through long metal pipes all night :-)
A pathfinder will cope happily with worse conditions than you think you'd feel comfortable with if you reduce sail early, and it is a pretty dry boat under most conditions.
I think the only time the whole trip either of us felt the slightest bit queasy was the very first day.
Anywhere on the chart with marine farms AND cruising club moorings is just about a guarantee of a decent anchorage
If you can afford a 4 stroke outboard and it fits the well, go for it.
4.5hp is plenty by the way.  On mine (4.hp two stroke suzuki) 3/4 throttle = 9.5km/hr   full throttle = 11.5 km/hr with lots more noise and heaps higher fuel consumption. All this was into a head wind, and against the tide.

Brian - when you glass the bottom, start wetting out the cloth from the MIDDLE and work out toward each end - if you start at one end you will have likely used up all the stretch in the cloth, and will have some nasty wrinkles that you cant get rid of by the time you get to the other end. I found squeegees worked best for spreading the resin around.