Monday, December 24, 2007

"White Christmas"

My dear readers!!

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make Norway great. Not to imply that Norway is necessarily greater than any other country. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, sailing vessel of choice or sexual preference of the "wishee".

All the snow left with the mild breeze that came by a couple of days ago but I still have a white Christmas as I finished spray painting the walls and it is only fairing and painting the floor to be done before further boat construction can take place.

This is the workshop today, Christmas eve 2007:

And a few weeks ago...

This is a picture from the other side of the wall showing the two fresh air inlets with fans sucking the warmest possible air into the workshop, the vacuum pump and in the background the compressor. The strange looking red plastic construction is Guttorm's power-boat, it has not seen the water for a while and any bid would probably result in a sale (he is a sailor in his soul).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Report from the construction site

The floor turned out OK. When it comes to epoxy coating, it turns out that concrete is supposed to dry for a week each cm before painting which in my case is three months....

The inner part of the floor was so elevated that I had to deal with this part separately, mixing concrete by hand and spreading out to get an even, brush able surface. Quite some work. Seems to turn out OK that part as well, I'm afraid it might crack though, as it is a quite thin layer and no reinforcements.

We also installed a door to the large room and this has helped keeping the temperature up.

I am currently improving the electrical installations. I am also drying out the air and heating to speed up the concrete.

The inner part of the floor has to be covered by plastic to prevent it from curing to fast (it is still quite fresh).

Friday, November 30, 2007

Progress on workshop building

Last night I added about 11.250 kg or 4,5 m³ of fiber reinforced concrete to my workshop. This means no more flooding, and a much more even and easy to clean surface. The result was not perfect but quite close considering my profession is not within the building branch...

I will spray paint the walls, possibly epoxy paint the floor and also make some improvements on the electrical, ventilating and pneumatic systems when I'm at it, so no main hull building until 2008 I guess...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Building workshop

The workshop is now empty. I spent several hours today trying to clean thefloor as good as possible, using a broom and a huge vacuum cleaner. Quite OK now, I think, and ready for the primer.

Then, using a laser leveling instrument, I marked some heights on the walls and pillars. I am not able to set the instrument lower than 16 cm over the floor, so I had to manually make a line (using a long aluminum leveler) lower than the first one. The red line is approximately the level I will try to obtain. The fun part now will be to try to calculate how much concrete it takes to end up there... (6,97m x 9,73m x everything between 0 and 12 cm)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Moving out

I am upgrading my existing workshop and now in the process of moving everything out in order to prepare it for 3 or 4 m³ of fiber reinforced concrete. The purpose is to elevate the floor to avoid flooding and at the same time make an even surface, easier to keep clean.

I have been able to add more fairing compound at one occasion during the last month:

The floats, the strongback etc in temporarily storage:

The workshop now being emptied. The water being clearly visible althoughthe level this day is considerably lower than what have been the case onseveral occasions lately:

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Unvoluntarily stop in building progress

The last couple of months, regular episodes of overflow in the workshop, technical problems with the heater, illness and lots of work have been the story.

Almost every available minute for building has instead been used for damage control. I'm sick of it and I am now looking for different solutions regarding workshop. One possibility is to fill up the workshop with concrete to a level where water intrusion is not possible. Another is to make a 2 m extension and isolate my garage, the advantage would be to work at home, the major disadvantage would be the lower ceiling, creating a problem regarding first main hull half storage. Third possibility is to rent another workshop. I'm not sure what to do, but I will most likely not be able to do any building until 2008 no matter what I choose.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Winter on it's way, time to work on the workshop

So, I finally got the hole in the wall so the exhaust from the heater is let loose in the wilderness (and not in the adjacent room where I get my fresh air and now Mr "Sanding" is working on his car). The downside with this is that when the wind is westerly (which it tends to be, especially when the weather is unpleasant) cold air is being forced in to my workshop. To avoid this I installed a PVC kind of curtained hatch/register, not quite in to the technical terms, over the let out. This melted down in less than a minute after the heater started. It turns out this hatch does not work as intended after melt-down. (I know there is a lot of talking about heating and weather, but it actually is an important factor here. This summer I would have been able to work with epoxy in a tent in the garden for 4-6 hours for two days! If I didn't have a job I would probably been able to do ten times that.)

Today I went out in the garage and found some scrap metal (I never throw away anything, it might come handy some day, you know) and welded a box. Into this box I inserted two pieces of weather-protecting sheet metal for roof edges pivoting on rivets:

A bit more overview, inside of box:

And mounted it on the wall over the exhaust outlet:

It almost worked. I will weld pieces of machine screws to the rivets, pointing upwards and a bit inwards and adjust with the correct amount of nuts in order to balance the register right.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More fairing pictures

I found that the surface of the starboard float deck was pretty even after sanding down the latest layer of fairing compound. Still some differences visible in the surface due to different pressure from the sanding paper, but I am not able to feel any unevenness with my hands. I just got a new neighbor in the workshop, haven't met him yet but I've been told he is a car body worker and his nickname is "Sanding". Guess I will have a chat with that bloke. Lots of dust on the surface and too poor light to make really sharp shots unfortunately:

Still some work to do around the wing net rail attachment points, and the chainplate of course.

Frontal view:

Then I cut out the holes for the hatches. At first I dug out foam with a screw shown in front. Then I used the 10mm rondell on the "lynsliper". Status after the screw digging:

And after the "lynsliper":

And after filling the edges and covering the bog up with peel ply:

In the case of nothing to work on on the floats (due to curing, for instance) I have some cardboard patterns for main hull flat panels ready. The down side is that my thorough "calculations" on how to place all pieces in order to make as little as possible offcuts (I see Biol did the same thing) are made from the parts for the cuddy-aft version, I have now decided to build standard-aft.


I'm covered in dust. And I am not able to upload images today.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Details on attaching wing net rail

Builder tip: Do finish all work on the chain plate before fitting wing net rail!

I chose to attach the vertical supports to the wing net rail before fitting it to the float. Seems to have worked out well, other ways may work as well, but I did this for better access. Then I bedded the five attachment points in fiber reinforced putty on the deck, supporting the rail with temporarily rigged stringers. Then I covered the "legs" of the rail with tape, overlapping 4 cm in each direction out on the deck.

I used a bit excessive putty , making sure it would fill up around all edges. Here showing the underside:

After this first stage was cured I cut out a piece of MDF to use measuring the height of the rail over the deck. Making sure the height was even fore and aft, the vertical supports was bedded in fiber reinforced putty and strapped down with a stringer. I also placed the deck side tape and a piece of peel ply on the inner side and let cure:


Then the final lamination on both sides. I always use peel ply. This makes an excellent surface for further laminations or fairing compound, and it helps smoothing out the tape ends, leaving less work building up and fairing.

This shot shows the slightly different angle on the two vertical supports due to the different width of the deck. The rail is positioned relative to the midline of the float deck.

Then I covered it all in yet another layer of fairing compound:

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Making patterns and mast inquiries

And I have been busy going over all my patterns, redoing them to fit the latest choice of model and also getting all the updates in.

And I made an inquiry regarding the F-22R carbon wing mast to Marstroem and received a mail from Torbjorn Linderson where he tells me that he is already working on the design and the price is probably around €10.000 + tax, hopefully somewhat lower.

I am also investigating the possibility of building a mast that do not require spreaders, this has to have a considerably larger profile in the middle part (approximately the double of the section described in the plans), but it would be nice not to have the spreaders and wires around when raising and lowering the mast. I guess the weight of this mast will be decisive on whether it is a realistic option. (Class racing rules will not, unfortunately, be a prohibiter for custom designs here in Northern Europe. And if this proves wrong, I will change the mast with great pleasure).

Slow progress, workshop modifications, deciding on which model again

After the last posting I first had to work a lot for a week. Then I went to the shop (two days trip) to change the 130 foam I got when asking for 200 the last time I was there. And the guy had this comment: The 130 would do, you know.. Thank you for your effort in redesigning the F-22!

Anyway, after seeing the pictures of Oliver's main hull I started to wonder whether I would rather prefer to have more space indoor than a large cockpit. The reason why I changed my mind from full cabin and aft cockpit (which I have all the form frames cut for and all bulkhead full size patterns transferred to cardboard of) to aft cabin and cuddy cabin was that I would not like to have a too crowded cockpit, and I liked the more sheltered cockpit, and I liked the idea of a large bed, and the weight distribution when cruising...... From the pictures mentioned above it seems like the smallest cockpit alternative is more than sufficient in such a small craft, there will never be more than four people sailing this boat anyway. And I live close to the polar circle. So I changed my mind again, after a "poll" with some of my friends. Øyvind's arguments was, as usual, decisive. The point is, I'm building a cruiser. I'm doing everything I can to make this cruiser as fast as possible, but it is a cruiser. That's why I'm building a Farrier design in the first place! (New drawing to the right)

Then I had to make a 6" hole in a 12" concrete wall in order to let the diesel fumes out and not recycle it in my ventilation system. This is the situation now:

I have also done a little bit of fairing, filling in the gaps between the ridges with two layers of fairing compound, it proves it should have been three layers as the fairing compound tends to shrink a lot when curing (or is it just the drag from the putty-knife?) and then long boarding it down.

As you can see from the next pictures I also attached the wing net rail on the starboard float. I do not want any more fairing compound than necessary and this results in a few hard spots. I went over and wetted these out with epoxy again today, the aramid tends to "raise it's fur" when sanded.


Friday, September 28, 2007


This is what the decks looked like after yesterdays "candy bag method":

And the dorsomedial view:

A detail after sanding down the ridges. Unevenness not visible to the eye is revealed. The location dowels are removed for easier working access:

Then I started filling the gaps between the ridges. This turned out to be much more time consuming than expected as very small holes in the fairing compound tended to appear when trying to smooth it out. I expect plenty of low spots after first fairing, that is ok as I have to fill all those small holes anyway.

It will be hard to find much time to work on the boat the next 6 days due to my working schedule, we will see... And it sure takes a lot of concentration/focusing to get through this stage without spending too much time procrastinating. I must say I know of a few activities associated with more fun than fairing...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Support rails and fairing compound

I cut out the support rails and glued the vertical supports in.

Making sure there was room for the deck hatch

And the shrouds.

Then I marked all the attachment points for the support rails and calculated an overlap for the tape at the attachment areas and then cut the peel ply around these areas. Then I de-peeled the decks and used the random orbital sander to remove some minor glue ridges at a few peel ply overlaps.

Then I lay down thin ridges of fairing compound, about every 10cm, method from Henny's site. Both decks and transoms are now covered with fairing compound ridges. When I start to sand down these I will get an idea on how well my building have been. I can't wait (but I have to in order to let the fairing compound cure properly) to get on with it!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Heat cure completed

It all went uneventful. The six thermometers had readings in the range from 51°C to 64°C (124°F - 147°F), the hotter on deck level of course, the lover approximately 5 cm below keel. I kept the heat on for almost 20 hours which is more than required.

I am satisfied with the way this turned out. Now it is fairing, attaching wing net rails and deciding on which version of the F-22 to build. Ian Farrier sure makes this difficult as he provides plans for four different versions, all of them really great boats. Olivers newly published pictures of his main hull made me think maybe I should make as much inner space as possible after all, the cockpit seemed roomier than I had expected and I sure live a place where it can be a challenge being outdoor, all year through!

Heat curing floats

The final decision was a mix of all the inputs I have got. Thank you all! I set up a frame of wood, extending it using wires from wall to wall. Then covered with foam intended to use for the main hull in the ceiling and then covering it all with the big canvas/cover/presenning (sorry don't know the right word). Here the frame work:

Looking from the distal end of the "tent", the heater visible between the hulls:

The opposite view, the "power plant" in the foreground, looking into the slightly insulated tunnel. There are openings down by the floor, the idea is that the heater fills the space with hot air and the least hot air evacuates along the floor to make room for the new. After this shot was taken I made a modification, covering the lower 8" of the opening to prevent the air stream from the heater to drag cold air into the tunnel:

Two of the total six thermometer readings a few minutes after start up. After one hour the temperature seemed to be between 48°C and 54°c, depending on height above floor. I will run full power till tomorrow, then decide whether it is necessary to turn the floats around for another round to ensure full cure over all (based on thermometer readings):

Friday, September 21, 2007

Post curing the floats

I have to heat post cure the floats. A minimum temperature of 50° C for 16 hours is required to obtain maximum mechanical properties of the epoxy. I have a 40 kW heater delivering a significant amount of air, a 5m x 7m quite heavy canvas? (presenning). The temperatures in Levanger at the moment is between 0°C and 10°C, so that is what I have to fight... Any ideas on how to do this is appreciated.

I figure I will line up the floats parallel, cover them using some sort of frame to make a "tent", 7 m long and as narrow as possible. Then let the heater blow through this tent. I might have to reverse the floats in order to achieve the required temperature in both ends. I am really trying to figure out the best way to do this.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Finished laminating floats

Today I finished the float exterior lamination. Uneventful really, except I found a bubble when I went back to the workshop a few hours later. I managed to squeeze all the air out and I expect a very good laminate taken into consideration no vacuum was applied. I start feeling so confident with my hand laminating technique now that I seriously consider not bothering to lay up the main hull foam air tight. Still considering that is. If I was to use thicker fabrics I would tend to use vacuum, also if the hull was larger, as this size is about the biggest I can manage in a wet lay up without any helping hand, I guess.

No pictures today, I guess you have seen it already. The only distinct difference is the placement of the chain plate being on port side of this one.

I am currently trying to figure out the best way to set up for post curing. 50 deg Celsius for 16 hour is the least recommended post cure scheme to obtain excellent properties of the epoxy.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Finally some progress again

This last week has been busy with work, sailing Frimann (we were planning on attending a regatta in Trondheim on Wednesday evening. The regatta was canceled, supposedly because of the very nice westerly breeze, so we went sailing anyway. It was a very nice sail which ended with the centerboard (33 years old piece of plywood) broke in a 25+ gust and we never saw it again.) and evacuating uninvited water. When I finally found time for building, my workshop was flooded again. I removed all the water and that was it for the day. The next day it was flooded again (I really have to do something, and it will not be easy to change the weather up here!) so I emptied it again. And that was all for that day.

This morning, however, the water was quite shallow and I managed to empty it all, then being home with the family for a few hours when everything dried up and tonight I was able to laminate the inner side of the starboard float. The fabric and peel ply to be used was already cut:

And the float was impatiently waiting to receive it's outer skin:

Then 3 1/2 hour of working with gloves and gas mask, no pictures obviously. I first wet out the foam with a short hair roller. Then the bow cap (reinforcements in the bow section) before I applied the first layer, 200g carbon fiber, making sure to drape it well and then cut it in the right length along the keel line. Then wetting out again before the final layer of hybrid fabric for better abrasive wear resistance. Finally the peel ply was applied and then, working from the center of the fabric, squeezing all excess resin out with a rubber squeegee. Resin consume approx 4,4 kg, significantly less than the other float. The result looked good:

Another view:

And a detail shot along the deck to side radius:

I am quite thorough to make sure the overlaps and fabric ends lay smooth to avoid excessive filler work. The peel ply is to great help in this aspect, it also makes it very easy to squeegee out excess resin and to make sure the fabric is tight. On the last inspection, 6 hours after the first wet out, there were no signs of bubbles.