If you are a dreamer, a doer, a horizon viewer - come in! come in! Announce yourself and let it be known.
The seed of adventure has been sown.

The goal is to take this boat on a trip that no other Wharram boat has taken.
From Great Slave Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories up the MacKenzie River to the Beafort Sea
and westward to the Bering Sea and south to the inside passage on the Alaska and British Columbia coast.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year! Work will begin again next week. I want to be sailing by the end of June.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Just passing through from three days of skiing at Mount Baker, home of the world seasonal snow record - 1140 inches, that's right 95 feet!, on my way to Merry Christmas Chaos!! All was well in the shed though I through an extra sheet of plastic over the hull. With all the rain we've been getting, the tarp roof is straining to keep up. ---cheers

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I've cleaned up the shop and don't foresee getting any work done until after New Years. I've made it to some great parties though, including one last night where we celebrated to the warmth of a fire, the playing of a piano and the soft glow of candles as these folks still were without power. It all felt as if it was of another time. Now a little skiing is due. Cheers!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Despite the weather we experienced yesterday, first rain like I have never seen here - you could kayak in the streets for awhile followed by wind (gusts to 50 mph at my location) all was well and I had a productive building day. I was lucky. Unlike 50% of Seattle who lost power or remain without power, I only lost power for a short while during the night and internet connection for a couple of hours during the afternoon. My upgrades to the shed were effective. The shed past muster, there was no damage at all from the storm.

I spent four hours sanding all the fairing work I had done over the past two days. I made shaping decisions and planed or sanded the plywood into pleasing lines. The fairing I had done was not perfect for final paint but it was right for glassing. As planned I began glassing the outside of the hull. I layed down two strips of six inch wide 6 oz biaxial cloth with a two inch overlap. Over this I will install a layer of 12 oz biaxial cloth and then glass the entire hull sides. The hull is now a stiff membrane though in areas you can still deflect the plywood. I'm not sure this is the worst thing but I may add some additional internal reinforcement in these areas.

One thing to note is that I have departed from the building sequence layed out by Wharram. My plan is to complete the hull. including topside paint before I right the hull. I will then add the decks and cabin and the various external bits and pieces including the shear rub rail and doublers for the cross beams. But I get ahead of myself.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sailors as a group are a helpful bunch. In emergencies we go out of our way to help others with their boats or lives. After all we never know when it might be our life or boat on the line. This poor cold and soggy dog showed up at the shed today. It slinked in under one of the walls. It was totally wet and shivering. I dried it off with some towels, gave it some bread and turned the heat lamp onto it. It took a good half hour for it to stop shivering. Meanwhile I found out who its owner was and called him. Nice dog but I couldn't see a dog on a Tiki 26.

The weather that soaked the dog was the lead in to a major wind/rain storm we are being hit with. It was raining at .8 inches per hour today. I have never seen such rain in Seattle. I had to go out to a function this evening and the streets were like rivers with the water up over the curbs and hills like streams. In one low spot, without adequate drainage there was a car with water up to the middle of the doors. To night we are suppose to get wind of speeds up to 65 mph. I checked the coastal swell report which indicated that the swell sets would be 28ft at 12 sec with peaks of 42 ft.

Needless to say the sailor in me spent the day preparing for this. I moved everything that didn't need to be in the shed out to drier safer locations. I added plastic mesh fencing over top of the roof tarp and checked all the tiedowns and added some. I also covered the boat in a big piece of plastic just in case. After three months, the shed tarp has developed two small leaks. I'm sure there are more to come which means I'll need to get a new tarp. Meanwhile I'll try to continue working on the boat. I did get some work in. I faired the other side so now I am no longer lopsided. My plan is to Sand everything in the morning and with some luck lay the first strip of glass biaxial tape down the keel tomorrow afternoon.

The barometer has been dropping hard for the last six hours and has fallen to 997mb. The forecast is for winds with gusts to 65 mph later this afternoon. Right now the air has that still greasy feel to it. We had a windstorm Wednesday night that had the roof of the shed bucking about. Instead of working on the boat this morning I am going to prepare for the windstorm. The sailor in me out rules the builder.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Preparation for glassing the hull continues. After sanding all the patches I did yesterday, I proceeded to tape off the hull for all the fillets that are needed before the glass goes on. Today was a truncated day, responsibilities, responsibilities and holiday stuff, meant I didn't get much done. Actually what it means is that I'm lopsided. I've faired one side only. Tomorrow will be lopsided too then. So I'll fair the other side tomorrow first thing and then either sand late tomorrow or do it first thing Friday, touch up as required and then glass the keel Friday or Saturday or Sunday .....

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I'm quitting work early today. The boat is now sitting with heat under it which hopefully will help the epoxy fairing I did this afternoon cure. After a morning of routering, grinding, sanding, removing wires and other preparation work I mixed up a couple of batches of putty to fill wire holes, divots, dents and the likes in preparation for fair the keel, stem and stern and any major irregularities before I start glassing the hull. There is plenty of prep work before that including adding a couple of extra layers of glass at the keel. I hope I did the fairing correctly. I left all the areas slightly proud with the intent of sanding the work I did today, tomorrow before I do more fairing.

I have been lighting fires this morning! As I clean up the outside of the hull in preparation for glassing, I have been "melting" out a flew stubbord wires from when I stitched together the lower panels and keel. I had heard of this technique which involves a battery charger and a pair of visegrips. It sounded fun so I thought I'd give it a shot. You latch onto one end of the wire with the visegrips and clamp on either the neg or pos alligator clip from the charger. Set the charger to 50 amps and hit the other end of the wire with the other alligator clamp. The wire heats up red hot (yes it may start a little fire) and then you pull out the wire. Perfect! On the second hull I'll do this as soon as it's time to pull the wires. Why pull them? Because they can work their way out through the glass leading to a small hole or in my case as I used rebar tie wire they will lead to rust stains. Yeahaaaa!

Monday, December 11, 2006

I have started work on the outside of the hull. After working on the hull on its side yesterday I returned it to its upside position and set it on shortened saw horses (I cut the legs down on a pair I had) to make it easy to reach the keel. It suddenly reminded me of a viking longship. The way they were suppose to have been used as the roof for temporary shelters when overwintering in remote places.

I didn't do much real work today mainly planning. I purchased the various tools, glass cloth and fairing materials I'll need to glass the outside. I'll spend the remainder of the week getting ready for glassing, fairing the hull, patching wire holes, rounding the keel etc.

My experiences at the various marine supply stores of fiberglass products and related tools were commonly familiar. Why is it that so often the people who work in sales in these stores are either totally cynical of downright sourfaced and bitter? I don't get it but I also don't let it get to me. I guess so many people don't end up doing what they want to in life but do what they think they have to. Take one comment I got today, "yup looks like a boat-sized bill! Oh well you can't take it with you though I guess you can line the box with it" What was that all about. Money! I don't get it why people slave at jobs they hate just to make money they don't want to spend. I have no plans to letting such statements get me down, I'll carry-on with all the optimism the project deserves. I am truely grateful for the opportunity and experience I am having in shaping this Tiki 26 and look forward to the exploring I intend to do.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I am back at it today, finishing the fillets I made over the last couple of days. To do this, I flipped the boat on its side. It felt light somehow. Maybe it was the raucous celebration of art, Karl Krogstad Paints, that I attended last night at Gallery 63 Eleven. Much wine was consumed.....

I am adding glass cloth over the last interior fillets to finish them up. I also put pieces of blue tape in all the spots I need to do some more resin work to finish the interior coating but before I can do that I need to do more sanding. So the plan as of now is to finish taping the fillets and then returning it to its upside down position. I will spend the next week getting the bottom ready for cloth and beyond before I turn it upright again to start the decks and cabin.

The hull is starting to show real strength. I stood on the hull as it lay on its side. I even bounced a bit. It responded well, no cracking sounds and little flex. Wait until the deck and cabin are on. In the photo you can see that I'm heating the work I did so that I can flip it to the other side later today to do the work on that side but first I have an indoor soccer game to play.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The hull is now sitting upside down with a heater under it "slow cooking" for the weekend. I will decide whether I leave it that way or if I will flip it back over and continue with interior work. Details details, If I begin work on the outside I would try to take it all the way to finished meaning shaping and sanding, filling, glassing, fairing, sanding, priming, sanding and painting before I would flip it back over to finish the interior, deck and the cabin top - so much work ahead of me............
Yes I have shaved off my mad boatbuilder beard. ...The hair went too!

Friday, December 08, 2006

I have reached what feels like an in between state in the world of Tiki 26 building. I almost have a hull but I'm a long way from having a boat! There is something to be said for building both hulls at the same time, side by side. It emerges as one. Once this first hull is done I will have to go back and start all over again on hull # 2. Having changed somethings is causing confusion for me too. Today, looking at the hull upside down for the first time in a while, it feels like I have enough of the inside done to stop interior work for the moment and move to the outside. One reason for this is that it is easier to have the hull on saw horses without the curved decks on. Since I plan to add the exterior deck stringer after I glass the hull sides anyway why not leave the boat upside down for awhile and do the necessary work on the outside. I'm going to give it some thought over the weekend. What it means is spending a day filling wire holes from the outside, sanding the hull smooth, rounding off the stem, stern and keel and fairing areas that need to be so that the glass cloth will lay down flat and smooth. The change may be good. With the low temperatures the epoxy curing hasn't kept up with my pace of work. I plan to help this along by placing a heater under the over turned hull so it will hold the heat and cure the epoxy totally. I think I'll ponder my next moves and do some more studying of the plans and then Monday launch into the next moves.

I made a video of how I flip the hull over. It's getting to the point where it is difficult using only the tie down straps I've been using. I need to rig up a block and tackle system.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Some days are great for progress! I stayed focused this morning and powered through the rest of the carpentry for the stern section and the forward main hold. This meant that I added cross bracing to shorten the span of the longitudinals. I used 9 mm plywood to make these as the strength is in the depth and the upper edge of these cross braces will be glued to the decking.
I'm finished the bow fillet and glassing now. While the fillet was nearly cured, the heat from the large amount of epoxy sped up the process, I removed the form work. I smoothed it all out with a rubber spoon and denatured alcohol. I then pre coated a piece of 12 oz biaxial glass and layed it over the fillet smoothing everything out at the same time. I also added a breast hook. This is where the front hold beams will land. Wharram doesn't run these to the bow which seems a shame as they will greatly stiffen the deck and resist any flexing in the upper part of the bow. I have heard that the forward deck on some Tiki 28's feel disconcertingly spongy.
I am experimenting with molding the fillets for the bow and stern. Here are pictures of the mold. The first batch of epoxy was too runny so I had some leaking. I added more wood flour to the second batch and this seams to be working out. I had to add more strong backs to prevent the mold from bowing out. I'll post more pictures later.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It is amazing how it can take all day just to cut a few pieces of wood. It is also amazing how you can use every clamp you have available when it comes time to glue up those pieces! I spent a good seven hours milling out ledgers for all the stringers that support the deck, though some of them had been made yesterday. At the bow I am once again departing from the plans using more stringers or using a "T" section stringer at the forward hatch openings. This T-Astragal (used with French doors on the fixed door) is ideal. It remains light weight but is beefy. The hatches I'm planning on using are an 8 inch round hatch from Hobie Cat for the bow compartment and a rectangular 12x22 outside dimensions for kayaks in the compartment shown on the plans with the forward hatch. Both hatches are said to be watertight and both are available from Austin Canoe and Kayak on the web. I'll put them on a slightly raised level lip so that I can put a snap on canvass cover over them.

I once steped through the deck of a Pygmy Queen Charlotte kayak. I was clearing a jib sheet on my Westsail 28. As I jumped forwards I landed on the deck -CRACK!- and I was pulling my foot out of the jagged edged hole. Decks on Queen Charlottes are 4mm plywood. On a Tiki 26 they are 6mm. Because of this I have added two longitudinal stringers for a total of 5 where the plans shows 3. The Queen Charlotte would have been ok if it had been cushioned by water as will the Tiki 26 be but when pulled up on the beach a similar issue could arise. I don't plan to be jumping around on the bow of the hulls but you never know...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I finished my horizontal fillets. I have discovered denatured alcohol --- smooth fillets with little effort. You rough out the fillets, let them cure for a few hours and while they are still malleable you rub them with a cloth (I'm using painter's canvass) soaked in rubbing alcohol --- presto perfectly smooth filets. While I waited I started working on the deck beams, lateral and longitudinal. I'm making some of the laterals out of left over 18 mm plywood. I finished the stern deck area and started the bow. The bow will be tougher as it needs to work with the deck hatch. Tomorrow.
I came across an article about a guy, David Barnes, a local Salt Spring Islander (SSI) who is digging deep into the water borne island lifestyle and travelling simply in a wooden kayak. He has recently published a book about his experiences. I've seen him around on SSI but never talked with him. I'll strike up a conversation the next time I'm on the island and see him. He seems to fit with the smaller Wharram craft mentality. If you're interested, his website is www.raindogpublishing.com where you can read some of his musings and see some of his photos. The site's menu doesn't seem to work but what you need to do is move the cursor to the far right on each bar; home, photos etc until it changes to the click pointer.


Monday, December 04, 2006

It is a new week and the epoxy work I did Friday has cured. Today is the fiftieth day of work in the shed and I sense that this week will be all about doing fillets and taping seams.
The morning has been spent straightening out the wiggle in the upper hullsides at the deck level. This went well. By using wire windlasses (see adjacent photo), braces and wedges I now have the hull shearline straightened into its true curve. The biggest problem was at bulkhead #4. If you recall from an earlier post, I needed to insert a 3/8 inch wedge at the deck level. This turned out to be true for the other side too. But now that all this is settled, I will be mixing up wood flour epoxy to make endless fillets along the horizontal seams on both sides and glue to attach the deck beams in place at bulkheads # 1, 5 and 6.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Finally, a day warm enough to glue! I glued the upper hull sides to the lower hull sides and bulkheads and installed all the backing blocks I made yesterday. I have the hull all trussed up with wire and clamps and that's the way she'll stay until Monday morning.

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