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.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Plexiglass washboard continued. This worked out remarkably well. You can work plexiglass with woodworking tools except you need plexiglas compatible drillbits to drill holes in the material.

How to make a one piece plexiglass washboard.

Tomorrow is launch day. Yep - worked real hard today - everythings ready just have to polish the buttoms on my sea coat. Truth is July One was my goal but it's not like there is any prize for rushing the project. I'm working on the seats. Once that fitted, I can disassemble all the bits I've been making so I can epoxy coat them before I paint it all. So the inside of the cockpit nears paint readyness but not for a few more days, weeks, months but not years.
The seat lids are coming along well. The Excelon hinge material epoxied into a kerf in the edge of the fixed and movable parts of the seat. What's cool about this hinge is that it is coninuous and is watertight. They are rated at 2 million flexes so they should last awhile. I'll see how they stand up to the stresses. I'm actually more concerned about the plywood failing at the kerf though I filled the kerf with five minute epoxy before I fitted the hinge. All these materials are fairly light weight and under the right sea conditions the whole thing could be crushed regardless. I wouldn't want to find myself near the shoals that form Maverick or Jaws when they are pumping. That would end badly!

Uncut seatbox lid fitted to the cabin side with a test hinge in foreground.

Washboard set in its slots. I over sized the cut the space between the seat and the washboard so that water can run down the face of the washboard and drain straight down. I may need to add a rubber flap to keep water from spraying back up.

Seats flipped up to expose the seat boxes. Where the two lids meet on their edge there is a gap. Water that drains here will run into a trough between the storage compartments and then out a drain hole.

One seat up and one seat down. I don't think I'll be putting locks on these. To keep them closed, I'll use a couple of rope loops and hooks on each lid.
I've been a little negligent with my posts. I seem so busy running around working on ten things at once and keeping my daughter entertained. She's pretty fun to hang out with though as she's a quick learn and digs the boat. A bit of a destructive tester too. So far so good all is holding up. We've been making up rigging at the local boat supply place, Fisheries Supply. It's super cool that they have all the tools for doing nicopress stuff yourself. In all it took me a couple of hours with her help to make up the rigging. The only things I had made by others was the monkey face plate and the forestay which needs to be 1x19 swaged wire for the roller furling. One of the things you start to realise at this stage about Wharram's boats is how inexpensive they are to fit out. Its not free but it's much cheaper than other boats. While I was making up my wires a couple came in to order new rigging for their 28 foot monohull. The basic estimate for the materials for standing rigging was over four times the cost of the finished wire, plates, shackles etc for the T26. Nice! I'll carry some spare wire and fittings including bulldog grips for emergency set ups.

Some of the other projects I've been working on are the washboards, one made so far, that I decided to try to make out of one piece of plexiglass. The first one worked out great. I first cut it to width to fit between the hatch coaming. My coaming and hatch are low profile with the coaming at one inch and the hatch at 1.5". I've never met a hatch that truely didn't leak eventually. I have thought about using a small diameter bicycle tube to create a inflatable seal. That might be the trick. Anyway to make the washboard I started with the coaming lip, layed it out and clamped it with a length of metal. Then I heated the plexiglass with a paint stripper and when it was pliable enough bent it to the right angle. I repeated this with the second bend where it goes down the face of the cabin. This bend was harder to achieve. Once the angles were right, I layed out its tapered shape and then cut it on my table saw. It's cool having this piece as a single unit.

The cockpit is now rough finished on the inside. I need to give it a good sand and then a final coat if necessary. Then it's primer and paint. Since I'm using Easypoxy paint I may skip the primer as Easypoxy goes down well directly over the epoxy.

As I've been working in the cockpit, I've discovered the truth about the motor well. It's a big hole where things bounce to and then fall though. It's not so big a problem when the motor is in the down position but it is a real problem when the motor is tipped up. I have some left over scraps of tramp fabric so I'll make a snap on cover for the opening to lessen this problem. I don't need to be adding to the garbage that's floating about the oceans of the world.

Standing rigging - $250

Fitting the one piece cabin washboard

Finishing the epoxy in the cockpit.

The motor well. This is a big hole where things will roll and be lost. I'm going to make up a cover out of trampoline material so it can still drain.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

It is many small projects now to get the boat ready. Work continues on the cockpit box. Today I coated the inside of the seat boxes and gave an epoxy coat over the glassed cockpit bottom. The seatboxes will need to be sanded one more time and get a final epoxy coat. The cockpit needs some fairing to the fillets around the edge. I broke up the work day with a hike with my daughter to one of my favorite wetlands that is about ten minutes away. We spent a couple of hours exploring for turtles, looking at the duck families and studying the contents of the water for invertebrates. Afterwards we headed to Fisheries Supply to get more paint and some rigging supplies. We made up a short wire leader for the gennaker and the two bridle wires for the forestay. We were going to make up the other stays but they were unable to find the spool of wire for me to make up these. Somehow they had managed to loose a 500 foot spool of wire. Maybe they'll find it tomorrow so we can go back and make up the other stays.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I had a great adventure planned for my daughter and I today but she said I had to work on the boat. She wants to go sailing as bad as I do. The day ended up being much more productive on the boat than I had imagined. I made the remaing fillets in the seat boxes and got them smoothed out. I sprayed the lower hulls with their final coat and shot paint on a beam, it dried this time, and the gaff. I painted much of the accent black on the decks and the shear stringer. Tomorrow, if I'm sent back out to the boat shed, I'll make the last seat then attach the seat stringers to the hulls and then sand and epoxy the inside of the seat boxes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

School ended last Friday, a big party Saturday and visitors in town have thrown my building and blogging schedule. Today I started up again. Since the cockpit is hung between the beams I've switch to finishing the inside. I spent the afternoon at the beach with my daughter but did manage to start in on the seats and on finishing the inside of the seatboxes. These need fillets and to be coated with epoxy, The cockpit itself need to be sanded filleted and faired then coated. All this is probably a good week plus of work, particularily withlees time to devote to the tasks.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Wow! Have I lost perspective. I just looked through all my photos from the last two months preparing to load them to my Flickr site. I gotten just a wee bit of work done in that time period. You've got to stand back to see it all, that's clear.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I've been reading posts on Roz Savage's blog, www.rozsavage.com, about her preparations for her row across the Pacific. Having succeeded in a similar attempt across the Atlantic, what she is about to set out to do is far from being lunacy, I think it's totally attainable for her. I followed her successful attempt across the Atlantic. In fact I can partly thank her for motivating me to follow my dream. I like her quote of Churchill "Success is the ability to go from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." Reading that today got me fired up about my little failure. Keep it in mind if you are biulding or plan to do so. Sometimes as she says it's easier to keep on than to quit. Very true.

I'm not going to rush the repair of the failed paint. After yesterday's all day sanding marathon, I don't want to do that again. Today I did a test sand of the new epoxy on the cockpit bottom and then a paint test there and on several spots on the beams. They all where dry within several hours. This is good. It means that I can move ahead with my project. Tomorrow is a rest day. Actually it's party day. Wee haw!!! We've invited seventy or so friends over for a beginning of the summer party. Schools out so there will be kids messing with stuff and a crowd of adults. I expect the house to be trashed by the end of the night.
My first major setback. Paint that won't set up. Luckily it is limited to the cockpit bottom and the beams though cleaning the beams is a bear. I did make progress on the hulls painting down to the waterline (imagined) but otherwise I back paddled. I used MEK based stripper on the cockpit bottom. Too harsh. It may have damaged the glass in spots. Ihave stripped, sanded and recoated the cockpit bottom. When it is cured I'll resand and recoat as neccessary then start the paint process again. Like on expeditions you do what you need to to make it right. If you don't you will find yourself in trouble. The July 1 launch date is fading. It's ok is was doing so anyway. I will press on anyway.

The problem - paint that won't cure!

The tools.

The harsh chemicals.

Stripped ready to be sanded.

Recoated with epoxy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The day which started out well with the completing of the rear trampoline became frustrating afterwards. The paint that hadn't dried was still not dry by this afternoon. When I washed it with paint thinner the problem areas came off straight away. I washed all if the beams with problem areas and the bow of hull 1. I think I know what happened. I painted before the epoxy modified primer had cured. Speaking of primer not curing I've got the same problem with the cockpit bottom. I am just happy that I didn't paint it too. The other bit of work that didn't get far today was the marking of the waterline. Even using a waterlevel to first level the hulls and then tomark intermediates, it just doesn't look right. I am of the mind set to use the scum line method. Drop the boat in the water, let a scum line form, add a couple of inches and presto a perfect waterline.

Water level bow

Water level stern.

Failed paint main beam

Failed paint bow of H1

The waterline
In the 'good olde days' of months ago it was so easy; a pile of plywood, a stack of Doug Fir and the epoxy set up. A guy could keep himself busy for days without having to go anywhere with his credit card. Now-a-days it's off to the marine store everyday for some new sized screw, anti-skid grit, lashing line. The credit card is getting its exercise! At the end of all this I'll share with you my final cost. I'm still on target, I haven't blown my budget....YET! It hasn't come down to choosing between food and essential boat widgets.

I've been working on lots of things as the photos below show. I now have sewn both trampolines. I'll put the grommets in the one that I finished last night today then do some detail hand sewing on both tramps. I've finished detailing the tillers and tiller bar though I still need to add the connection points. Last night I gave them the first coat of clear coat epoxy. I hope to give them atleast three coats before I varnish or paint them. I made them out of oak. They are stout, perhaps too stout. I think you could use them to pry a grounded monohull off the rocks. Oh well like I said before, the retrofit has begun.

The big deal news is that I started painting. I still need to locate the water line, which is this mornings task but I've given the topsides their first coat down to the lower edge of the upper side panel. The beams are coated one side and the mast has one coat too. Yes the mast is black. My goal is still to paint the black on white graphic of two waves chasing each other on the boat. There are details to still figure out like does the inside get the same graphic or is it just white. It is all very exciting. One bummer is that I have spots this morning where the paint, Pettit Easypoxy, is still quite uncured while the rest (most of it) is touch dry. Anyone have experience with this? I hope it cures up today otherwise I'll be figuring out how to strip it off. That will be a mess.

The rear tramp and my 50 year old Phaff 322 sewing machine.

Stuff from my trips to the chandlery.

Paint is nice.

The tillers take on a shine.

Where do you spray paint a 26 foot long stick black when all else around is white? On your garage roof of course! My neighbor helped me get it up there.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

There are so many small tasks to work on now it is daunting. I found myself unable to focus, flitting from one task to the next until I gave myself a little talk. In the end I was productive but I still have things that are not quite complete or somewhat out of sequence. Priming your work to get it ready for paint brings whatever blemishes there are into clear view. A seam not quite filled, a small area where the cloth rove shows. Mostly it's cosmetic but in some areas the question "will rot start here?" surfaces. Also plywood and Doug Fir are soft so each time you move something or bang something into it you risk a divot. Not every surface is covered in glass cloth and even if it was moisture has a way of creaping between surfaces and prying them apart. Maintenance sort of starts right away if you hope to stay ahead of the curve but it is hard to sustain the pace.

Yesterday started out gray and cold so I worked on a trampoline indoors. Today looks more promising. Atleast there is morning sun. On the hulls it's all about getting them ready to paint. But where to stop the topside paint and start the bottom paint. I'm struggling to figure out where the waterline goes. I've sprayed a couple of gallons of primer onto the hulls and other exterior bits so I feel like the hulls are paint ready but you can always fix one more spot. Where I've done touch up it needs to cure so do I wait until everything has sat foe three days or so. Or do I avoid the fresh spots? If the weather looks ok today, I'll do a test paint, something that hasn't seen fresh primer since last week like the gaff and the main hatches. I'm using Pettit Easypoxy on the outside. I've had good luck with it in the past but I'm starting to get tired of using all these chemicals and of making all the dust that sanding creates. It is not a very clean world. I want to be floating on the sea tranquil or not, not throwing up clouds of dust and fumes.

Last night I mounted the last of the interior hatches. I moved the hatch from the foredeck compartment, right ahead of the cabin, inside. The less penetrations through the exterior the better and frankly this compartment is too deep to be practically accessed from the deck for my liking. You have to stand on your head to get to the bottom. If I was to do it again I'd split it into an upper and lower area with a plywood intermediate deck. The way I'll deal with this now will be a cargo net so I can have heavy stores below and light stuff above. Having built cockpit seat boxes I've gained over 400 liters of storage space so it is not storage I lack. I suppose that in the future I can foam the deep part of the vee in the forward storage area and then fit in deck with a couple of sections of plywood. See now it's not only maintenance I'm thinking about it's retrofit! A boat is never done.......

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The weather did not cooperate with work on the boat today. It's like we've gone in replay mode several months back. Cold and drizzly. I did get some hatches caulked in place in H2 and I gave the other side of the sheet of plywood destined to be the cockpit seat box lids a coat of resin. The little bit of rain that fell last night and fell on the cockpit bottom left little dimple marks. The resin set up ok but now I'll have to see if I can sand them out before I prime. If not I'll have to recoat before I prime and paint. Without better weather I won't be getting this project done by the first. So it goes, there is nothing but to wait it out. Meanwhile I work on what tasks I can like sewing trampolines. If it doesn't look better tomorrow, I'll move the cockpit back in under the shed roof so I atleast don't have to contend with rain falling on my work. There is always tomorrow!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The cockpit bottom is primer ready. I thought I'd prime it today but it wasn't ready. After a solid sanding, It wasn't to my smoothness standard. So I did some additional fairing and then gave it a final coat of resin. I should be able to get a coat of primer on late tomorrow. I started on the box seat lids today too. I found some cool hinges that are like a piano hinge except that they use a polymer as the hinging part. They are rated for two million plus bends and have a wide temperature range. The flexible part is fused to a epoxy compatible strip which I will glue into a kerf on the seats. My daughter helped me stitch the rudders on to the hulls. I need to finish these by plugging the holes in the hulls and rudders with epoxy. They seem good though. I feel like I can see the end. I've stitched one of the trampolines and will wortk on the other tonight. Mostly what I have left is paint and rigging now. Oh of course the inside of the cockpit. How could I forget!

Using a skateboard to move the tramp fabric past the sewing machine.

Tramp fabric with edge webbing ready for final fold. Note cut away corners in fabric to reduce the number of layers.

Excelon hinge material available through Tap Plastics.

Stitched on rudder.

Smooth cockpit bottom.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Un-predicted rain is falling. The work must continue so I've added a tarp to my backyard. I must have a good 60% of it covered in tarps. Are the neighbours feeling the love?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

At this stage of the project I find myself working on many different stages and elements of the project. A local welding shop made up this monkey face plate in stainless for me. It has three holes in it for the forestay wires from each hull and the forestay. It also has a tang off the front with an eye to which I'll connect a short piece of wire for the foot of the gennaker.

The work on the cockpit continues. I plan on finishing the underside including paint before i flip it over again to finish the interior. I glass the bottom today. It should be sandable tomorrow. I'll sand and fair it in the morning, then hopefully sand it by the end of the day so it is ready for primer and then paint. It will be sometime next week for the primer to cure which will be when I paint it. In the third photo I show a detail I added. It is a 2x2 with holes in it through which I'llfeed a line. This is an emergency feature in case of a capsize. Some where to hang onto or lash things to. Let's hope it never is required.

I didn't continue priming of the hulls and components today. Instead I touched up rough spots on the hulls or areas where the seams in the glass showed. I don't know how much of this work I'll do. It's somewhat vanity work. It has no real function. Everything is bomber. So this is vanity work. In the process of doing this work today, I made my first batch of wrongly mixed fairing compound. This I had to scrape off as it wasn't going to cure. What a pain! I'm glad I hadn't made that mistake before.

Monkey face plate.

Cockpit bottom glassed.

Added manline 2x2 on cockpit bottom.

Faired glass seam.

Vanity repair!

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