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Progress Report:  2005 Archives

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Reports from January, 2005
1/2/05  1/9/05  1/16/05  1/23/05  1/30/05

Log for the Week Ending January 2, 2005

With Christmas behind (and we don't care about the New Year thing), it seemed like I might be able to finally get back into a proper routine.  It didn't help that I was still fighting off the year's most ridiculous virus, left over from the week before Christmas; however, life must go on, so I plunged forward and got back to work.

I began the week working on the cockpit sole installation, now that the area of the hull beneath the sole was painted and more or less complete.  When the sole was installed, I moved right onto the cockpit sides, a step I had been eagerly anticipating because I couldn't fair the decks until the cockpit sides were in.  Over the space of a couple days, I installed the cockpit sides, and moved on to some additional fiberglassing and filleting as well.

Click here for more on the cockpit sides.

With the cockpit sides in place and glassed at their top edge, I could begin the much-anticipated step of fairing the decks.  Again, future steps in the construction process hinged on the completion of this step, so I wanted to get the decks smooth and surfaced as soon as possible.  Over a few days, I applied and sanded several coats of sticky purple fairing compound.  This was a slow process with little visual gain, but key to the overall construction.

Click here for more information.

Log for the Week Ending January 9, 2005

The week got off to a slow start in the shop.  Sunday, I managed to finish longboarding the second application of fairing compound on the deck, and applied the needed third coat, which I left to cure.  I had errands and other commitments on Monday that kept me away from the shop throughout the day; that was OK, since I was  waiting for a shipment of sandpaper before I could continue work on the deck fairing anyway.  Tuesday, I was away from the shop again, with previous commitments.

Wednesday, I finally was back for a full day.  Awaiting me was sanding the entire deck with the longboard again, to smooth the 3rd application of fairing compound that I had applied way back on Sunday.  Leaving the epoxy for so many days after application was a mistake, one that I thought of while I applied it (knowing that I might not have time till Wednesday), but that I had ignored for the sake of efficiency.  In any event, sanding was quite difficult and challenging, and took many hours to complete.  By 1500, however, I had the whole deck sanded and the 4th coat of compound applied--thankfully, this time only in select areas, as the deck was nearly fair after the 3rd sanding.  Thursday, I was disappointed to find that my shop heater had experienced an error overnight and needed to be reset (this happens from time to time with Monitors), so the shop had been cooler overnight than expected.  As a result, the 4th coat of compound had not sufficiently cured to allow sanding, so that had to wait until Friday, when I finally completed this round of backbreaking work.

Click here for more about the fairing.

Also on Friday, after completing the deck sanding, I set to work to remove the old stern tube for the propeller shaft.  The original was in lousy shape, so it required replacement; plus, installing a new tube would give me a bit more leeway and adjustment room when it came time to install the new engine and shafting.

Click here to read about stern tube removal.

Saturday, after finishing up the final (for the coarse fairing, at least) sanding on the decks, I shifted focus to the cockpit, first sanding the fillets around the edges, and then preparing for and completing the installation of a layer of fiberglass on the cockpit sole.  I was pleased to get this done, as it meant that I could leave the fiberglass to cure for the remainder of the weekend, and it would be ready for grinding and further steps on Monday morning.

Click here to read about glassing the cockpit sole.

Log for the Week Ending January 16, 2005

On Monday, I turned to the unsavory task of grinding the new fiberglass in the cockpit.  The job ended up taking longer than anticipated (natch), but at the end of the morning the surface was relatively smooth, with excess resin and rough edges ground away.  Afterwards, I applied some surfacing putty (epoxy) to help fill the remaining weave of the cloth, and also applied additional fairing compound to the cockpit sides to blend the fiberglass with the plywood.

Click here for more detail on the cockpit sole surfacing and finishing.

In the afternoon, with uncured fairing compound in the cockpit, I decided to start a mockup of the cabin trunk, to confirm what its ultimate appearance might be and to help provide a rough pattern for later on when I recreated the cabin trunk in mahogany.

Click here to watch the mockup construction.

Tuesday morning, after conducting some business off site, I sanded the surfacing compound on the cockpit.  The end result was a smooth, fair surface ready for additional steps and final surfacing before final finishing.

When I was done with the cockpit work, which took the rest of the morning and into the afternoon, I continued with the cabin  trunk mockup.  Today, I added a mockup of the cockpit coaming, and also built a coachroof for the cabin  trunk so that I (and you) could better visualize what the finished product might look like, and to double check its physical dimensions and appearance versus my conceptual drawing.

Click here for  more on the mockup.


Late in the day, I spot-applied some additional fairing compound to the cockpit area, mainly to fine-tune the corner fillets and fill a few small low spots.

In the morning, I sanded the cured filler, and then went over the whole cockpit area--sides, sole, and deck-cockpit joint--with a palm sander to further smooth the surfaces and create some small roundovers at the transition between deck and cockpit.  At this point, the cockpit was ready for final surfacing, which I would do later on.

With snow in the air and uncertainty over when I might have to leave for plowing, my shop day was somewhat truncated.  Since the major work on the decks was done for the time being, to fill some of the time, I worked to lower the staging planks outside the hull, lowering them 2' to the lower level of my supports in preparation for some upcoming hull work and fairing.

Bending the curvature into the forward portion of the cabin trunk would, of course, require laminating many thin pieces around a form.  Earlier, I had ordered enough stock for this task, but because of the width required, I had no way of resawing the boards in the shop.  In preparation for the much-anticipated task of building the curved cabin trunk, I dropped three mahogany boards off at a local sawyer for resawing into 1/4" slabs.  I could plane them thinner in the shop if need be.  Because of a backlog (no pun intended--though I suppose the forestry industry might actually have been the genesis of this term, now that I think of it...hmm...), it looked like it might be a week or so before I could get the resawn boards back.

Thursday, I turned my attention to the hull, which had remained virtually untouched  for well over a year, since I originally ground the paint off before the barn was even built.  It was time to start the arduous task of fairing and surfacing.

Click here for more.

Later in the day, I set to work in the cabin installing the beginnings of ceiling support strips in the v-berth, one of the final tasks required there.

Click here to read all about it.

Friday morning, I sanded the first coat of fairing compound on the hull, which highlighted the low spots that required additional filling.  Because of some Friday afternoon commitments, and plans to help fiberglass another boat on Saturday, I didn't apply a second coat of fairing compound just yet.  I hoped to apply that on Sunday, so that I could sand again on Monday morning.

Look for the results, and more, next week!

Log for the Week Ending January 23, 2005

As anticipated, I applied a second coat of fairing filler to the upper portion of the topsides on Sunday morning, so that it would be ready for sanding when I went to work on Monday.

Click here to go to the hull fairing page for the updates.


Monday, I spent a couple hours sanding the second coat of filler, which left a relatively (coarsely) fair surface.  There were a few low spots remaining, so I applied a third coat of QuikFair to those specific areas.

It's all here on the fairing page.

During what remained of Monday, I continued working on the v-berth ceiling strips.  Before the day was over, I completed their installation, adding wood and fiberglass.

Click here to see the final steps.

Tuesday, I sanded the third and final coat of QuikFair filler on the hull, concentrating on getting the surface as smooth and fair as possible.  The overall result was quite fair even after these initial steps, but more work was needed.  To get a perfectly fair and smooth surface before moving on to high build primer, I applied a skim coat of AlexSeal fairing filler to the port side of the hull; I covered only one side because I was worried about my stamina for longboarding (manually) both sides of the hull in one day--I envisioned backbreaking work akin to that required for boarding the decks--so I decided to split the job in half.

Check it out here.

I had hoped to sand the fairing filler on Wednesday, but unfortunately it had not cured sufficiently.  This left me rather loose-endy during Wednesday, as my plans for the day had been shot.  To fill time time, I skim coated the starboard side, figuring that it would take until Friday to cure, and then helped Nathan on Dasein work on his major deck project for a good part of the afternoon.

Thursday, I was up at 0230 to go plowing, but managed to get into the shop by mid-morning, where I found the port side fairing compound was ready to sand.  I was pleased at the ease with which it sanded, and in a surprisingly short time I had sanded the whole side (see the detailed description for why it was so easy).

Yup:  I'm sending you to the fairing page again.

With the port side sanded, and the starboard side still a bit too soft for sanding (as anticipated), I filled out some more time by painting the v-berth area around the new ceiling support strips. 

Click here to go to the V-berth.

With that, I decided to take the afternoon off from shop work, as I'd already had a 12-hour day by that point, and there was little else I could do on the boat in any event.

Friday, I longboarded the starboard side of the hull, following the same process described for doing the port side the day before.  That was about all I managed to accomplish in the shop that day, as there was heavy-duty grinding occurring on neighboring Dasein, so I couldn't effectively work in the dust.  It was a good opportunity for me to attend to a variety of neglected administrative and other tasks, however.

Saturday, I headed to the shop for what I thought would be a rather quick job:  applying the second coat of fairing compound to fill the grooves in the hull left from the first coat.  However, the job took longer than anticipated, nearly 4 hours, and by the time I was done I had little appetite for other projects on my list.  I tend to be specific project-focused, and with the other major projects ahead of me requiring substantial concentration and amounts of my time, I couldn't shift gears to those tasks just yet.

Click here to go back to the fairing page for the description.

I posted the log a bit early, on Saturday night, as we were expecting a blizzard overnight and Sunday and I thought I might be busy plowing in the morning.

Log for the Week Ending January 30, 2005

The "blizzard", for us anyway, ended up being far less intense than anticipated, with only about 8-9" of snow received.  We escaped the feet of snow and high winds experienced by the Boston area, and ended up with a significant snow, but nothing unusual in the least.

Monday, with a slightly late start after my usual administrative tasks, I set to work sanding the hull.  The fairing compound had had adequate time to set up, with all night Saturday and all day Sunday under its belt, so my task of the day was to sand the hull smooth.

I was out of the shop all day on Tuesday, but managed in the afternoon to apply a third coat of filler to the low spots on the hull.  The material had to cure throughout the day Wednesday, but on Thursday I sanded these final spots smooth, and sanded the entire hull to 120 grit.

Click here for more about the final fairing steps.

On Friday, I coated the remaining exposed plywood in the cockpit (on the vertical sides) with unthickened epoxy to prepare them for a final smooth sanding and then high build primer coats.

With the ongoing hull process, a filthy shop, and a delay in the readiness of the resawn wood I needed to proceed with the cabin trunk, I had difficulty finding many tasks that I could attend to without a major shift in gears.  The hull and deck fairing absorbed many weeks, and I had had enough.  I looked forward to moving on with other aspects of the construction, and expected to be ready to jump back in with both feet next week.

In the meantime, I had the opportunity to take care of a few shop tasks and other things that had been neglected for a few months.  Progress in the shop was rather slow this week, but another major step in the overall process was complete, with hull and deck both ready for high build primer and final surfacing.

Continue to February>



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