Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Last Epoxy, Sail Making and The Painting Begins!

With my son Josh home, much has gotten done this week. In fact, the progress seems miraculous these days! Maybe we'll get in the water by Labor Day... just a month late. The only bad thing I can think of related to Josh being home is the fact that there is someone other than me to man the camera! That means you are forced to see me in some of these shots! Sorry about that!

Here I am applying the last of the epoxy resin. There wasn't a lot left... and we decided to use it all up to strengthen some weak spots, and provide one more coat in some areas where water might potentially find it's way in. Here I am applying some eopxy.
The last step before painting the hull!
Our sail material came in this past week... and we finally had time to lay out our sail. The plans we bought came with a drawing of the sail dimensions. As you can see here, we used some string and some 10 lb. barbells to lay out the dimensions on our driveway.
Then we began to unroll the sailcloth across the string line. We could clearly see the string through the fabric. Here Josh is laying a long straight edge along the string-line, and marking with a pencil, so we know where the outside edge of our sail will be.
After marking, Josh cuts the fabric... allowing a couple of inches for seem... and error. We've learned to always allow for potential human error! This boat building can be might humbling!
Finally, we had the sailcloth cut into the rough shape of our Lateen sail rig.
The unfortunate thing is, NOW this beast needs to be sewn together... which proved to be no simple task! The material is a synthetic sailcloth... some kind of polymer. It is very strong, and yet extremely light. The problem is, it is HARD to push and pull a needle through it! The "sailtwine" recommended by the maker for sewing it is like thick dental floss... with a load of wax on it. The thickness of the floss adds to the difficulty of sewing! After some experimentation we found a workable technique. We use a small piece of leather on our thumb to push the needle part of the way through... and then, if you look closely in this picture, you can see me using plyers to grip the needle and pull it the rest of the way through.
It's a long, tedious project, but it can be done. And I am thrilled to tell you that my wife Leslie has gotten very involved in this process. She spent many hours over the last 24 hours sewing. And miraculously, the sail is already 3/4 of the way complete! Just one more long stretch to go! Sadly, Leslie refuses to let me photograph her helping us. So you are forced to look at one more pic of me! All I can say is, it's hard on the knees and back. Because of this, Leslie, Josh and I have been taking 30 minute shifts... any more hobbles me!
And lastly, today, between office work and an evening meeting, Josh and I put the first coat of paint on the boat! We are starting off with a coat of an acrylic, latex, water-base primer/sealer. Here you see Josh starting off with a little of the trim on the inside of the boat.
Under the Maststep is the hardest spot to reach!
Here I am rolling on the last of the inside coat. Looks nice doesn't it?
Now we've flipped over our vessel, and Josh has got the roller this time. Goodbye ugly color inconsistencies!
It goes on quick and easy! In fact, we go through a full gallon of primer/sealer to do the hull... inside, and outside.
Top and bottom...
And, we have put a coat of sealer on the rest of the pieces of the boat as well... the sail spars, the mast, the rudder assembly and the leeboard.
This finished our day. Tomorrow, barring rain, we'll put the first top coat on the boat, and maybe even finish up the sail!


At 8:45 AM, Blogger WWJD said...

Dave, Great looking boat, one that would make Noah proud. I hope you and your family have many years of fun use with your project.

Take care.


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