Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Deck Down

I decided that it would be great to get the deck on before christmas so that we could have a 'christmas party' in the boat. Laminating all the deck beams took some time - the knees have 9 laminates each and main beams have 6. All epoxy glued together.
My brother Nick and I had a fun week of jointing and fitting all the deck beams and then finally nailed down the first of two layers of the ply deck just in time for a celebratory drinks party. A good stage to have got to just before christmas. - 12 months ago we had a christmas party in an empty shed celebrating erecting a 'temporary shed roof' !! amazingly the roof is still there after so many gales.... touch wood

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Mast partners

Main mast partners . This component holds the mast up so has to be strong.

3x layers of half inch ply followed by the deck (2xlayers 3/8”) Because of the raised deck this over nine foot long by two foot wide making it quite heavy to handle on your own! I thought about making a mould to laminate it over but concluded that it would consume too many materials. It turned out easy enough to mold it in pisition on the boat. Starting with scarfing the ply to make three 10’x 2’ sections. I put one of these in position on the boat and then spent some hours putting props under it from the cabin floor/galley units/water tanks pushing it up into a smooth curve that i was happy with. It looked quite a lash up but worked well. Once the props were in i took the ply off and added a mass of epoxy to create the usual sticky laminate sandwich and clamped into place.

Friday, 19 November 2010

cabin sides

At last the cabin sides are now finished and the boat is really showing her shape now. It is amazing how different she looks with the sweeping cockpit sides that are mirrored at the bow.

To get this shape I started by making a hardboard template to get the shape right without committing to expensive ply. I then scarfed together two 8’ lengths of ply to get a 16’ section that would bend and twist around the cockpit in one hit (it makes the transition from leaning into the cabin to leaning out to match the hull angle at the stern post/stem while curving around the cockpit/bow) These are then screwed, glued, nailed and tortured into position followed by a second layer. At the same time I used 100mm glass tape and epoxy to smooth in the joint between deck and side.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Its getting cold!!

Over the past few weeks the temperature has been plunging to below freezing. The epoxy needs pre heating with a fan heater then i stand it by my workshop stove to keep it warm for the day.
The workshop has not been the only cold place - the cottage where we stay has also been cooling down. In light of this i have spent a few evenings making a little stove. I used an old diving bottle for the main part, some cast iron gutter as a flue and some 8mm steel plate to make a door/vent/lid/hinges. Its is top loading and has a removable griddle made from re-bar (from keel framework) and the legs are the off cuts from the keel bolts.
The plan is to fit it into the boat when it is finished - i will add a stainless steel fiddle rail to keep a kettle on top at sea.....
It works well and heats the little cottage well using very little fuel (Coal or wood).

Thursday, 21 October 2010

I am now fitting the cabin sides and working towards fitting the main deck. The basic interior and all the large fittings including engine and tanks (water and diesel) are installed as once the deck is on they will not come out again. (engine will squezzz out of the main hatch). A few photos:

Charlotte’s painting the areas that the tanks get fitted into and the first ply layers of the side decks are in place.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The Tank Family

I made the tanks from 2.5 mm 316 stainless steel. I needed three sheets (8x4) to make the 4 tanks.

Two 20 gallon fuel tanks (40 Total) and two 60 gallon (120 total) tanks for fresh water.

I used a plasma cutter (thanks John) to blast out all the flat sheets. this was qui

ck and easy as you can use a straight edge (10mm ply) clamped down the the sheet metal and just run the cutting head down this. Far easier than angle grinding! I then use flap disks in a 4”grinder to remove what little slag is left from the cut. I had cut out all the sides in an afternoon. Then it was just a case of tacking all the sides together every 6 inches or so before seam welding it all together using a TIG welder. I added stiffening bars in the middle of the sides to prevent the sides bulging out when full of water/diesel.

I made 10 inch inspection hatches on the tops of all the tanks . Adding these and all the pick up pipes / fillers seemed to take longer than making the main tanks. In all these tanks took me 8 days to make which i think has been well worth while at this stage.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Turn over day!!!! Here we are after a sucessfull turn over. An exciting day.....
once set up it took only two hours with some ropes and jacks.

Sunday, 21 March 2010


Epoxy glued and stainless ring-shank nailed to stringers - Screwed & epoxyed at the stem and stern post. Two layers of 10mm on the topsides and two 10mm’s + 6mm on the bottom. All the ply is scarfed and epoxy sandwiched together. This part of the job consumed a shed load of epoxy (West system) but had made a solid job.

painting and epoxy - glass cloth/peel ply . Sticky messy job. The whole hull covered with 200g glass cloth set in epoxy.

two pack primer

Monday, 8 February 2010

Now onto laminating all the frames up - these are principally longitudinal frames on each chine to provide glue area to attach the ply. Each made up from three tim

bers measuring either 5”x3/4” or 3”x3/4” laminated together around the moulds to make up the main shape of the boat. Lots of clamps and balcot

an polyurethane glue were used. These timbers at there longest were 37’ so most had two scarfs to make up the lengths.

The five inch timbers needed to be steam bent around the stern as they had a compound style curve to them. All had a staggered style lap joint into the stem and stern post which had also been laminated and fixed to the moulds.

Interestingly while steaming some 16’ sections to get the aft bend around the sheer, inevitably some of the scarf joints got steamed too. They did not move or even lift at the feather edge - good old Balcotan.

All the joints were epoxy-glued and fixed with silicon bronze fastenings. Where required bolted together with stainless steel bar.

Above is the stem in place - Laminated around a mold. It has not yet had the stringers jointed into the ends. On the right is a detail of the

staggered style lap joint used!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Now having made up the male mold to build the hull upon (its built upside-down) I decided to start from the bottom (top?!) and construct the steel framework for the fin keel. A few reasons for this firstly being that i thought it was too cold (-5!) for gluing all the boat timbers together and secondly to give the timber more time to season (dry out). I had the timber for constructing the framework and masts for the boat cut back in September 2009. All this timber is Scottish Douglas Fir locally sourced.

The keel.

The shape of the keel is formed using 13mm steel re-bar. Again starting with a full size drawing of the profiles taken from J.Benfords offsets then carefully bending the bar to shape and welding all the bits together. This framework then gets three layers of mesh tied to it and two tons of cement and scrap iron poured in. I have decided to leave this until the summer months when its warmer to ensure a good cement cure. TBC...!!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Once all twelve molds were made I began standing them up and spacing them out on the shed floor. My big shed now began to feel small as the 34’ Dory revealed itself leaving a foot at either end. Perhaps I should have moved the gable further back. next followed a few days of leveling up the molds - I set up a tight string for the water line running the length of the boat in the center then was able to measure off this. Then using a spirit level and careful eye set the mold positions before fixing them all together with various battens.

Friday, 1 January 2010

After a Shed warming party, mid december, I started to loft the boat full size on three sheets of hardboard on the floor. This was easy as being a dory the boat has a flat bottom and straight sides. I drew out the twelve ‘stations’ that give cross sections through the boat roughly every 800mm down the length of the boat.. These become the molds forming the shape of the boat. The pictures describe this better!

After the weeks worth of Christmas and New year celebrations and headaches that follow I started constructing the male molds. I made these using 6x3/4” flooring that didn't ‘make the grade’ from a local sawmill. By simply laying them down and screwing them together on the drawing gave accurate and quick results.