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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kingfisher Drift Boat Build - Fairing

I've been working on "Fairing" the bottom and flow coating the Biaxial cloth on the chines. This is basically adding multiple layers of epoxy over the Biaxial Cloth that goes over the exterior chines and working on smoothing out the bottom.

I'm planning on painting the bottom and up the sides about 4" with a product called "Durabak". It's a truck bed liner that you can apply yourself. It goes on pretty thick and comes in a "Smooth" version. So when you consider that I'll be painting on a 1/8" of rubber, I'm not sure how smooth I need to get the bottom and the chines. I'm working on the premise that I want to completely fill the Biaxial fiberglass cloth and the 8 ounce fiberglass cloth on the bottom.

This photo shows the chine with the Biaxial cloth with 2 flow coats of  epoxy. It still needs at least two more coats to be completely filled.

Tips for filling the Biaxial Cloth 

A couple of things to mention. Epoxying a near vertical surface (the sides) is a PITA. There's a reason you glass and flow coat the sides before you stitch the boat together. You're working on a flat surface. Once the boat is stitched its a different ballgame. Now to do the chines and fill the Biaxial cloth you're dealing with a sloping side that is near vertical.

Its a little hard to see but the Biaxial Cloth is real close to being filled and it has been "faired" towards the center. I'll sand on it tomorrow and see how much more I need to do.

You flow coat the epoxy with a 3" foam roller and then tip it with a brush to smooth it out. The next thing you know is its running and dripping down. I masked off the sides to within 3 1/2" of the chine and am I glad I did. It would have been a mess. After each flow coat I have to pull the tape and then re-mask the sides before the next coat. So far I've  put on two flow coats on the sides where Biaxial cloth is. I'm going smooth it out it by sanding with my half sheet sander and call it good for now.

I'm going to concentrate on "fairing" the bottom now and do the rest of the vertical chine when I flip the boat back over. That way it will be running down instead of all over the sides.

Fairing the Bottom

I used a 36" wide piece of Kevlar placed right down the middle. It's the yellow you see in the photo above and below.  I then covered the entire hull will 8 ounce fiberglass. I added a strip of 8 ounce fiberglass on both edges where the Kevlar didn't reach the chines. So essentially I have two layers and then the Biaxial cloth on the chines. What has happened is that the fiberglass cloth is not entirely filled so it needs to be filled and the "faired". This means making it flat.

Here's a shot from the transom end. The whitish color on the bottom is where I "faired" it with the epoxy mixed with "Microballoons". I'm going to sand it tomorrow and see what I've got.

I mixed up a batch of epoxy and then added "microballoons". This is a filler than is easier to sand than wood dough. You mix the epoxy for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes and than add the microballoons. It looks like "glass powder". I mixed it so that it still flowed pretty well, dumped it on the bottom and then used a squeegee to spread. it. You essentially, fill, let it harden, sand it, fill the low spots again, and keep going until it's either perfect of good enough to put truck bed liner on. I'm still trying to figure how flat that is. It will probably end up being pretty close to perfect. I'm using a Makita 7" Random Orbital Grinder/Sander to rough it it. Then I'll switch to the half sheet sander as it gets flatter. One nice thing is that you can use 80 grit and call it good. On the sides I'm taking it to 240.

So tomorrow will be a sanding day with maybe some more "fairing" to do. Whoppee!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Kingfisher Drift Boat Build - Glassing the Exterior Chines

I've been side tracked with some other projects for a couple of days, but I've been able to catch up and do a few things when I've had a moment here and there. I drove to Santa Rosa and did a presentation "The Seasons of the Lower Yuba", That was a lot of fun. I also helped Mike Williams with a spey day for the GCFF club on the Lower Yuba. So I've been mixing a few other things in.

Here's some of the things I've crossed off the list during the past week;

  • Once the rounded transom was installed I had to fill the gap between the Plascore bottom and the vertical portion of the transom. I used epoxy peanut butter that was very stiff, it needed to be thick enough not to run down and through the gap.
  • Once the gap was filled, I sanded the peanut butter and finish sanded the mahogany plywood on the inside of the rounded transom.
  • I flow coated the mahogany plywood on the inside of the transom with two coats of epoxy.
  • Once the flow coat was dry I sanded the surfaces and prepared the rounded transom at the junction of the bottom to receive the bi-axial cloth. 
  • I had previously applied the bi-axial cloth on all the interior chine everywhere except where I still had to install the rounded transom.
  • I had to do about 3 lin. feet of Bi-axial at the stern.
  • Once the Bi-axial cloth had dried overnight I sanded the entire interior chine with 80 grit with my random orbital sander.
  • I sanded the interior sides with 220 grit and cleaned everything up, epoxy drips, pencil marks etc.
  • I cut a temporary spreader at the stern area to use as a template for the final one. I fit it and installed it.
  • I cut the bottom stretchers to fit, (they were both short when cut to the dimensions shown on the plan). I also reinforced them by adding gussets(4) scribed to the sides.
  • I added gussets (4) to the top spreaders  
  • I vacuumed up the inside and got Zack to help me flip the boat over.
So here's a video that shows the progress through today, Saturday.

 I've got the

Monday, September 8, 2014

Kingfisher Drift Boat Build - Updated Rounded Transom

The plans that I have for the "Kingfisher" show the boat with the "how to" for a traditional squared off transom. I'd like to use a "Rounded Transom".  Problem is that I haven't the foggiest how to do it. I've searched for construction photos in various boat building forums and have gotten a few clues. In essence I'm having to wing it.

Here's the "Semi Finished" Rounded Transom. To find out the process and what was involved how I did  just continue reading this post.

So here's my thought process. I've stitched the hull together and have installed a temporary squared off transom to establish the shape of the hull. I've used epoxy peanut butter to install fillets between my stitches on the inside, so my hull is basically glued together. I'm leaving the stitches in during the "rounded transom" building process.

I purchased a piece of 1/8" x 5' x 5' "Finn-ply" to use as a template/form. I took the sheet and bent it around the transom to achieve a pleasant shape for the rounded transom. I then put a couple of screws from the Finn-Ply into the sides about 3/4" from the top of the sides to hold it into place. I then uses 16 gauge wire to stitch the "Finn-ply" to the correct shape making sure it was in full contact with the sides and maintaining the shape of the radius cut into the Plascore Bottom. The radius cut in the Plascore is really more of partial ellipse.

Once I liked the shape of the "Rounded Transom. I made a top and a bottom and scribed it to the shape. I scribed it 1/2" smaller than the Finn Ply attached to the outside. This is because I'm going to actually place the 1/8" Finn-Ply on the inside to make the actual form and then bend the 3 sheets of 3mm Okoume Plywood around it.

Here's the "Rounded Transom" form placed inside the hull. It is built to conform to the interior profile of the hull. I'm going to laminate the rounded transom taller and will cut it down once it is laminated. It fits perfectly to the inside contour. When I laminate 3 pieces of 3mm Okoume Plywood to the form it will flush out with the outside.

This photo shows the form fitting tightly to the interior sides and bottom. You can also see the top that was scribed and the bottom. The rectangular piece of plywood keeps the form square and stabilized.

Next I need to take the form out of the boat and prepare the form for laminating the Rounded Transom and cut the 3 pieces of 3mm Okoume Plywood. This will entail drilling holes in the top and bottom so I can use clamps when laminating. I also need to uses the form to construct a pattern to cut the 3 - 3mm Okoume Plywood to be used to laminate the "rounded transom".  I also need to cover the form with 3 mil plastic prior to doing the laminations.

I used Construction Paper to make a pattern to cut the 3 - 3mm plywood panels for the transom.

I used the pattern to cut 3 pieces for the trasom.

I drilled 1 1/4" holes in the top and bottom of the form to allow using clamps during the laminating process.

Here's the first lamination being clamped to the form, I've used 1 1/4" flat head screws to attached it on the ends. The screw holes will be cut off when the rounded transom is scribed and scarfed to the hull.

I've epoxied and applied the second and third laminations to the mold. You can see I made each layer a little shorter in length so I could screw each layer to the mold. 

The epoxy cured overnight and I detached it from the mold. I then had to layout and cut the transom piece to length. I had to do this to each end, The top and bottom are about 4" taller than the final cut with will be done once it is installed.

Once I cut the ends I had to layout for the scarf joint. The scarf joint will be 3" long and the material is being removed on the "inside" surface. I drew lines across the sheet every 1/2" for reference as I was sanding and planing the scarf. These reference lines make it much easier to take the material off in an organized way. I do the bulk of it with a 3x21 belt sander with a 100 grit belt. Then fine tune it with a sharp block plane.

I cut the sides with a skill saw. I attached a straight edge and cut a clean straight line. I then laid out the scarf joint which like the rounded transom piece is 3" wide. You can see the 1/2" gradations marked.

Next I had to layout the cut on the hull of the boat. This was a one shot deal so it's the old addage "measure twice and cut once".  This photo is where I've roughed in the scarf before fine tuning it with the block plane. The diagonal line running downwards from left to right is the original scarf joint made on the side panels. It's stronger than the plywood.

I mixed up some epoxy peanut butter and used an 1/8" notched spreader to even the epoxy ou on the scarf joints. I applied it to both pieces.  I used a 1x2 piece of white oak inside and outside to add pressure to the joint. I had to bolt the bottom with an 1/8" diameter bolt. I used screws and more bolts to tighten up the joint. This joint will be painted on the outside so you have a little leeway. I still tried to get the joint perfect.

You can also see how the transom piece is quite a bit taller than the final shape. This will allow me to create a nice sweep up to the rear of the transom. 

Here's a photo of the rounded transom from the rear.

And a shot from the inside

Here's the almost final shape. It will be fine tuned at the raised section to look something like the photo below.

This is what it will eventually look like. or something close to it.

Here's view from the side. It's looking pretty cool.

And finally a shot from the bow looking towards the stern. This was the hardest part of the build and I'm very happy it's turn out the way I'd hoped.

Next Up - Flipping Over the Boat and Glassing the Chines