-Week 19 Write Up- Lots of sanding, laminating beams, and ripping lumber

With the boat now right side up, our first task is to clean up the backside of all cedar planks, stringers, and frames we installed over three months ago.  Every plank we put on was joined together with a thickened epoxy mix as were the stringers and frames.  As we built them back in October and November,we did the best we could to wipe up the backside where they would eventually show on the interior of the boat.  There was a lot of glue squeeze out and it made for a difficult job to climb around the molds as the boat was upside down and wipe behind the stringers with a rag soaked in alcohol above your head while it dripped down onto your face.  

Now, these compartments are much more accessible, but the job isn't much easier.  Getting a sheet of sand paper in between all the stringers and frames, much less a power sander, is very difficult and time consuming.  It took us nearly three days of trying new methods, different kinds of sanders (random orbit, half sheet rectangle, or even small triangle sanders), and other awkward body positions to get into those hidden areas.  Eventually, we got every visible spots, and mostly all spots that are hidden, to be smooth and beautiful.  We concentrated on the areas that will be visible, which isn't much of what you see in the photos now, except for the stringers, bilge area, and stem.

After it was all sanded, we applied three layers of a two part deep penetrating epoxy (weasel piss), which we also applied to the cedar planks when the boat was upside down.  This amazing stuff will penetrate the wood and protect it from rot and decay for long after our time.  

In between sanding and coating the interior, Drew, Oliver, and I were hard at work laminating deck beams on the jig we made last week.  We were able to glue up, and clamp a large section, which is cut into appropriate lengths later, every day and allow it to harden over night.    

On Thursday, Oliver worked on coating the bilge area with two coats of clear epoxy to really reinforce its waterproof characteristics while Drew and I ripped some rough sawn Fir into cabin sole beams and deck stringers.  The sole beams range from 7 feet down to 2 feet, while the stringers will run the length of the boat, nearly 40 feet long and will have to be scarphed together to get this length.  

Not visible in the photos I uploaded is a beautiful staircase that Brendan made for easy and quick access into the hull.  He also began cutting Angelique for the centerboard trunk.

No time lapse this week for lack of something to show, really. 

-Week 19 PHOTOS- Sanding, Coating, Building Deck/Cabin Beams

Oliver takes a short break from sanding on Monday.


Brendan surveys the many laminated Fir deck beams that Oliver, Drew, and I made, and cuts them to size.


A detail of the engine bed/bilge after sanding.


Here is out setup while sanding.  When Drew helps, there is a third vacuum in the boat.


The product of sanding for 3 days.  


Solid Fir cabin sole beams in the foreground while the laminated deck beams are in the background.


Last Shot of The Week.  Brendan is trapped around Penetrating Epoxy as he applies the last of three coats.

-Week 18 Write Up - Painting the hull and flipping it over

This must be one of the most exciting weeks of the project. After weeks of hard work making sure the hull was fair, we were able to cover the splotchiness of the fairing compound with paint. First, Brendan was able to strike the waterline using Alfie's measurements and a laser level. The laser level makes sure a straight line is achieved. It was initially marked with a pen, then taped off. We are using E-paint green for the bottom, mixed with a splash of thinner to make it easier to roll on, and were able to get on two layers. Then the boot stripe was striked, using a combination of Alfie's dimensions and what looked proper to the eye, because as the stripe flows around the stern, it must be wider then at the bow and midships in order to be perceived as the same thickness. As the bottom paint dried, we applied two coats of Awlgrip primer to the topsides, which has a gray color, but will eventually be black, like Alfie's Alerion, Magic. When both the bottom and topsides were dry, we were able to tape on them to paint the white boot stripe.

Just the appearance of our work now seemed more complete then the day before. Instead of seeing multiple shades, tones, and shapes, all you see is one continuous and beautifully precise form. Not only is it easier to get those initial coats of paint on when the hull is upside down, but I presume it is more satisfying when you flip her, to have a beautiful paint job to please your eye.

The flipping process went without incident and was much simpler than I had imagined. Basically, what we did was place two to four foot rolling logs underneath the strong back with seven spaced evenly on each side. The I-beam cross section with chain hoists in the shop easily lifted up one side of the boat to place these logs in. As a test, Brendan, Dave, and I pushed from the stern and she moved freely and easily. We could have pushed her all the way out the shop right then. But when the crane arrived, we set up a towing strap around the molds and connected a rope through a block at the boat running out of the shop to another block attached to the house across the way. The crane lifted the rope which pulled the boat outwards. As the bow moved out, a floor jack with wheels was hoisted to take on the weight of the boat where there were no rollers. this jack was on top of a long board (see the pictures) which allowed it to slide out as it held up the front. Pretty cool.

About 3/4 of the way out of the shop, the front 2x6 on the strong back gave out and the boat came to a stop. I assume we would have rolled her out a few feet more, but it wasn't necessary, as it worked just fine. We placed the hoisting straps from the crane around the hull at the center of balance, and the crane was able to pick her up and bring her fully outside. Once outside, we were able to remove the strong back and uprights which probably reduced the overall weight by nearly 600 lbs. We then repositioned the straps so that the port side straps were their maximum low, and the starboard straps were as high as they could go. Then, with a simple motion, the crane operator brought the port straps up and the starboard straps down, as the boat's own weight caused her to roll over. It was really that easy. Once right side up, everyone paused for a moment, stepped back and took a moment to appreciate not only the hard work that was put in, but also the beauty of the shape of the hull.

We set her down on jack stands in order to adjust the crane to have more operational space to move her inside the shop. He was able to get her in, although far to the right wall and a little crooked, but after adjusting once more, he simply brought her in the shop by extending his boom all the way in and put her down right where we specified. Once down on jack stands in the shop, we adjusted her fore and aft to be level and removed the molds inside the hull to show off her beautiful woodwork. Just the color radiating from inside the hull is a sight to be seen.

The flip happened on Thursday, and on Friday, we did not hesitate in rushing in and sanding the cedar planks. With a rough sand, we filled in any screw holes with thickened epoxy to set over the weekend.

With the boat right side up, one is able to fully appreciate the shapeliness of her hull. Before, it was hard to understand what she would actually look like in the water, but now that thought is realized. And it is quite a nice thought. The project now has taken on a completely new direction, as we will start some serious carpentry.

I almost forgot to mention that we made the front page of the Cape Cod Times! Please check it out here.

Here is week 18's time lapse clip:



video

- Week 18 PHOTOS - Painting the hull and flipping her over

Using a laser level, Brendan was able to tape off the waterline in preparation for painting the hull.


Putting on the green E-paint bottom paint.


Drew begins applying the Awlgrip primer.


The finished bottom paint, boot stripe and primer on the topsides.


Here is the hull painted, on rollers, and ready to flip.   I think you'd agree that she's really looking nice here.


A detail of the rolling logs.  With these, we could easily move the boat by hand.


She was pulled out of the shop atop rolling logs and ramped down in the bow on the board in the foreground with a floor jack on wheels.


This was as far as we could roll her out of the shop...and plenty of room for the crane to work its magic.


She moves!


The MC-30 rests in the slings.  As the port side is raised and the starboard side is lowered, the boat easily flips around.


It took the crane operator a couple of adjustments in order to sneak the MC-30 back into the shop.


The boat is rested on the ground so the crane can adjust the straps.


Resting on jack stands and blocking underneath. 


The MC-30 snug in her shop after some notable crane work by Baxter Cranes.


Drew is the first at the tiller of the MC-30


Master builder Brendan sits silhouetted in front of the MC-30, and admires everyones beautiful work.


Here is the bow of the boat, showing the sheer clamp, stringers, and cedar planking inside.


Last Shot of The Week.  With the hull turned over and the molds removed, a whole new outlook on the project has begun.

-WEEK 17 Write up- Building a jig for the deck laminates, more fairing and applying clear epoxy

Early in the week, we set up a large plastic tarp over and around the boat to help trap the heat in the area to encourage the epoxy to set up faster.  There are also three space heaters under the hull as well as a large fan handing from the ceiling above the wood stove sucking in the hot air and blowing it through a tube and under the hull.

In the mornings, we would fair the previous days fairing compound and in the afternoon, we would apply as many coats of clear epoxy on the hull using paint rollers.  This will add a nice strong outer shell to the hull and give a little more protection to the wood.  Some fairing compound is still being added to very small areas where lows have been found, but they are now far and few between.

Later in the week, we began to build a jig which we will use as a template to bend the laminates that will later be used for deck beams.  

Also, we have a flipping date of this coming Thursday, and we plan on striking the waterline and applying bottom paint on monday, so next week should be an exciting one!

Sorry, no time lapse this week because of the plastic tarp covering the boat all week.

-WEEK 17 PHOTOS- Applying clear epoxy to the hull, More fairing

We built a tarp of plastic over and around the boat to help contain the heat in the area.  There is also 3 space heaters under the hull to help the epoxy set off.


The hull very nearly faired and before the first layer of clear epoxy is spread.


One of the first coatings of clear epoxy.  Eventually, there will be 6-8 layers rolled on.


The hull shines and reflects the plastic tarp from above. A  fan is used to blow hot air from the wood stove towards the boat to help set off the glue.


Another clear coat of epoxy is rolled onto the hull.  


Drew, Oliver and I worked on constructing a jig to shape the laminated deck beams.


Last Shot Of The Week.  Brendan applies another coat of clear epoxy to the hull.

-Week 16 Write Up- Applying Fairing compound, fairing, and filling...

This week was all about fairing compound.  On monday,  after we shaped the laminated skeg and stem shoes, we began coating the entire hull in fairing compound, which is an epoxy base filled with purple 'micro balloons' .  This is suppose to be easy to sand, but proved a challenge.  We spread it on as evenly as we could, which amounted to roughly an 1/8 inch over the entire boat.  Wednesday and Thursday were spent solely on board filing, which is the best way to achieve a uniform fairness over a large area.  I kept thinking to myself that some people would pay good money to get a work out as I did these two days, and that kept me going strong.  

After 16 hours of board filing spread over two days, we had a few small low spots around the hull, or little dents in the fairing compound that needed to be filled.  On Friday, these spots were sanded down, and the entire boat was sanded over with a finer 80 grit on the random orbitals.  This got rid of all the large scratch marks from the 36 grit boards.

Then, Brendan and Dave went over the entire boat with a long batten to really inspect and skillful mark out any last low or high spots.  The ones that were found are impossible to feel by hand, and only can be measured with this technique.  These spots were again filled with fairing compound.  This will sit over the weekend and we will sand it down again with board files.  We should be nearing the end of the fairing process.

The MC-30 is looking very smooth.


Here is the week 16 time lapse clip:


video

-WEEK 16 PHOTOS- January 2009 a week of fairing and filling

A detail of the laminated stem shoe which is Angelique wood, before it gets covered in fairing compound.


Dave helps Drew shape the laminated Angelique skeg shoe before we begin coating with fairing compound.


The last of the bare wood shows through as we move along, coating the boat in fairing compound.


Entirely covered in purple fairing compound.


Brendan, Mike, and Dave look on as Alfie explains some details about the interior.


A detail of Alfie's interior model.  This is all done to scale and will help us visualize what we will be doing next: building the interior.


Oliver rests briefly in between sanding.


Wednesday afternoon after 16 hours of board filing the purple fairing compound.


Heres the boat Wednesday night after an entire day of board filing.  Fairing compound was spread onto the low spots.  This may look like we have a lot of lows, but we are being extremely fussy here...


After weeks of fairing, filling, and fairing, its finally time to use a batten to see how close we are.  Still some lows to fill, and we are being very picky...


Here is the boat nearly completely fair.  After this, Brendan and Dave will skreet on more fairing compound to the low spots.  This should be the last time.


The Last Shot of The Week.  Brendan and Dave apply more purple fairing compound to the hull.