Waiting Game

OK – no new pics here, but nothing exciting to show. HOWEVER – the boat is now in full ‘cure’ mode for the epoxy on the hull. Of course, that’s why our temperatures are in the 40s and 50s, retreating from the recent 90s. I also have been applying coats of spar varnish to the spars and rudder stock and blade. My last task to tackle during the week of waiting is to get the mast to shape and size. It will be 10 feet high and 2.25 inches in diameter. It is somewhat more than that right now, so I have laid in a supply of coarse sandpaper.

As soon as it is safe, I will prime the hull with two coats of white primer, then at least two coats of a nice light blue hull paint, to contrast nicely with the blue & white sail. Then – finally – flip the boat and paint the topside white. Then rig the sail and mount the rudder and tiller, and off we go!

ANOTHER UPDATE -Tale of the Cloth

Just a Quick Pic here to show how I have now epoxied the remainder of this pontoon, in preparation for priming and painting. One down – one to go! This will need to cure for 10 days or so before painting.

Yet again I have accomplished something. As you can see below, I removed the blue painter’s tape to give me a clean edge on the fiberglassed section of the hull. Now I can sand that edge and epoxy the rest of the bare wood, in preparation for primer and paint. Now on to the other pontoon!

UPDATE: As I describe below, it was time to saturate the cloth with the first coat of epoxy. I did that this morning on one pontoon. I used a plastic squeegee and a small roller. It was kind of messy and took quite a while. I think I will wait to do the other pontoon, so that I can get another coat on this one yet today. Notice in the picture how the white cloth becomes transparent when wetted out with epoxy.

OK – back to the sailboat project. Today I sanded the hull – ran the sander for an hour straight, only stopping to swap sanding disks. Wear your dust filter and safety glasses on this one! This is the final big push before I can prime and paint. The fiberglass 4-ounce cloth you see covering the pontoons in the photo below will not add strength as much as abrasion resistance. This will be wetted out with a couple of coats of epoxy resin. It will be completely transparent when finished. Then it must cure for 10 days or so, before it can be sanded, primed, and painted. I laid the cloth on the hull, smoothed it out with my hand, and it can rest and relax overnight. I plan to put a coat of epoxy on in the morning, and another later in the day. That way I don’t have to sand in between coats.

The blue painter’s tape in the pic below will allow me to epoxy the cloth down on to the tape, then later cut a nice smooth line at the top of the tape. Then I can peel off the tape and excess cloth below, leaving a smooth line I can sand, epoxy, and paint to fair the edge of the cloth into the painted hull.


It Floats!

On Sunday, May 13, 2012 – Mother’s Day – we did a brief splash of the SOF canvas kayak I built last fall & winter. It has been sitting patiently in the boat shop, feeling somewhat ignored in the excitement of the sailboat build. My son pushed us to take advantage of gorgeous weather today and get it wet. We put the boat in the Maquoketa River at Pin Oak Park, near Manchester. After a minute, it seemed that it would indeed float and not fill with water, so in went Casey for a quick circle around the boat ramp area. All went well, so Kyle took a turn. Both reported it was slightly more unstable than a flat-bottom plastic boat, but not bad, and it tracked well and moved lightly along on the water.

Here are a couple quick photos on the water:

Enjoy this brief video on our YouTube channel. Success!

SOF Splash

Go Go Go!

Hard to believe that our intended splash date is so close! I have been pushing to get more time in on the sailboat project, and today was successful. I have basically completed work on the deck, with deck tops on, seats installed, everything epoxied, and deck plate holes cut. It really does look more like a boat every day!

Below you can see the two seats – one in each pontoon. A solo sailor can also straddle the bridge deck in the center.

Ducker and Nick helped me cut the long booms for the lateen sail. I laminated two boards together, then ripped them. In this picture, you can see I have one nearly sanded to the requisite round-ish shape and size. One to go, plus much sanding on the 10-foot mast.

As always, the PuddleCat can be seen here
Mine is the 8/9 foot model.