Sunday, 25 November 2007

Rudder and Stock

With the hull at a standstill until I turn it over, I made a start putting together the rudder and stock.

Both units were cut out and laminated together, and I've now started shaping the blade. This will keep me busy for a while, but hope to turn the hull right side up, probably next weekend.

Rudder and Stock

Shaping the blade

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Chine Runners fitted

"Johanna" is now six months into construction and her hull is now watertight and float-able!

I finished fitting the chine runners this weekend; they just need a final sanding and they'll be ready for glassing. I may leave this until the spring as the short days and cold nights are not ideal for sheathing at the moment. I'll probably turn the hull over and continue work "right side up"

It was a nice sunny day today, so I took the opportunity to tidy up a bit and take a couple more photos without all the junk onboard!

I've got a bit bored with looking at the boat upside down, so I flipped her for an underwater view!

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Bottom fitted

It's been a few weeks since I posted here but I have been working quietly behind the scenes.

The bottom panel was fitted in place over the weekend of October 13th and 14th. It continued to live up to it's name as the "Beast from the East" and gave me a a few worrying moments. I enlisted the help of my son to help me mix the vast quantities of epoxy it consumed, as I found it difficult to mix large quantities fast enough. When I eventually got the bottom fitted I put a light under the boat and was horrified to see light shinning out along part of the chine join. I ended up having to prise the bottom off, mixing yet more epoxy and then climbing on top of the boat and walking along the bottom as I fastened it down with sheet rock screws. What I thought would be a couple of hours work turned into a 6-8 hour marathon.

Bottom On!

The following weekend was spent trimming and shaping the bottom. Once again this turned into a long job. That 18mm ply is tough stuff.

This past weekend I made a start at gluing in the chine runners and making a start at shaping them. I have the port runner in place and all it needs is a bit more shaping and a final coat of fairing compound and rub down to finish it off. I'm working on the starboard runner but won't really get far with that until the weekend.

Chine runner

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Chine Runners

Well "Johanna" is still bottomless, but I've been working behind the scenes preparing for the final fitting.

I explored several possibilities on the best (easiest!) way to fit the chine runners. I have eventually decided on the following approach.

Initially I thought about roughly shaping the entire runner, bonding it to the hull and fairing off the top to match the chine logs. This would mean that I could then fit the bottom and the job would be more or less complete, bar the final sanding and shaping. When I came to do this I realised just how difficult it was to bend the runners to conform to the hull. My thoughts on it being easy to clamp evaporated because all the clamps did, was deform the "sharp" edge of the runner. Taking a hint from Jack Gardiner on the Paradox builders group I cut the runner into smaller blocks approx 150mm length and temporarily screwed them to the chine.

Chine runner "Blocks"

Blocks screwed to chine

I then faired the top (bottom) of the blocks to match the line of the chine logs.

Blocks being faired

At this stage I was prepared to glue all the blocks and fit the bottom panel. However my approach will now be to remove the blocks (they're all marked and numbered for easy repositioning), fit the bottom panel, glue the individual blocks back in place then shape and fair the runners. My main reasons for this order of construction is so that I can accurately measure the offset of the runners from the hull side. This would not be so easy if the runners were already in place. Also I have already built a drilling jig to mark the position of the ringnails in the centre of the chine logs. This relies on the jig fitting against the hull side, something else I would have to change if the runners were in place. Apart from all that, I was down to only 1 litre of epoxy. Now I'm pretty sure that that is more than enough to fit the bottom, but once I start it will be too late to find out if it isn't! I've had a delivery of another 9 litres today so we should be on a roll again. With luck I may have the bottom fitted this weekend.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Not much to report

Things have slowed up over the last couple of weeks, but I try and move along with a few odds and ends as I grab some spare time. When it came to fitting the aft floor divider I found I did not have a suitable sized piece of lumber, so I am currently awaiting delivery of some more wood so that I can continue with the bottom fitting. In the meantime I have roughly cut the bottom panel to size and secured it using a few sheet rock screws.

I'm also pondering over the easiest method of fitting the chine runners; either before fitting the bottom or after. I'll update when there's something more constructive to report!

Monday, 10 September 2007

Bottom Panel scarfed

Well the cutting of the bottom panel scarfs turned out to be a beast of job. I got new blades for my electric plane and they are all now ready for scrap! I lost count of the number of times I had to regrind my hand planes, I'm sure my block plane iron is at least 10mm shorter than it was this time last week! As the plywood I have is sold as Far Eastern Ply, I have now nicknamed the bottom panel the "Beast from the East". I took advantage of the dry sunny weather we have been having to glue the panel up, as this had to be done outdoors due to lack of any other suitable space. I'm pleased to say that the panel is now glued together and now awaiting fixing.

Panels cut ready for glue

Panels glued and clamped

Sunday, 2 September 2007


I spent several hours this weekend fairing the chine logs and bulkhead floors in preparation for the fitting of the bottom. Quite a lot of material was removed, in fact I have a large bin liner full of shavings. The chines are looking nice and I just need to fair the tank dividers now and we'll be ready for the bottom.

Talking of the bottom, I decided to make a start at cutting the scarf for the bottom panel. No dimensions are given for the scarf so I decided on a 200mm overlap giving a generous 11:1 ratio. I've made a start at planning, but I see this is going to be quite a mammoth job to do by hand. During the week I hope to use my electric plane to shift a large majority of the scarf, unfortunately I discovered I had snapped a blade on it, so I need to get a replacement before I can continue. If all works out I'll be able to get the panel scarfed at the weekend end which should allow me to fit it the following weekend after it's fully cured. That all depends on the progress with the plane......

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Chine Logs Fitted!

Well after much sweat, some blood and almost tears, the final chine log goes into place. Maybe it would have been just as easy to fit them as one unit rather than half size them. Who knows? The steamer worked out great in the end; once steamed and clamped for 24 hours the logs were (relatively) easy to remove glue and re-clamp. So now they are all glued up and nailed in place. The only small problem is I broke a drill bit whilst drilling the pilot holes. I'm going to have to recover this from deep inside the log. I'm undecided how best to do this yet. I may try and drill from the inside and punch the bit through with a pin punch. It's a job that can wait for an idle few minutes!

Fitting the final chine log

Fitting tank dividers

Monday, 20 August 2007

A Cracking Time!

Well, Chine Logs are fun - not. While I waited for the glue on the split log to cure I had another go at installing another chine log. This is a seriously tortured piece of wood,bending in all three planes! With a lot of effort and many clamps I was actually able to get it into place and subsequently removed for final gluing. So one half thickness chine log installed. Now back to the broken log. I wanted this piece to be laminated between the hull and it's paired partner. I started to install it, almost had it in, and as I turned my back to pick up another clamp, "crack" it broke in two more (different) places!

In despair I epoxied the log back together again (it's now a 4 piece log!) and let it set up for one last try before it goes for firewood. With the good chine log installed I managed to bend it's matching partner into place and trim to size, although it was groaning loudly.I took it back out, but have not got round to gluing in yet.

Today I decided on a different strategy. Many years ago my wife acquired a steam cleaner which has been languishing unused in the garage for many a day. I resurrected it, brushed off the cobwebs and filled with water. I placed the chine log in a length of drainage downpipe, pushed the steamer nozzle inside, blocked up the ends with plastic bags and turned on the steamer. The steamer tank lasts about 15 minutes, during which time I left the log to cook. Working quickly I withdrew the "well done" log and quickly started to install in the hull. This was a different piece of wood. It was more like a piece of rubber! It just fell into place with minimal pressure. I've left it all clamped up and in place where it will probably remain until the weekend before I get round to gluing it. I'm hoping that it will "remember" it's shape so that it will be easy to remove glue and reinstall. I'm not sure how epoxy would take to warm damp wood if I were to steam it again. I intend to steam the remaining logs and pre bend them in a similar fashion prior to installation. In the meantime I have started cutting the floor dividers in preparation for bottom fitting.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Bottom Side Up

Before the big turn over I had to cut and fit the transom baffle. This was aptly named because it had me baffled for quite a few hours. Cardboard templates, lots of measuring and cutting away bit by bit finally enabled it to be fitted in place. I'd say this was the hardest part I've had to do so far!

The baffling part

Baffle Fitted

With the baffle sorted out it was time for the big turn over.. This was easily accomplished by me and my son.

Bottoms Up

I proceeded to fit the port side Chine Log. All was going well, with the log almost in place, when disaster struck. There was a loud crack and the log split half way along it's length. As the break was a nice natural scarf, I decided to epoxy the 2 bits together and see if the log will bend into shape once the epoxy sets hard. The logs are half thickness and 2 parts will be laminated in place when fitted. I reckon that as long as I can get this log into place it will be more than strong enough when sandwiched between the 12mm hull outer and its inner partner. Time will tell. If it doesn't work I'll have to purchase some more timber and check more carefully for splits this time. Tomorrow I'll try fitting the Starboard log and see if we have any more success with that !

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Sheer Strakes fitted

Today the Sheer Strakes were fitted and glued in position. Although not too difficult to fit, it was a nightmare taking them back out to add the glue. I had visions of being catapulted out of my shop as the strake springs back on release. Fitting after gluing was not much fun either. It was definitely a time to wear the disposable overalls as I ended covered in quite a bit of epoxy!

Now will the Chine logs go in with the same ease???

Monday, 13 August 2007

Wet Assembly complete.

Not much to say really. Lots of sweat but no blood or tears!

"Johanna" is no longer a kit of parts.

View Aft

Port Side View looking Aft

Port Side View looking Fwd

View Fwd

Ubiquitous shot taken through transom port!

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Hull Assembly

I've done a lot of work over the last week. Last weekend I finished off all the bulkheads by cutting notches, limbers and finally coating in epoxy.

Today started with me drilling the hole for the drain in the mast foot. It all went relatively smoothly. There was one heart stopping moment when the drill bit detached from the extension and was left buried deep in the mast foot! Luckily I was able to re-attach it, and all turned out well in the end. I'm pleased with the result and my drain pipe fits like a glove.

After that I moved on to gluing the hull together. This was hard work and took a lot longer than I anticipated. I'm not finished yet, but the transom and Bulkheads 2, 3 and 4 are all glued and nailed in place. Bulkhead 2 and the stem are held with temporary fixings just to ensure that everything is square. Tomorrow I hope to finish off fitting these two outstanding items.

Getting set up for glue!

Bulkhead 3 in place.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Vent Trunk

The Vent Trunk may look straight forward but it actually involved quite a bit of work. All that remains now to drill the hole for the drain and complete the mast foot cut out. The later will wait for now, and I'll revisit it the future when I finish shaping my dummy mast foot.

I feel the time is getting close to gluing this baby together. I started work today to make it ready for final assembly but was unhappy about the stem bevels. I ended up spending a couple of hours shaving away some more wood and I'm happier now with the results.

Watch this space.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Adverse Weather - the Ark continues...

I had a day off work on Friday, hoping to make some more inroads on the hull construction. As it turned out the day was spent shoring up flood defences and bailing out my neighbours house. With a months rainfall falling in a matter of hours, this is a view of the junction at the end of my road.

My neighbour had visited me the other day to look at progress on the boat. He commented at that time:

"You have two dogs, I have two cats and the neighbour has two rabbits. That boat looks very much like an Ark - your name isn't Noah, is it?"

Sunday was a warm and pleasant day, so after a bit of a clean up after the flood, I managed to build a mock up of the mast foot, the cabin soles, and vent trunk panels. Not as much as I would have liked, but at least another couple of ticks off the todo list.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Slow progress

I've not been idle, but there's not a lot of progress to report. The baffle cleat on the transom is installed after a lot of head scratching as to the best way to cut and bevel it. All cleat bevels are now complete and the entire hull has been temporarily assembled using screws. All the holes have been drilled for the ring nails and ready for final glue up.

At the weekend I built a trolley to keep the boat on. This uses four heavy duty swivel castors which allows me to move the boat around easily in the confines of my boat shed. It also allows me to bring the boat outside to work on when the weather is agreeable.

Work on the vent trunk continues; when that's complete I'll be in a position to wet assembly.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Taking shape

The chine and sheer strakes are now all complete. This weekend I made a start at assembly and sorting out the cleat bevels. Things are coming along nicely, but progress is quite slow. "Johanna" now starts to look a bit like a boat and it's pleasing to see some subtle curves which were never apparent up till now.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Chine and Sheer strakes

With the side panels all glued up, I started work to shape the sheer and chine strakes.

The sheer I shaped as shown on the drawing on sheet 5, but with the chine log I have only very roughly planed the lower edge ( the interface to the bottom) and intend to bevel it once it's glued into the hull. The chine log is also made in 2 pieces and will be laminated in place at assembly. It's temporarily screwed together to get the bevels right. Hopefully this will make installation of the chine log a somewhat easier process. We'll have to wait and see!

By next weekend the side panels should be well and truly cured, so I might make a start at dry assembly and get the cleat bevels cut to shape.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Side panels coming together

More scarfing at the weekend, and after a lot of work and effort I ended up with four panels all cut and ready for the glue.

Yesterday I laid out the first 2 panels on a temporary bench. I found a few packs of laminate flooring left over from one of my many DIY jobs. When the floor panels were snapped together this gave me a nice long straight edge that I could use as a reference line to keep the base line straight.

Here's the first 2 panels pre-coated ready for the thickened glue.

Taking an idea from Al (of Little Jim fame) I laid out the panels drilled holes through them into the bench and used nails as temporary pins to keep panels in place. This makes putting them back in position simple and straight forward after gluing up. You might see the nails through the panels in the picture below. I've marked the nail holes so that I don't forget to fill then in later on! The first panel is now off the bench and is looking good. I hope to get the second one glued up in the next few days.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Side panel scarfs started.

I made a start on cutting the scarfs this weekend. Not much was done on Saturday as I spent the best part of the day enjoying the sunshine at the Boat Inn beer festival.

Today was really too hot to work in my shed, so I didn't get much done until the heat of the day had dissapated later this evening.

I've got one scarf more or less cut, it probably will need a bit of tidying up once I get it's partner ready.

The strange pattern is the shadows cast by the corrugated plastic roof sheeting!

I've also started the vent trunk construction. I've laminated six pieces of douglas fir to make the trunk top. More later....

Friday, 8 June 2007

Back on track

Well the stem's all bonded and put to bed for the time being.

I expect it will need a bit of reshaping when I come to the dry assembly. Until then it joins the pile of other bits in the corner.

I started preparing my first scarf on a side panel tonight. More of that to follow.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Confession Time!

You know what they say, "measure twice cut once". Well I measured several times but the end result was the same; I made what is colloquially known as a major "Cock Up"!

When I came to build the stem I made a series of paper patterns with the cross section at each 100mm station. You'll see them in the photo's of the stem below. What I managed to do somehow was draw the first one (the one at deck level) totally wrong. Instead of making the width at the stem face 72mm I made it 36mm, forgetting that the (36) on the plan related to the half width. That's why those pictures below show a nice inward curve towards the top end.

Never mind, I glued a couple of blocks of scrap wood back on, smothered in epoxy/wood flour mix and no one will ever know (if I hadn't come clean).

The offending item is now curing at the moment, ready for the finishing touches when everything has set. At the weekend I'll probably make a start on the scarfing of the side panels.

Saturday, 2 June 2007


I took a day off from epoxy and worked on making the stem. I'm making this from 4 laminates because I've run out of 38mm thick fir!

The first two are as per the design, the top laminate will be made using 25mm with a small portion bonded on where the thickness is 38mm.

shaping these was actually quite an enjoyable task (and sweaty). I sharpened my planes up before i started and the wood was beautifully workable. I've ended up with a large bag of shavings and I'm not done yet

I hope to finish all the laminates tomorrow and get it bonded up before the end of the day.

First 2 Stem laminates.

As they'll be when bonded.