Monday, 26 October 2009


Just like in "LOST", everyone needs a hatch cover! This was quite straight forward and enjoyable to build. I've opted for a small skylight in the top, which was cut out after the hatch was fabricated and glassed on the inside. Fine tuning the fit of the hatch is still in progress, but it really needs the internal closed cell foam for it to run smoothly on the rails. I'll get round to glassing and fairing shortly. At the moment I'm working on the washboard and it's mountings, a problem I wouldn't have had if I'd not departed from the plans!

I have douglas fir on order for all the spars and yuloh, so I'll have plenty to keep myself busy with over the next few months. More progress reports as they happen.

Hatch rail components

Installed rails

Glassed internally

Runners and rails installed

Hatch Installed

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Cabin top construction.

Well almost a month since the last update. I've been pretty busy beavering away with the cabin top construction. A dose of the flu, last weekend, means my schedule has slipped again! Who cares? It'll be done when it's done.

I learnt a few things about Lexan this week.

  1. It's not cheap!
  2. It's very heavy.
  3. It's really tough.

Shaping the front window opening was a bit of a challenge. In the end I came up with the idea of clamping a piece of Lexan onto the framework on top of a layer of thickened epoxy. By doing so it would form a perfect fit. Next problem was cutting the front windscreen. There is just no way to clamp in in position to accurately mark it out, so I ended up screwing it in place and using a block plane to trim it to size. I'm not 100% happy because a couple of my screws did not line up. I may cut another piece of Lexan and redo it. I can use the existing piece in the aft washboard so it won't be wasted.

The side windows were much easier; again I trimmed using the block plane after rough cutting with a jig saw. This is how I know about (3) above!

With all that done it was just a question of mixing lots of epoxy, clamps at the ready and fixing the cabin top over the frame work. The epoxy had started to gell at 1800 this evening, but the temperature has fallen down into single figures tonight so I expect it'll be pretty soft still in the morning.

Once set up hard I can unclamp, trim the sides and start installing the hatch rails etc., which I have already ripped and milled (on my new jointer!).

More to follow.

Front window shaping

Lexan Windows

The top goes on....

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Upright again!

Well we're now back on an even keel and forging ahead.

All the encapsulation work is complete and the bottom and topsides have been all faired and painted with a high build 2 part epoxy primer.

Not much more to say; it's been quite a big job and I'm glad to be doing something other than relentless sanding again! Looking forward to finishing the superstructure and hatch. That will more or less complete the hull with only the spars, foils and Yuloh to complete the project.

Lots of Sanding

Ready for the final turn

Back upright

Construction resumes

Friday, 31 July 2009

Rollover day again

I've had a couple of emails asking for more details of how I roll my Paradox over.

This is not an original idea, its widely used by many other builders.

I took the opportunity today to take a short video of the event which shows the rollover in a bit more detail.

This is easily managed by just me and my son.

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Saturday, 25 July 2009

More sheathing.

With the bottom finished, it was out with the rolling frame again and this time to turn Johanna on her side. The topsides are to be sheathed in 200g cloth, and I expected this to go on without a hitch. How wrong could I have been!

This was a nightmare to wet out, the close weave, stiff cloth seeming almost impervious to epoxy resin and at the same time trapping air under the fabric. I was so unhappy with about 1 sq metre that I ripped it off and started afresh. Eventually after lots of hard work I got the cloth applied and coated, topped of with microballoons which just need fairing and sealing once I'm happy with the finish. After that, it's rollover time again onto her port side for finishing off of the hull sheathing.

Up on her side

The offending cloth

Ready for longboarding

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Bottom Sheathing

Sheathing work continues with the bottom taking up quite a few hours this weekend.

For the bottom I've used 2 layers of 450g/m2 biax cloth. This is a seriously heavy layup and is roughly the equivalent to the weight of woven roving specified by Matt. These two layers managed to consume 6 litres of epoxy between them, which included a filler topcoat containing fumed silica, and a light fairing coat of microballons. All in all a big piece of work, but one which went without any major hitches. I'll need to spend some time tidying up and sanding fair, but once done, Johanna will be on her side for sheathing of the topsides. This probably won't happen now until the first week in July as I'll be off riding a sponsored cycle ride for a week in the last week in June.

Layer one of 450gm biax

First layer wetted out

Two layers on

Fairing top coat

Sunday, 7 June 2009

May Update

Work continues with preparation for sheathing the hull in epoxy/glass.

With the fairlead complete it was time to firstly do the decks. For this I've used 120g/m2 glass.

This went well and wet out very easily.

With that completed I reinstalled the toe rails and reinforced with a layer of glass tape.

On Friday I took the chance to visit the Beale Park Boat Show where there were all sorts of great boaty things to see and do, but the highlight was to meet Al Law and 'Little Jim'.

Unfortunately the wind was not playing ball, but we did still mange to get a short sail in a light zephyr! One astonishing thing was the amount of interest the Paradox attracts. I don't think Al will have had much rest throughout the weekend.

With even more incentive to get Johanna finished, today I tried out my turning jig, to roll her through 180 degrees. This was achieved by just the two of us, me and my son, with some supervision by my youngest daughter!

On her side

Over she goes

Now that she's the right (wrong) way up I'll be glassing the bottom, and once that's done the sides. Here's hoping for more warm dry weather (unlike today!)

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Some progress at last!

Well it's been a long winter and I've found it difficult to become motivated after such a long break away from the little boat. With things warming up however, I've at last started to pick up where we left off last year. I've stripped all the cabin superstructure off (it was only temporary) and have been busy preparing the hull, filling holes etc. for sheathing in epoxy/glass.

I've also made a start with the fabrication of the bow fairlead. I call this the Maxwell corkscrew fairlead (thanks Glen for the detail). I now have six layers of glass on this item which will hopefully be ready for a bit of shaping and some microballon fairing tomorrow.

Here's today's progress.

Cut 30mm hole to take pvc pipe

Epoxy pipe in place

Cut and shape

Try for size with anchor rode - looking good.

First two layers of glass

More to follow.......

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Not much progress

I thought I'd post an entry, just so you all know I haven't deserted the project. Unfortunately there is not an awful lot to report! We've had the coldest winter in 30 something years, and the snow and ice is not conducive to boat building! I have been tinkering, with a bit of sanding here and there, but nothing that would be called real progress. We had a fine spring day today, and it gave me the opportunity to clear and tidy things up, ready for a concerted effort once the weather warms up. Watch this space....