Currently browsing Posts Published May 2012

Page 1 of 2

Sanding, Sanding, Sanding…

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Sanding, Tools

Now that the rails are in the boat, it is time to start sanding.  I will be sanding for a few days so there won’t be any pictures.  Sanding isn’t all that interesting, but it is a necessity.  The outwale, breasthooks, and top of the rails are smooth.  I used the random orbit sander to accomplish this.  It also came in handy for shaping the joint between the breasthook and the rail.

Time Spent: 2.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 92.0 Hours

Fabricating Custom Rails – Part 5

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Modifications, Sanding, Tools

I took all the clamps off the rails today and hauled the boat outside of the garage to begin sanding away excess wood and epoxy from the rails and breasthooks.  I only got through the bow and rails from the center frame forward before It got dark.  The pictures give you a pretty good idea of how I modified the breasthook.  I think this custom rail design adds a lot to the look and functionality of the Skerry.

Time Spent: 1.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 90.0 Hours

Fabricating Custom Rails – Part 4

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Modifications, Tools, Woodworking

Before installing the inwale of the custom Skerry rails, I used the router to make a channel from the breasthook to the center frame.  The trolling motor power wires will run inside this channel so they are hidden from normal view.  The smell of this Spanish Cedar is awesome when you are routing away the wood.

After the inwale was modified with the channel, I dry fit the rails and cut away the excess.  I thought it would be quite a challenge to bend these rails inside the hull and cut them to size, but it was quite manageable.  After the rails where cut and clamped and place I removed one side and glued it with epoxy thickened with silica.  Once one side was glued I did the other.  This kept the stress of the hull equal during installation.

Time Spent: 3.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 89.0 Hours

Trolling Motor Quick Disconnect

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Auxiliary Propulsion, Decisions, Modifications, Tools, Woodworking

This afternoon I glued all the rail spacers into place.  While waiting for them to cure, I did a little work on the aft breasthook.  I modified it to accept the inwale and also to install a quick disconnect for the trolling motor wiring.  I decided to have a quick disconnect so that I could remove the trolling motor / rudder for trailering and / or use the sail-only rudder which I plan to build.  A Japanese saw and a 1-1/8″ hole cutter was used to modify the breasthook. As you can see in the pictures, the power wires will run under the breasthook, then inside the rail to the center frame where they will connect with the battery.  In the second picture you can see how the plug connects the breasthook power to the tiller / speed control.

Time Spent: 2.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 86.0 Hours

Fabricating Custom Rails – Part 3

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Modifications, Sanding, Woodworking

It was nice to get back to work on the boat today.  I ran in the Keys 100 this past weekend and needed some recovery time.  I began today’s work by sanding the rough edges from the rail spacer that I cut last week.  Next I got out the ruler and clamps and spaced them evenly along the hull.  When I was happy, I modified the six spacers that will cap the frames.  To top off today’s work I dry fit the aft breasthook, drilled a hole for the flagstaff, and laid out the template for the trolling motor plug.

Time Spent: 2.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 84.0 Hours

Forward Breasthook and Oarlock Supports

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Modifications, Tools, Woodworking

This morning I cut the forward breasthook to accommodate for my modified rails.  Once it was to shape I used epoxy thickened with silica to glue it in place.  Eight screws countersunk in the rails ensure it has sufficient strength.

I also continued work on my rails by gluing 4″ pieces of rail material inside the hull which will act as oarlock supports for the fore and aft rowing stations.  These supports are also reinforced to the rail with two countersunk screws each.  I messed up when drilling one of the pilot holes.  It wasn’t deep enough and when I ran the screw it, the wooden support split at the end.  This isn’t a big deal.  The split will be filled with epoxy to prevent water intrusion and the whole thing will be hidden inside the rail anyway.

Time Spent: 1.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 82.0 Hours

Final Rudder Shaping

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Auxiliary Propulsion, Epoxy, Modifications, Tools

I finished shaping the rudder today.  The microballoon thickened epoxy was quite easy to sand with the random orbit sander.  Once it was properly shaped, I took a few minutes to make sure it rotated freely in the rudder head housing.

Time Spent: 1.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 80.5 Hours

Custom Electric Rudder – More Shaping

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Auxiliary Propulsion, Decisions, Epoxy, Modifications

I just finished putting on a second layer of epoxy thickened with microballoons onto the rudder to fair the trolling motor.  The clamped down paint stirrer is compressing the trolling motor cable run and epoxy into the channel I cut.  I also took some time to sand a bullet nose leading edge and a tapered trailing edge into the rudder.

Time Spent: 0.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 79.0 Hours

Fabricating Custom Rails – Part 2

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Decisions, Epoxy, Modifications, Tools

Today I attached the rails to the Skerry hull using epoxy thickened with silica, the standard high strength adheasive that I have been using all along.  It took a good amount of time and had to mix two small batches.  As I work I added spring clamps every 8″ or so.  Clamps are essential when building a boat like this.  Once I had the rails attached, I drilled some pilot holes with a counter sunk bit through the hull and into the rail.  This is a modification from the plans.  I wanted to add a little extra strength.

Because I am doing a modified rail (adding a inwale on spacers), I took some time and cut about 60 two inch long spacers of the same rail material.

Time Spent: 2.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 78.5 Hours

Fabricating Custom Rails – Part 1

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Decisions, Modifications, Tools, Woodworking

Before I even started building the Skerry I knew I wanted to make some modifications to the rails.  If built as described in the manual, the rails are made by laminating two long pieces of mahogany on the exterior of the boat.  I wanted something more functional and certainly more appealing to the eye.  I am copying something a lot of other building have done.  Instead of just having an outwale, I will have an inwale as well.  Between the outwale and inwale, spacers will provide for a functional rail that things can be tied off too. The side by side comparison below may help you visualize the difference.

To begin this modification, I decided to cut a rabbet the entire length of the outwale that will fit over the top of the side panel.  This will keep a nice uniform appearance at the top of the rail.  I cut this rabbet with a rabbeting bit on my router.  Next, I test fit the rails to the hull.  They looked good!  Unfortunately It started raining again, bugs were filling the garage, and I didn’t want to epoxy them to the hull in the hot humid garage.  That step will have to wait.

Time Spent: 1.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 76.0 Hours