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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

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

Fiberglassing the Daggerboard for Strength

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Decisions, Epoxy, Fiberglass

Because the daggerboard has the greatest draft of any part of the boat, I decided to reinforce its leading edge with a little fiberglass.  I used some fiberglass tape and unthickened epoxy.  Once this gets a couple more coats it will be ready for sanding and paint/varnish.

Time Spent: 1.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 74.0 Hours

Custom Electric Rudder – More Reinforcement and Shaping

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

As promised, I added some more epoxy to the rudder to further strengthen and eventually shape it.  After an initial coat of strong epoxy thickened with high density silica, I mixed up some low density microballons and epoxy to build up the rudder.  Once cured, this stuff sands much easier than normal epoxy and is easy to shape.

Time Spent: 1.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 73.0 Hours

Custom Electric Rudder – Reinforcement and More Cutting and Gluing

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

With the epoxy holding the rudder and motor together now cured, I drilled some holes to feed cable ties through and around the motor.  I am using these to reinforce the bound between the two components.  The motor is a considerable amount of weight and I don’t want it falling off the rudder.  I will also be using more epoxy and fiberglass to further reinforce and fair at a later time.

Once the initial reinforcement was down, I cut an additional piece of wood to fit below the motor and behind its metal skeg.  My thought is that this could give the rudder a little more authority, and it will look better in the end.  Once that piece was cut to fit, I build a jig to hold the assembly inverted and I glued it to the motor.  Again, I used epoxy thickened with silica.

Time Spent: 1.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 72.0 Hours

Custom Electric Rudder – Cutting and Gluing

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

I knew from the start of my project that I wanted to build a rudder with an electric trolling motor built into it.  You may recall from previous posts that I bought the motor and cut it apart.  It has been sitting dormant for a couple week now while I contemplated fit / angling / wiring / etc.  Things that I considered:

1) Fore / aft weight distribution: I wanted to make sure the center of mass of the motor was directly below the rudder kick-up bolt.

2) Angle:  The rudder is curved at the front and sloped at the back, so I could not mount it perpendicular to either of these surfaces.  I did some measurements with the rudder head and found the angle that would leave the motor parallel with the water surface.

3) Wiring: I spent a ton of time figuring out how to run the four wires up the rudder and into the rudder head.  I probably spent the most amount of time doing this.  The complicated part is the kick up feature of the rudder.  I figured out how to do the routing and drew that onto the rudder, but you won’t see the detail in the photos until I complete that step.

4) Kick-up rudder position lines:  The Skerry is designed with only one line that is pulled to lower the rudder and then cleated off to maintain it’s down position.  Since the rudder will be many times heavier than designed, I figured out how to make an internal line to pull up and cleat off the rudder.  This will require modifications to the rudder head interior, but again, you won’t see pictures of that yet.

So with all that planning done, I started cutting the rudder with a handsaw.  When close enough, I used my router and flush trim bit to make the fit perfect.  Once I had the rudder cut to size, I used some clamps and sawhorses to build a jig that would hold the motor.  Next, I glued the wooden rudder to the motor using epoxy thickened with silica.  I’ll continue work on this tomorrow.

Time Spent: 4.5 Hours (3 of which were spent planning over the past couple weeks).

Total Time In Build: 71.0 Hours

 

Final Coats of Exterior Epoxy – Part 2

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy

I found some time to put a second coat of epoxy onto the hull today.  I used the same procedure as in my last post, so no need to re-explain.  The boat is still inverted in the garage, but I got some some pictures with the door open for some natural light.

Time Spent: 1.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 66.5 Hours

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