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First Coat of Paint

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Paint, Preparation, Tools

After sanding the second coast of primer, I hauled the Skerry back into the garage.  I began cleaning the hull with tack cloth and then whipped her down with a denatured alcohol.  I taped off the rails and began painting using a 6″ roller and foam tipping brush. I used the technique seen in this video: Interlux Brightsides Roll and Tip Technique.  I learned not to do too much at once, only moving about 12″ down the hull at a time.  If you don’t it is difficult to keep a wet edge.  The paint I used was Interlux Brightsides Hatteras Off White (1990).

Time Spent: 3.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 152 Hours

Daggerboard Slot and Paint Prep

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Preparation, Sanding, Tools, Woodworking

Today I flipped the boat over and cut the daggerboard slot with my router.  I did it freehand and was tough to get a straight line, but it turned out well.  The daggerboard goes through the hull, right in line with the centerline.  After I completed the cut, I rounded it over with the router.

Next I got out the sander and sanded the exterior hull in preparation for primer.  There was a lot of hand sanding too!  Luckily my girlfriend helped!  To finish off the day I sealed off the exposed wood in the daggerboard slot with some unthickened epoxy.

Time Spent: 4.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 145.5 Hours

Instrument Panel and Rudder Work

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

I have worked on the Skerry over the last few days but neglected to make post about my progress.   This post will hopefully highlight the things I did.

1) Cut some wooden blocks to mount under the seats at the forward and aft frame.  This blocks will be screwed to the frames and hull.  I will install u-bolts through them to allow the boat to be lifted at four point.  I plan to lift the boat out of the water using a davit on my dock.

2) I epoxied the center seat, waited for it to dry, then sanded all the seats.  They are ready for installation in the hull.

3) I prepared the rudder yoke by sanding, drilling out the tiller connection hole and filling with thickened epoxy, and covered the yoke with epoxy.

4) The rudder half that was fitted for the spacers in my last post was routed to allow for the motor cabling to pass through it.  The rudder yoke also has a channel on its underside for the cabling to run to the tiller.

5) I started building the tiller connection / speed control.  The speed control mechanism is directly from the minn-kota trolling motor.  It has 2 wires that run to the battery and 4 that run to the motor.  I connected the wires to it and covered the connections with liquid electrical tape.  Next, I built a small piece of wood, drilled a hole in it, and filled it with thickened epoxy.  This will then be re-drilled along with the yoke to form the connection to the rudder.  The wood piece was connected to the speed mechanism with lots of thickened epoxy.  This will soon be built up and faired with microballoon thickened epoxy.

6) I opened up the instrument panel that I built a few days ago for all the components.  They include a power switch, radio with usb connection, battery meter, on-board charger inlet, and cigarette lighter style power adapter.  Neat plastic latches that will allow the panel to clip into place are also installed.  After I made sure everything fit, I started coating the panel with epoxy.

7) I built a second blank instrument panel for use without all the electrical components.  This was made so that I can remove the battery and all the electronics to use the boat when I don’t want all the extras.  This panel was made by tracing the existing panel onto the original seat which I no longer have a use for.

8) I coated the rudder and dagger board with Interlux Pre-Kote Marine Primer.

Unfortunately I don’t have pictures off all this stuff, but you should get a pretty good idea of what I did by reading.

Time Spent: 6.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 133.0 Hours

Building and Shaping the Mast Step

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Tools

At the base of the mast a wooden “step” is built to help support it and keep it in place.  I assembled the step with silica thickened epoxy and counter sunk wood screws.  It needed a little shaping to make it fit into the hull.  That was done with the random orbit sander.  The screw heads will be covered with wood flour thickened epoxy.

Time Spent: 1.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 124.0 Hours

Seat Supports / Instrument Panel

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

Today I used some 3/8″ Okoume ply to make some center seat supports and the removable instrument panel.  It took quite a bit of time to measure, cut and form.  I used my jigsaw, hand saw, block plane, and random orbit sander.  The panel will contain the on off/switch, battery meter, cigarette lighter / power port, iPod/USB hookup, and the battery charger.  This panel will be removable to reduce weight when not needed.  The seat supports and the panel also form a battery box.

Time Spent: 2.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 119.5 Hours

Making a Larger Center Seat

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

Because I have chosen to add an electrical system to the Skerry, I needed to make a place for the battery.  I chose to install it under the center seat, right behind the center frame.  The battery stuck out a little bit, so I elected to make a new seat the extended 3 more inches to stern.  I traced the original seat, adding the portion I needed, then cut it with my jig saw.  I will use the original seat to cut a panel that fits vertically under the new seat.  This removable panel will house the electronics and hide the battery.

Time Spent: 1.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 116.0 Hours

Sanding The Interior, Again – Part 1

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Sanding, Tools

So another long journey of sanding begins.  I must sand the entire interior to smooth the epoxy covered fiberglass.  It is about a 50/50 fix between power sanding and hand sanding.  Reaching over the Skerry’s sheer makes this a difficult task.  Also, when hand sanding, I constantly need to vacuum up the dust as it builds up quick.  Fortunately the random orbit sander has a vacuum attachment.

I only spent a couple hours sanding today.  It was hot and a lot of work.  I sanded the majority of the bottom and #1 panels.  I don’t plan to sand in the bow and stern compartments as they will be sealed up by the seats.  You will notice in the pictures that sanding makes the beautiful epoxied wood look gray and ugly.  It is supposed to look like this.  Once another layer of epoxy or varnish hits it, it will look good again.  I just have to smooth everything out before those final pretty coats.

Time Spent: 2.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 115.0 Hours

Interior Fiberglass, Filling the Weave

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Fiberglass, Tools

After letting the first fiberglass / epoxy layer cure for about 20 hours, I quickly installed the radio and speakers to make sure the epoxy covering wire run was still functional.  I was a little worried that I had cut one of the wires when trimming away the excess fiberglass, but all was well.  Next, I put down a second coat of unthickened epoxy to fill the fiberglass weave.  This was applied with a thin nap roller.  This second coat was also supposed to cover the rest of the hull (#2/3 panels and rails).  I rolled it on where I could and used a brush on the rails.  Getting into all the rail spacers with a brush and epoxy was tedious, especially when trying to curb epoxy runs.

Time Spent: 2.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 113.0 Hours

Forward Frame Speaker Ports

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

So I had a little mishap to clean up today.  The Skerry comes with a half cut hole in the forward frame for an offset deck hatch.  I opened up the hole a few days ago before thinking about speaker layout.  After the electrical test I decided to mount both speakers in the forward frame.  Because the deck hatch and the speaker have a different diameter, the existing hole wouldn’t work.  It was also not symmetrical with the starboard speaker.  I opened up the hole where it was supposed to go then used some spare plywood, a jig saw, and my router to make a plug for the rest of the hole.  When sized appropriately, I glued it in with silica thickened epoxy.  When this cures, I will fill in the gaps with wood flour thickened epoxy.  While this may be a little bit unsightly, it will be out of normal view in the completed boat as it is under the forward seat overhang.  I plan to relocate the hatch to the top of the seat. I will also be using a hatch that is 2″ larger so I have better access to the waterproof compartment.

Time Spent: 1.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 98.5 Hours

Custom Rail Shaping

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Modifications, Sanding, Tools

I spent a few hours today shaping the Skerry’s rails.  I primarily used the router.  I also used the router and a mortising bit to remove some of the rail to flush-mount the trolling motor electrical connection and the oarlocks.

Time Spent: 3.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 97.0 Hours