Currently browsing Posts Published April 2012

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Filleting the Skeg

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Tools

Today I had a little time so I put some fillets on the skeg to increase its strength and increase is smoothness.  The fillets are made of epoxy thickened with wood flour and silica.  I used a rounded over piece of wood to make them uniform.

Time Spent: 1.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 60.5 Hours

Shaping and Installing the Skeg

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

I just finished installing the skeg on the Skerry.  The skeg is a keel-like piece of wood at the stern the helps the boat track straight in the water.  I assembled the skeg about a month ago by gluing two pieces of plywood together.  Unfortunately the fit wasn’t perfect and I had to spend a couple hours with the random orbit sander, block plane, hand blocks, and chisels to get it to fit the curve of the hull and stern.

When I got the fit just right, I measured the bottom of the hull to find and mark the centerline.  I then drilled four pilot holes through the hull from the outside.  With my girlfriend holding the skeg in place using a carpenter’s square to ensure it was perpendicular to the hull, I drilled larger pilot holes from the inside of the hull and into the skeg using a special countersunk drill bit.  The bit drills a normal pilot hole but then opens up for the screw head so that the screw head can be embedded in the hole and caped with a small piece of wood.  The drill bit is also adjustable for depth, which is super nice.

I then covered the skeg and hull where they will make contact with some epoxy thickened with silica.  Finally, I used a screwdriver to sink the screws into the hull and skeg.  It came out perfectly perpendicular!

Because my skeg was a little bit warped at the stern, the thin piece of the skeg that ran up the stem was curved to starboard, I built a funny jig to pull it into place while the glue cured.

Time Spent: 3.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 59.5 Hours

Sanding the Fiberglassed Hull – Part 2

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Fiberglass, Sanding, Tools

More sanding today.  I used the random orbit sander with 80 grit and completed all I could with it on the hull.  The stems and lap seams will require a hand block.  It is long and tedious work.

Time Spent: 2.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 56.5 Hours

Sanding Fiberglassed Hull – Part 1

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Fiberglass, Sanding, Tools

I have reached what I believe will be one of the most time-consuming steps in the build.  I started sanding down the epoxy-covered fiberglass hull.  The goal is to get it slippery smooth through 220 grit prior to one last coat of epoxy.  After that it’ll be primer and paint.  As I learned today, there is no quick way to do it.  After three hours of work I completed the bottom panel and am about 80% through port panel #1.  It’ll take quite a few days for me to finish it up.

Time Spent: 3.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 54.5 Hours

Cutting Apart a Brand New Trolling Motor

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Auxiliary Propulsion, Modifications

I received my new Minn Kota Endura C2 40 pound thrust trolling motor today.  After hooking it up to my battery and making sure it worked I started unscrewing the head and realized just how simple it is.  The head contains only a rotary switch, two battery leads, and 4 motor leads.  Now I just have to figure out how to encorporate the switch into the tiller.

Time Spent: 1.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 51.5 Hours

Daggerboard Shaping

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Sanding, Tools, Woodworking

I finished shaping the daggerboard today.  I used 80 grit sandpaper on the random orbit to fair the leading and trailing edges of the board.  As the layers of ply and glue sand away their lines make it easy to keep the slope even.   When I got them even I used sandpaper on a foam sanding block to further round the edges.  Next I broke out the router and rounded over all the handle edges with a 1/4″ roundover bit.  Finished up by sanding everything to 220 grit.  It is ready for epoxy and varnish.

Time Spent: 2.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 50.5 Hours

Modification #1 – Electric Trolling Motor

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Auxiliary Propulsion, Decisions, Modifications

From all accounts, the Skerry is an excellent sailer and a decent rowboat, but I want to add a little something extra that will make my Skerry a standout.  I am going to add auxiliary electric propulsion in the form of a modified trolling motor.  This will be no easy task as the Skerry has no transom.  My plan is to hack the motor apart and somehow fiberglass it into the rudder.  I hope to locate the electronics under the rear breasthook and the battery aft of the center frame.  Even more ambitious is that I want to install the twist grip throttle mechanism in the wooden tiller.  My intent is to keep the wooden boat look.  Other vessels should not be able to tell I have a motor.

This has been done before, but to my knowledge, not to a Skerry.  Because a trolling motor in the rudder would increase drag considerably during sailing, I can take one of two routes to prevent this.  The first method is to build a second, sailing only rudder.  The second method is to build the rudder with a shape that allows it to be half kicked up, motor part out of the water, steering part in the water.  And example of an “always submerged motor” and a “half kick-up” sailing rudder are attached.

I am not sure which method I will use, but I do know which motor.  I bought a Minn-Kota Endura C2 on and it should be here in a couple days.  I purchased the 40 pound thrust model after looking at the manual online and visiting bass pro to look at other similar models.  From what I can tell in the manual, I shouldn’t have too much difficulty tearing it apart and relocating electronics.  We shall see…

A Little of This, A Little of That … More Miscellaneous Work

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

I got a lot of things done today.  I hit up a bunch of different things so I will just list them.

1. After the yard (sprit) was cured from gluing the two pieces together, I got out my router and rounded over the yard and boom with a 3/8″ roundover bit.  I love working with the router!  It has to be the coolest woodworking tool.

2. I laid out some plastic in my house and glued the two sections of the mast.  I also glued the rails together.  Each of the four, full-length rails (inwale and outale on port and starboard) are made of three pieces.  As usual, I used epoxy thickened with silica for strength.  Many clamps were used to put pressure on the seam.  I elected to do this in the house because of the flat level floor and limited space in the garage with the boat in there.

3. The daggerboard will produce a lot of drag with its 2′ draft.  I began shaping the leading and trailing edges with the sander, to make it more sleek in the water.  I will eventually do the same to the rudder.

4. The rudder is a kickup type that rotates aft on a 1/4″ bolt that runs through both halves of the rudder head.  I drilled these holes out to 3/8″ and filled with epoxy thickened with wood flour.  When this cures I will again drill out the smaller 1/4″ hole.  This is done to completely seal the wood from water penetration.  I don’t want water getting in there and rotting away the wood!

Time Spent: 2.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 48.5 Hours

Miscellaneous Gluing

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Spars

I just finished gluing a few miscellaneous parts for the Skerry.  For all gluing I used epoxy mixed with silica.  I glued the handle halves to the top of the daggerboard and the doublers to the rudder head cheeks.  I also glued the scarf joint in the yard.  The yard is the diagonal spar in sprit rig.  Because the wood is only available in about 8 foot lengths, I had to glue two pieces together.  It was difficult to get everything clamped up so that the sprit was nice and straight.

Time Spent: 0.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 46.0 Hours

Fixing My Fiberglass Mishap, Part 2

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Fiberglass, Mishaps

I was finally able to re-fiberglass the sanded out bad fiberglass on the hull tonight.  The process was identical to the first time.  I laid out the fiberglass, cut to size.  Then I used the squeegee to spread the epoxy into the fiberglass weave.  You can barely tell that anything was wrong.  When it all gets sanded smooth, you definitely won’t be able to tell.

Time Spent: 1.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 45.5 Hours

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