Currently browsing Posts Published June 2012

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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

Motivation Photo Shoot

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Uncategorized

Not having worked on the Skerry for a couple weeks, I got used to all the free time!  As much as I do enjoy working on it, I still need motivation to get back in the building groove, especially with all the sanding that is coming up. I had a spare moment today so I pulled the boat out for a photo shoot.  I put the flag on, fit the oarlocks, and set the unfinished mast, just for kicks.

Visit to Chesapeake Light Craft

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Uncategorized

Sorry it has been such a long time since my last update.  I changed collateral duties at work and was away for some training.  While up North, I had the opportunity to meet up with my parents for Father’s Day.  We went and saw the tall ships in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, but we also visited Chesapeake Light Craft.  I was really excited to see Pocketship.  Whenever I get a place with a two car garage, it will be my next build.


Boat Building Hiatus

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Uncategorized

I am away this week, taking a class up in Yorktown, VA for my job, so I won’t be working on the boat at all.  At the end of the trip I hope to stop by Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis, MD.  Hopefully I can take some pictures and up load them to the site.

1000 Page Views!!!

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Uncategorized

I logged into the site tonight to check some admin stuff and realized that this build blog now has over 1000 views!  I have noticed that traffic has been peaking a lot lately.  I am getting a lot of inbound traffic from Google and Bing.  Maybe Chesapeake Light Craft will add my blog to their blog list and increase my view count even more.

Anyways, I hope that this site has helped other small wooden craft builders.  It is probably more likely though that 50% of those views are from friends and family.

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

Fiberglassing Skerry Interior

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Electrical, Epoxy, Fiberglass

I am pooped!  I just spent 7 straight hours on the Skerry.  I began the day by taping off the seam between the bottom panel and the #1 panel on the inside of the hull.  Next, I laid the speaker wire which will run from the center to forward frame in the lap joint.  All of the laps and seams throughout the boat will get fillets of epoxy thickened with wood flour, and the fillet I taped off is the only one that needs to be below the fiberglass. The speaker wire will run under this fillet.  I filled a ziploc bag with epoxy for an easy application.  I used it like a pastry bag by cutting a hole in one corner.

While the fillets sat for a little, I cut fiberglass cloth to fit the interior of the hull.  The manual only calls for covering the bottom and #1 panels.  After the fiberglass was cut, I smoothed my fillets with a gloved, denatured alcohol soaked finger.  The fiberglass went in next and unthickened epoxy was poured on top and spread with a plastic squeegee.  After about an hour of drying time, excess fiberglass was cut out with a razor blade.

It was a long day, and now I am at work for a midnight flight, but when I get home I have to put on another coat of unthickened epoxy to fill the fiberglass weave.

Time Spent: 7.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 110.5 Hours

Sanding in Preparation for Interior Fiberglass and Epoxy

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Sanding

Today I had a sanding marathon.  A full 5 hours of sanding, and with no power tools!  I used only hand blocks and raw sandpaper.  Everything was smoothed with 80, 150, then 220 grit paper.  The interior of the hull went pretty quick, it was the custom rails that sucked up all my time.  Because of the curve of these things and all the small spacing, it was a time consuming process.  When I was finished I didn’t even have the energy to clean up.  The boat sits in the garage, covered with dust.  Tomorrow I will vacuum the hull and wipe it down with denatured alcohol covered rags.  Then, I will be ready for some fillets, fiberglass, and epoxy.

Time Spent: 5.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 103.5 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

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