cockpit, December 2016, Door, Fairing, Highbuild

Missed it…

Posted by Paul

….. by that much. Its pretty clear now we are not launching Yikes this year. I set a goal at the start of the year that this would be the year. Alas not. Again. But I am ok with it. I am very close now. So close that I am actually excited by it. I have day dreamt about it for so long and finally I am within reach of launch and actually dreaming about it.

The outside is getting very close. I have a few things still to glass in, the stanchions and a plate besides each daggercase that sheaves for the lines to raise and lower the daggers attach to and just one more set of pads for a clutch for each mainsheet. I also have to glass a plate into each outboard well for the electric winches that will raise and lower the motors and a turn block for the line to it, and one more turning block for each halyard as they exit through to the winch and there isn’t much more I can think needs doing.

The inside is a different story. One that will finish next year, or the year after. Who knows? I am not too concerned about it right now, I just want to keep working on must do stuff before launch.

I have a coat of microsufacer on most of the cockpit horizontal surfaces and rear steps horizontal surfaces. I say most because I have run out of it. The areas that didn’t get any will get a little more highbuild if needed. So next week, I hope to have that sanded. The week after I am satisfied with the fairing of the cockpit (which might include another run over with filling of pinholes, knicks and scratches) Terry and I will then give the entire boat one last coat of Penguard highbuild.

I will then lightly scuff the highbuild with 320grit on the rupes air orbital to key it. My brother is due to come and topcoat paint some time in January.

Then after that, in Feb or March, depending on how fast I can save and what price I get, I will have the windows made and fit them. All the while I will be fitting the portlights, winches, blocks, anchor winches and rollers etc.

I have had a couple of wins the past few weeks. Plans change when money dries up. I bought the hydraulic gear a long long time ago. I had wanted to have hoses made. Unfortunately there is no cheap way of doing custom made hoses. The cheapest quote I got was well over $1000 for 4 x 5m hoses with crimped fittings. When I bought the rams and helm pump I also bought a hydraulic tie bar kit, which is a valve that isolates one of the rams so that you can change or realign the rudders to each other. Included in that kit was more than half the hose needed to finish. The rest I need will cost me less than $100. I have asked around and everyone’s response is that had they known that I was contemplating spending thousands to get rubber hoses based on my fear of the nylon semi flexible ones I already have they would have allayed my fears and told me to use the nylon. That’s about a grand I no longer need to find.

I have also saved about half the money I need to pay my outboard guy so I am down to less than $1000 to go to finish the boat, having already bought the topcoat a month or so ago and last week buying the final kit of highbuild. I still have to buy the 2 single sheet clutches, but I am still trying to decide if I want V cleats rather than jamming clutch cleats. They are about $100 each. So I am getting there.

I figure the windows to cost about $3000. I am guessing based on a few others I have heard of but they were a few years ago now. Then the launch costs will be about $5000 including taking the rollerdoor and part of the factory wall off and putting it back together. So all up I am under ten grand away now. It may be though, that I will be physically ready to launch but financially not able to. If so, I will use the time to get more of the insides done such as finishing the wiring and plumbing and some of the internal finishes such as roof linings. Things I can do without spending money.

In the last few weeks I have also done something I wasn’t going to do. More cosmetic fairing. There were a few places that were clearly visible highs or lows. I took them out. I filled a low on the port bow and a high on the starboard stern. I forgot to take before photos. I took during and after photos of the port bow because it was a fill job but the starboard stern I just sanded a little more bog down the fix a lump, nothing to see there.




Then the after shot after I sanded the excess bog off. Only minor change to what it was before the fill and the hollow was only noticeable from certain angles. But its gone now.

Other work done was to add some pads required for rigging. In both cases I have used the T-nut method. A T-nut has teeth that dig into the underside of the ply pad and grip it, then you just screw into it from above with the appropriate bolts (short enough that they don’t hit the deck) and in this way the fitting is secured without through deck bolts which is better for core integrity and leaks. I used some carbon I was given, way overkill, the pads are glued down and normal 50mm glass tapes would have been enough but I had it so decided to use it.

Its galling to grind back areas that have just finished being faired, but its what is required. Fairing is very difficult if you add pads and stanchions etc before fairing and in order to glass these items glass to glass you have to grind away bog, which doesn’t have the structural strength to glass to it. The upside of this is that you can apply a tape below the bog height and bog back to the correct height and have invisible tapes afterwards. The second pic below shows how deep the bog was where I had to glass the clutch pad in. In other places it isn’t so deep, if its less than the height of a tape (1mm) than you have a slight bulge up to the item being bogged in. I put old bolts into the holes to stop resin or bog entering. Because I glued the pads down too, some glue might enter the T-nuts from below, where it does I just re-tap the threads if I cant get bolts in later.

I added pads for the quad clutches behind the winch and a track pad for the self tacking jibs should we ever decide to use them (unlikely but I may want a spinnaker to  the space between the winged out sails downwind).

I was having trouble sanding the bog I had managed to apply over the tapes holding the step and underside of the sheeting arms to the cabin sides in the smaller lower section. Its a tight triangle area and getting into the tight join corners is difficult and I scraped my knuckles many times. The space looks a lot bigger than it is. I decided in the end it was easier to box the section in rather than keep trying to get a paintable finish to in there. And if at some future time I buy lots of gauges I can fit them into the faces. Unlikely but you never know.

I also cut the main door, fit it, removed it again and resin coated it then highbuild coated it. Fitting was tricky. Because of where the hinges are (on the outside) the doors were never going to fold perfectly into the space and a door handle was always going to keep it from the wall. What I didn’t count on was where it would strike against the seat edge. I played around with templates on exactly where the middle cut would be. Exactly in the middle was just too tight to clear the seat edge. Too far to one side of centre and the door cleared but the doors no longer looked symmetrical, one was too much wider than the other. A 5mm movement is actually 10mm, you lose 5mm from one and add it to the other. In the end I settled on 5mm because a 20mm difference was a little to noticeable and the 10mm difference was not so obvious and cleared enough that it opened far enough that the hinges were the restriction as much as the seat edge. It got down to just a mm too long to clear as far as I wanted (being restricted by the edge of the door against the bulkhead when folded now) so I angled the inside of the templates. That worked, I was about to do the same to the door when I realised I had already routed the inside of the door round to match the cove on the frame. No need to adjust it. It would clear on its own.

Cutting was not as smooth as I liked either. I set up an edge to run the saw against but ran away from it by just 1mm before I caught it but that 1mm meant a 2mm deviation in the side of the join because the sawing edge on each side of the blade would end up being the edges of each door. I cut the doors with the saw blade set to a slight angle so that the gap between them was not square but angles so that the gap was not visible from most angles, especially directly in front. I got away with the edge not being exactly straight due to the saw running away from the straight egde by sanding the edges down a little, in the middle of the now fat one and the top and bottom of the now skinny one to re-straighten the line. I have also miscalculated a little when cutting in the windows (too big making the door frame too skinny) and now the top 2 hinges extend over what will be the perplex windows. Not major, I will just use short self tapping screws in those holes.

The door clears the edge of the seat and is now only restricted by the limits of the flat hinges. The gaps around the doors and down the middle look symmetrical except for an area around the round corners that I didn’t get perfectly right but I can live with it. The small triangle shaped void behind the folded doors is where I will now fit a small fire extinguisher in the corner at the base of the seat side.

The bi-fold door can be latched in the half open position, fully open or fully closed. Because I wanted to be able to half latch the door, the right hand door must hinge to the outside of the left door, but because the left door is hinged to the bulkhead the right door ends up on the inside of the left door when both are opened and this is the restricting factor of the main left hand hinges, the right door thickness becomes the issue. I am sure there are hinges that work around this but I don’t need them, the way the doors folds works fine, especially once handles are put on.

Then to finish off the work completed since the last post, the cockpit has been bogged and sanded until I was satisfied I had it pretty fair. I re-coved all of the coves on the rear steps and cockpit area and sanded them (coach Daz helped me with them when he visited).  I then painted the last of the International Microsurfacer onto the rear bulkhead face, the helm dash, the seat uprights and fronts in the curves (not the flat sections, these are fair enough and I realised at this point I didn’t have enough to finish the rear steps) and the rear step risers, all except the bottom steps when I ran out.

Tomorrow I will sand the microsurfacer. Next week hopefully Terry and I can give the entire boat one final coat of highbuild (all except under the bridgedeck). I might post some photos next week of the boat all white. If not it will be first week of Jan, so next year. Then I spend the next couple of weeks glassing in the last few fittings including the stanchions and giving the entire boat its final sand with fine paper to key it ready for topcoat. Then a good clean up in the shed before my brother arrives.

Its been a pretty good year, albeit it ended rather poorly. Jo and I ticked off some of our goals for the year, I got a lot done on the build and am getting close enough now that I feel confident of my ability to finish now (I had some doubts over the years).

On that note, I would like to thank everyone for reading and encouraging me along the way, not just this year but throughout the many years as this has dragged on a bit. I hope you stick with me to the end now and beyond. I hope I have been entertaining or informative. Stay safe over the holidays. Cant wait for next year and the excitement to come.


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2 thoughts on “Missed it…

  1. Jim Long

    Damn fine looking catamaran so far Paul, great job on the doors. Merry Christmas to you and Jo, 2017 gonna be huge, excited for you both.

  2. webmaster

    Hi Jim, you are one of the people I alluded to when I thanked people for encouragement through the build not just this year. So again thank you your words have helped numerous times when hope dimmed slightly at the enormity of the job ahead. It doesn’t seem so daunting now.

    And perhaps the doors are a good metaphor for the entire build. I made a bit of a meal of the doors for a number of reasons yet they turned out ok. First off, when planning the cockpit seating I left what I thought adequate space for the doors to fold into completely flat against the bulkhead so as not to create a barrier across the end of that bench seat. I halved the width of the doorway and added 10mm for good measure but still the dummy door template I made hit the seat edge blocking the path to flush against the bulkhead, many months (years actually) after building the seating. So fail! Then I experimented with moving the mid door cut to make up for the mistake, ok that got me closer, a bevel here and an angled cut there and my template cleared the seat edge. Only to be thwarted at the final hurdle by the limitations of flat hinges and bi-folding doors. I could get the hinges to allow flush to bulkhead by moving the middle hinges to the inside of the doors meaning they folded to the outside of the main door and both would be flush to the bulkhead but that removed the ability to have half the door shut which I wanted.

    In the end it worked ok. The reason I mention all of this is to remind other readers perhaps not confident that they could do this that if I can anyone can. Many times I have imagined how I wanted things to work only to be thwarted by mechanics that my mind cannot foresee, only to then find a workaround. A series of compromises and problems solved later and things worked out for me and they will for whoever tries this endeavour.

    As frustrating, time consuming and daunting it seems, its so worthwhile when a task is accomplished and you can move on to the next. Pretty soon the next task is tying up to the mooring!

    Thanks again Jim. And everyone else.

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