What a relief. And like I said we only lost 2 weeks and a small amount of material and a lot of hard work. But it is great to be back on track. (That is, of course, assuming we have now done it correctly! If we haven’t you may find an abrupt end to this website!! I couldn’t stand having to do that all again!)
As predicted it took me 8 hours to fully sand and remove nearly every trace of the soft bog, which I did on Saturday. I had another lazy day on Good Friday and whilst I thought about going to work on the boat a couple of times, I couldn’t quite get my lazy butt off the couch! Then on Sunday morning I went in and got everything ready for today, I cut the 6 tapes to length, I set them up (rolled them) onto the Wombat and I put all the tools needed for the job out and I went and bought some hoses and clamps to use on the West heavy duty pump so that we didn’t have a repeat of the plastic pump break down last time. And I had a clean up to remove the dust from the hull and vacuumed the dust from the floor, I still don’t have the dust extractor working yet. That should happen this week ready for the sanding of the HARD bog. Yay, cant wait for that!
So this morning another set back, we just couldn’t get the heavy duty pump to work properly. The hardener pump (1x) didn’t pump anything and the resin (5x) pumped but the there is no breather that we could find so the pressure of the suction caused the hose to suck in on itself and it took ages between pumps for the hose to relax again to get a full flow through, and the back pressure is so great that it takes a real effort to pump anything through the pump through the reduced hose size due to the sucking in on itself. Because the hardener side didn’t work we had to use the heavy duty pump to get resin into the original smaller drums with the original plastic pumps (we can pour the hardener but have to pump the resin as it comes in 200 liter drums and getting it into the smaller drums isn’t possible any other way). So that is an issue to resolve in days to come as the heavy duty pump will save a lot of time if I can get it working properly.
After half an hour or so of messing around (and messing is a good word for it as I was getting resin everywhere!) trying to get the pump going we gave up and did the above and when we had enough resin decanted we set to work. The resin coat went in in about half an hour. I just used a roller and painted the hull with the resin. Too easy!
When we originally glassed the hull we deviated a little from the plans and put 1 less tape on each chine join than the plans called for. The reason we did that, is after consultation with Brett on the day he felt we could do without them, and that there is so much over protection built in we could safely leave them off. But as a result of this little side adventure with the soft bog I felt that I may have damaged the glass here and there, minimal but hard to completely avoid when you are sanding down to the glass. So I felt it prudent to tape over the chines again just to be safe. We were only adding what the plans originally called for anyway. I would rather err on the side of heavier but stronger on this one. Call it insurance, piece of mind, whatever, my mind is more at ease now.
So we used the Wombat for the first time today. Click here for the explanation of what a Wombat is. If you are contemplating building a Duflex boat I strongly advise you get one of these bad boys. I have now taped the same hull with and without the Wombat and I can tell you, the Wombat makes taping a 40ft hull a snap. It literally took 7 minutes from the moment we started mixing the epoxy to the moment I finished sqeegeeing down the tape. We did 6 tapes in about 1 hour and that includes set up and clean up! Setting up meant cutting 6 tapes to length and rolling them dry onto the Wombat’s top roller (I did this Sunday and it took about 10 minutes maybe 15) and clean up took about 5 minutes. And it can all easily be done by one person, whereas by hand it took 2 of us to do, one to roll out the tape and hold it in place and one to epoxy it. The method I used with Wombat was to feed the start of the tape through the epoxy bag and then tighten the squeegee boards. We than poured in just enough epoxy to wet-out a 12meter roll, we guessed the first one and slightly overestimated and then corrected for the subsequent rolls. I worried at first about the residue epoxy going off in the bag and using many bags on the job but the tapes go on so fast that this was never an issue. The I simply took the wet roll to the boat (the rollers easily come off the machine) and rolled out the wet-out tape and squeegeed it down and very little if any excess resin came off. Here and there we had a dry spot due to winding too fast or not having enough epoxy in the bag but that was easily fixed with a roller and a squeegee but it happened in a few spots over more than 60 meters of tape. Minimal! I cant rave highly enough about how handy the Wombat is. The only improvement I can think of is if it had some method of measuring the tape you wet out you would not need to pre cut to length.
Once the hull was resin coated and the tapes attached we had a break for lunch of an hour or so, just to let the epoxy or more importantly the tapes to go off a bit and set so the tapes didn’t move when I applied the bog. It was still a little tacky to touch when we started to apply the bog. Same method as last time. I just applied it as thinly as I could and still cover the gaps fully and the tapes and chines thinly. We were a little runny again in places but over all we are happy with the job. I may need to add a little more bog here and there but I figure it is easier to add some bog to thin spots later than to sand down a thick all over cover. I am still confident I will get a smooth fair hull.
Oh and I got a respirator on ebay for $20 brand new. I know Bunning’s want over $40 and that Rob also has them at Schionning Supply. I got lucky on the price but the reason I mention them is that they are very good to have and that you can get a bargain on ebay if you look. (Sorry Rob, but I am sure you wont mind too much, I don’t shop anywhere else and I don’t think you can get everything you sell on ebay! Besides we have a thing for online, Jo and I met online and we now make a living selling online and on ebay).
So finally we are back to where we should have been 2 weeks ago. I estimated 36 hours and it took me 37 hours. Whatever, the hull is now bogged and tomorrow I will report (I will!) that it has all set properly and I can get on with fairing it.
I would also like to thank all those that emailed me with suggestions advise and support. It was appreciated and helped us find the motivation to get on with it. There is always a positive and the one we feel now is that there is virtually no problems we can’t face and fix.
Because we have lost those 2 weeks and because I have some business in Melbourne again it is unlikely I will be able to turn the hull until sometime in early May (I was aiming for last week of April). In the meantime I have to sand the hull and resin coat it again before high building (another form of bog that precedes final painting) and I am still to tape the inside joins. I am yet to decide on anti foul so although many people do that whilst the hull is upside down, I may leave that until later.