Sunday, August 22, 2010
But that won't be happening anythime soon. I promised my wife that the house remodel would be finished before any more boat projects are started, resumed, planned, fantisized about, or otherwise undertaken. Well, the fantisizing part might be acceptable - once in a while - but no actually picking up of the tools - unless it's for house stuff. Well, on a positive note, I will be able to work on Thumper through the winter. Hey, spring launch?????
Friday, June 25, 2010
All boat restorations, contraption building, and general tinkerings have moved from the backyard to an 18' x 40' former RV garage that, from this day forward, shall be known as the the Boathouse. We bought a house on a property that included this building. It's detached, it's heated, it's kind of ugly, and it's perfect sailing related projects. The only down side is that we've gutted the main house so remodeling projects will take priority over boat projects for a while. We did manage to sneak in a quick restore on 1983 Nacra 5.8 and 3 ton gantry crane awaits Thumpers arrival.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
The image above shows the wicked sharp corners that, if left unaltered, would be a major hazard on the water. Since I'm not planning to use a rail molding around the cabinet tops the edges will be rounded over. I also wanted to add a more interesting geometric component so I clipped off the corners.
Here's the clipped corner with a new plywood wedge temporarily super glued into place. You can see the perfectly intact corner piece in the lower left hand corner of the photo. The precision cut was accomplished with, what is currently my favorite tool, a Rockwell SonicCrafter. I can't think of another tool that can plunge cut with so much control. In fact, it took a lot of personal restraint to stay focused and not hack geometric shapes into everything in sight. If it weren't for an irrational fear of cubism, our boat might have become an aquatic version of Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2. Anyway, the tool is cool.
A wide angle (yeah it's not that big) view of the cabin with rebuilt v-birth bulkhead and cabinet boxes.
The plywood wedge was sized to allow it to plane across the angled cuts on either side and provide a gap for the epoxy/microfiber mix (the white stuff). I'll also fillet in the corners on the inside of the cabinet boxes. This will make a strong wood to wood bond and a more rigid anchor point for the chainplates. The next step will be to refine the corners with fairing filler and round over the edges around the top. In hind sight it may have been easier to take everything back to the hull and start from scratch, none the less, we have progress people.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Today is also the 40th anniversary of the first non-stop single-handed circumnavigation by Sir Robin Knox Johnson. He finished the Sunday Times Golden Globe race on April 22 1969 to worldwide acclaim. As one of the worlds most prominent and accomplished sailors he has also been an advocate for the marine environment.
Happy Earth Day.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I don't understand boat design on the level that would guarantee a specific result but, for the sake of what if, let's say that I'm going to wing it. It would take the process back to the days before Pierre Bouguer (no Jerry it's not pronounced booger) when boat building was an intuitive seat of the pants thing. I could template the hull, enter the info into my CAD system, and produce the geometry for fairing the new bow into the existing hull. I read about a construction technique where template plates were attached to an existing hull and low density foam was used to fill between them. This created a faired surface that could be fiberglassed over. I'm comfortable working with the materials but as far as the design goes - complex hydrodynamics and characteristic equations are over my head. In other words, there would be a lot of guessing and probably a little trial and error. Of course, I can always rebuild it or even restore it to it's original shape if I really screw it up.
This is the existing bow shape.
Bow option with a slight rake to the stem.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
At one point I thought about messing with the ultra conservative locals by calling it "Fewer Guns - More Gay Marriages". It's catchy - but maybe a tad wordy. And, radio communications might be a little confusing. An emergency broadcast might go something like this, "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, this is Fewer Guns - More Gay Marriages two miles southeast of Pelican point.......blah, blah. Not likely to get the desired response - although it might send a fleet of bass boats screaming my way. No, we needed something else.
One day my son Cort was working in the boat with me when he noticed that it made a cool drum sound. We talked about calling it Drum - but - that was the name of a Whitbread maxi (big sailboat) in the mid 80s that dropped it's keel during a Fastnet race. It was also owned by Simon LaBon of the pop band Duran Duran............so there's that. Plus, Drum seemed too weighty for our little boat. To put it in movie industry terms, DRUM would be a great name for a Major Motion Picture. What we needed was a title for an Animated Short. As I continued to over think potential names Cort said, "How about Thumper"? I liked it! Not too pretentious, looks good graphically, and it fits the personality of our boat. And, if we decide to be really obnoxious and cocky during a race start sequence, we can yell "YOUR'RE GONNA GET THUMPED SUCKA" at all the other boats.
Thumper it is.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Performance is always a priority but this also has to be a creative exercise. In other words, it has to be fun. For the most part, I can only play with the stylistic side of things. The hull and deck colors, random details, and the cabin are open to interpretation.
The great thing about this boat is that the simple construction allows for experimentation without being too concerned about causing irreparable damage. There's no hull liner and almost everything is completely accessible. You can grind out and lay in a tab anywhere. However, we want to keep things simple and we don't want to add a lot of weight. I'd like the boat to have a more minimalistic aesthetic than it already has. But, it should also surprise you a little the first time you peek through the companionway.
There are a few things that will impact how the cabin will eventually look. For example, the settees and cabinets originally had a mahogany veneer with standard teak molding but they've been rebuilt to the point that they'll have to be painted. So, that's an opportunity do something unique like painting them with a metallic paint or cladding them in aluminum or both. The cabin sole (floor) wasn't in the boat when most of the water damage occurred so it can be refinished and reused. I will probably concentrate all the wood finishes in the center of the cabin with the keel trunk clad with wood as well. The boat didn't come with a ladder so I can design and fabricate one that's consistent with the overall interior aesthetic. There are a lot of possibilities and, all things considered, this should be a fun project.