Read my face: three years in the garage and now…
PS! Arno, Ranno and Veiko – thanks for helping me with the mast trial 🙂
After couple of laborious days of planing-sanding-planing-sanding-swearing-sanding-planing-sweating-sanding-swearing-planing-sanding i finally managed to produce snugly fitting top and heel for the mast:
Port hull almost done, still lots to do…
… waiting in the list:
glass 2 cabin sides, glass tape main companionway & forward hatch coamings glue beam sockets/pads bolt & glue beam/shroud lashing pads produce forward and center beam produce mast top and step for aluminum tube make tillers & gaff
- lash rudders to hulls (port hull needs lashing holes as well)
- fabricate slatted deck
produce forward & main hatch for port hull
- install all the necessary small bits that will make run everything smoothly (supporting pads for deck, jib blocks and barber hauler, main hatch locking system, beam cleats etc)
sand & paint everything (including starboard hull) install port hull windows
- raise mast & get out onto water
Those freshly glued front deck stringers got nice and cozy overnight stay under this i-love-to-hassle-with-masking-tape tent
Bunks are ready for port hull. Now there will be some paint job (Tikkurila Temacoat RM40) and stringer job before gluing the decks on. Looking good, hopefully I could keep up the pace…
Epoxy cooking in winter conditions… coating bunk undersides.
There has been pretty few progress since port hull went 3D, but thanks to yesterday’s long hours in garage all the bunks and stringers are ready for next phase, which means a little bit of sanding and then painting underneath of bunks and watertight compartments as well, before gluing bunks in.
So… second hull got stitched up and yesterday I made some nice fillets for keel & bulkheads for 2 sections… I think its time to talk about little variations and changes I have made and plan to make into workflow, just to make whole process a little bit smoother and less time consuming.
- Preparing hullsides – this time after gluing and coating hullsides, I sanded all the surface of inner faces and treated bulkheads likewise, as it was for starboard hull a truly utter PITA to sand them in assembled hull; also I beveled underside corner of sheer stringer with a planer, leaving sheer stringer double locations untouched – comfortable and easy way.
- Nailing – as I have described previously I started using temporary screws or clamps to hold pieces in place during gluing, cause its pretty impossible to get those copper nail heads nicely flush with surface without using sledgehammer. But still occasionally I went for nails, but with variation I drilled ca millimeter deep holes with diameter of nail head for the nails to get nail heads flush with surface, otherwise its not easy later when sanding to maintain epoxy coating on top of the protruding nail heads.
- Stitching – I abandoned the copper wire, using cable ties exclusively. The main reason I used them in first place was my antipathy towards all sorts of single use throwaway plastic products – but then I realized, that environmental cost of messing up with epoxy in some point would be much greater than those few disposed plastic straps. Second consideration was that copper wire is re-adjustable, which it is basically, but only for one or two times, after which it parts. But one will learn quickly not to over tighten the cable tie. Copper wire is little bit easier to tighten, but one learns quickly to fasten the cable tie without putting whole body behind it with a risk to accidentally move pieces to be glued from their desired locations.
Copper wire ties tend to have another nasty habit, that is secretly to tear holes in your protective gloves, and when you have finished gluing, treated your hands with West System epoxy resin removing cream and started cleaning up the mess, then you will realize that there are long painstaking hours ahead cutting wire, filing off protruding leftover parts and fishing out those wires that have buried in their tiny sarcophages of hard rock cured epoxy because you didn’t wipe off excess of the glue properly.
- Bunk bearer – like for starboard hull I glued bunk bearers into bulkheads before inserting them into hull, but this time, after hull was stitched up I glued triangular shape stringers to bunk level line, so no need for hard core boat building yoga to produce fillets for bunk undersides.
- Cutting bunks – I didn’t saw much point for lofting a curved line for bunks, as the camber for the bunk edges is only a few mm for those couple dozens of cm.
- Painting bunks undersides before gluing them on – do not forget to do that, Agur, you old chap!
- Extra reinforcement & layout changes for bunk in companionway section – Wharram plans call fillets covered with glass tape for fixing the bunks, but I think it would not do harm to fully glass the bunk in companionway section – this is section of the bunk that will get most of the battering. Like Brad on his Beto I changed the lengths of fixed bunk plates in companionway section to make sitting in cabin a bit more comfortable. This has been done already for starboard hull and it worked great, so I will adapt this modification in port hull likewise.
Those modifications seem rather irrelevant, but again, when most of the (epoxy related) works are carried on by single person, then every little nuance start to play important role, especially those that help to reach results easier and faster.
Port hull, all stitched up, with glued sheer stringers and additional bunk bearers.
A key for levelling the hull.
So before stinging cold from Russia struck… I managed to glue fore deck as well. Aft deck was done already in November.
Now both of them are glued, trimmed back and rounded, ready for next phase.
During nighttime it drops down to -20 Celsius outside and it takes too much effort to heat garage sufficiently for epoxy work, so I spend some therapeutic hours shaping and smoothing rudder blades. Hopefully there will be soon some nice warm lows dispatched from North Atlantic so I could resume to gluing work, which means attaching the cabin sides and top, small round fillets for deck stringers, fillets for holes left by temporary screws I used occasionally during deck works.
Meanwhile I have prepared decks for gluing, this means attaching the stingers, epoxy coating and painting undersides. Loathed paintjob… This Tikkurila Temadur is indeed a quite nasty stuff working in under-ventilated garage I have there, but since it sticks into epoxy pretty well I guess I have to be pleased with it, no intention to get lost in the poly-carbonates maze again…This time I made my life a bit easier and bought proper thinner as well, which means I do not have to worry about short pot life anymore and also I can avoid slight coagulating problems I had previously when I was working too slow.
Anyway what I have recognized is that I have hit the 400 hour benchmark already, since I have worked at least 16 hours per week during summer months and at least 8 hours per week during spring & autumn. By no means I would like to contest Wharram estimates, Im pretty convinced that one could relay Tiki 21 within 400 hour time frame whether he is highly skilled or just a novice bloke who is desperately in rush to get onto the water soon as possible.
In my case… well I haven’t been a prompt starter all of my life. I need to develop a kind of feel of the process, tools and materials, only when I’m certain that those fresh spread wings will carry I would dear to dive head fist into the matter. Otherwise there is high probability that I will mess something up completely.
I had to castrate my inner perfectionist pretty much in the start anyway.
But furthermore I’m still struggling to fully disclose this little universe boiling there down in the garage. I guess its rarely not just a boat building for numerous amateur comrades out there. Building a 21 foot catamaran isn’t just a pastime endeavor for most us novices, Im pretty sure.
It just means just too many countless hours of researching, watching YouTube wow-to videos, fearing, hoping, being paranoid over the measurements, recollecting, digging out rare materials, spending money to gadgets you cannot do without, buckling down eternity on your knees with jigsaw, spending agonizing hours in folded position like a maniac flamingo, trying to spread fillets, then sanding fillets, after which reshaping fillets again because you messed up little bit in first time, and then again you are sanding those fillets and then back again behind your computer trying to make sense of all those controversial advice, opinions, dogmas, principles and tricks served in forums, DIY videos and blogs. Your knees hurt, your legs let you down, those dozens of tiny muscles you haven’t been aware of so far, those hurt as well, your nostrils are clogged, as well your brain, it has gone off due a short circuit, that’s because constantly you had to use both hemispheres simultaneously.
So whats the point of all? Its not easy to find a straightforward answer to this, I guess its just constellation of many small, often invisible things, thin threads spinning into taut line which may make up your safety rope in the end. All you have to to is just grab it and see where it pulls, or from where it pulls you out…
Im not sure if its overkill, but I manufactured some nice minuscule fillets for covering the stitch holes of diagonal stiffeners. Fancy stuff, my friends.
Gluing bunks. Deviated from the building instructions a bit – I did not stitch the bunks, instead I went for temporary screws and some nice bricks. Also I did not loft the curvatures like Wharram suggest, therefore I took the measures in situ and cut out the bunks accordingly with strait edges against the broadsides. The camber of the broadsides leaves just a few millimeter wide gap between bunk and side, which would be easy enough to fill with thickened epoxy.
Fillets. After colloidal silica and epoxy mix has been cured next step was sculpting some nice radiuses (low density filler) for upper- and underside of the bunks. Later one made me wish I was born as a bat – a job not suitable for sweating out the hangover 😉
I waited until upper side radius was almost cured, then laid gently 100mm 175g glass tape, smoothing with light strokes of brush until it was leaning tight against surface after which epoxy was brushed over.
PS! Peanut butter. If its not necessary to squeeze fillet into some narrow gap then peanut butter consistency would work best. It paid off to spend an extra minute to measure out the right consistency. At least for me.