Saturday, February 19, 2011

Back at It

I've been a little sick recently, a fact which lead to a brief cessation of boat building activity.  Before getting sick, however, I did manage to get the rest of the keel glued up.  Key doing that was shaping a block of wood to form the noseblock, a task which I had previously hosed.  The second time was the charm, and I am pretty happy with how it came out.

The keel tapers from 2 1/4" at the centerboard trunk to 1 1/4" at the trailing edge.   Several other Pocketship builders have reported that it can be tricky to get the tapered section to stay centered about the boat's centerline, resulting in a keel that is bent a little one way or the other.  Trying to learn from other the builders', I worked pretty hard to keep things straight as I was gluing and clamping.  The keel is glued up whilst on its side, so I placed several shims under the tapered section to support  it and help it maintain the correct shape.  Sadly, after all this, I'm pretty sure I can detect a little waviness in the keel.  I'm not really able to fairly assess it yet, but a test fit of the keelson (which I haven't cut out yet) should be illuminating.

Knowing that with just a little cleanup the keel would be ready for ballast, I set out to hit up the local tire shops for used wheel weights.  I got to the first shop, I learnt that Washington State has followed the lead of California and banned lead wheel weights.  I could not help but note that in a move to be more environmentally correct, the goons at the Washington State Department of Ecology have made it significantly more difficult to build my zero-emissions, zero-carbon producing, doesn't-even-pull-electricity-off-the-grid, wind-powered vessel.  Just for that, I'm going to retaliate and drop an enormous '70's vintage, 2-stroke motor on the stern!

At any rate, the new rules went into effect on January 1st (why, oh why didn't I source my lead earlier???), and now tire places face fines of $10,000 if they give out lead weights.  This was a bit of a setback.  I ended up buying a couple hundred pounds of used lead shot from a website mentioned on the PocketShip forum.  It arrived within a few days.  So, hopefully I'll be pouring lead in the near future.

Starting to shape the noseblock.  The first passed where made with the table saw.

A little plane work, followed by sandpaper and the noseblock is beautifully shaped.

Getting the noseblock installed into the keel.

The assembled keel
That was all done almost two weeks ago.  Then I got sick.  Bleck.  Finally, yesterday, I was feeling better enough yesterday to put in a few hours on the boat.  I marked and cut out the lower hull side panels on one of the 16' long plywood boards that I had previously scarfed together.  The lower side panels are less than 24' wide, so I was able to mark just one panel, cut the board in half lengthwise, stack the two halves on top on each other, and (as I've done several times before) cut both boards at once, thus ensuring symmetry between the port and starboard sides.
Cutting one of my 16' (scarfed) pieces of plywood in half.  One half has the side panel marked on it.  the two halves get stacked and the port and starboard panels get cut at the same time. 

Almost done cutting out the side panels.
At this stage, the manual suggests attaching various 3/4"x1" timber "cleats" to various spots and the floors and bulkheads.  The cleats will be used later as attachment points for the cabin sole and various bits of decking.  So, I also spent some time cutting and gluing these down.  It is suggested to cut these pieces long and trim them back once they are attached.  It was a little cold out last night, so after clamping stuff, I brought the pieces inside the house to dry.
Getting the cleats cut to roughly the right length.  They will be bonded on and then trimmed back to the right length.

Cleats glued onto the bulkheads and floors.  Everything was moved inside the house to dry.

Hopefully I'll keep recovering quickly.  Next up will be the lead pours, finishing up the keel, and marking and cutting the keelson, bilge panels and topside panels.