Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Not Sleeping

This is obvious visual progress.  But not quick enough I guess to indicate reasonable end to the project  to a typical citizen of our present times used to immediate gratification.  We do have a determined complainant!   I guess a reckoning for me, anyway, is due.  I'll reap what I sow.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Some Visual Progress

Got two coats of acrylic paint on this morning.  I should get another two on this evening but first I have to run into Chilliwack and get a few more gallons of Titebond 3 for the deck.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Well (rhymes with) Duck!

Had another go with the bylaw office today.  These guys are top notch and don't want to bother me, but we have a persistent complainant in the neighbourhood who has a problem with Autarkia.  They have given me until August 2nd to get her out of here.  They are going to have to take heat from the mayor's office to give me that much time because the complainant may be escalating it by then but they will deal with that themselves.  Bottom line is that they will be forced to fine me after that and it is not cheap.  They also said that anything I try to do legally will not work.  The city always wins in court.

So,  Autarkia is getting launched on or by the Second of August.  I'm going to finish the cabin and roof, glass it all and paint it, install the rudder, motor and controls and launch her.  I'll keep her in the harbour here in Mission and finish her out on the water.

Ready for some paint...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Everything and The Kitchen Sink

I'm tired.  Gave her pretty good today.  Got a lot done and did a major cleanup including power washing all the sawdust in the driveway - shoveled  it up though so it didn't go down the storm drain and freak out the salmon.  Then I enjoyed a moonshine cocktail on the deck.  We have a great view of Mt. Baker in Washington State that you can see in this picture to the left.

So my plan with Autarkia is to Titebond/Fiberglass the deck so I can paint it, and then paint the hull as well to protect it from the UV.  But I wanted to include the cant strip that will go against the trunk sides so that the fiberglass cloth was seamless from them to the deck.  So I ripped up some fir into angled cant strips and then made some alignment tabs so that they were flush with the carlins.

Since the aft most bulkhead is aft of the opening so that I can put the sink and stove there, I needed to make sure the sink we bought (mentioned in a previous post) would fit in the space correctly.  In other words, I needed to determine where the aft cant strip would go.  So I went and got the sink, fitted it in place and located the strip.

So below here's a view with the cant strips all glued and Raptor nailed in place.

Sorry about the harsh shadows from the trees.  So for a little rundown on the layout here's how she'll look:

The companionway will be starboard of the motor well.  Down a few steps and the galley is on the aft end to the left.  Stove will be port of the sink and forward of that a dinette on the port side.  The sink drains into a tee for discharge either side overboard above the w/l.  The dinette will have transverse seating forward and aft facing, and will extend as far as the stringer you can see between the two chairs.  It can handle six people in all.  But the seats will also extend in under the port deck, so that two people can sleep on the dinette seats without moving the table.  If the table is dropped down though, it becomes a huge sleeping platform.  From the stringer you see between the two chairs, that bulkhead will be cut away to the starboard edge of the cabin for access forward.  The wood stove will be tucked in slightly aft of the chair you see on the starboard side.  This whole area will have standing headroom.  Crouch down a bit and move forward...

The middle cabin will be our stateroom.  If you follow the aforementioned stringer, a sleeping platform will extend from there to the port side.  It is large enough to sleep for and aft, or transversely.  It will be suitable for lounging/ reading and so forth.  The water tanks (64 imp gallons total) will be in under this platform exactly in the center of the boat.  Between the tanks and the port side there will be a huge amount of storage.  Open storage will exist under the deck on the starboard side.

Continuing to the forward cabin, the composting toilet will be directly ahead.  But this room will also serve as utility space, and will have a workbench/desk with a vice, tool storage and so forth.  The bench will be on the bulkhead facing aft, on the port side.  The battery bank will be under the bench in the center of the boat, and the electrical panel will be there as well.  All with easy access and I'm going to keep it simple too. We'll keep a tub in here as well - probably a farm trough or something - but a tub you can sit in and have shower/sitz bath, shave the legs or otherwise and so forth.  The shower supply is a good old garden sprayer and a bilge pump to empty it overboard. Above that hole you can see that accesses the fore peak, will be a companionway hatch to the fore deck.

All windows will be eye level.  If you are sitting you can see out.  Standing in the galley you can see out too.

The motor well will have a box over it that will house the fuel tank and propane tank.  It serves as a helm seat as well.  It won't be too heavy, and upon removing the 20lb propane tank and the 5 gallon fuel tank you can lift it off to get at the engine.  Spare propane and gasoline will be kept in holders or brackets on the rails.  I don't want any of that stuff inside.

Well I think I'll have another....

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Next Step

I'm really close to building the cabin sides and roof.  The deck has been planked - first with 1/2 inch fir ply and then a second layer of 3/8 inch fir for a total deck thickness of 7/8".  It has a really solid feel under your feet!  I've also softened the edges on the rub rails with a router and belt sander - looks pretty good.

But before proceeding with the cabin, I will probably glass the deck - still thinking fiberglass cloth set in Titebond 3 - and once that is done get some paint on her.  Since the hull is epoxy/fiberglassed I think it is important to get it protected from UV ASAP.  I won't do the all of the bottom paint yet but I can do the sides and transoms.   I still have to decide if I want to paint any curves on the hull, or just embrace the squareness.

I am thinking of using 3/4 inch MDO sign board for the cabin sides.  I would put the paper face on the inside because that will paint up nice, and the outside will be fiberglassed anyway.

I will install the sides, front and back first, by gluing with PL Premium and using galvanized carriage bolts through the inside rails.  Later angled cant strips will make the transition from cabin sides to deck.

Then I can install framing and roof beams (probably sawn instead of laminated), and around the same time finish up the bulkheads by cutting away the doorways and carrying them up to the roof beams.

I will laminate the roof with layers of 1/4 inch ply.  Probably pine with a nice face for the interior, followed by a couple of layers of fir.  I'll glue it with Titebond 3 and fasten with Raptor nails.

Window cutouts will be next, along with hatch cutouts and framing.  Then glass, and paint.

In the meantime, I ordered two 32 gallon plastic water tanks.  They will go in the exact center of the boat and will be cross connected with a tee.  I ordered them with nice big covers that are vented, and that will allow easy cleaning of the tanks.  We also bought a SS sink last week.  It's nicer than the sinks in any house I've ever lived in.  Gotta have some luxury!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

More Rig Waffling and Some Progress

The following is part of the text of an email I sent to one of this blog's commentators, who has been very generous with his consideration and advice, both publicly and privately:

 I was out on Harrison River on Father's Day on my son Wesley's boat with him and my two grandsons.  We got there from his house which backs onto a creek on the Fraser, and made our way up to Kilby.  We had two bridges to pass under, one a railway bridge and the other a highway bridge.  It got me to thinking about bridge swings.  Especially since we were looking at a pile driving rig that was replacing dolphins and had obviously got there by having those bridges swung.  Then I got to thinking about how often we would take that route, and I started weighing whether I needed the complexity and limitations of a lower-able rig that would limit the size of sails I could carry, against how often we'd pass under those bridges with all the work of lowering the rig, against waiting for a little while to have the bridges swung.

I'm starting - in my waffling way - to reconsider the whole thing again.  Also, I'm beginning to get tired of researching, trying to design, researching some more and lying awake at night because I don't know what to do.  I have enough unknowns in any case with this project.

So it was with some hesitation that I put it out there for all to see that I am yet again changing my mind.
In that email exchange I was reminded however - and I am grateful for having this pointed out to me - that I am asking for help in an open source design, and the implication was that this is all part of the process.  So ego be damned!

So the decision now is - fixed masts.

Below is a sketch of Autarkia with a Colvin inspired rig - a schooner with a large main and a smaller fore sail.  Combined they provide a total sail area of 638 square feet.  The masts (shown as simple lines here) are welded steel schedule 40 pipe.  The masts are stayed with synthetic shrouds, but will support themselves in partners and a tabernacle until the shrouds are fixed.  In other words - the rig won't topple if a shroud breaks.  Partnering the aft mast will be a simple matter, but I will have to design a tabernacle for the fore mast since it is forward of the forward  cabin bulkhead.  I can run down to the harbour here and look at a Colvin Gazelle anytime I want for reference so this could be a good way to go.

In the meantime, I've been getting some work done.  Yesterday I finished putting on the rubrails all around, and then installed a second layer of decking.  I used 3/8 inch GIS fir plywood for this and glued it down with Titebond 3, and fastened it with Raptor plastic nails (3/4") every five inches or so.  That layer extends out over the 2x4 rub rails.  I'll radius this with the router before laying the 10 oz fiberglass on the deck - bedded in Titebond 3.  I'll run the fiberglass around the radius and over the face of the rub rails.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Another Leeboard Idea

I have been seriously kicking around the ideas of hinges for the rudder and leeboards to be done with rope lashings.

Here is an idea for the leeboard attachment.  Basically the leeboard has a one inch bolt in it, that protrudes inboard to rest on a rail made up from steel pipe.  This can be welded up or made from galvanized pipe fittings.  Depending on the length of the rail the leeboard can be positioned anywhere, and then lashed in place.  The board can wing up, or raise aft in the shoals.  A rubber bumper on the board protects the hull.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


It's been raining this week and I've been doing some relief support and teaching with the Aircraft Structures Program at University of the Fraser Valley.  It has given me a bit of time however, to think about my rig some more.

Up to now I'm fairly committed to using stayed masts made from schedule 40 aluminum pipe.  They will be easy to raise and lower, since the pipe diameter can be much smaller than what would be required for an un-stayed rig.

Upon kicking it around some more I have come up with a low aspect schooner rig that will allow the use of 20' lengths of pipe without having to extend them to any large degree.  I can likely get away with 3.5 inch diameter for the main and 3 inch for the fore mast.  Including a jib the total sail area would be just under 500 s.f.  Synthetic material for the stays instead of steel will further keep the weight down, and the sails are small enough and light enough to not need a winch.

In the meantime, we are thinking about interior layout and fit out.  We bought a nice sink on the weekend and are probably getting a stove soon as well.  I've been doing some research on plastic water tanks; I'll probably use two of them about 35 gallons each, and will plumb them with a cross connect, pex pipe and a foot operated gusher pump for the galley.  The sink will be on the centerline of the boat so I'll tee the drain to drain out either side above the waterline.  The hull will be a dark colour in this area - maybe even black - so it should not look too disgusting.  It's a galley sink after all - not a head.

I've also been thinking about rudder and leeboards.  I'm probably going to put in wheel steering but it will be super simple - details will be in an upcoming post.  The rudder hinges (to steer and to flip up) will be rope and as Dave Zeiger pointed out, reliable and quiet.  Leeboards will be hung off gunwales some how so I can adjust their position, and I'm trying to figure out a way of a lashed attachment along the lines of the rudder hinges.  That's for my daydreaming time today...

Thursday, June 9, 2016


Yesterday I tried to post a cut/paste of a spreadsheet I did with costs so far.  It didn't format correctly so I deleted it.  My last valid post about having the first layer of decking complete succumbed as collateral damage along with it.

So here are the pics again.  Scroll past and I'll talk about those costs....

Okay, about those costs:

Since beginning the project I have kept every receipt.  I only sorted them into two envelopes - one marked boat materials and equipment - and the other one marked other costs.  Anything that was actually used on the boat or will be installed on the boat went into the first envelope, and anything else, from rent to craning, to paintbrushes or tools went into the second one.

So yesterday I spent the afternoon tallying it all onto an Excel spreadsheet.  So far the total materials and equipment comes in at $18131.09 CDN and the other costs at $6505.74 for a total so far of $24636.83.

Boat Materials and Equipment

I won't give an exact breakdown here but the rough costs are as follows:  About $5000 for the outboard, high thrust prop, control cables, tach and controls, about $5000 for all the plywood used so far (66 sheets and all gone) , along with the stack of structural fir lumber (still have lots), about $600 for the Titebond 3 (5 gallons left), about $3500 for the epoxy and fiberglass (still have lots of cloth and a couple gallons of epoxy),
about $700 for the Cubic Mini woodstove.  The rest is screws, bolts, paint and a lot of PL Premium, that in retrospect I should have bought by the case but instead bought it as I needed it.

Other Costs

I spent $1600 for four months rent at Tim's, $350 for the crane, $500 for the boat mover.  I bought lumber for the shelter and tarps.  I spent a fair bit on tools: a table saw, mitre saw, Raptor nailer, router, belt sander, and other hand tools as I needed them.  The rest was brushes, rollers, cups and so forth.

What I Still Need:

I still need to buy plywood to finish the deck, cabin sides, roof and some of the furniture.  I'll need more PL and more Titebond.  I'll need more paint for the ouside and bottom paint as well.  Polycarbonate, fasterners and sealant for the windows, and PVC fittings for ventilators.  I'll need material for the rudder and leeboards.

I need a sink, galley stove, electrical, composting toilet (Nature's Head?).

Then there's the rig....

It sure do add up.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Nice Hot Day and More Deck Down

All of the deck framing has been done now.  I pre-painted the framing and a couple of panels and got them glued and screwed down on the fore deck.  Another layer of ply will go down on top, again glued and screwed and with joints over lapping.  Next few days are supposed to be nice so good progress is anticipated.

Pissed Off and Ready to Fight

I expect that I may be left alone to complete the boat at home here. However, if I am pressed further by the city I'm prepared to fight it. 

The grounds are that the law is overlooked in the vast majority of cases - probably well over a thousand instances throughout Mission by virtue of over length motor homes and RVs. 

Therefore I am being discriminated against and my rights are being violated under Section Fifteen of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms of Canada.

 Some person - or persons - are offended by my self admitted counter cultural take on modern society well demonstrated by my building a wooden boat in my driveway. That puts me in a 'group' of non-conformists and social critics who are not breaking any other laws than those that are selectively enforced to ensure conforming behaviour and acceptance of social norms. 

If I had a big fiberglass boat or an RV it would arguably be far more tolerable to the bigoted complainants who take no issue with my direct neighbour's oversized RVs. 

I won't be bullied or picked on in this manner.