Saturday, July 30, 2016

Done Whining For A While And Back To Boat Building

The forward roof will be three layers of fir plywood 1/4 inch G1S.  The first layer went down lengthwise between the stringers and bulkheads so no seams were exposed.  I put the good side on the inside and used Titebond 3 along with 1 inch galvanized ring nails every 6 inches.  After the glue cured I put a second layer down athwartships in strips about 5 inches wide, with Titebond 3 and lots of temporary screws.  In this pic I'm almost done with the second layer.

Here the second layer is complete and trimmed to the cabin sides.  I then put on eave boards.  The third layer will go on lengthwise over the eave boards.  The temp screws will have to come out first.  I'll put the third layer on with Titebond 3 and nail through all three layers with 1-1/2 inch galvanized ring nails into the stringers and the bulkheads.  It will all get covered with fiberglass cloth set in Titebond 3.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Ready to Roof

Yesterday I ran into Chilliwack and picked up the 1/4 inch fir ply I will use to laminate the roof, and along with it the tempered glass panels I am making the non-opening windows with.  In the meantime, Lorri has been hard at working cleaning up Titebond drips with a chisel.  We'll put on a final coat of paint though in under the floor boards.

Today we're taking a break to go canoeing with some friends.

We did get a visit from the bylaw office again yesterday.  They are being quite patient but must 'show the flag' I guess.  While they told me not to be distressed by their visits it does cause distress nonetheless.  Should the complainant read this, it shall be his only solace and satisfaction that my enjoyment of this project has been diminished by his persistent desire to interfere with the joys and activities of others.

So, the boat will leave as soon as I am able to get her to that point and I am striving for that in good faith. 

 But it will be on MY time.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Preliminary Rig Sketch

I am still plugging away at the cabin and will have another progress post coming up soon.  As well, I have been jumping through the usual bureaucratic hoops to register Autarkia.  Apparently I must swear before a notary (or other approved individual) that I actually own the boat I am building.  I'm off to do that this morning and once done I can email the paperwork and get my registration numbers.  I have also lined up a surveyor who will do a partial survey on her to ensure that she is water-worthy, so that I can insure her for liability - a requirement to tie her up in Mission.

There is a fair bit to do yet to get to that point though.  Closing in the cabin, windows and ventilators, fiberglass and paint, some deck hardware, mount the motor and build and mount a rudder.  And also get the tabernacles designed, built and installed, which brings me to the subject of rig.

I have enlisted the help of a known yacht designer who has a soft spot for this kind of project.  He is going to take the guesswork out of my rig and also provide my lee board and rudder details as well.  I'm pretty stoked about it!  My masts will dip for the bridges, and what really tickles me is that the aesthetic appeal will be there for sure.  Anyway here is a very preliminary sketch but it is bang on in terms of what I want to achieve:

Today I got the rest of the roof stringers installed.  Now I just need to put some blocking between the stringers at the bulkheads, and then I can fair it all up with a plane and the belt sander.  Then I can sheath the roof!

Also, I ordered tinted tempered glass 1/4 inch thick for the windows.  I chose this over Lexan and Plexi because I won't have to worry about scratches.  For our use tempered glass is plenty strong enough.  I'll always have some plywood aboard in case on ever does break.  I intend to install them by setting them into rabbets cut into the plywood cabin sides.  I will first seal the wood with epoxy and then set the glass into the rabbets with butyl tape.  The glass will be retained by aluminum bar (say 2" by .125") bolted through with 1/4 inch SS bolts.

For ventilation I am going to use PVC pipe to make ventilators, piping some fresh air to the stove as well as to the berths.  They can be closed off simply by capping.  I haven't quite thought it through with any more detail yet though.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Main Cabin Progress

Well, soon I'll be able to bend on the roof.  That will be three layers of 1/4 inch ply laid athwartships with staggered joints.  I'll likely nail into the stringers, and use Titebond 3.  First layer will be the nicest face stuff I can find to make a smooth ceiling.

Here are some pics of progress so far:

Those side upper cabinet lend stiffness to the cabin sides

 There is a panel yet to be installed beside the sink to section off the galley

 The stove will be set in the counter beside the sink.  There is room to put in a drawer in front of the stove, and another deeper one port of that.  I will make up a router template to cut the cabinet doors out, likely before putting the roof on.  There will be large polycarbonate picture windows (46" by 21") under the cabinets at sitting eye level.

 Cutouts yet to be done in the companionway.  This will be lockers for binoculars, radios, emercency gear, an SKS (kidding - maybe).

 Where Lorri is sitting will be the wood stove.

My glass is empty.

I threw down a plywood sheet to get a feel for the cabin with floorboards installed.  It makes for a big floor with a great feeling of space!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Main Cabin Layout

Something that has become very apparent to Lorri and I as we sit aboard Autarkia in the evening, cocktail in hand - to discuss things and brainstorm in general, is that the main cabin with standing headroom is a super space as it is.  It simply does not need any built-ins at all - no dinette, and no fixed seating.

Because that space, once the floorboards are down is about 8 feet by 10 feet if you include under the side decks.  That area could accommodate quite a few air mattresses and sleeping bags, should some of our kids and their families want to do an overnighter with us.  Otherwise, a table and chairs can be used, or stowed away.  A couple of folding love-seats turns the space into a comfortable salon in which to entertain after dinner.

The woodstove would then be mounted on the bulkhead beside the doorway forward.  The only cabinetry we would have is some over the galley, and upper bookshelves/cabinets along the sides above the side windows.

As we mused on this, we then thought we could take our showers and baths in here as well, by bringing in our plastic farm trough from the forward utility room, and a candlelit, wood fire atmosphered  bath of sorts becomes possible.

What makes all of this multi-functionality in this space possible, is that we do not have to store anything here at all.  Autarkia has scads of storage elsewhere.  Of course galley gear and supplies need to be handy but they can go in the aforementioned upper shelves and cabinets, as well as under the aft deck.

Now all we have to do is look for some funky and functional furniture for this sailing houseboat!

I have more good news too.  It will be covered in further posts, but I have hired the help of a certain -soon to disclosed -  yacht designer who is well respected among the circles of unusual watercraft aficionados.  My rig worries will soon be over.  And my masts will dip for the bridges!  Yee HA!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Plugging Away

I have finally cut and fitted all the upper bulkheads and cabin sides.  No more wrestling full sheets of 3/4 inch plywood.  That stuff is heavy!  I now have to locate and drill the bolt locations for the 1/4" galvanized bolts that will hold - along with PL Premium - the sides and bulkheads to the rest of the boat.  Then I can start thinking about whatever framing members I'll have inside.

Here's a few more pics:

I am seriously considering doing the roof - since it has so much camber - without stringers or roof beams, except around the hatches.  I can bend the plywood around temporary stringers that I can remove once the three layers or so of 1/4 inch has been laminated.  I'm pretty sure that is going to be strong enough, and will make for a clean looking and unobstructed ceiling.

A couple of other things out of the way:

I got the ground plate installed.  It is set in black polyurethane caulking and fastened with copper nails that I cut down to one inch.  The hull here is 1-1/2" thick.  The bronze bolt has been epoxied in place.

It sticks up through the hull pretty much in under where the mast will be.

I also put a drain hole either side of the boat to drain the sink above the waterline (no thru hulls).  There will be a tee under the sink so it can drain either side.

I just cut with a 2 inch hole saw, but then coated the inside with epoxy.

Here is a short length of ABS pipe schmooed in with black polyurethane caulking.

And last, because she's my reason for everything...

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Some Stuff That Won't Get Done Until After Launch

All this week I've been relief teaching at UFV in the Aerospace Program.  And it's been raining so no real progress on Autarkia over the past few days.  But I did pick up the water tanks I ordered!  I had them put in vented covers that allow cleaning the tanks and reaching every surface by just sticking your arm in.  They are each 32 gallons Imperial.

They won't go in until after launch like a lot of things.  I am just focusing on the jobs to make her water-worthy.  The rain is supposed to end Monday so I'll be givin' er and should some major progress on the super structure.

But here's a pic of the tanks:

Sunday, July 3, 2016

A Superstructure Start

Laying Out The Roof Camber

Three Panels Temporarily Fitted

It isn't full standing headroom in the forward utility room and in the stateroom, but not bad.  The low trunk forward looks great from the deck and will provide nice seating to sit around and fish from.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Roof Structure

I had hoped to begin building my cabin structure today but my son and his family showed up and he, I and my two grandson's went out for a boo on Rosebud.

But for the sake of those who are watching - and we know who they are :-) - I did get some work done this evening on finalizing some dimensions for the cabin detail.

You will notice I won't be using deck beams running  athwartships in Autarkia.  Rather, I will have longitudinal stringers over which I will bend and laminate 3 layers of 1/4 inch plywood.  This will be very strong and will form a tubular stiff structure for the whole boat.  In addition it provides maximum headroom allowing on to maneuver through the boat, and stand in the galley without encountering head-bangers, while keeping the cabin profile as low as possible.

 Galley Salon Area With Full Headroom

Stateroom and Utility Room With Reduced Headroom

This week I'm doing some relief teaching at UFV in their aerospace program, plus we're getting some rain so I don't know what I'll get done with the cabin.  But I will complete the grounding plate install.  Also, I've contacted the guy who will do the survey on her, and he has agreed to survey in stages.  Since we will launch in an incomplete state he will provide assurance to the insurance company that she is safe to launch as such.  And I must have insurance as part of my moorage agreement in Mission Harbour.

All in all, I'm feeling better every day about the change in plans.  It has taken some time to refocus and re-prioritize things but I think I have a handle on it.

I will not launch her without her name affixed though so I'm also getting a graphic done.  And I have to license her as well, so there's a Federal document to complete in that regard.  Bring on the hoops... I can still jump them at 61!

My Final Titebond 3 Test

After reading Dave Zeiger's method of saturating the cloth I decided to try something similar.  I put a layer of 10 oz cloth on the plywood and wet it with water.  I then blotted the excess with some paper towel and then painted on the Titebond 3 until the weave was filled.  I let it dry and cure for a few days.

The result was a bond that made it impossible to tear away the fabric.  It was thoroughly bonded to the plywood.

But I still had a concern.  On the boat building forums, the detractors of Titebond 3 argued that it would not stick to it's cured self.  This concerned me because it suggested that I must to everything all at the same time so that I was always working with wet and uncured Titebond 3.

So yesterday I did another little test.  Using the same method described above I laminated another piece of glass over the first.  I left a pull tab on the corner.  I stuck it in my food dehydrator for few hours to speed up the cure.

This morning I tried to tear off the sample and couldn't.  I am 100% confident in this product now for bedding fiberglass on decks and superstructure.

Friday, July 1, 2016

And Now For Something Completely Different

Before I can finish painting the bottom I have to install a grounding plate for the lightning protection system.  I am using the method suggested by Reuel Parker in his book The New Cold Molded Boatbuilding.  It is basically a foot square copper plate on the bottom, which will be nailed on with copper rings nails and bedded in 5200, with a bronze bolt up through the middle into the boat where the bonding cable can be connected.

Temporarily clecoed in place

I have to get some bedding schmoo and a bronze bolt, otherwise I would have installed it.  Parker says the bottom paint can go right over it.

And back to the same old:

I did a little cleanup and cut out the doorways.  Lorri and I then figured the cabin heights for the aft standing room cabin and the two forward crouching cabins.  Autarkia will look low and sleek!  Off the deck the aft cabin will be 36" on the sides plus a shallow crown and then 20" forward with the same crown.  A nice height to sit on and fish over the side...

UV Protected Finally

I had some bottom paint left over from Rosebud so I got the sides below the waterline done so there was no longer any direct sunlight on the epoxy.

Today is Canada Day.  I was going to Titebond/Glass the deck but we have a chance of showers and I don't want it rained on.  So after my coffee I'm heading out and starting the cabin structure - if there are showers then I don't have to tarp anything wet.  I should be able to fit some sides and bulkheads, and cut out the doorways with a few hours of work.  Good visual progress.

Then I think we'll walk down to Heritage Park later on - should be some fireworks!

And about visual progress:

I remember working on 737s and 757s years ago.  If the aircraft was due to leave the next morning and we still had lots of work to do, they'd roll the bloody thing out of the hangar anyway and we'd have to work in the weather.  But to the customer the airplane looked 'more ready' to fly.  I guess I now have to play that game with Autarkia...