Thursday, November 18, 2010

It has been a while since I've posted anything since I hurt my shoulder/neck/back recently.  I only wish the doctors can figure out what happened and how to fix it.  Meanwhile as I heal, I decided to do some research on materials and design enhancements for my version of the Scarab 650.  For example, as you all know, most boats have some sort of symbol or logo on the mainsail to indicate the type of boat.  The Catalina 22 uses the red diamond with a C 22 in the center.  My Hunter 216 has the blue Hunter logo on the sail.  And, there is a Scarab Trimaran that was built in Canada that has an Egyptian style Scarab beetle on his sail.  I found this really cool design that I'm considering for my sail.  I think it would really be an eye catcher, not that a tri needs to call attention to itself.  Comments, thoughts?

More to come!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Centerboard work continues

I made some progress on the centerboard.  I completed all the shaping and sanding and the board is now ready for fiberglass.  I was concerned about the stiffness of the board before I started sanding but that greatly improved with hydrofoil shape.

Next step, glass it.

I also have an update on the beam construction.  I'm having difficulty locating the heavyweight unidirectional glass specified by the plans.  I've sent off a couple of emails to see if I can special order the material or if I can use an alternate laminate schedule.  All the material I've order so far has come form Noah's Marine Supply of Toronto.  I know it is a Canadian company, eh, but they have a US shipping location so you don't have to deal with customs plus their prices are really good.  They are also very helpful and friendly.  I give them a high recommendation.  I hope they come through for me. So, take off you hoser!

Later eh!

(no disrespect intended for our northern brethren)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Centerboard Work Started

Now that the beam mold is complete and I'm still sourcing the cloth needed to build the beams, I decided to start the centerboard.  One decision I made about this boat was that the boat would be wood free with the exception of maybe the tiller handle.  The plans for the centerboard say that the centerboard and rudder are built using two layers of 1/2" plywood with two layers of triax cloth between and two layers of triax cloth on the outside.  Since I'm not using wood, I purchased some high density PVC marine foam (130kg/cu meter) and I will use this material instead of the 1/2" plywood.  I also wanted some additional mass in the board to aid in raising and lowering the board.  To get this mass, I cut a groove in the foam to accept a piece of 1/8" x 3/4" x 36" long piece of steel.  Each piece of the two pieces of foam will have the steel.  I cut the groove the full length of the foam, dammed up the end of each groove, installed the steel and filled the groove to the top with epoxy completely encapsulating the steel plates.  The steel will be in line with the pivot bushing. 

Once the epoxy cured, I cut two pieces of the triaxial cloth and laminated the two foam pieces.  I weighted and clamped the foam together to allow the epoxy to cure.  One last note, since the temperature is starting to drop, I got to use my garage heater which really worked well at keeping the garage toasty warm to allow the epoxy to cure.  However, it won't be long before I'm going to have to stop work in the garage and start to lay up the fiberglass beams in my basement.  Here is a photo of the centerboard curing.

 The next step is to sand the hydrofoil shape, cut to the final shape, round the corners, and fiberglass the outside.  The last steps will be installing the pivot bushing and paint.  More to follow.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beam Mold Complete

I finally completed the beam mold for my Scarab 650.  The time to build the mold was 16.5 hours.  Here are a couple of photos of the completed mold.
The mold was constructed using 3/4" cabinet grade plywood for the sides and 1/4" plywood for the bottom and flanges.  The corner fillets were constructed using epoxy thickened with wood flour.  After meticulously sanding and filling all dings and dents, the mold was coated using tooling gel coat.

Before I can start to lay up beams, I need to apply multiple coats of mold release wax to the mold.  I will do that when I'm ready to get started.  Right now I need to find a source for the different types of fiberglass cloth that will be needed to lay up the molds.  I'm currently searching for this material.  I anticipate laying up the beams during the winter.

Next step: Centerboard

Friday, September 3, 2010

Beam Mold

Beam Mold
Beam Mold
I'm officially starting to build my Scarab 650!  Here is an unfinished beam mold.

I want to build a boat!

About 5 years ago I lived in Florida not far from Lake Monroe which is in the Orlando area.  I often ended up walking along the lake shore near Sanford Marina and I always stopped to watch the sail boats.  Having always had a love for square rigged ships, naturally sailboats caught my attention.  One day while walking past the Marina, I spied a sign that said sailing lessons.  I quickly discovered that Fun Maritime Academy was an ASA school and they offered the basic keelboat class.  It didn't take much to get me enrolled.  I never imagined how much I would love sailing and how so many things came naturally to me. Now the owner of the school, Willie, owned many, many boats, including the fleet used by the school.  Tied up at the end of the school dock was a very unique and curious boat.  Every time I stepped foot on the dock, my eyes would wander over to this curious boat.  Willie owned a Corsair Trimaran.  She was really something to look at and I was fascinated by the rigging and she looked just plain fast!  I asked Willie about his boat and he would just give me a grin and say she was very fast.  Finally the day came for me to take my ASA test and earn my certification.  I completed the written test, completed the knot tying test, and completed the on the water test which all took pretty much the entire day.  I passed with flying colors and was presented with a crisp new certificate and tee shirt signed by the crew at Fun Maritime Academy.    I was so elated that I did not want to leave the dock.  I just wanted to take a boat and go back on the water and sail.  As I was standing there, Willie walked by and said that a bunch of people from the school where going to go for a sail across the lake for dinner and he wanted to know if I had any interest in crewing on his trimaran.  The answer was obvious.  The sail was magnificent and to this day, I've never had a sail that was more exciting than that evening sail.  The hooks were set from that moment.  I had to have a trimaran.

Shortly after that class, I purchased my first boat.  I kept that boat about year and decided it wasn't right for me.  When I moved back to Wisconsin I decided to purchased my second monohull and I still have the boat and enjoy sailing her on lake Michigan.  Recently, I toyed with the idea of building my own boat and started to do research on what was available.  To my surprise I found many sets of plans for trimarans in all sorts of sizes and construction.  After spending a couple of months doing the research and buying the study plans, I decided on the Scarab 650.  My decision was based on building the biggest boat I could build and still get it in my garage.  The 650 appears to be that boat, however I'm not 100% certain I can get her in my garage.  I'm concerned about the height when on the trailer.  If she fits, it will be very close.

I ordered the plans and received them in about a week from Australia.  Being an Engineer, I was highly critical of the plans and I found them to be very well done and very complete.  In fact, I spent two weeks studying the plans trying to ascertain the best method to build and I only found one mistake, a missing dimension.  I sent an email off to Ray Kendrick the designer, and the next day I had a PDF copy of the revised sheet showing the missing dimension.  Since then  I've sent Ray one other email regarding a question and he is very responsive with his reply. 

Now that the study part is done, I plan to build the boat in these steps.  First I am going to build the beam molds and while I'm laying up the 4 beams, I will then start the center board and the rudder.  Next will be the prodder tube followed by the main hull and then the floats.  My decision is based on not turning my garage in to a boat house until next spring so I can park my truck in the garage during our snowy winter.  I have no idea how long it will take to complete this boat, but I'm prepared to spend the time.  Similar boats have taken others about 3 years to build.  Mine may take longer since I will only work on it a few hours in the evening and weekends.

It is my hope that this blog be helpful for others who plan to build this boat and for my family, friends, co-workers, it will be a good laugh for you since most of you already think I'm a little nuts!!