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!!