Thursday, July 25, 2013


Notice that the a lot of the material is
pieces of 1708 biaxial fiberglass.  Must be
a strong birds nest. 
It's a bit hard to see, but if you look close, there is a Phoebe chick desperately trying to hide from me.  Over the past week or so I've noticed a bird spending a lot of time in the shed (including pooping on the deck) and just noticed yesterday why she was hanging out in there so much.  I thought she just liked my company.  I showed the kids and will try to steer clear of that area of the shed until the chick has fledged.

Despite my new shed mate I was able to get the outboard edge of the rails planed down and pretty much ready to fit the rubstrake.  I'll probably have a few areas to touch up as I dry fit everything, but for the most part it is done.  I ended up doing the vast majority with the power planer, it saved a ton of time but in the end it still took close to 4 hours over a few days.  My arms and shoulders are pretty sore today from holding the planer at eye level for so long and stretching into weird positions so I could see the underside of the caprail while working.

I'll probably drill the rest of the screw holes for the caprail next and then clean up the inboard edge.  I'll need to sand and put a slight radius on the bottom inboard edge of the caprail so it won't catch any unsuspecting toes with a sharp edge.

After that, I'll be bedding and screwing the whole caprail down for good.  I'm still not sure what bedding compound to use but I'm leaning toward a polysulfide like Boat-Calk or similar.  Once complete I can start on the rubstrake although I will probably try a few test pieces before I do much more of anything just to see how it looks.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Slight Change of Plans

New caprail plan
In the last post I talked about how the caprail and rubstrake would fit together differently than the original design (see here).  I had planned on nesting the rubstrake underneath the caprail and screw it in from the top.  Joel (A35 #52 out in Washington state) had originally turned me on to the idea and I thought it was a better solution than the original layout. Well, as it turns out, I will be installing the caprail using the same design as the original despite my plan.

The problem I ran into was that I just didn't have enough width on the top board to allow for the rubstrake to be nested underneath and screwed from the top.  I cut the top board slightly too narrow and my plan for a 5/8" width rubstrake just wasn't going to work.  I think I may have been able to pull it off, but I only had enough width for a 3/16" rubstrake and that would have been pretty tough to screw into.  I knew that this was a possibility as soon as I cut the top boards for the caprail, but it wasn't until I had everything in place that I was able to come to terms with it.  Oh well, not the best solution, but since the original had lasted 45 years, I can make it work again.

Unfortunately, this change necessitates a lot of planing along the outboard edge of the caprail at a continuously changing angle so it is slow going.  I setup some staging so I could work at eye level and take most of the excess wood off with a power planer and then finish it up with a jack followed by a block plane.  I'm sure OSHA would have a field day with my rickety setup, but I haven't fallen yet.  After about 1.5 hours of work I've finished up about half of the port side and the first 4 feet or so of the starboard bow where the angle is the greatest.  With any luck (and some minor familial neglect), I can have both sides prepped and ready for the rubstrake by weeks end.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I finally moved forward on the rails this weekend after having them sit in their rough cut state for 2 months doing nothing.  In retrospect, now it seems like I didn't do much, but all told, it took about 4 hours of my time not including the 20 minutes clearing the shed of wasps that had decided to build nests in several spots.

I started on the starboard side by getting the rough cut rails aligned as close as I could tell to the bulkwark. My current caprail plan involves hanging the rubstrake underneath the caprail top so I want to have as much overhang as possible on the outboard side of the bulkwark.

Once I was satisfied with the layout I started at the bow and tapped the first screws with my #14 tapered drill bit with stop collar.  From there I measured out 16 inch intervals on the rail all the way to the stern.  Ultimately, I'll be screwing 1-1/2" screws every 8 inches along the rails, but at this point I just need to get it fastened for further trimming.  I tapped and screwed every 32" or so on the 16" marks to make sure it was solidly attached.

Then I pulled out my router with 1/2" shank flush trim bit (I don't remember the maker, but it was expensive ~$45.00).  The 1/2" shank makes it rock solid no matter how thick the wood, and there are 2 roller bearings on the end so you've got a wide profile for finding the surface to use as the guide.  I started up at the bow and using the bulwark as my guide. I slowly routed the inside edge of the caprail.  I had a lot of excess wood to take off so I made a gigantic mess and it took roughly 40 minutes per side to get the whole thing trimmed.  The nice thing about the mess I made is that now the boat and shed smells like freshly cut wood instead of epoxy and chemicals.  I'll be much happier cleaning this one up.

Next up, I have to start working on some test rubstrakes to see how I am going to bring it all together. I'll need to hit the lumberyard this week and pickup a long piece of Sapelle once I figure out the profile dimensions.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Way Too Long!

I have plenty of good excuses for my boat neglect, but none of them matter because the boat is still waiting for me to finish her up.  However, the past 2 months have been difficult because I had to put my mother into a nursing home (she has Alzheimer's disease) and clean out and pack up her home.  All of it very unpleasant.
Somewhat less unpleasant, but also difficult was the fact that I had to build and install a custom picket fence in our front yard that took far too much time.  Lastly and decidedly pleasant, we went to Mt. Desert Island in Maine for vacation where I spent 6 days bombing around Somes Sound in my 17 foot O'Day Daysailer.  I will now stop whining and proceed with the boat restoration mission.