Thursday, March 31, 2011

Time to talk about gorillas and other things . . .

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

I've mentioned in a previous posting that Gorilla Tape (GT) is my new "tool" of choice and since then it has shown its worth any number of times.

First case in point. The nuts holding in my seat are tucked in behind the hip pillers and are are hard to reach. I tried a number of times to simply lay the nut on my finger while I tried to line it up and thread it onto the bolt. No such luck. It kept falling off and escaping under the seat, prompting the need to remove the seat and start over. GT has a VERY thick adhesive so I figured I'd run a tape around my finger (sticky side out) press the nut into the adhesive. Voila, the nut stuck fas.  I was able to slip my finger in under the bolt and, on the first try, I had the nut threaded on!!!

Second case in point:  I wanted to attach my thigh braces but not permanently, lest I need to make adjustments. I tried some velcro but it was not holding well enough. I thought of using heavy duty double sided tape but had none on hand and did not want to buy any. GT only comes in single sided but can easily be made double sided!!  I placed a strip down on the thigh brace, doubled back over it again. Then I put some Lexel adhesive between the strips and, for good measure, ran thin strips of tape up and down each edge.  BADDA BOOM BADDA BING- extra sticky double sided tape.   The braces went in perfectly arnd are as solid as rocks!!

Third case in point:  I'm going to try a foam pillar for back support instead of a back band. I took thinner pieces of foam, glued them up with Marine Goop and then covered the whole lot with GT for protection.

Flash plays havoc with color of deck - it's not two-tone as seen above.

Fourth case in point:  Some of my pad eyes, are in loactions that cannot be reached by hand - those in the bow and stern. I needed a way to put them in place. I used a piece of wire and, you guessed it, a piece of GT. I fed the wire through the hole, glued up the pad eye with Lexel, attached the wire using the GT. I pullled the wire back through and, because the tape is thinner than the webbing, it came through the slot with no problem. The webbing, with a bit of pulling, came through as well with little or no problems.
Call me nuts but I am toying with the idea of using GT on both the sheer and the keel!!!  It's a very thick tape - 17 mil as compared to the thickest duct tape at 13 mil.  It's highly water resistant and, according my own testing, quite tough in terms of abrasion resistance. I've done tests with nails and rocks with good success. I've taken a scrap piece of plywood with glass and epoxy (actually cut outs from the deck for the hatches) and  placed GT on the surface and gouged it. The fibres in the tape protected the surface remarkably well for a single layer of tape. I put as much presssure as I could by hand with the rock (a semi-sharp beach rock) and only after repeated attempts, did it finally break through the the tape fibres. Similar tests on the un-taped surface gouged right into the epoxy/glass.  Tests with a more rounded piece of rock would simply compress the tape.  I did similar tests with a nail head (the edge) on a painted epoxy/glass surface. Putting as much pressure as I could on the nail head, it did not break through the fibres - it cut but, not all the way through until repeated in the same place several times. Tests on the un-taped suraface were as expected - heavy gouging!  Sorry no pictures of all this!!
Will it be worth it??  I can't say. The sheer tape will provide a nice transition from the blue deck to the white hull. It will also provide abrasion resistance at the deck line.  As for the keel, well, I guess any sacrificial strip is better than nothing.  If it works well, then it's just a matter of pulling off the strip when it's wore down and slap on another one!!  My only concern is the possible residue left over when the tape is pulled off. This is not a big issue if you plan on simply replacing the strip with a new one.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to give it a whir - just giving the paint a few more days to dry before I proceed.!!
Since my last posting, I'v painted the cockpit coaming black. I like how it matches the hatches, seat and, potentially, the sheer strip.

A slightly more "natural" color of the deck.
And a few obligatory fwd and aft shots.
The pad eyes are in place. Tonight I will do the deck rigging and, maybe, the GT sheer/keel strips, and then, for all intents and puposes, she's good to go.


  1. A project like this does require some ingenuity. Sean, I had the same trouble with the seat in my Nordkapp. The bolts on one side dropped out. They screw into a plate under a lip on the seat which is virtually impossible to put a hand or finger on when in place in the cockpit. I drilled a hole thru the seat and plate, riveted the plate in position and now its simple to remove/reinstall the seat. A plate tapped out to the correct bolt size could easily be made up for these self-constructed boats.

    It won't be long now!

    Tony :-)

  2. This is truly a masterpiece Sean. What beaut! Man your jaws must be sore from smilin’?? :D

  3. Tony: I love a challenge so all these little set backs and fixes were almost enjoyable!!

    Thanks Stan. Lot's of smiles on this project - right alongside a lot of cursing!! LOL!!