Monday, October 22, 2012

Point Bennett Project - Holes and Hatches

With the deck stripped out in the rough, the next step is cutting out the holes for the hatches and making the recesses. But first I had to liberate the hatch coamings from the remains of the last deck. I epoxied them in so  it was not just a matter of releasing bolts. I initially tried removing the wooden risers by using my electric planer and then a router table. Both were proving inadequate and even dangerous to the rims themselves - rotating blades can make quick work of the plastic edges and possible ruining the seal. I decided to try a heat gun to break down the epoxy. I was skeptical at first and my method was not working well, Plus the heat was proving too much for the plastic. I found that applying a LOT of heat to the back of the plywood would actually break down the adhesion and with no affect on the plastic. Badda Boom Badda Bing - the three rings broke free with little to no problem. I was a very happy camper!!!

What I had to contend with!!

I started with the front hatch. I simply marked and cut out the hole. I made the baseplate for the hatch out of 4mm marine ply. Then I started filling in the recess with vertical strips.

Getting ready for strips.

Almost all the way 'round.

I decided to join the compass recess with the hatch for better drainage - and it looks cooler!!

I am a very empirical builder, i.e., I like to lay things out in "real life" rather than rely on theoretical measurements and such . I've always been this way and I doubt I'll ever change. Anyways, when setting up for the compass, I used the empirical method as per usual. Sanding block emulated the proper angle, the compass bezel was used and I place two strips on either side to determine the spacing.

Getting empirical!!!

Based on these findings, I marked and cut the opening for the compass recess.

Let's hope this will work!!

I cut a baseplate for the compass out of 4mm ply and tacked it in place.

Baseplate tacked in place.

Compass laid in place.

I then continued to fill in the remaining vertical strips on the hatch coaming and worked my way into the compass recess.  Easy peasy!

Hatch and compass recess "in the rough"

With the front hatch/compass recesses done, I moved on back to the day hatch. I decided to go with a bevelled recess for the rear hatches. I am hoping this will allow water to drain easier (The front hatch did not need this as there is "built-in" drainage off to either side)

As with the front, I marked and cut the hole and started filling in the vertical strips but this time cutting and gluing them at an angle. Surprisingly, cutting and fitting the bevelled strips took no more time than with the simple vertical ones on the front. Once I did a few,  I had the procedure down to a science and it went very quickly - no more than an hour on the the day hatch.

1/4 way through the vertical strips.

Bevelled recess "in the rough"

The back hatch took a little more nerve to mark and cut. This is a pretty big hatch and the deck is not very wide at this spot. I had to tuck it up pretty close to the day hatch (remember there is a bulkhead between these two hatches) and it comes pretty close to either side of the deck.

I marked it and said to myself, "Shag it, let's get cuttin'" The cut went very smoothly as did the marking and cutting of the plywood baseplate. I tacked it in place and proceeded to fill it in with vertical strips as per the day hatch. It took no more than 1.5 hours to complete this recess.

Cut and waiting.

Half-way there.

Not finished but hatches laid in place just to see how it all will look.

I've since finished the back hatch but I do not have a picture. Still, based on the image above, you can get a good idea of the final product.

The tops of the strips will need to trimmed/sanded and when the edges are rounded down, these recesses will just flow into the deck around them. Should look good when finished.

Next step - Maroske deck fittings.

Thanks for dropping by,


Monday, October 15, 2012

Point Bennett Project - Designing and Building by the Seat of my Pants

With the boat now inside, I can get down to brass tacks, as they say!!  I needed to decide on a cockpit size and shape. One of my main beefs with this boat before was the over sized cockpit. This time I've opted for a true keyhole shape. I scoured the Internet and found two separate templates that, when combined, gave me the exact shape I wanted.  (One of the templates was from Bryan Hansel's Sisiwkit LV and the other was from a kayak built by John Coppens.) After piecing them together I saw that the resulting shape is almost identical to the NDKs. I downloaded the images of the coamings and using Photoshop I scaled them up to 100%.  Then it was just a matter of gluing the template to the 1/2" MDF.

Hybrid template.

The title of this post is "Designing and Building by the Seat of my Pants" by which I mean I have no set plans for this project. I am, for all intents and purposes, making everything up as I go along.  I simply decided upon a general deck shape and starting drawing up forms based on that. Deck height was determined without even trying it to see if it will be OK. The three images below show some up the initial setup to determine the deck shape and such.

Coaming and deck height testing!

Determining the fore deck shape.

Testing how the strips will fit around the coaming template!!

Once I had the forms cut and in place for the fore deck and the cockpit template in place, it was time to start putting on some strips. The stripping went pretty much without incident. Luckily everything lines up nicely and the transition from fore deck to aft deck went smoothly (something that I had a bit trouble with when I built the Black Pearl) I'm guessing that stripping the whole deck took no more than 4 hours in total.

Letting the strips run long. They will be trimmed later.

Fitting the strips around the coaming.
Fore deck completed.

Aft deck waiting in the wings!!

Showing the new curved sheer of the aft section.

Looking aft.
With the stripping finished, I left the deck for a day so that the glue could set up. The next step is trimming the long strips. I used a razor blade knife for the rough cut, followed up with a small block plane. With the deck trimmed, the nice lines of the boat have returned.

Deck trimmed,

Looking fwd.

Looking fwd.

Looking aft.

I must admit that I am quite pleased with the new shape of the boat. The resulting curve from dropping the sheer at midships really adds to the look. The fore deck is a combination of flats and curves on the cross section that will really show up once I start to sand and will be even more evident when painted. And the smaller cockpit is more fitting to the new look as well.

All in all, I'm a happy camper.  Next step is sanding the interior of the deck and then glassing it!

Thanks for dropping by,


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Point Bennett Project - Just Like Coming Home

Because I was doing the initial cutting outdoors, I've been limited by the amount of time I could get to work on the project. With the evenings closing in and the more persistent wet weather, time was short!!

I finally managed to finish sanding the sheers today. I wanted to do this outdoors as much as possible as it cuts down on the amount of paint dust in the house - always a good idea. I had a bear of a job getting the Gorilla Tape residue off the hull but the use of an industrial strength citrus cleaner finally did the trick.

Sheers sanded.

With the sanding completed, the boat was ready to go back into the shop, aka, my attic. It went back in with  no problem whatsoever. Now that it's inside, I'm not held hostage to the weather and darkness. Yayyyyy!!

The first thing I wanted to do was make a final check on the evenness of both sheer lines. I strapped the boat down onto foam chocks on the work table. Then using a level and a rasp, I evened and faired everything up nicely. It was a lot easier to do it this way than when it was slopping all over my picnic table outside!!!

Making everything  nice and even!

Satisfied with the sheers, I moved onto actually looking at how I'm going to do the deck. I had an old template from a previous cockpit that I simply laid in place and then ran a strip up the front deck to get the creative juices flowing. This cockpit is too small - it's only 29" long - and I think I'll stretch the final opening to a 31" keyhole shaped. I'm not as limber as I used to be so I need that extra few inches to enable me to get in easier!!  I also need to determine the height of the deck in the front and I am trying to decide between 11"and 12" under the deck.  Deck height at my feet is another crucial measurement I'll have to figure out!!

Just checking things out!!

The foredeck

Looking from aft!!

Now that the PB is "home", I can really start to make some headway on this project.

Thanks for stopping by,