Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Gorilla in the Room

I did a test with the Gorilla glue using some trimmed off pieces of the boat.  I left them in a bucket of water for to see how long or if the glue would go.  After about 5 days I was able to pull the pieces of wood apart.   Of course I could have done a bad job clamping and all.  It could happen.

 I am not sure how I feel about this.  On one hand, the glue is not waterproof (at least the way I applied it).
On the other hand the wood was unfinished, no paint or varnish, and the joint in my test was about 1/4 wide and a foot long.  After the 5 days the wood itself was pretty soft.  I plan on dry sailing this boat, or at least, not leaving it the water all season long.  I plan on painting and, or, sealing all the glue joints with anything from epoxy in the form of fillets, to bedding compound.  I am not sure how worried I am about the glue giving up.  I also have mechanical fasteners, screws, over most of the boat, so there is redundancy.

Well if she comes apart it won't be the first boat in the history of boat building to do so, I am sure.

Un stalled

After a few days of not doing anything on the skiff I got a few things done today.  First off, I got the inner keel, such as it is, installed.  What I have done is really just doubled the thickness of the hull with an 8" width down the middle.  This is just to give the fasteners for the keel and skeg a bit more to bite into.  Here you can see all of my various weights holding down the plywood strip while the glue dries.  Those are tins and an oatmeal box full of nails pulled from used palettes waiting to be used or taken to recycling.

Aft compartment trim added.  Inner keel weighted while the glue kicks
I am hoping that with the layer of fiberglass on the outside and this inner keel on the inside, the keel & skeg will be secure enough to take a little abuse.
Forward compartment trim.
I still want to wait until the bottom is finished before I install the compartments and thus limit my access to the bottom of the boat.  It was nice to get this bit of work done.  I used the reclaimed cedar decking for the hatch trim because it is light and can be finished bright or left bare.  I will devise the latching system to keep these hatches in place and watertight much later on.  I angled the cuts on the ends to match the rake of the ribs.  I kind of like the added touch.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Well after a few days of glueing and clamping I have finally finished laying up the skeg.

Laminated skeg
It is made from the same yellow pine crate material except for the very bottom layer, which is a wedge of doug fir.
Skeg set in place with keel clamped against it.
Now I think I will put a layer of glass on the bottom so that any lateral force on the skeg will be taken up by the fiberglass rather than the thin wood of the bottom.  After a layer of glass I can attach the keel, bedding it, fastening it, applying epoxy fillets, and then some glass clothe to join it to the glass bottom.  That should do it.
It seems like a lot of material to hang off the boat.  I will plane it down a bit, give it a little shape before affix it.
Now to find some glass clothe.

Friday, March 16, 2012


The boat is flipped upside down once again.  I must say it does seem very light and easy to handle.  I have decided to upgrade the specified stiffeners/bilge boards from just the 2, by adding a center piece, which is really a keel, and a skeg.

I am using the same pine board from the packing crate I found for this application.  The bilge boards are 3/4" thick by 1-1/2" wide and can make their shape easily enough, but the skeg is another matter.  I have cut the board to 3/8" thick and am laminating them up to the shape of the bottom, "in situ".
skeg being laminated.
The skeg will be built up until I can get enough to cut out the shape which at the after end is 10" deep.  The skeg will be about 4 feet long before it joins into the keel with a scarf.

I have masked off the bottom of the boat with some waxed paper and am using a few screws and what ever is heavy and at hand to weight down the wood as it sets up.
skeg gluing.  Note the patches of the holes from the station frames on the side.
I am a little concerned that the attachment point of the skeg to the bottom will be fragile, but I guess I will give it a shot.  I haven't decided by what method I will make the attachment.  I guess my options would be:  fasteners/epoxy, epoxy only, Gorilla glue only, Gorilla Glue/ fasteners.  I kind of like the epoxy idea because of being able to make fillets that would add attachment area and strength.

I have also not made my final decision on glassing the bottom.  I know it will add durability and life to the boat but when I got into my fiberglass supply storage box the other day I was immediately taken back to the nastiness of working with that stuff.  I would almost have to replace the bottom than to have to work with that stuff again.  We'll see