Thursday, November 15, 2012

"Smooooth strokes, up and down....

 I have finally found something I hate more than epoxy! I hate primer, priming, paint, painting, and anything to do with a brush, roller, or paint can. Well, there is nothing for it, so I started rolling, and brushing, and cursing. The next time I build a boat I am rolling it right into an auto body shop and having them spray the whole damn thing. I can't believe I didn't think of it before! Genius! 

Still, it is nice to get rid of the hideous plywood/epoxy combo finish and turn the boat sorta white. Unfortunately, it is getting quite cold and although the primer is drying, it is not really curing. I had the Punt upside down while priming the bottom, and after a week of sitting curing the primer still scraped off the hull when I rolled the boat to primer the interior. Either the primer was not fully cured, or it did not fully bond to the epoxy. Either way, I came to the conclusion that I don't really care. I am just going to slap white onto this thing until it's covered, and go sailing! This is not a show boat, as I have said before, and I built it to use, not look pretty. It is going to get scratched up, knocked around, banged by rocks and scraped by beaching. I am going to be patching and painting it anyway, so why should I care if it looks perfect from the start? Unlike having a new car, I am really looking forward to that first legitimate scratch so I can claim it as a real boat! Maybe the paint will finally cure next year...

A couple of views so far, with only one coat of primer-

I guess the next post will be the Punt fully painted. I still have to do some rigging and build that interior plank so we have a few more posts to go before we close this chapter as first time boat builder. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 5, 2012

A milestone!

I had thought for a while that I would never say these words, but...I have finished the "construction" phase of the Duck Punt! With the exception of the rigging and the seating, I installed the last piece of wood this week, and began the arduous process of sanding in preparation for painting. I am so excited to be nearing completion and being so close to having a new boat!

I had a fairly long list of projects left to do last time I posted, so let's take a look at what has been done.

I finally tackled the sheer. It sucks. For whatever reason, the sides are not perfectly symmetrical. Perhaps it was building on uneven ground, on rickety sawhorses that moved whenever I touched the boat; perhaps my measurements were a little off while measuring in the dark; but whatever caused it there is a little bit of asymmetry to the sheer, and a bit of twist in the hull. Nothing that will affect performance, but it will be there to remind me that even the simplest of boats are tricky to build perfectly. It's not bad enough to bother me though, and I know the next boat will be better! Once I was done with the sheer I took a router and rounded it over which you can see in the following photos. It gives the boat a much more finished look.

Below you can see the bow which had that former wicked sharp entry. Unfortunately, I need a flat surface to attach a brass rubstrake to so this is the current bow profile. The Punt is a thin water boat and I expect it is going to be running into things from time to time so the brass rubstrake is an important piece!

In the photo below you can also see that I cleaned up the epoxy mess that I had after sheathing the bottom. Another valuable lesson learned...trim your glass to size before installing it and clean up your epoxy before it cures! Grinding off all the excess was a major workout and such a waste of time when I could have just prepped it better. Well, that's what I get for being lazy. This boat is not going to have a mirror finish, that's for sure! I just scraped and sanded the sides and bottom enough to take off the high spots. I think it is going to look kinda rough but we'll see once there is primer and paint on it. Poor, ugly, little punt...

I drilled out the thole pin holes, and since I knew I was going to be spending a lot of time leaning against the planks I gave them a healthy round-over as well.

I decided to deck over part of the bow and stern. This will add rigidity to the hull and give me a place to tie in floatation if I decide to add some. 

Another view of the bow deck...

...and the stern deck.
You can also see in the photo below that I finally rounded over the frames.

It's the return of "Big Heavy Rock!" 
I finally got the punt on the ground and leveled it out so I could put the mast in and figure out the position of the mast step. I used a laser lever to get the mast plumb and marked the position of the mast step and epoxied it down. BHR was there to hold it fast while the epoxy cured. There was no information on the plans for mast rake or placement so after scrutinizing the youtube videos I came up with a highly scientific method and guessed. Probably good enough...  

A complete(ish) boat!

Another view...

So now the main thing I have left to do is sanding. I am not going to go crazy with it because this is a boat that is going to get knocked around a lot, and I am going to be doing a lot of patching and painting anyway. I like the ten foot rule. If it looks good from ten feet, it looks good enough! I also need to figure out the interior deck that you sit on while sailing the Punt. I have seen people use slats, or a central plank, but the Mersea guys use a single piece of plywood and I think that is probably what I am going to end up doing. I think it will be more comfortable, and keep my gear drier too. I also want to rig a back rest of some kind so I am working on some ideas there too. The next post will have this boat painted so stay tuned, we are almost done!!!!