29 April 2013

Canoe has its first proper sun tan (about and hour, but I did some gardeining as it cured so it doesn't count!)

I put the still wet with oil canoe out in the evening sun and it does work. The oil has cured to a hard resin where the sun has shone on it for about 20 minutes. I have moved it around and the outside is fully cured. Some areas of the inside are still a bit damp as I couldn't get the sun right into the ends, but another sunny day should do that.

You can see the shadow of the side reinforcing sections, which take your weight when you press on the gunwales getting in and out. It still need to fit spray decks in the ends and apply at least one more coat of resin. Then rubbing strips and gunwale strips and two coats of varnish and then she should be ready to float. There seem to be very few pinpricks of light when the sun is on her, so the first coat seems to have filled the weave well. A second coat will be much thinner and should make her waterproof. Two coats of varnish just to complete the job and protect from UV in the future.

28 April 2013

Canoe fabric resined (3 1/2 hours)

I have finally applied the linseed oil resin to the fabric of the canoe. A slow process and hard on the back, as you are leaning slightly over the boat all the time. First hardener has to be stirred into the  resin, which is difficult as the hardener is very viscous. Warming it in a hot water bath helped. This activated resin is then painted along all of the hull stringers to stick the fabric to the wood. Very tedious.

Next, the whole of the fabric is painted with unhardened resin. This goes on faster, but still a long process. You have to be careful not to over brush. That stretches the fabric and felts it slightly. Eventually it is all covered and dark brown. I now need a couple of hours of sunlight to stand it outside so the UV can work its curing wonders (I hope) Sadly it is cloudy and windy, so that will have to wait.

21 April 2013

Sailing at last (28.8nm)

Finally had a good sunny day, although it was still cold. Everything basically works well, although the mainsail is a bit sticky to raise. I have bought a can of silicone lubricant to tackle that next time. Sailed around the islands in the harbour, then sailed and motored up to Wareham. The quayside was chock a block which is not surprising, on the first sunny weekend of spring. The motor is not running at low speed well. Various cuttings out resulted in me banging into someone's bow, which didn't do him any harm but has left me with a dinge. Anchored off Shipstal Point, a pretty spot, with birds and a fox on shore. Absolutely still at night, without a sound from the boat all night. Sunday started quiet and sunny, but the wind got up and and the sun went down, so I went back to my mooring.

The outboard well blanking plate works, but is quite hard to get in. It floats, which makes it quite hard to push into place. It is needed. With the well open, there is a huge sloshing about of water. It seems to take about half a knot off the speed if open. Space is very tight to get it in and out. I shall use it this season and decide whether to continue with it next year, or go back to the flaps.

The alcohol stove works remarkably well, and most importantly works well when really cold. The little gas stove barely worked on a cold morning. I had to warm the gas cylindres in my sleeping bag. The problem with the alcohol stove is it is completely quiet, so it is easy to forget that it is on. It heats the pot holder to red heat, so it needs to be treated with respect.

15 April 2013

Second stitching and first sun bathe (1 hour)

Doesn't look much different, but each stem has had a second row of stitching. Blanket stitch this time. The instructions called for this to be done after the stem resin had cured. I thought this would make the sewing very hard, so I trimmed the stems and applied the second stitching row whilst the resin was still soft. Time will tell if this was a good idea, but it seems OK. The seam is nice and tight.

We had just a touch of sun light, so I put her out in it, but only for about 10 minutes, so no noticeable cure to the gunwale resin. The instructions say about an hour's exposure is needed. I need to cure this fully before sticking the stringers to the fabric.

14 April 2013

Canoe skin firmly in place (3 hours)

The linen skin is now permanently in place. First I had to stitch around the two stems. Not my best skill, but it is neat and symmetrical, which is what matters. Then the first go with the resin. The resin itself is a modified linseed oil. Slightly cloudy and little odour, but it is very fluid, so easy to use. The hardener, needed for ares which can't get much sunlight on them, is something else. The canoe designer warned me that it was thick, but I thought at first it had set rock hard. Really, really thick. Very hard to scoop out of the container. I had to weigh it and the resin to get a 1:2 mix, which was not that straight forward. Fortunately the hardener did dissolve in the resin really quite easily, so I had a working mix in the end. Painted this over the stems' woodwork and then on the inside of the linen where it touches the stems. Worked it all in until there seemed a could sloppy fit between wood and cloth. Then stitched around the stems with my best back stitch (isn't YouTube useful). Not too difficult, and it holds the shape well.

Next worked along both gunwales, stapling the fabric all the way. It was possible to get all looseness out doing this, so the skin is really quite smooth now. Finally, turned over the hull and I can see my boat. But still much to do. I applied unhardened resin along both gunwales and soaked it into the fabric around the stems. I also cut the cloth back to its final position around the stems at this stage. The notes recommend doing this after first cure, but I thought it would be easier to do now. I worked both cut ends carefully into a fully adhering, straight line. This will be stitched again (blanket stitch this time). But first, it needs to go out in the sun to cure the gunwales. sun in short supply, so that will have to wait.

3 April 2013

Linen cut and stapling started (1hr)

I have swallowed hard and cut the linen at the two ends. Not quite such a point of no return as I feared, because there is quite a big flap to stitch before the final cutting down. I have also stapled the fabric to the gunwales at the two ends, which is probably a bit more of a commitment. The next stage involves resining the stems and stitching. It is still so cold I am not sure if I should start that.

The fabric does drape well. There is a slight puckering on the gunwales which seems hard to get rid of. As you stretch one out, it creates another further along. I hope that the fabric might tighten slightly when the linseed applied, but I am not sure it will.

2 April 2013

Room to work on the canoe

Now that Daisy G is back in Poole, I have got room to work on the canoe. I have laid the linen over the frame. Only just wide enough, but I suppose that is all it has to be. I need more clothes pegs to stretch it all. Then I have the staple and then cut the stems. That will be scary as it is the point of no return. It is still fearfully cold here, but very sunny today, so there is enough UV around to cure the resin, if I get a chance to put any on.

Time to get afloat again

From this...

To this in 1hr 15minutes. And that included motoring across Parkstone Bay and circling around the marina for a while looking for a clear space to moor up to. I ended up on the fuel pontoon in the end as they are still working on most of the finger pontoons and the main pontoon was full of BIG boats.
Interestingly the time is taken up with myriad little things, like getting out and hanging the fenders, stowing away the sail ties, fixing the wretched wheel clamp on the trailer, walking behind the boat to eye up the mast for verticality, loading up all the loose bits in the car and getting your boots on, etc. Raising the mast, which is the thing we all seem to worry about, took less than five minutes, and most of them were spent unhooking a shroud from a cleat that it caught round. The beauty of the carbon fibre mast is that even a wimp like me can just heave it up vertical and hold it against the shrouds whilst the jib halyard is tightened up to hold it all in place.

1 April 2013

2013 season started!

Launched Daisy G today at Poole Baiter slipway. Freezing cold and I was the only one there when I arrived. Took an hour to rig the boat fully, which included threading various ropes and cutting some new ones to length. With everything rigged I think it could be done realistically in half an hour. A jet skier was my Good Samaritan. He turned up to launch just when I was ready. He asked if he could help, and as he was in full cold weather wet suit I asked if he could hold the boat after I launched it, whilst I put the trailer back in the car park. He did and it was wonderful. I just had to climb in with wellies and start the engine and motor over to my marina. A real help. I might forgive other jet skiers for that one.

Filled all the ballast tanks and the water tank. Adjusted various ropes and then left her on a pontoon for the marina staff to take her out to her mooring. I am amongst the first boats down. Only about half a dozen out on the moorings. All the rest are still chocked up in the car park. A sunny afternoon but so cold. No holiday crowds at all.