Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Jigsaw falling into place

After ordering my 3mm okoume ply from E-Boat Inc, I made the trek down to Vero Beach to pick them up along with the epoxy I would need for the project.  After serious consideration, I decided that I didn't want to mess around with the scarf or butt joint for bonding the panels together.  Instead I opted to fork out the cash to have puzzle joinery CNC machined into the ends of the hull panels.  This actually worked out really well.  It was easy to bond the joints together and they seem very strong.  Just to ensure the joint didn't come unglued, I glassed the inside with 4.000" fiberglass tape.

As I didn't want just another wood boat on the starting line, I decided to stain the back half of the hull.  After a significant amount of research as to the best stain to use that wouldn't inhibit the penetration of the epoxy matrix when applying the layer of glass to the outside of the hull, I settled on using Behlen Solar Lux Stain.  This is an alcohol based stain that evaporates, leaving the surface of the wood dry, porous and oil-free.  This stain is also UV stable.

My buddy David from Austin, TX came to town for a visit and was kind enough to give me a hand (or two, while they lasted).  He helped me cut and stain the hull panels, and put the hull holding fixture together.  Even though they came out exceptionally fair and smooth, I don't really want to show off the puzzle joint or the other bow modifications that will be apparent if left au naturale.  So the front of the boat will get a coat of paint. 
Here's the panels out to dry after staining.  We got a bit sloppy at the front end.  That stuff is really thin and got everywhere when you're trying to work quickly before it dried up on the rag.  We had a couple oops moments in the area I didn't plan on staining.  It's a good thing the front end is getting covered up!  Thankfully after having some time to dry the blotchiness evened up.  

Draft day


After receiving the plans to the Mistral Mk II, I began going about deciding how I would like my boat configured.  As I can't help letting the day job tools bleed into the rest of my life, it was apparent that a trade study based on observation from sailing the Mousetrap, from Jeff (the Mousetrap builder) and other Mistral sailors comments.  Feeling confident with the results of my analysis, I made some modifications to the hull design.  The first step was to loft the bulkheads and hull panel patterns on mylar.  My buddy Foster frequently helped hold the film down to the floor by laying on it. 
Here's the bulkhead patterns.  The redlines are the deviation from the Mistral design which is on the white sheet behind the film.
Clear as mud, right? It's amazing how little changes ripple through the geometry of all the cut pieces.  None of the Mistral patterns were unmodified when I got to overlay the two designs.  Hope it translates in the 3rd dimensions.