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Everything posted by Howard

  1. Dang.....I was hoping I could convince him to come visit me to help finish up the forward bottom planking on the Princess. I'm sure visions of Ashcroft planking are in his dreams and keeping him up at night......wondering what that must be like.
  2. BTW, there is one huge negative about good self steering. If you fall overboard, you are in trouble. The boat won't be stopping and it ain't coming back. It is going to continue on leaving you bobbing in it's wake while you watch it disappear over the horizon. Or in the words of Blondie Hasler, "stay in the boat or prepare to drown like a proper gentleman".
  3. This was the video Graham referenced that shows the design and operation of the wind vane. Discussion on the vane starts around the 2:00 minute mark. Good discussion of the vane, and the rest of the boat as well. As you study how this thing was built, you begin to realize how complicated it would be to build the thing, which is about 10X easier than designing one that works right is. There are so many hidden things that you have to get right or it won't work. There are about 4 or 5 key things that create a cause and affect.......feedback......, and they all happen instantly. Get one wrong just a little bit and the thing won't work right. So why bother? Getting one that works right is sight to behold and enables a single hander to go places and do things that would not be possible without it. Once a person has an effective means of self steering on board, it changes the notion of cruising completely. It will spoil you for life. A good apparatus for self steering will steer a course better than any mortal human can and will do so hour after hour or day after day. The last iteration of the ones I built was like that. A group of about 6 of us in similar boats left a cove beating towards a destination about 15 miles away. They were all good sailors.......better than me......but I let the vane do the steering and once set, we pointed higher and sailed faster than any of them. I left the pack of them behind and arrived about half an hour ahead of the best of them and about an hour ahead of the rest of them. Later one, I asked why it took them so long and they asked why I used my motor. Yes, complicated, but if you are cruising, worth the effort.
  4. I had not seen that video. Wonder how I missed it? Anyway, to anyone who has studied windvane self steering and/or tried to build one, and then use one, there is a lot to like about this one. Am curious to see the thing out of the water to see how the trim tab on the auxiliary rudder is sized and attached. Also, do you adjust and move the linkage pin to gear it down or "dampen" it off the wind? Very few designs that I've seen do this and they need to. We called it "turning down the volume" or "turning down the gain". Looks like in the video, you had about a 10 knot differential between wind speed and boat speed so enough apparent wind to power it up. How low as to wind speed will this continue to work?
  5. Someday when this adventure is over, I'd be interested to hear more about this windvane. I built two.......the first one had a vertical axis rotation and it worked OK on the wind, but off the wind or running didn't work well at all.......oscillating band and forth about 20 to 30 degrees. The track on GPS looked like something a drunken eel might have left. I later converted it to a horizontal axis and a different rudder in the water and that worked much better. Downwind running with the wind seems to be a problem for most of them. The third and final iteration used a servo oar that controlled the rudder directly and it worked pretty well. So option B is a sheet to tiller system, which may have good potential with a cat ketch rig.
  6. Sorry to hear you are moving on, but it is understandable. This is a BIG job. Looks like a great opportunity for someone. An opportunity to bypass several weeks of tedious labor. I'm curious about the rudder hardware. The rudder straps. Did you make those? I farmed that job out to a local welder about 2 years ago and they are still not done. Hasn't even started last I checked.
  7. The plywood for the Princess also came from Homestead, except is was somewhere around 40 sheets, so weighted nearly 2,000 pounds. The discount for that much is even more. You may also want to check Noah's. I believe they may have a physical store / location in Toronto. http://www.noahsmarine.com/Canada/Plywoods-can/plywoods-can.html
  8. Lenm: I have been working on a Princess 26, and am using Hydrotek for the majority of the hull. I will be using Okume for the decks and some of the topsides to save weight up high. Anyway, I addressed some of my findings with this plywood in the thread I started to document that build: http://messing-about.com/forums/topic/8440-princess-26/page-5?hl=princess Relevant parts start about post #95 and again around post #119. To clarify, I see Hydrotek as more of a trade name for the BS 1088 standard using meranti. Different companies make it, so those would be their own brands. I have both Dragon and Fuji marked sheets. I understand both are made in China, so both were suspect. Neither of them are as good as the Joubert branded Okume, but having used both, I have found no major flaws in them and continue to use them. Both survived a hard boil test. If I had to do it over again, I'd do the same, but would love to know what company brand of Hydrotek is trustworthy (comparable to Joubert or Brunzeel), find a source for that and stick with it.
  9. Hmmm.....that is one of Graham's tricks that has been around a while. I think I've had a basket of 20 or 30 of them for about 10 years or so. BTW, you can set the tension of them by how wide they are. One that is only 1 inch wide is weaker than one that is 2 or 3 inches. A really wide one makes for a very tight and strong clamp. You might need those bolts as clamp arms for those. 1.5 to 2 inches is a useful size. Wrap a piece of duct tape over the faces so they don't stick to the epoxy.
  10. Good point. On the Princess 22, there is enough room for the outboard to tilt up and out of the way. On the Princess 26, there is not enough room to tilt the outboard. I think I asked Graham about it and he said something to the effect of the #5 bulkhead was placed where it needed to be and the best solution for the motor was to have it raise and lower vertically in the space that was left. Some of the benefits of having the motor in a well at the aft end of the cockpit is it is handy and you have access to all the controls right there. It can be turned side to side, so enhances steering in tight quarters.......the boat might spin around in it's own length. The motor also sits lower and forward of the transom so the prop is not likely to come out of the water to suck air.....ventilation......and spin out........(with a nod to the "cavitation" terminology police). There does need to be a way to cover the slot or less likely, cover the outboard well, so as to reduce the water noise. Most modern era 4 strokes will run pretty quiet.
  11. The plans for the P26 have the motor in a well, situated between the transom and the aft most bulkhead. Rather than tilting the motor up on it's own bracket as is most often the case, it is to be installed on a bracket or track, and raised and lowered vertically. In theory, you could use the same long shaft motor by mounting the bracket higher, but that raises two issue. One is that even with the short shaft motor, when fully raised, it will be up against the tiller as is. Second is if you raise if higher, you raise the weight of the engine block higher, which starts to alter the center of gravity. Plan B is to do as Wayne did and mount the motor in a well that is offset from the centerline and make a cut in the transom. Then tilt the motor on it's own bracket. Plan C would be to mount it on the transom, but I can already hear the howls of protest on that one. Consider that the option of last resort. I have also looked at mounting a motor as far forward as possible in the well then tilting it as high as it will go, knowing the tip of the skeg may drag a bit. As long as you get the prop to clear, it may not matter. But that is with a short shaft motor. BTW, there was some recent discussion on how big of a motor for the P26. Latest consensus was a 6hp may be all that is needed 90% of the time. For many motors, the 4, 5 and 6 are the same engine block, so about the same overall weight. One step up and the 8 and 9.9 are also the same engine. With 4 stroke engines, the weight of the larger engines starts to become an issue. I can think of one instance when the 9.9 would have been my preference over a smaller engine and that was when dealing with a sudden storm squall and about 5 to 10 minutes of 60 to 70 mph winds. I was at the helm of a heavy 26' glass boat and had the diesel engine running full throttle and it was all we could do to keep her pointing into those waves. On the other hand, with the Princess, given enough time to prepare, I probably could have doused the main, put two reefs in the mizzen and hove to and it would have worked out just as well.....even with no engine.
  12. Thought I might throw this out as an interesting aside. A while back, I had a guy make me a lug sail for my Spindrift 10n. He is a well known small craft designer and sail maker. I asked if he would be interested in making the sales for my Princess and the answer was a flat NO. He said to get a loft to do it.
  13. I actually have two masts. The wooden one was made from Doug Fir and is one piece. 12 sided birdsmouth. It was something I designed and built. The other is made from aluminum to the plans. Remarkably, both weigh almost the same amount, which from memory I seem to recall was around 17 pounds. I could be wrong about that one. I have two sail rigs for this Spindrift. The stock sail and another I had built, which is a standing lug rig. The main claim to the latter is I can hoist or douse the sail while on the water without having to step or unstep the mast. For that rig, I only use the two lower sections of the aluminum mast. Of the two, I'm thinking the stock rig would win most of the races, but in cruising mode, the lug performs well enough. Come to think of it, I also have a third rig.......a leg of mutton sail made from plastic tarp material. It also works OK, although not as well as the other two. It can be used with either mast. It can be raised and doused while on the water, but this sail cannot be reefed. When the wind gets up, you better be paying attention and have your hand on the sheet. The stock and lug both have one reef point to help calm things down when the wind is up.
  14. Either of the masts should be easy enough to step using a line from the block on the fore part of the mast used to tension the sprit. A line to the bow or deck in front of it to hold it in place. The difficult part might be getting it started up from horizontal up to about 45 degrees. I was thinking you could raise the mizzen first and use the sheet for it to raise the main mast most of the way up. Reverse it coming down. On masts and such, I have built a birdsmouth wooden mast for my Spindrift. It was not that hard. It can be built to not bend that much (not be floppy), but as Graham pointed out to me once, wood is not consistent, thus it is hard to engineer a wood mast. Two of us can try to make it the same way, but since the wood we would use would not be the same, we could easily get different outcomes. Metal masts, however are predictable. So my plan is to make mine from all aluminum stock.
  15. I purchased my scrap lead as wheel weights. I got them from a guy who made lead bullets, but he was making so many of those he could no longer find enough scrap, so was having to buy lead alloy ingots and had no use for a big tub of the wheel weights. I melted those down using an old dutch oven and an LP gas burner. Scrap lead may be hard to find and it may be expensive. I still think a good source might be an existing lead keel off an old derelict laying around in a yard somewhere. I have poured the tip for the CB, but have not poured the keel. My plan for the keel is to go with Graham's suggestion of using an old LP gas tank with the bottom cut out. Actually, will take two of them. I have the keel plug built, but that is pretty far down the road as far as pouring it. That by itself is going to be a pretty big job. I learned a lot about what to do and what not to do pouring the tip for the CB.
  16. Greg......no worries. Anyone who might come across this thread and are interesting in this boat should be interested in what is being said. A couple thoughts of mine on the motor. First, the design places a short shaft motor of some type in the well, which is in the aft end of the cockpit. I've thought it over and unless you want to do as Wayne did and offset it off the centerline and cut a hole in the transom for it, you will need to use the lifting tackle to raise and lower your motor vertically, as designed. There isn't room to tilt it, which would be my first choice. So the physical size of the motor may be a limitation. In a calm, even a little 3 hp single stroke will move it along. Not so trying to make headway in a blow or bucking a tidal current. Yet another issue with the size of the motor is if you intend to use it's alternator to charge your house battery. If that is the plan, it will take a motor in the range of 10 hp to get an alternator big enough to move the dial much. I plan to cruise the boat, so that may involve long stretches of motoring in a calm. My likely engine will be a 10 hp. That will also require careful balance and placement of the on board weight. Once you get into a boat of this size, there is a lot to take into account and consider. A lot of options to alter to suite, as long as you know what the cause and affect of any decision you make is.
  17. Paul makes several good points (as usual), but one that gets missed is the location part. If you are building a boat, it really does help if you live in an area where they build boats and have materials and material suppliers for that. Example would be me living in Missouri. I'm not sure there is even one single retail source for marine plywood in the state. There are a number of boat builders in the state, but they are building bass boats, pontoons, etc, and they buy their plywood by the truckload, (and much of it is nothing more than pressure treated rough plywood) but they don't retail it and won't sell it to me. And we don't have a single marine second hand store in the state. So mail order and ebay it is. Also helps if you understand how to work around things. I have gained a better understanding of some things Graham has said over the years about doing things cheap and easy after a visit with a relative who is also from Australia. The relative and I were talking about how to go about replacing the exhaust manifold on a 1958 GMC truck.....I mentioned how difficult it would be to source the part and he looked at me like I was crazy. Why buy a part when you can make it yourself......cheap and easy. My guess is the Aussies and others in remote locations, far removed from normal parts lines, etc. have been forced to learn how to make do with little to nothing to work with. Or else there might be something in the water that infects them. So for those of us in the boat building wilderness/hinterlands, we just need to do the best we can and live with it. I sill think a good way to source a lot of this would be to take a trip to a boat heavy destination.......a place where old boats go to die and find a derelict or two and scavenge as many parts as you can off those. Winches, anchors, anchor rollers, cleats, blocks, fittings, etc. Stuff that would cost a small fortune if buying new from retail sources can be had for almost nothing off derelicts and wrecks. Curious how much of that stuff is piled up in heaps in NC, SC and FL these days?
  18. Greg: I've never kept track of it all, and I suspect the main reason for that was I wouldn't want to know. In my case, a lot of it has been for things I needed, but didn't have, like mods to my daughter's barn so I would have a place to build, plus some higher end power tools I didn't have but felt would make things easier. Things like a band saw, jointer, panel saw, etc. Hard to chalk that up to the cost of a single boat when they are tools that will be around long after the build is completed. In other words, not materials. Last time I checked, there was a materials list for the Princess on the B&B site. That would be a good place to start. Put it all on a spreadsheet and put some unit numbers to the units. I know the plywood alone was around $2,500 and probably about that for the epoxy and glass. Other items that have some big price tags are the sails, motor, trailer etc, not to mention an electrical system, galley, and incidentals. Many of those have the same price tag as the plywood does. To this point, cost has not been an item for me personally. My issue has been finding the time to keep moving on this due to a move, grandchild with special needs and aging parents. No volume knob on that stuff that you can turn down or off.
  19. Almost all the epoxies I've worked with (except for West System) are 2:1 resin to hardener, and that includes S3 and all the brands PAR (Paul) mentions, and I've had good success with all of them. They are versatile and can be used to wet out glass, glue and fillet, all from the same jug. I know S3 throws cold water on that, and offers unique products for each of those applications. I eventually decided that was more marketing ploy than anything. Working with epoxy is not rocket surgery. Get the 2:1 mix ratio right and it almost always works out OK. Seems I heard somewhere that 1:1 were the inferior products. I could be wrong about that.
  20. I suspect most of us are using epoxies comparable to the T-88 and using thickeners like cabosil or wood flour. The deal with thickeners with Ashcroft (overlapping planks) is in addition to filling any voids and gaps between planks, often times these planks are curved into a stressed shape, so clamp themselves tightly together. Without some type of thickener, the epoxy joint between the planks would be thin and it takes a bit of epoxy filled gap to generate the strength of the epoxy joint. Without that, the joints might be thin and dry, holding the potential for them to come apart under stress. The epoxy used need not be thickened so much it won't spread out. About like mustard or mayo.......not so thin it will run or flow, but not thick enough it won't compress and move around easy.
  21. I have towed the Spindrift 10n I built behind my Montgomery 17. Very little drag or other problems, other than it did fill about half full during a heavy downpour. I did not install self bailers, which would be good to have. For a nesting boat, you need two, as the nesting boats are really two boats bolted together, so you have to bail them both. Having the boat half full of water slowed me down a lot. For a long painter, I used the type of tow rope used for towing tubes and other such water toys behind ski boats. Pretty strong, stretchy to absorb and shock and it floats.
  22. Is it possible the wood used wasn't as dry when you glued it up as it is now and the wood shrank over time as it dried out to equilibrium? I've had stuff pull apart before when the epoxy wasn't fully cured before it was loaded (slow cure epoxy+cold temps+loaded joint=movement). It may look hard, and you can't dent it with a thumbnail, but it is not ready to handle a heavy load. The same thing could happen if your mix ratio was bad, as it may never cure right or be slow to do so, remain gummy for too long and allow movement of a heavily loaded joint.
  23. Ron: Have had a far too long pause in my progress. Simple answer is life got in the way. We moved a while back for the first time in 25 years, and that has left things unsettled. Thought it might help as I"m now 15 minutes closer to my build site than I was, but so far, that has not been the case. Hope to resume soon. PS: I stared at that bow section for a good 20 minutes or so the other day, and time away helps. I think I can clearly see now how to button her up. Howard
  24. Not to put too fine a point on it, but a "squirt" isn't a reliable measurement. It might be for the person using it, but that does not port over to anyone else, unless the pumps are known to be the same. I seem to recall the B&B pumps are in the 30 ml per stroke range, with the side B having the "restrictor" plate on it so it only gets half a stroke........so 30 + 15 = 45 ml per stroke or "squirt". I mention this as I have pumps from two other sources that give different results. One is 12 and 6 for 18 ml......the other does not have the restrictor plate on it, so that delivers (30 + 30 A) + (30B) or 90 ml. Then there are the West System pumps. I have no idea what they meter out per stroke. So what would be helpful would be an estimate of the amount of coverage in either square inches or square feet (or if you want to stick to metric........square centimeters or some such thing) per 45 milliliters. This applies not only to coverage to coat and seal plywood, etc, but also to glassing schedules and even fillets and such. So you have 10 linear feet of fillets and you want a 1 inch radius? How much to mix up? (and then decide if you can you get that much fillet mix out of your mixing cup before it heats up and goes off in your hand)?
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