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Everything posted by MikeStevenson

  1. Note Here: http://www.byyb.org/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=2109&forum=2&8 Mostly I mentioned stuff about the Weekender we did in Kauai. Mike
  2. I just posted a tiller note on the other board, but will mention one thing here: Make sure your rudder box is up to the task of transferring the torque all th eway to the rudder. An over-the-deck tiller means a tall rudder box, consequently more flex, etc. The one in the plans is designed to be short. You'll note our Kauai Weekender had the tiller in the same place the stub tiller is in the wheel steering. Mike
  3. We have decades of boats which have been built using polyester resin. It works fine. The problem people run into is not using enough resin to compensate for the wood soaking some of the resin. Polyester is thinner than the other types of resin and is easily soaked up by the wood (even by foam, depending on the type). This leads to dry-out, which isn't good. The book-learned versions of fiberglassing will tell you that a dry lay-up is x-amount stronger than a wetter one. This is true if you've done a nice, compressed job (as vaccuum bagging can achieve to some degree). All of the surplus military layups we used to find in scrapyards were like this: extremely dense layups which looked like they'd been done in a lab. If you live in our world, you'll quickly find that dry lay-ups are not neccessarily as strong as a well wetted one. Add to this the fact that dryed out laminations on wood tend not to stick well, and you've got a nice fat urban legend: polyester doesn't work for plywood boats. Not true. Before there were epoxy fiberglassing gurus to tell us all different, we all just built boats with polyester and went about our business. There were no alternative resins. Now there are two better choices, but that does not alter the fact that polyester will still do the job if used properly. Mike Stevenson
  4. I'm afraid we recommend exterior oil-based enamels if using hardware store paint. I don't know if I'd use latex enamels on a boat, but others have so I may be over-cautious about this. Mike
  5. Sorry, I didn't make that clear. I'm making a new tank; it hasn't had any fuel in it yet as it's just sheets of steel right now. I'm still not sure whether I'll braze or weld. It'll depend on how exact the joints need to be for brazing. Welding would be tough on the 22 ga, but possible. I'm catching flack from friends for making the tank in metal after our rows about the whole metal vs. glass deal for the CycleKarts. I guess it all depends on the project... Mike
  6. So is that it for the race coverage? Not like there's any question as to who's getting the cup. Mike
  7. Congratulations on getting started. That's one of the harder parts of a project. Even though we have done a heck of a lot of projects around here, we still get first-cut fever at times. You're on your way now, so that's good. I'll let Peter know about your site; I'm sure he'll be excited to check it out. Your boatbuilding foray is precisely what we had wanted to help out with The Center For American Ingenuity, our now-defunct non-profit arm. Along that line, e-mail me your address and order particulars and we'll get a check out to cover the cost of the plans. Builders in highschool get free plans. Or we could send a video instead, if you didn't get that. Keep at it...it'll pay off in the long run! These are fun boats, and you're in a good area for exploring. I have to add something: I know polyester and vinyester smell strongly, but whether it smells bad is a matter of opinion. My wife isn't to thrilled with the resin smell, but I really like it. It smells like fun to me. Epoxy stinks to my nose. I just got a starter kit of epoxy things to do a small gas tank for a motorbike, but am going to try brazing it up in steel first. Mike Stevenson
  8. I was glad when th eboats settled on a formula closer to the original, but I can't understand the shifting course and narrow wind speed tolerance this new set up uses. To my mind it's media-sailing, designed to maximise the sponsor's payback. I think we should go back to the very open rules of the original Cup formula and run in real-life weather. I wonder whether the Swiss will change the rule to Lake -Garda-type boats? That'd be fun to watch. Mike
  9. Up in the city this last weekend (San Francisco) and saw full-serve super for 2.65. The self serve low-grade was just over $2. Mike
  10. We'd love to see it. I know we don't have a copy of that article, as I've never seen it. I'm sure Peter and Susie saw it, but we lost whatever copies they might have had thirty-plus years ago. If you have the magazine, you could send it here and I'd be happy to scan it. Mike
  11. I agree with Mr. Surbrook: these shouldn't need so much tension. We tend to run ours with just enough slack to connect the forestay, then give the t-bucks two turns or so to tighten up things. If you get in the habit of loosening and tightening the same amount, they'll stay pretty close all the time. Don't run the standing rigging too tight. We keep the shrouds tight enough to avoid getting slack in the lee side too much, but not enough to place undue loads on the tabernacle. If the mast stays straight while sailing, that's enough--if it gets a slight kink at the tabernacle, tighten the shrouds a bit. Mike
  12. Wow, you guys are well-stocked. Most of the books were sold to libraries. Mike
  13. Peter has often mentioned that one of the things he very much enjoys is watching lines of pelicans zip along the coast, floating up over the waves on the little updrafts. Surfing is a good way to watch this phenom. It's nice to see so many of them again; there was a kind of lean time for them a decade or so ago it seemed. Mike
  14. What a cute car. As I'm sure everyone knows by now, we're suckers for little cars...The Austins (Sevens, etc.) are some of our favorites. Nice job. Mike
  15. When we were considering cartopping over the Exploder, I started thinking about using a Harken traveller car to guide one end up and over the top. It's usually more a control problem than a lift problem. The choice to do a small boat was not just a launching consideration, but that we wanted a small sailable and rowable machine to try out again. Mike
  16. Odd as it sounds, a family member of mine who is a designer of much larger and far more expensive boats than we do and who really knows his stuff considered using depleted uranium for the keel of his 40 footer. He had a good source of the metal but decided to go with plain lead (because of cost mostly). Everyone knows the keels of our boats are not designed to carry the weight of added ballast, right? Mike
  17. Peter just did the first new sailboat he's designed since the Wing-Dinghy. We tested it out a little a couple of weeks ago. He's not convinced about it, but I thought it was fun. It pointed much better than we expected, and was pretty quick feeling, but very tender. It's a lot like a sailing canoe. We need to do some work to the seating position and maybe add a hiking stick or something. I'm afraid we most likely will not do any larger boats, as our personal tastes are running to the smaller size lately. That was the reason he wanted to try a smaller boat; the Weekender has been seeming like too much boat for what we needed. After this test though, I think he's going to go back to working on getting the Weekender usable again. We were trying to make a 14' boat which we could get inside our Explorer. No trailer, no cartopping, just put it in the back. It does row well, and I think I'll keep going on the boat a bit, as it was fun. I wanted something to hand launch and be usable where people sea-kayak, but not have to paddle (I dislike paddling
  18. Well done tdrown! We like to hear from younger builders (particularly as we started out this way ourselves...). Keep us posted on your project if you can. As to building in Hawaii without distractions, we'd been over there a lot prior to that point resaerching the possibility of moving there and wanted to build this boat fast. We did it at a friends piece of property which was completely removed from the world. No power, no water, no telephone. We used a generator to run the drills and saw when needed. We were building in an abandoned carport/shed in a gully with not too much to look at (except the spiders which would drop out of the passion fruit vines which covered the tin roof. The roof leaked like a seive, so rain squalls meant covering the boat with a tarp if we wanted to keep something dry. No vise, but lots of workbench created by the left over flooring of this old house (no walls left). All in all, a very primitive site, but fun. It took a week of clearing just to get to the place and cut away the vines and spiny amaranth all over the place. We made good time because Peter and I were there by ourselves, would get up early and drive to this guy's place, work until dusk, then go back to the condo we were renting and watch I SPY reruns on Nickolodeon (I think), then crash at about 7:30 and start all over the next day. Fun. The only real distraction at this place was the coastline: a pristine cove with no access for anyone else, a great reef/lava tide pool area, a washed up lifeboat from some freighter--very "Robinson Crusoe"-like. It's possible to bang a Weekender out pretty fast if you're not too concerned with details. Keep in mind we knew the boat pretty well, have had LOTS of practice doing this, and were not trying to make the boat pretty at all. Fast and dirty. Also: that boat had no steering system, which saved a bunch of time (maybe not a lazarette either, but I can't remember). Over the years we've learned just how bad a paint job we can do and still have it photograph well. Photo-grade is about all we do for our boats. On the new one Peter just did, he didn't even fill the weave of the deck fiberglass this time (we suddenly realised that we've been filling the weave with bondo, painting, then applying non-skid. silly; why bother...It looks much more finished the normal way, but the new little boat is a test anyway, and he wanted a workboat look). When Peter and I work together on a project, we don't waste much time on stuff. Usually a running chatter about stuff, but not too much standing around. A working style developed back when we did the swimming pool plans and needed to get them done in a hurry. It worked well on the Valkyrie project, as we were designing that boat as we went, so we had to move pretty quickly to keep our interest up. (also why there were never any drawings for that boat; we did all the decision-making on the fly) Mike
  19. While the average is around a year or so for most people, there have been builders who've had them in the water in six weeks or so. It took us about that long when we were doing the videotapes in 1994. The boat in Hawaii was faster, seeing as how we had no distractions and didn't have to tape things. It was about three and a half weeks. Mike
  20. I have a Bosch Worksite Table Saw. It's great. Very smooth, not too expensive, does everything I need (which isn't too much really). I use the Freud blades; they're great. Fast and smooth cuts. Mike
  21. Nice job. The new look is slick. Mike
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