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Everything posted by Aphers

  1. One thing I would say about the build process is that there are a few places in which the exact order that you do things doesn't matter. E.g. I left building the interior (seats, daggerboard casing) until after I had sawn the boat in half. That way, I could fine tune to ensure the two halves nested properly. Also with the materials, I struggled to source quality timber for the larger pieces like the thwart. But in practise you have some leeway on these. With epoxy, you can use silica most of the time but imho microfibres are superior, easier to mix and I think probably stronger. Microbaloons are great for fairing, easier to sand and often can be applied to give a lovely smooth finish with no sanding required at all. I went for an almost entirely painted finish. This meant that I was not shy about using drywall screws to tack things together, because I could easily fill the resulting holes and paint over them. You can't do that with a bright finish. Finally, clamps, clamps, and more clamps. I ended up making several from scrap wood, and even used shifters, mole grips, etc. Enjoy- it's a very satisfying project, and I now use my 11N as my daily dinghy (I live on a yacht)- I get a lot of admiring comments from other yachties.
  2. Many years ago I was given a set of very nice lightweight oars from a skiff. They belonged to a neighbour's husband and were passed on to me when he died. I later lent them to another friend until he sadly passed away and they have come back to me. At 7' long they are a very nice fit for my Spindrift 11N. But the existing collars are in the wrong place and I will need to move them. There is some damage to the wood already, and I will be sliding the collars down over this. What's the best way to treat/protect the wood before I cover it with the collars? I could use epoxy but would that trap moisture inside the wood? Traditional varnish? Oil? Or stop worrying about it and just move the (plastic/rubber) collars?
  3. I built an 11N and am now using it as my tender. I went for the biggest boat that could practically fit on the foredeck. Once launched, it is great. We've carried two adults and a child, with three bicycles and shopping, and still had ample room to spare. It's more stable than a smaller boat, it glides along beautifully under oars, and I don't think it cost any more to build than a smaller version, or took appreciably longer. But despite all of that, I wish I had built the 10 instead. Launching, recovering, and manhandling on the beach are just too much effort. We can manage it, but the whole time I am thinking to myself that the pieces of the boat are too large and heavy. And I am sure that the 10 would have been large enough for our needs as a tender.
  4. Very interesting learning experience. At least you'll have a robust boat that can't rot. That was one of the attractions of composites for me, but cost and lack of experience/skills swung it the other way.
  5. Nice find! I see you're missing the knees, is the keel there? Hard to tell from the photos.
  6. Tried out the two stroke today, we were cruising along at 5.5kt in flat water with two adults and a child, plus three bicycles. Trips like that make me glad we went for the 11!
  7. I promised to report back, so here we are. In amongst several other very large projects the Spindrift didn't get a look in. It's still missing the rig and foils, keel band, and fendering. I've also not done anything about lifting eyes or locking the thwart in place. Nevertheless, on the 1st of August I launched the dinghy and took it for a short row. Wow, does it not row beautifully! The forward ends of the aft tanks make reasonable foot braces, and the 7'6" oars I am using are a little "high geared" but she doesn't half shift. I've got no centreboard case cap yet so a fair bit of water splashes up, and also my secondhand self bailers may be leaking. It's either that or the bolts in the bulkhead, but she does take on a fair bit of water. Anyway, at the end of that very short row I stowed the boat on the foredeck of my yacht, and over the next three weeks sailed from Scotland to Spain. I finally launched the dinghy again a couple of days ago to start using it as my tender. I've used it under oar power and with a small trolling motor. Will try out the 3.5hp 2T tomorrow for the first time. I really ought to have finished all the little jobs that are left, but I got impatient. Hopefully I won't cause too much damage in the mean time. There will be plenty of time over the winter to do it.
  8. I learned to sail on lug sail boats. However these were dipping lugs, with only a single yard at the top of the mast. A very practical rig for a working boat- all spars are shorter than the boat, no standing rig. Historically used for fishing boats; once you reached the fishing grounds, you could drop and stow the sail/yard, and had a lovely clean working platform. Minimum materials needed to build. The downside is that it's impossible to sail this rig singlehanded, and on the larger boats putting in a tack takes a good couple of minutes. But the teamwork needed to do this is all part of the fun.
  9. My 11 hasn't got wet yet, but a part of me wishes I had gone for the 10. By the time I'd finished building it, it just felt enormous. I am using it to replace a 3.1m RIB and now that I've seen the 11 in the flesh I realise how much bigger it will be than my old dinghy. No space lost to tubes, transom right at the back. On paper it's very easy to go up a size. It's the same number of sheets of ply, the extra weight is marginal, I can't imagine there is any appreciable difference in build time or cost. When making the decision, be wary of other people's experiences. I was swayed by a blog from a couple (Matt and Amy, Sailing Florence) who said their 9 was a bit small. Since we also have a child sailing with us, I decided it would be prudent to go up not one but two sizes. I later discovered that Matt and Amy are both much, much taller than we are! So the 10 might have been fine. I'll report back in a couple of weeks when I finally launch... and when I first try to stow it on deck...
  10. Sorry to hear that you lost the boat. She looked lovely. Funnily enough the only bit of my 11N that I haven't built yet is the daggerboard. I do have a sail but it's from an old club dinghy and it's pretty beaten up. So I would absolutely find a use for the parts you have... the downside being I'm over in Scotland and for the board especially it might not be economical to get it shipped here.
  11. I'm afraid I can't say yet. I've had to put the Spindrift project on pause for a few months but should be finally getting back to work on it in a week or two. Of course I also have to fit the davits to the yacht...
  12. Sadly the launch is delayed a little while... the workshop is turning back in to a holiday cottage, with guests due (covid rules permitting) in a couple of weeks. So that has to take priority. I will report back when things start to move again...
  13. Well Elvis has left the building. The boat is now safely tucked away at the back of the shed, and I can get the workshop turned back in to a house. Of course it's not 100% finished. I'm going to add a keel band, and the secondhand rudder needs repainted. I've done nothing about the rig yet- again, this will be modified secondhand equipment. I'm going to try out a sail from a 420, it's a touch short on the foot but otherwise looks a better fit than anything else I could get my hands on. So once that arrives I'll modify the mast and then can fit the mast step. I don't have a boom either, so that's another wee job, The oars I have just now are far too short, but they were useful for gauging where to place the rowlocks. Anyway the young skipper approves of the boat and can't wait to get it in the water. Currently snowing outside so we might have to wait a couple of weeks for that.
  14. @Thrillsbeyou've got some very clever ideas in that boat. Well I thought today would be easy, bolting on the hardware (hatches, rudder fittings, etc). But boats are never simple. My rudder stock and fittings are from the donor dinghy, and after getting everything carefully lined up and bolted on, I was surprised by how much friction there was turning the rudder. It was also a real struggle to get it on and off the boat. At first I thought the problem lay with the old rudder stock- the holes have worn a fair bit and it has definitely seen better days. Eventually, though, I realised the problem- my transom is not flat. It curves in slightly at the top, so the stiffening beam across the top is slightly more vertical than the rest of the transom. Cue an hour or so fiddling around making up an angled plywood packer. I could have packed out either fitting, but I chose the upper one since it carries a bit less force in use. I haven't managed to get everything absolutely perfect, but it's much better than it was. Now it's just the mast step and the rowlocks to install. Should be on the water next week, weather permitting.
  15. @Starboardyour photos are making me wish I'd left a bit more wood on show! Looks superb. Is that foot brace I can see running up the middle of the floor? I've got the two halves of the boat hanging from the ceiling beams now, so I could go around with a paintbrush and touch up some random spots where the coverage wasn't great. That's the painting now completely finished. On to the hardware tomorrow. I was thinking about using an over-centre latch to secure the rowing seat. The latch would be mounted next to the centreboard case, with the hook part on the underside of the seat. I have a spare latch lying around somewhere so no harm in offering it up to see how it looks.
  16. The little blocks to support the seat... hardwood or laminated ply? I'm also wondering about using some hard foam rubber that I have for the aft supports. These would give a nice friendly surface for the bow section to rest on when nested. Only problem is I don't know if I can secure them to the sides of the hull well enough...
  17. The longer I live with the boat the less I am noticing the bumps, runs, and dents that are showing through the paint. I have to say I'm extremely impressed with the two pack paint. Excellent coverage from just two coats, and very very hard. I have painted a yacht with expensive marine enamel (one pack) and that was nowhere near as good, taking weeks to reach any sort of hardness. Today was spent turning an old shelf in to the thwart. It was a battered old piece of wood given to me by a friend, and it turned out rather well after some aggressive sanding back. I found fitting the thwart to be quite a fiddly job. Any suggestions for ways of securing the thwart?
  18. And the boat is now painted. Two coats of a two pack polyurethane. It was hard to bring myself to cover up all those lovely details- the knees, the laminated gumwhales. But this is a utility boat, a tender, not a show pony. The 2 pack paint will be the hardest wearing and most UV resistant finish possible. I did leave one tiny section of wood- the capping for the daggerboard case. It's not especially beautiful, but unlike e g. the knees if it did deteriorate it wouldn't be too hard to repair or replace. From a distance the finish is acceptable, but the paint really highlights any imperfections underneath. I thought I was going a bit OTT on the fairing and sanding, but actually it's ended up looking pretty rough in places. I didn't really want to risk sanding through the epoxy coating and durability is more important than aesthetics to me. Next step is to install the hardware. Bailers, rowlocks, rudder pins. I also have to make the thwart and the foils, and adapt the rig from my donor dinghy.
  19. Hi there, I sourced my epoxy and the tape from MB fibreglass who are based in NI. I used the 'Epolam' epoxy which was substantially cheaper than any other option I found. Their tape is 315gsm. When I ran out of that, the second roll I bought was from Fyne Boat Kits and that was only 200gsm. I'm not just how critical the weight is, I doubled up in a few places when I had to switch to the thinner tape. I would say there is a certain degree of wiggle room in exactly what materials you use, and the quantities you'll need. E.g. the bill of materials suggests considerably more epoxy than I have used, but only one roll of tape. I bought 4 lengths of 25x50mm ash and will have hardly any of that left over.
  20. And that's me all ready to start painting tomorrow!
  21. I'm thinking along similar lines. I intend to use eye-nuts rather than wing-nuts at the nesting bulkhead. I will also have pad-eyes on the floor near the aft seats, as lifting points. The distance between these points is about a metre. I'm trying to track down a suitable inflatable fender or buoyancy bag that can be strapped fore and aft, one on either side. This would give useful extra flotation nice and low in the boat, and reduce the amount of water shipped in a capsize. And if partly deflated they would also create a nice padded cushion for the bow section to sit on when nested. Hopefully what I'm describing makes sense- if not I'll show off my MS Paint skills :D:D
  22. I've used chisels extensively to trim off high spots and tape edges, but you need a steady hand.
  23. Looking good. The other way I've seen to add buoyancy to the bow section is to build in a compartment amidships encompassing the centreboard casing. I've wondered about how the boat will cope when swamped. Buoyancy bags fitted low down in the bow section might be another approach.
  24. I feel like I'm very close to opening the paint tin now. Still some final sanding to do, and a couple of places that would benefit from a bit more epoxy. The underside of the gunwhales being the worst culprit. Maybe I should make the cut-outs for the self bailers now, so that I can epoxy seal the edges? Rather than doing it after painting? Anything else I am best off doing prior to painting?
  25. Well before reading Graham's reply I had already prepped the area, sanding back and putting a bit of a radius on it. So I decided to bash ahead and have a second go at taping it. Given how badly my first attempt went, I didn't want to take any chances. I made up a set of formers to hold the tape in position- two plastic wrapped pieces of ply for inside the slot, held in place with wedges, and two battens to hold down the other edges against the bottom of the hull. Securing these took a lot of messing about with clamps and straps. With everything set, I applied the wetted out tape... and it just stayed nicely where I wanted it, no signs of it trying to lift or for any bubbles to form. So I didn't bother with all the battens, clamps, etc etc, as that would just have disturbed it. Ah well, no doubt if I hadn't gone to the effort, it wouldn't have wanted to stay in place!
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