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Alan Stewart

Taylor and Alan's CS-20 MK3 #15

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Finally got back to working on our boat this weekend. Well, I did anyway while Taylor was out of town for the weekend.

 

I got the keel filleted and glassed after those tack welds had been curing for a couple months just for good measure :).  The large fillet went down without much trouble. I used about a 4" wide bondo plastic scraper up forward and an 8" metal drywall knife aft. I was going for about 1/4" thick fillet over the keel.  Starting at the bow by the time i got the fillet to the transom the front had stiffened up quite a bit in the heat (i had the garage doors open) and i was able to put down my fiberglass right away. I had some peel ply scraps left over almost enough to do the whole keel. The last 3' or so I just put construction plastic over it to push out the air bubbles and make it smooth. I put 2x4s down to span the cradles and was able to walk on them while I worked. Have to have some ok balance to do that but I could have put down more. I also got some more bulkheads epoxy coated. A bit at a time. Trying to coat things before installing them to make the coating a smaller easier job later. 

 

The next day I mocked up the bunks so we could sit in the cabin for the first time. I also was looking at how 3 ports would look in the side panel. Since we raised the headroom in the cabin of the Mk3 I felt that we had plenty of headroom even with the bunk cushions so our current plan is to raise the bunks a bit to gain some additional storage space under them. We'll see how it goes. Next we need to finish our centerboard trunk and get the rest of the bulkheads coated so we can install the rest of the superstructure. According to the logbook we've spent about 75 hrs working on the boat so far.  

 

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Steve, we've gone away from the separate module building method. It was a good idea but in practice it was harder to glass all the little compartments and limber holes etc. I'll be putting in the trunk and cockpit sides and fore and aft tank bulkheads and then glassing the trunk with nothing in it like a bathtub. then install the baffles afterward. also were trying to coat as much as we can before installing much the way Peter did. Always trying to improve the design and methods. the boat is complicated enough.

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Back to work! Taylor and I took a hiatus from building last month and left on vacation. We spent a long week on Mount Desert Island camping in the Acadia national park and did all the things up there. Very relaxing and no cell service so even better. Then we flew down to Mexico and spent a week with 3 work friends of Taylors and made use of my Uncle's condo on Isla Mujeres. If anyone is interested in a great Mexico family vacation I can recommend an excellent condo rental :)

 

Below is a shot of the CB trunk just before closing it up. Even more pictures are on my album... https://photos.app.goo.gl/22Tfg2WR5pTSBHyw1

 

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Note in the top left i decided to cut off the corner of the trunk just to avoid having a little empty space there. Probably another small change we'll make to the kit. The trunk and lid is glassed of course and sanded and got a final coat of epoxy before bonding the two halves together.  Below you can see three aluminum rails I used to ensure the trunk was straight and flat. These I salvaged out of our closets in the house when we changed them out to have closet rods. They make handy I-beam type straight edges. 

 

The trunk has been sitting out for a while now unfinished and had warped a bit so it was important to dry fit the setup all together to make sure it would be flat and straight and free of twist during the glue up since once the lid goes down it becomes very rigid. I also added a temporary piece of wood inside the trunk the same thickness as the framing near the bottom edge with plastic tape on either side to keep it from sticking to the trunk. The purpose to maintain the width of the trunk when installed until the bottom gets cut open. 

 

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The trunk all glued up....

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Meanwhile, Taylor expertly filleted and taped the aft edges of  BH2 in place. The two fwd bulkhead are fully tack welded into place and the fwd bulkhead is fully glassed in on the front side already but BH2 has no glass until now. The space between BH1 and 2 also needs glass which will be one of the next jobs. 

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Finally, we filleted and taped the chines making sure the transom was in place and we checked the width of the boat at BH5 to ensure the side flare was very close to the finished shape which it was.  Below you can see BH5 is sitting in place while the chines cure. Later that evening I went back to brush on a fill coat of epoxy on the chines but being out of practice I used too much epoxy and when i checked it about an hour later i had many runs of epoxy down the inside of the bottom. Oops. Fortunately not too late to clean up.

 

I think going forward we will try to use more peel ply for the glass taping where it's just straight easy runs. The peel ply creates a surface tension to hold the epoxy on top of the glass tape resulting in a smooth surface that does not sanding or epoxy fill coats later.  

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Alan and Taylor:

 

Looking good. Cleaning those seams does stink. I wish I had used peel ply on mine. 

 

BTW. I spent a week on a Cornish Shrimper sailing from Portland to Boothbay Harbor last month. This is my second trip in Maine by Sailboat. The whole time I kept thinking "I got to finish!" Next year I am going to take my freshly launched sailboat for a lengthy stay. I saw some amazing wildlife and scenery. Those 10 foot tides are exciting.

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Enjoyed the pictures; brought back some memories.  

 

Epoxy runs/drips get me too, especially in colder temps when it is harder to put on a thinner coat. 

 

For larger coating jobs, wiping off the excess epoxy with a foam brush works sometimes; although in wintertime the epoxy would still sometimes sag on vertical surfaces afterwards.

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FWIW Alan, I double faced taped a straight piece of fir to the trunk side facing the cockpit. I was worried a plug would get stuck. Easy Peazy.

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Aug 27 Update:

We've got some momentum now. It feels good to glue in parts. We spent a good part of Sat. and Sun. working on the boat. Earlier in the week Taylor filleted and taped the aft side of BH5 into place and on Sat we installed the port side of BH4 and got all of the seams between BH1 and BH2 taped. 

 

Below, BH4 is split into 3 pieces in the updated version of the CS-20 Mk3. This allows the center panel to be installed after the ballast tank is glassed like a bathtub which will hopefully eliminate the possibility of any leaks. To the left, the BH is cutout and the space behind it is storage at the end of the port bunk. To the right the panel is solid because it will be the front side of the Cooler box. We're planning to copy Graham's Cooler design. The right side panel is normally also cutout but I cut a new one out of scrap. The hole could have been filled in with scrap but i had a big enough piece so i just remade it. Here I am dryfitting the 3 together while gluing in the port side part to keep everything square and lined up. A clamp was needed at the top to pull in the gunwale just slightly. Had about 1/8" gap between the hull side and frame in the middle of the panel which is normal. We always leave gaps like that alone so as not to "dimple" the hull.  

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Below: a view from the stern. BH5, BH4, BH3 (with companionway cutout). Note the gap for the CB trunk on the port side and a thin 1/4" gap on the stbd side of BH4 for the starboard cockpit side. 

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Below: A view of the keel between BH1 and BH2. All the glassing and taping is done in this area. Next up will be installing the cleats to support the forward locker top and final epoxy coats inside the locker. I'll also be installing an inspection port in the bottom of the BH1 to gain access to the space underneath the anchor locker well. 

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On Sunday we installed the pre-coated and sanded starboard cockpit side panel. The tabs and wedges worked excellent to pull the part down tight to the hull. Taylor got straight to work filleting and taping the outside joint. 

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Below: At the same time, we installed the starboard piece of BH4 and glassed it in. This box completes the sides of what will be our cooler space. Next in here will be blocking in blue insulation foam. The center panel of BH4 was again used to maintain the space and keep the frames square and true. It is not glued in yet and won't be until after the ballast tank is glassed. 

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Meanwhile, I've got the centerboard trunk (also the port cockpit side) coated and almost ready to install. I still need to drill the CB pivot hole out. I plan to make a 90 jig for the drill and drill it by hand rather than try to line it up on the drill press. 

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Enjoyed the tour; thanks for posting it. 

 

I think your motor placement is going to work out very well; I think the boat will steer and respond better with the prop directly forward of the rudder (with the rudder more directly diverting the propeller thrust as compared to a transom hung motor).  Another advantage to your placement is less (or no) chance of prop cavitation in waves.

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Great detailed video of the parts for other potential builders to view, and even motivate folks to geturdone. FWIW I use vinegar for a much cheaper and non-toxic cleaning liquid for my epoxy cleanup of spreaders and putty knives too.

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I too enjoyed the video very much! Makes me feel like building my own boat even more - and at the same time it a bit scary: will I really be able to do all that?

As for epoxy-cleaning: acetone is toxic and stinks, vinegar is non-toxic and stinks too. Will citric acid work?

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2 hours ago, Wommasehn said:

 Will citric acid work?

 

Yes.  I use an orange waterless hand soap meant for grease and ground in stuff having used nothing before for my hands. It even has a softener in it for my delicate hands. 🙂  

 

Whether it is practical to use lemon juice or such for tools or not I haven't tried. In making hollandaise sauce lemon juice and vinegar are interchangeable.

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The changes Alan and Taylor (and B & B's design) have incorporated into their #15 CS20.3 are really great improvements -- design and fabrication. Especially the tank assembly, icebox, battery stowage & step, motor well, and cabin roof beams & the assembly of the cabin roof structure.  And the mizzen tabernacle!  For my Chessie stepping the mizzen is a challenge -- but so far manageable.  But at 85 I'm not sure how many more years I'll be able to do it solo.  Ditto for raising/lowering the mainmast.

 

The icebox makes the best use of that starboard-side space.  Question: Will the lining have an outboard drain so you could use block ice?

 

In the same port-side space I've found that the box drawers work very well -- especially for stowage of galley type things: stove, wash basin, cooking fuel, towels, spare blankets, etc.  The drawer is easily removed for access -- but keep it light weight.  But the rails have to be installed before the sheer strakes, cockpit deck, & sheer cabin roof panels are installed.  Almost impossible [to do] afterwards.  I use the space--under for spare-water bladders (doubles as more ballest down low).

 

The surface over the battery box is useful for a galley stove or wash basin.  Just forward of the step (over the battery) is the only place (in the cabin) with unlimited head-room.  If the hatch (on Chessie) opened just a little more -- it would make standing [at that spot on the cabin sole] a little more comfortable for washing, shaving, etc (using the garage top as a counter top).  Also for reefing the mains'l, scanning the horizon, etc.  If you spring for a dodger, be sure to have the canvas guy provide for a zippered opening in the panel over the companionway.  My guy didn't want to do it -- saying it might not be water-tight.  But I insisted, and he has agreed that it was a good idea. Very little leakage -- and what-of-it, if the hatch is easily closed.

 

I really like the motor well.  It puts the OBM out of the way and there is still lots of stowage in the other cockpit lockers -- as well as under the mizzen partner for fuel & water bottles.  But I'd do it just for a better looking boat.  Just hate that ugly look at the stern.  I would try to mount the motor (now an IBM?) on a faux transom that can be raised/lowered on a track.  On my Whitholz 17' Catboat (built by Cape Cod Shipbuilding) the OBM was mounted on a faux transom outboard of the actual transom.  Raising and lowering was done with 1/4" line and x4 tackle.  No reaching way overboard to tilt heavy motor out on the water.

 

I really enjoyed the video.  On another posting I'll bring up issues that you might want to address with respect to trailering.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for all the response! Keeping us motivated and glad to hear keeping others motivated as well.

 

On working with epoxy and cleaning up with acetone. I've tried vinegar in the past and for me it doesn't do the job. For skin contact with epoxy we use denatured alcohol when we have to followed by just a hand washing with soap. We are working in an enclosed garage since it's cold out so we wear 3m organic vapor respirators at all times when working with epoxy. If you smell acetone vapors, you're doing it wrong! And the epoxy vapor coming off a coated surface can be pretty strong too. We're also wearing gloves when working with epoxy so dipping a brush when finished into a jar of acetone to clean it and blotting it into a rag while wearing a respirator and gloves we feel is not a health issue.

 

Getting acetone on our skin is not what we're doing here and should be carefully avoided.  For cleaning putty knives we use a chip brush to clean the knife with acetone while holding it over the jar. Knife in one gloved hand, brush in the other. All the acetone falls back into the jar and the brush and knife are cleaned and then wiped onto a rag. It's quick easy clean and minimizes contact with everything. (the rag eventually gets stiff and is tossed). Once the jar of acetone is too dirty it will solidify into a solid and the whole thing is tossed. Jars are plentiful and found in abundance in our recycle bin. We like pickles!

 

Working carefully we rarely get any epoxy on our skin. Not trying to brag and yeah it's impossible not to get covered in sticky when you're laying down big long pieces of cloth or tape but there are ways to avoid it as much as possible like laying everything down dry and then apply the epoxy instead of wetting it out and then trying to move it. And keeping extra gloves in your pocket so if you get it on your glove you can swap it out instead of getting it on the tools you're holding. I treat my gloves like they were my skin which keeps my tools from getting sticky and helps teach clean working habits.

 

Finally, mixing sticks are basically free, cups are cheap and brushes are pretty cheap so if you are REALLY messy I can see how your best bet would just be to toss everything after each batch. I think everyone's got to come up with their own system and this is ours. 

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