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Aussie CS 20-3#5 "Dragonfly 2"


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Pete, when I undercoated the hull I left the area for the keel batten or strake masked off. I have now glued the keel onto the well sanded surface using cotton flox in the epoxy mix for strength. The only hull penetration was a 1/4 inch dowel at the stern which I drove through the glass into the underlying timber of the transom vertical stiffener. A lot of epoxy went into that hole as well, and squeezed out through the scratches on the dowel. As for the rest, I used a lot of lead sash weights and bricks to position and hold it down. This morning I took the weights off and am pleased with the result. I then used a cake decorating piping bag to squeeze epoxy under the gap at each side and when that starts to cure I will lay a nice fillet of epoxy.

The keel is 'merbau' hardwood and it is a strong and scrape resistant timber. It is a pain to plane! I routed a hollow in the underside to hold epoxy and mate with the keel line of the boat. I think that the epoxy will soak in enough to bond well, although I am tempted to carefully measure out a suitable place for a dowel up near the bow end of the keel strake.

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For better or worse, here it is in place. Main purpose, distribute the load when on a trailer and be the first to scrape when grounding.

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At the bottom right of your posting there is the word "edit." It is faint, but if you click on it you will be able to edit and preview your posting, including the title. You may have to go to your f

I have arrived at the point where the two halves of the hull are ready and waiting to be joined. 3D before Christmas? Depends on how many jobs the boss gives me around the house!

It's a tough life, but some body has to do it.

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Thanks Don. Like all builders, I can see the bits that I wish I done differently or better, but overall I am happy. I am in the throes of painting the final coats right now and noting that there are still abrasion scratches that I missed in the final sanding. Oh well, too late now so I will live with it. They won't matter in the water.

I asked my daughter what she thought of the color, she said, "Hmm, very blue". So three coats of Very Blue two pack later, here it is. When the paint hardens I will hit it with wet and dry paper and then decide whether to go for a fourth coat or just polish it. The keel batten will get several coats of epoxy and remain unpainted.

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Well guys, I think it is time I reported in. I have watched every day as progress is made on the other boats and the Everglades Challenge prep and finish. Congrats to all, especially to Graham for knowing when to withdraw gracefully to come back another year. I have fitted in a good deal of work on Dragonfly in between life and paid employment. The boat is back in her cradle, I have completed a trailer that isn't the prettiest trailer around but will do for now. I have fitted the self bailer and the reinforcing pad for the mizzen mast base. The cockpit sole is ready to epoxy in place and then fillet and glass before painting. I am currently building the forard tabernacle and considering a mizzen tabernacle as well. I built it with oak, but that is probably overkill and more weight than needed.

I decided to put a screw-in hatch in each of the three bouyancy chambers under the cockpit sole to allow for storage and also drying out if any moisture gets in there.

I used Aqua Cote paint on the hull and am a little disappointed. Despite diluting, it flashes off so fast that it is hard to avoid some dull patches, but this will do for now. I really like the Bote Cote epoxy though as it is a bit safer and I need to be very careful of chemicals (gloves and mask at all times). PAR, I would love any comments you might have regarding epoxy that is now 18 months old, quite thickened and harder to pour, but still seems to cure as hard as ever.

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Epoxy can increase its viscosity a bit with age, but its performance will remain the same. If it's too heavy bodied to reasonably spread, heat it up a touch. Not much if it's a fast or regular hardener, maybe to 85 (30c) with the fast and 90 (32c) on regular. If it's a slow, which is what I suspect you're using you can go hotter, say 95-100 (35-38c). Remember, this will dramatically speed up working times and gel rates, so work accordingly.

   Yeah, I've had a lot of trouble with the WR-LPU's and have given up on them. Eventually, they'll figure out a better formulation, but for now, I'm through with them. One trick I found that helped a lot, was to greatly increase the humidity in the paint area. I used a small humidifier, which wasn't good enough, but I suspect wetting the shop floor and running a few humidifiers could have produced better results. I never did figure out a good way to spray the stuff, it was nearly dry a few inches out of the gun. Painting on a really humid day (raining outside) seemed to help too. Lastly, you can buff it up, to get a uniform luster. Depending on how much paint you applied (film thickness) I'd start with a fairly aggressive compound or polish, working up through the fine stuff. This can make a crappy paint job look respectable.

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Thanks PAR, that is reassuring and fits with what I am seeing with the epoxy. I have buffed the hull finish (four coats of finish) and it is a good 10 foot finish, so it will do. I will say though, the undercoat and finish coat combined is hard as a rock.

Hi Amos, I bought the large Anderson bailer and removed the little flap on the end of the venturi, so I will use the one for both filling and emptying, with a portable electric pump as a back up.

I hope to have the boat in the water by middle of this year. Behind schedule but that's life. The fun is in the journey as well as the destination.

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Nice Work! I was tempted to cut the cockpit sole into two pieces to make sure it was sealed across the water ballast aft bulkhead. With the extra ports you have achieved the same result. I never thought of that. I did Jay's trick of using a phone camera to "see" the squeeze out so I'm good.

 

Regarding the mizzen tabernacle.....is there plan out there for that or did you just design your own following the main as a guide?

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Thanks Steve. I am just designing my own based on the main tabernacle and giving it enough height for the mast to clear the cabin top. It means I will have a great big stump in the middle of the cockpit, but I won't have to lift the mast up out of its socket to dis-mast, which could be good when solo sailing which I like to do.

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Drew, have you decided what you are going to do about the masts? Have you located any suitable aluminium sections yet? If so I would like to know where from as I am thinking of making wooden masts as I can't locate anything suitable.

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Alex, I too am having trouble finding suitable tubing that fits the specs without the expense of importing a special order, which I find very surprising. I tried the contacts that Alan recommended some time back, but they claim they can't supply without importing. Their 3 inch tube has a wall thickness of 6mm, so is not only heavy but won't mate with any suitable tube for the top mast section. I have no idea why. If anyone finds a suitable supplier in Australia, please let us all know.

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"I used Aqua Cote paint on the hull and am a little disappointed. Despite diluting, it flashes off so fast that it is hard to avoid some dull patches, but this will do for now. I really like the Bote Cote epoxy though as it is a bit safer"

I tried Aqua Cote when refurbishing an old glass hull. I wanted to spray in an area that was not suitable for the fumes accociated with other paints. I could not get a satisfactory result no matter what I tried. One thing that worked out well was a result of an accident. I tried rolling on the Epoxy undercoat with a cheap foam roller. The result was a heavy orange peel - almost like non slip. It hid a multitude of blemishes and I have used the method since on areas that lend themselves to a regular but textured surface like decks. Once the top coat goes on over it you get a great finish if that is what you want. Forget about a nice smooth finish though. I had also used the Bote Cote epoxy which has a following among amatuer builders in Australia. I can't help but wonder if this is based on them not trying others. I had viscosity issues and difficulty with mixing glue powders etc with new stock and quickly went back to what I knew. Like PAR says they might get the paint right one day but I will take some convincing.

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Hi Capriosca, nice to hear from you. I did some flying with Vanair years ago out of Vila on the milk run up to Santo and back via Ambae etc. I have had no trouble with mixing the Bote Cote epoxy. It is only my preference because of chemical sensitivity as it is promoted as less toxic than other 2:1 epoxies and it seems to have a high resistance to degradation in water. I would think that the humidity in the islands is going to work against a paint that is already way too heat sensitive. I also found that the undercoat finishes with an orange peel finish off the roller, although, unlike the finish paint, I had some success with rolling and tipping. It cures very hard which means huge amounts of sanding and the inevitable scratches that are too deep to remove without filling. If I use the rest of the paint that I have left over, I will do it with a wet floor and a cool air temp in the shed.

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I am surprised that you are making your tabernacle already when you haven't even sourced your mast material. I hope whatever you settle on will fit without having to redo them. I have used 4 or 5 different brands of epoxy in Australia and you can't go past the Bote-cote system, however their water based paints are shocking. I have seen quite a few boats that have used their paint and I don't like the look of any of them not to mention the boat I half painted before realising that the paint was terrible. Their gloss is more like a matt finish. I would sand smooth the top coat without going through the paint and then roll and tip a coat of polyurethane for an awesome gloss finish. I do this with baseball bats and they look great and stand up well.

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Drew,

 

Another important factor in doing a mizzen tabernacle is getting the right height for the axis. I spent a lot of time getting the best compromise height for my mizzen crutch. Naturally it is good to get the stowed masts as low as possible for highway windage and garage height but the overriding factor for me was to be able to function on the boat in trailing mode. 

 

You need enough height to be able to get in and out of the boat without having to raise the masts. I live in my boat on the highway as well as loading and unloading for trips. I prefer wash boards to doors and for security I have a barrel bolt that I lock the sliding hatch shut with. It is impossible to get into the boat while I am in there without making a lot of noise. It takes a second to slide the bolt up to lock or down to unlock and slide the hatch open.

 

For those of us that row you need enough headroom under the stowed masts to row. 

 

The picture shows me gently rowing the boat to the ramp to haul the boat. It was when my back was hurt and I decided that an easy row would hurt my back less than pulling the starting cord of the motor.

 

As your boat is a 20, you probably do not need the mizzen to be as high. When CS17 mk3 #10 visited me at Key largo he had his masts stowed horizontal and he cursed it when he needed to get something from inside the boat. His setup was temporary but he put raising his aft crutch at the top of the list.

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Great suggestion Graham. Thanks. I also want to be able to use the boat as a 'pointy caravan' when on the road. My current thinking is a mizzen tabernacle that is high enough to clear the cabin top for lowering masts to travel or clear bridges but the hinge pin will be similar to the type we use in some aircraft, a smooth stainless pin with a safety circlip in one end. That way the foot of the mast can easily be removed and lifted up onto a temporary crutch to clear the cockpit and companionway. 

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