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Action Tiger builds sailboat. With epoxy!


Action Tiger
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Yeah, life can be tough here in central Florida, but someone has to do it. This winter we had one morning in late December where it got down to 32 degrees for about 45 minutes and two days in early January with near 32 degree temperatures for a few hours in the wee morning bits. Very occasionally we'll stay in the 50's during daylight. It's not uncommon to have 50's at night, though this year not many days at all, with general lows in the low 60's and daytime highs several degrees over the average. Today was 82, and tonight a cold front will drop in, so maybe we'll touch the 50's for a couple hours, but I'm not holding my breath. Tomorrow will be close to average for a change, but then back to higher than normal temperatures, until the weekend, where we'll get back to the averages again.

 

All this said, I've still had to get things done with some cool weather, if occasionally and these heaters work good. I also use them to accelerate curing, which they do quite well too. If you can raise the ambient temperature by 20 degrees during the cure, you'll half the cure time. Another 20 degrees higher and you'll 1/4 the cure time, so it can offer benefits other than cold weather accommodation. So, if you have a goo that needs 12 hours to cure hard enough to sand lightly, take it to 115 degrees under a tarp and it's cooked in 3 hours, which a big difference. I often work with slow and supper slow formulations and this permits long setup and working time, but waiting for a cure, so I'll cook it and get the best of both worlds.

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PAR,

Once someone who’s professional opinion I respect told me epoxy takes a week or more to fully cure, I’ve not been in ANY rush to disturb the fresh stuff.

 

I got sensitized to famous brand, and I now think it was the sanding dust that did it. I had no problems with the stuff I was using, but I recently had to switch brands, and I’m still a little scared of the new stuff getting me.

 

I am really cautious about epoxy. And, as long as the temp doesn’t drop below 50* during the cure, I’m fine waiting for it. The goop will finish curing fine above 50*, and I don’t even TOUCH newly laid epoxy for a week after it’s down, minimum.

 

I got a few more boats to build that require epoxy, and I want to be able to keep using it.

 

Besides, best to stack up projects like this and glass them all in one go, to me.

 

 

Which is a long winded, roundabout way of saying the heat lamps are a good tip, for a less chicken person than me. :)

 

Peace,

Robert

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Most epoxy "sensitization" occurs by sanding cured, but not fully cured epoxy. To a lesser degree those that swim in the stuff, taking the safe guards to undesirable levels also in time can become sensitive. Switching brands can help, but mostly just following the well understood precautions is all most need to do. Yep your correct, epoxy will continue to cure, long after it's dry and can be sanded, up to two weeks with some formulations. This is the usual "exposure" time for most. If you can wait, go for you, but I have to admit, I can't wait that long. Most of the time I want o be "on it" as soon as practical, so I wear a mast. Of course, there's no test that I know of to tell if the epoxy is 100% cured or still in the "I'm getting there" mode. I'm lucky, in that I've only experienced epoxy sensitivity once, very early with my exposure, when my habits weren't what they should be. I cleaned up my act, switched brands and had a few months break from major work and it went away. I haven't had to deal with it since, so I'm lucky, but do sympathize with those that do. I have a buddy that stops be the shop every so often and he's so sensitized, if he sees one particular brand anywhere, he will not come in. I've stopped using that brand, but he still asks.

 

Hang tough Robert, you're getting there and doing a nice job (as usual) in the process.

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Paul,

You nailed it! There is one brand of epoxy that’s like poison oak to me. The mere mention of the name makes me break out all itchy.

 

I know now it was from “green” dust, which is to say sanding dust from hardened but not cured epoxy.

 

The new stuff don’t seem to bother me, but I also wait a looooong time before I fool with it. Dust is one thing, but dust that’s as live as the liquid was is a whole nother ball of cheese.

 

And, again, the heater is an awesome idea. I use a small heated, insulated, “room” to cure paint on small made items, which I often make under a deadline. Sort of a small kiln or oast, really,  it it’s in an attached room, and ain’t near big enough for a 20’ boat. Haha.

 

I was just in a room the other day that is 70* and 30% humidity year round, and they can change those numbers at will. Sigh. Still, I’m not sure I’d want their power bill. The temperature in the garop fluctuates more than, well, a fluctuating thing. Haha.

I have been thinking of building a new garop from straw bales. Well, we can’t have everything...

 

Good news, though. I already have plans for the next “big” build after this. Well, not “plans”, but we’re drawing them...:)

 

Peace,

Robert 

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Dang, and thanks for the nice compliment PAR. I forgot to mention that, but your kind words were not lost on me.

 

I wondered why my hat felt odd, and when my ears brushed the door jamb on my way out, I suspected what the mirror confirmed.

 

My head was swollen up! Now that I’ve thanked you, I can convince myself you were just being polite, and go try and live up to the compliment. :)

 

Peace,

Still Chilly, But The Sun’s Out!

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   I think it's a good idea to read the material safety data sheet for the West Systems hardener.  If I remember correctly it says that the hardener remains in an actively hazardous state even after the epoxy cures.  It also states that the hardener is absorbed through the skin so in addition to a respirator it may be a good idea to wear a bunny suit when sanding epoxy.

   That's just an FYI.  I'm not any kind of expert (well actually I am, but my expertise has nothing to do with chemistry or biology)  :)

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3 hours ago, Action Tiger said:

I already have plans for the next “big” build after this. Well, not “plans”, but we’re drawing them...

NOW what are ya gonna build? i just can't keep up wif ya! So, is that where the "Action Tiger" comes from? All the boat building "action"?

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The kids want a trimaran. Who am I to say no? They were after a certain model, but we’ve since decide not to build that’un. Well, some really smart boat designer told us to not to, but in so many words. Some kid who sailed some canoe somewhere or somesuch. ;) Yeah, were doing one from scratch, Dude.

 

A little mouse and I are designing one. Really, I am doing the work, and the mouse runs the computer. I don’t get along with computers, but those softwares are handy little blobs of blips.

 

Now, mind, too, almost all these boats I fart around with are  just silly little additions to our armada. Or go live with the somone who really wanted a boat just like that, but wouldn’t ask...

 

The “action” comes from one time when I actually did stuff. :)

 

I’m sure I never mentioned the footy sailboats, right? 

 

Peace,

Frozen Tiger 

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You don't need to acknowledge compliments, your work does fine all by itself.

 

Once epoxy is hard, though still chemically reactive, sanding it is much more an airborne particulate issue than an absorption through the skin concern. This said, certain areas can be overly sensitive to cured dust, like armpits, the groin and other typically sensitive to the touch, thin epidural locations. Hair spray in these areas can seal the pores temporary and make you smell like a French hooker for a few hours. Baby powder (talc) is nearly as effective, but sweat washes it off quickly. Retail products like "Liquid Glove" and similar also can seal the skin, so these areas don't get dried dust impacted into the pores. Of course, a Tyvek suit is handy, but tape the sleeves closed under the gloves and maybe the neck too, just to be sure, if you've found yourself to be sensitive to certain brands.

 

In the end, once you've become sensitive to a brand or epoxy as a whole, stop and give yourself 2 or 3 months off and switch brands. Most will recover and can move on again, with renewed adherence to procedures with a new brand. I've only met a handful of folks that haven't had success with this recovery approuch, but they also admit to swimming in it for many years on the job. I personally believe that if you have enough exposure, with less than admirable procedures, eventually it does enough damage that you just can't go back without a full EV suit and respirator system. In most cases, it's the additives in the hardener that cause folks the sensitivity. In some, it's the base resin type used by the formulator, but 90% of the time it's the hardener.

 

FWIW, West System 205 hardener is one of the most common ones that comes up in conversation, with folks that have become sensitized, which may just be a statistical thing, as they are the industry leader, selling the most goo. The other one that comes up a frequently is Fiber Glass Coatings Inc. goo. I know they've come up with newer formulations in recent years, so this may have changed, but I haven't compaired their MSDS sheets in a few years.

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   Paul, if you read the MSDS for the West System hardener you'll see that they claim that there an issue of absorption through the skin even after curing (if i remember correctly).  I'm not singling out West Systems as a particularly dangerous product, I'm just pointing out that data sheet because it is the one I've read.  I am assuming that other brands will have the same chemistry.

   It's really only an issue for prolific builders like you and Robert.  Lazy and unproductive people like me don't need to worry so much.  I'm busy damaging my liver in other ways. ;)

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2 hours ago, Ken_Potts said:

   Paul, if you read the MSDS for the West System hardener you'll see that they claim that there an issue of absorption through the skin even after curing (if i remember correctly).  I'm not singling out West Systems as a particularly dangerous product, I'm just pointing out that data sheet because it is the one I've read.  I am assuming that other brands will have the same chemistry.

   It's really only an issue for prolific builders like you and Robert.  Lazy and unproductive people like me don't need to worry so much.  I'm busy damaging my liver in other ways. ;)

What did you call me? :)

 

I did build a proa once, actually. I kept being in the wrong place, though. Ahem.

Now I aim to build a canoe with two training boats. Them I can just stay right in the middle. Haha.

 

 I need to get some pictures of this new top and the inside hatch, but it’s cold and wet out there.

 

Peace,

Robert

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You must remember some of the information in the MSDS is lawyer driven and also on legislation. For example a test conducted in California lab rats (for example), which were force fed epoxy molecule elements daily for a month, might show a proclivity toward a certain reaction, cancer or illness potential. This doesn't mean it's the case with the casual user or even the professional that also swims in the stuff, but if you start eating goo on toasted rye bread every day, you might have some issues.

 

In other words, some of the information is published, "just in case" (read law suits) and possibly for reasons not as simple to understand.

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Alex,

The boat has a “birdwatcher” style slot top, as designed, which is, essentially, an open hallway down the center of the cabin.

 

For adventure sailing, I wanted to have a solid cover for the slot top. To whit, this slot top hatch was built. When in use, it will be solidly bolted down, acting as a “normal” cabin top.

 

The forward end will have a hinged opening hatch, and the aft will have a sliding hatch that slides into a turtle hatch or “garage” (both acrylic, to keep it light below decks). The mast will be stepped through the hole on deck (the offset square hole) and a boot will be tied around the mast and collar on deck.

 

The mast itself will stay stepped the entire time afloat, no matter what, but if need be, it can be lifted out of the mast hole. The main mast isn’t all that heavy, really.

 

Without the hard top, the mast will simpler to step, for sure, but not too much. :)

 

Peace,

Robert

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Robert,

 

I remember a picture of Gary Blankenship (LugNut)'s Oracle with all the hatches opened and the slot top open to dry things out, I think at CP3 in the last Everglades Challenge. It wouldn't take much to modify yours to do the same thing. Just sayin'

 

Enjoying your posts

Alex

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Alex,

 

I thought long and hard about that. Obviously, I’ve studied Gary’s boat a bit, via the web, and have read and watched most of what I could find. His adventures actually inspired the boxed in cockpit, and sort of hardened my resolve about the cover.

 

I decided, rightly or wrongly, that when the cover is on, I want it ON! Hehe. Seriously, though, I don’t want ANY chance of it coming open during a potential capsize. We will probably use the boat as often without the cover as with, but when it’s on, I want it on. It won’t have any draconian bolts or weirdness, but some double duty straps that will accept hold down bolts and/or bows to hold up the soft top.

 

That’s why the substantial boot ring, large gutters around the fore hatch, and the turtle deck type companion slide. I want the cover to perform as much like a “normal” boat as possible. The hardest part, so far, is getting drop board slides that will work for the hatch, but not be overly intrusive when the slot is open.

 

The hatches will both be acrylic, by the by, to allow in light. It’s dark and spooky in there! Hehe.

 

By the by, I think it would be super cool to sail in company with Oaracle, especially as mine own Frolic is so orange. Haha.

 

Peace,

Robert

 

 

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There will be a halyard “crane” on the aft side of the mast with an athwart ship sheave. The yard and boom will go on on the outboard side of her mast , which will JUUUST allow the downhaul to be lead outside the main coaming to a block on a pad on the house top.

 

Yeah, I plan on lazyjacks, which with the tiny mizzen should allow easy reefing of the main. From either hatch, the mast is easy to reach, should the need arise.

 

I am afraid the hatch makes her a bit too “normal” but we’ll only use the hatch cover when adventuring, same as the mizzen.

 

I’m hurrying! :)

 

Peace,

Robert 

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