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Action Tiger builds sailboat. With epoxy!

Action Tiger

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I cut this little stepped notch, which accepts the stepped "king plank", which is really just a long backing block for the mooring cleat connected to the breast hook and the forward bulkhead. It runs under the deck, and should provide a beefy place to through bolt a cleat.

The notch would have been easier to cut before it was all glued in place. The breast hook, for example, was laminated with the notches in situ.

I want all this crud, and the cabin tops and cockpit benches dry fitted and screwed down before I roll it to glass the outside. It will be a little heavier, sure, but stiffer and truer, as well. It's only a couple hundred pounds, anyway...

Which, I took a template from one half of the cabin, and when I cut it out, I tried it on the OTHER side first. It fits both sides almost perfectly. Duh, I left a little fudge room for final scribing after they're screwed down...

Anyway, both cockpit seats are the same and fit perfectly, and both house tops are the same and fit perfectly, so I guess it came out straight and square despite my best efforts. :)



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Getting a tan down here, is as simple as going outside for a half hour.  If you roll the car window and hang your arm on the sill, you'll BBQ it in a half hour. Getting a tan down here doesn't need any artificial lighting, trust me.


I often work at night to take advantage of the cooler temperatures or am watching goo cure (favorite pastime), but in that case I just couldn't sleep (another favorite pastime), so was piddling around online. Now tonight is different, I woke up early, after falling asleep on the couch, so I can watch the sun come up and get an early start before the heat of the day comes on.

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Oh, I was only kidding about the tan, because of your Way Forward Machine's bulbs.

I also keep strange hours, and also due to heat. We hit 110 yesterday. Today my kids want to try and cook an egg on the sidewalk. They made a little foil "grill" and everything. If it actually cooks, I'll post a photo.

I laid a few strips of glass tape last night at about 7-730, and I still sweated through my shirt.

Chick, I thought everyone knew only vampires get moon tans...

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The pointy hole in front is covered, and the big hole in the middle has been converted into a long, skinny hole.

The square hole in the back is being prepped to be covered, too. The sticks that hold up the cover are being glued up and prepped for install.

All these pieces are just temp screwed to help with strength when I flip it and glass the outside.

Getting close to the flip!


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Well, well, well. Three holes in a boat.

The first pic is the aft deck framing. There will be a hatch there. Mostly to get at the rudder fittings, because I wouldn't store much in there on a boat this small. Floaty stuff. That's where I'll stow all my happy thoughts!

The second one is where the window (I guess, technically, a deadlight?) will go live. It will be a piece of whatever plastic screwed from the inside. Sometimes I just follow orders. The vertical battens are to take the screws, the horizontal screws going into the stringers. I plan to trim the window from the outside with a little triangular piece which I hope will resemble glazing...

The third picture is a dirty old time sailor's favorite call. An oar port. ;) Seriosly, this boat has oar ports, which I kind of think is cool. The middle of the "u" will be cut out and have an external cover. It's simpler than it sounds. The top of the "u" is the bottom of the sheer stringer. Very galley-esque to run out the oars!

I hope to get the aft deck out and fitted tomorrow. Once all the decking is fitted and screwed into place temporarily, I'll flip it and glass.




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And... Presto! Aft deck, complete with hole in it. It still needs one more hole for the mizzen tube, but for now it's just screwed on to keep the boat as rigid as possible during the turn.

A few more details to attend to before the flip, but it's close!

Next week also promises to be ideal glassing weather. Fingers crossed.

Now I'm going to work on my kayak.


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A question for the epoxies:

I've been out of the epoxy game for a long time, dozen years or so.

How long should I wait before I paint over this stuff? I plan to use porch and floor enamel, like I always do, and I wonder if there are any issues with applying paints too early.

We're in the middle of a great weather window, and if I can get a head start on some priming, I would love to.



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Most of the usual epoxies we use don't shrink very much, but if paint is applied too early, you can get some orange peel and/or cracking. Again with these epoxies (room temperature cure, marine) it takes 2 weeks to fully cure. Most don't wait this long and have few difficulties. A few days is all you really need. The epoxy will be 95% - 97% shrunk up and the amount of additional movement is in 1,000ths of an inch. If using your house paint approuch, assuming a good primer, you can paint within a couple of days with no worries. Hell, you can paint within 24 hours if you, like as these paints are flexible enough to absorb any movement.

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Thanks, PAR. I may decide to go with some exotic two-pack something some day, but I just like regular old soft paint for my dumb boats. I appreciate your informed responses to these questions.

With me, you can always assume a good primer, at least two coats, and at least three topcoats. Well dried and lightly scuffed between coats, or hot coated, depending on the situation.

Of course, I may get serious one day and use a nice, hard two-pack paint, but I don't know.

Maybe if I stick with sheathing and don't go back to naked wood. Plus, I REALLY like building skin boats, and I think poach and flow is the best for them.

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I've been using epoxy primers for a long time now, to prevent any issues that might crop up. These will lock down just about anything and you can block them easily, if you get to it in the first 3 days after application. These primers tend to get noticeably hard to sand after 3 days, but still sand uniformly. Additionally, you can put anything over them, saving a little money, knowing the tie coat is smooth.

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Well, it's upside down. I don't usually need help moving the boats I build, so it was a nice change to need some help. We just rolled, hitched it over, and rolled again. It's pretty darn light, despite being made out of the worst, heaviest type of plywood in the world. ;)

I also got to make some snazzy new horses that small son has already coopted for his homemade Ninja Warrior course in the yard.

Anyway, you know the stitch and glue routine. Now I'm gluing the outside, then just using cloth. Two layers of 6oz. overlapping the upper chine.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Long boarding in flip flops? Cmon, this is California, dude...

Seriously, much easier to rinse sanding dust off bare feet, and this is "just" wood and well cured epoxy. Yes, Virginia, I still wore mask and goggles.

No shirt, though, because its hot and I'm inside, out of the sun.

I actually slowed myself WAAAY down on this part. Just because I'm doing this boat on a shoestring, doesn't mean I need to do it half cocked. It can still look nice. Besides, with these big old chines sticking all out there like that, they'd better be pretty smooth.

This is all surform, rasp, and 80 grit paper on the board. I'm using a stiff board, because I can use it like a long plane, or a spokeshave. And a diagonal rolling motion does wonders to round a chine...

Also, I'm not in such an all fire hurry to get the other boat's outer seams taped, so I can relax a bit, and do it right. I'd much rather get this right, than have to sand and fill after glass.



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