Bimini, Cabin Top and Cushions

Northern Cross is back from the upholstery shop.

Check it out:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cabin top in stormy weather configuration, buttoned down for the night.  The vertical bulkhead panels are velcro’ed around the edges.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The cabin top secures with snaps…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

wrapped down around the cabin walkway.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I wanted a longer flap than normal on the front filler board, to keep water out of the cabin when driving down the road.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cabin entrance with rain panels removed. The bug panels also remove by unzipping from the cover at the top edge.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The bug netting snaps back out of the way for easy entrance.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bunk cushions were made from 3″ dense foam.  They fit beautifully and still allow great access to storage below.  

Now for the Bimini:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bimini in the up position.  It rests across the hand rails of the motor cover when traveling.   I also have a travel cover that fits over everything that I’ll show in a later post.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bimini in the up position.  I held the Bimini forward in the cockpit to offer more protection when standing and motoring.  It’s about 6′ in length.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After looking things over, we decided the best place to mount the Bimini, was directly onto the oak handrails.  This widened the Bimini and kept the bars out of way of my elbows while also providing a little more shoulder room.   It should also keep a little more water out of the boat.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Stainless fittings secure the aluminum uprights.  I applied lock tight to the screws to prevent them from vibrating out when traveling.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Bimini was secured by screwing the webbing directly to the tubing.  Though this might work fine , it didn’t seem secure enough to me.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Instead, I decided to wrap the webbing around the tubbing with simple knot.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I then replaced the screw to keep the webbing from shifting up or down the tube.  With the webbing wrapped around the tubing, it’ll be much more secure.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I used stainless pad-eyes to secure the forward webbing straps.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The aft strap was secured in a similar way.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And, there you have it.  Secure and solid.

Summary:

I’m now adding a compass to the bulkhead and a tow hook to the transom (for rescuing stranded ski boats on the reservoir).  I’m all but done folks and it feels so good.  I’m looking to get back on the water for the official launch early next month.  

Advertisements

Walk-Through PVC Framework

Schedule 40 PVC never meant much to me.  I’ve never cut it, glued it or bent it…until now.

Check it out:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ace Hardware plastic knobs with substituted stainless screws.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All Pieces cut, fit and mocked up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The PVC feels rock solid and provides good slope for run off

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not glues at this point…just checking fit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once happy with the fit, you’re ready to glue up the pieces.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I taped off the ends prior to glue up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This will keep the glue job cleaner.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You use a 2 part glue:  1- to prime the PVC, 2- to glue the pieces together. 

Summary:

I’m amazed at the security of this system.  The Schedule 40 is very tough stuff.  The overall structure feels extremely secure.  I’m impressed with this simple, cost effective, strong support system.  

Up next: Trailer winch, bow eye and stainless rub plate.  

 

Blue Tape Removed

Pulling the blue tape off an area you’ve painted is such a satisfying experience.

Take a look:

There’re a few places in the cabin where the white paint snuck under the tape, but only a few which I’ll touch up later.  I love the look of the Dark Navy and Hatteras Off White against the bright work.  Things are coming together nicely.  I’m very pleased with these results.

Now let’s all go enjoy our family and friends over this beautiful Christmas Season.

Cabin Paint, Ya Baby!

Well, after yesterday’s debacles, this morning went swimmingly well.  I wanted to get another coat of Hatteras Off White paint applied to the cabin top and inside cabin stripe.  If you remember, last time I tried this (with the paint slightly green) it ended up crazing and looked terrible.  I sanded this mess all off, applied one coat of paint, and waited for it to properly cure before attempting the second coat.

I’m happy to report, the second coat went on beautifully.

Take a look:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Look Ma, no crazing!!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Notice the bicycle refection off the cabin top near the back.  I love bicycles.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I also added a white stripe to the interior cabin.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looking aft.  Things are starting to come together for Northern Cross.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m almost ready to begin focusing on the cockpit.  But, first I want to get the cabin finished up.  I’ll be adding bunk retention lines to hold up the lids for hands free loading.  I also want to fix a place for the lap trays to store and add final touches to the thunder plank system.  This is the fun of building and creating your own boat.  You get to organize and accessorize till the cows come home– and I love it.

As you can tell, I’m feeling much better than yesterday.  Let’s all move forward in our lives and not get discouraged.  

Motor, Windows, Paint and Pissyness

Sometimes when you work on your boat everything seems to go wrong.  Sometimes it’s as if all odds seem stacked against you and progress is hampered by every conceivable obstacle wood, paint and metal can throw at you.  Today was one of those days.

And yet, I did make progress.  But, it was hard earned and felt like short tacking all day into a cold, biting 30 knot headwind.

Take a look:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

First off we bought the wrong length bolts, even though we measured twice and thought we could buy once.  Isn’t that how the saying goes?  It should say, “measure as many times as you damn well please, cut once, then redo it as many times as it takes until you finally get it right”.  After waiting overnight for the epoxy to dry inside the bolt holes,  we exchanged bolt lengths a third time…remember the transom has different thicknesses depending where you drill.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The upside is Bennett got some experience bolting an outboard motor onto a wooden boat.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Next up came the windows.  The wooden frames look great, so this should be easy.  Right?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After carefully aligning the frames for proper drilling, I drilled the first few holes and inserted bolts to keep things straight.  So far, so good.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Between the last photo and this photo, I lost a touch of religion, but I recon I can make that up through clean living…but, if that’s true, I’ll need to start living clean.  Problem was, once my fingers touched the silicone, it seemed to go everywhere, and I mean everywhere.  Then, the  window shifted, preventing the frame from sucking up tight to the side panel, this after all the bolts were inserted and tightened down–angered, I pull everything off to clear the problem, now washers and bolts scatter like mice across the floor– silicon now spreading, oozing, welling up from the center of the earth, slathering the wood panel, the lens, the tools, behind my ears, you name it.  After what seems like a hundred paper towels and a gallon of alcohol, I got the mess cleaned up.  I thought this was going to be easy.  Oh no, nothing easy today.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For extra style points, I used slot headed screws instead of the phillips variety.  Phillips head screws were manufactured for the automotive industry and are not as historic as slot headed screws.  This is a wooden boat built mostly by hand tools, so slot headed screws it will be.  And, yes of coarse, I aligned the slots so they all match in a horizontal orientation.  Heaven forbid you not align your screw head slots.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On the inside, I used bolt caps to contain the screw threads for a more finished look.  My wife will like this touch.  Maybe it’ll incline her to feel more romantic once inside the cabin.  I apply strategy wherever possible.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And, finally I taped off the cabin top in preparation for another coat of paint.

PC220043.jpg

I’ll apply a second coat after waiting several days for this coat to dry (keeping my fingers crossed)…remember what happened last time?

Summary:

Still good progress, but I sure had to earn every damn bit of it.  I love boat building, but be under no allusion, it’s a long slow process that’ll test your nerve, mettle and patience.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  

Yet Another Issue

Lest you feel I was exaggerating with yesterday’s post, check this out:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I decide to paint the cabin tops Hatteras Off White.  I have one coat of paint down and I’m now applying the second coat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Things appear reasonably normal…  Or do they?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Within seconds of my second coat of paint, I’m greeted with this.  The paint pulls up into a crazing appearance.  I told you chemistry and me don’t get along.  You thought I was exaggerating, you thought I was jus saying that to gain undeserved sympathy.  Well, now do you believe me when I say I’m a magnet for disasters to appear?

I used no wax paper.  My paint roller was new.  My tipping brush was new.  My paint holder was new.  The only thing I can say is the paint was not completely dry.  My thinking was to add the second coat while the first coat was still green for better adhesion.  Guess that’s not the way to proceed.  My only option now is to wait until the paint completely cures and then sand it all off.  It’s not all as bad as the photo above, but half of it is.

Boat building is a continual learning process.  You would think I would understand how to apply paint, but I guess I don’t.

Cabin Top Complete

Steps I followed:

  1. Using a flush cut router bit, I flush trimmed the edges of the cabin top to the side panels.
  2. Using a Shinto rasp, I further flushed up the cabin top with the sides panels (the router alone doesn’t completely flush the panels because the side panels are sloping and your standing on a round earth 😉
  3. Using an 1/8″ round over bit, I took the edge off the cabin top.
  4. Using a card scraper, I cleaned up any rough spots (there are always plenty despite your best efforts to clean up after every step).
  5. Hand sanded all edges and rough spots.
  6. Rolled epoxy on all sanded edges and cabin top edges.
  7. Laid a fillet in the outer cabin coaming/cabin top junction.
  8. Laid a fillet under the inside cabin top/side panel junction.
  9. Hand smoothed all fillets (by dipping my gloved finger into a cup of alcohol and softly running my finger along all fillets.  This creates a beautiful finished look).

Summary:

This completes the cabin top.  It looks great and will provide a lot of protection from sun or inclement weather.  I’m really glad I used 7/8″ stock for the cabin coamings.  They look and feel great.   I’m now ready to focus on the false transom, slosh wells and motor wells.  

Installing the Cabin Top

Cabin top baby!  Installed!

Steps I followed:

  1. Sealed cabin top with 2 coats of epoxy, sanding between coats (all done on the bench).
  2. Rolled wet epoxy on top of all mating surfaces (cabin side panels and bulkheads).
  3. Rolled wet epoxy onto the underside of plywood cabin top (where it makes contact with the boat).
  4. Laid a fillet on top of the cabin sides and bulkheads where the cabin top will rest.
  5. Laid the cabin top in place.
  6. Begged, borrowed and stole enough clamps to fill a wheel barrel.
  7. Placed clamps all around the edges.
  8. Thanked my friend, Matt Blackham for his help in this step.

Summary:

Matt is actually thinking pretty hard about building one of these boats.  Maybe some day you’ll see his build blog of another Skiff America 20.  

If Matt builds one, we will be planning an Idaho Mess About inviting all of you, including Kilburn to beautiful Idaho for a weekend of, well, messing about in boats.  We have some beautiful scenic lakes to explore.  We’re giving you notice well in advance.  

Cabin Coamings

Next up are the cabin coamings.  These are beautiful sticks of 7/8″ mahogany.  They will provide a sturdy hand hold as you move forward in the boat to drop anchor or access the bow.

DSC00029I first glued the 3/4″ cleat to the main coaming pieces.

DSC00031Then grab your handy saw of choice and begin to make 2 compound cuts (angling in two different directions).  Don’t sweat this stuff…you can always add some thickened epoxy like I did if they don’t fit perfectly.

DSC00034I’m only showing you the good one.

DSC00040DSC00041And… there you have it.  The cabin coamings in all their glory.  Once cured, I’ll cut and  shape the vertical pieces to match the coamings.

Summary:

The coamings add structural integrity to the light weight roof and define the upper portion of the cabin top.  They look awesome.  I’ve never had more fun on any wood working project than I’m now having on building this boat.  

I’m beginning to sound like a broken record when I continue to articulate how beautiful this boat is.  I’m quite dumbfounded at its simple elegance.  The photos don’t do it justice.  It’s just bang on gorgeous.