Monday, August 22, 2011

Working on my sun burn

OK post isn't about my boat plans exactly...  I took my boy down to Bond Park for the little sailing class they offer.  We spent a few hours out on the water playing around on little sunfish.  The idea was to familiarize him (and re-familiarize myself) with small sailboat handling, preparing the way for the day that I actually get my boat in the water.  Lots of fun.

And yes, it has got me thinking about the boats in my future.  I'm thinking now to forgo building the Tango in favor of the smaller Glen-L 14 sloop.  No cabin, but plenty of seating.  It will fit in the garage, take less time, and overall cost about half as much (or less) than the Tango.  Still want to build the larger boat(s), but I can determine what, if any, later.  Come to think of it, this takes me back to my earlier plans.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I posted my thoughts on shortening the Tango a foot on the Glen-L forum, and only received one response, that recommended against it.  I did an engineering analysis (regarding balancing the boat) and concluded that I could shorten the boat by chopping a foot off the back, where it wasn't in the water anyway (I'd have to mount the rudder on some sort of post so it would provide the same leverage as before).  However....

On second (or is it third?) thought, it really is probably better NOT to mess with a successful design.  So I am left with the conundrum of how to fit an 18'-6" boat into an 18'-0" space.   I thought about it a bit, and concluded that the boat only needs to have the 18'-6" while the hull is upside down.  Once the boat is righted, the bow could overhang the workbench I mentioned (yes, I'd have to build the supporting cradle a little higher than I otherwise would, but this was entirely doable).  For those months (about 10 by my estimate) that I needed the extra space, I could use the other side of the garage (the one my wife usually parks in), and let her park on the shortened side.  Since she drives a Toyota Echo, the length doesn't matter to her.  The only time when I would need BOTH sides of the garage  would be a very short (< 2 weeks) period while I actually shifted the completed hull onto the cradle.

Of course, this is still not an ideal solution. HER side has a freezer that will have to be moved.  Putting a boat there will also make getting to the door to the house a pain.  But it is doable, and that's what its all about.

As far as the 8Ball build goes... delay delay delay.  Money and Time.  I've just about finished off the various work on my honey-do list (see my House blog), but the bank account needs a break.  I figure I can buy a couple of sheets of marine plywood in August (19th?), by which time I should also have the garage cleaned up (see House blog re: Shed).

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Maybe not quite THAT big...

Ok, I remeasured the garage. 

The total length of the garage is almost exactly 20'.  Width isn't a consideration, but if I take up too much such that my wife can't park her car inside, it is a non-starter.  Unfortunately, earlier this year I built a really nice work bench on my side, shortening the usable length by 2'.  So any build can be no longer that 18'.

This doesn't preclude building a Tango.  I will just have to modify the build to make the hull length shorter than 18'.  I'll just shorten the build by 1' (17' - 6").  This is easily within the 10% allowable.  It won't affect the boat much... and the difference will mostly come out of the cockpit.  Cabin space should be unaffected.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Getting Antsy... Gotta Go Bigger

I'm getting frustrated having to wait to resume working on my sailing dingy (8-ball).  I started thinking (again) about what I'll be doing next year, and I (once again) changed my mind as to my next boat.

Last time I posted, I was planning to move on to the 15' Glen-L Minuet, which would easily fit in my garage, with plenty of space to work.  The only problem is that it would easily fit in the garage, and didn't really have enough room for me inside.  The ideal solution would be to move onto a boat like the 36' Glen-L Delphine, like I still hope to tackle some day... but as I've mentioned before... that ain't gonna happen anytime soon.

So instead, I'm thinking that I should go back to my ORIGINAL idea, and build a 18½' Glen-L Tango.  Yes, it will still fit in the garage... barely.  I will have to evict my wife's car to the other side (the side shortened by 2 feet by my tool bench)  for part of the build, and I'll have to rig up a larger rolling platform to drag the beast outside any time I actually want to work on it.  The advantage is that there is actually room inside the cabin.... an extra 11" of headroom over the Minuet, and a similar increase in beam and cabin length.  Plus, this thing will be quite a bit more sea worthy, in case I ever decide to take it out to the coast.  The fact that it provides an extra 600# of displacement (call it 400# of usable load) is a bonus.  Sure, the price tag is another $4 - $5 K, but I should be able to live with that, since the build time is similar (~3 years).

Either way, it will be 9 months or so before I would be ordering plans.  Stay tuned as I birth this idea.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tic Tic Tic...

Two weeks before I can start back on the boat.

As you will read (if you follow my other blogs), I am almost done with my other summer projects.  In 14 days (next payday), I will have no excuse not to run down to the lumber yard and buy two pieces of marine plywood.  Actual construction time for the 8Ball should run me about two months.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Change of Plans... Again

Yes, I know.  I'm as bad as a kid trying to decide what he should get for Christmas.

Looking through the list of available sailboat designs, I've once again changed my mind about my "ultimate sailboat".  I've now set my sights on the Glen-L 36 "Delphin", a central cock-pit, molded plywood design that will provide a lot more sea-worthiness than the Francis Drake (27), while not being quite so overwhelming as the Starpath (44).  Admittedly there's no way I can even consider building this vessel while I'm living in the Raleigh area (pending winning the lottery), but a guy's gotta dream.

Still have my sites set to continue work on the 7' - 10" Eight Ball (tentatively named "Drifter") effective July 16th.  But this is always subject to change, depending on the Honey-Do list.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Working through the Honey-Do List

I'm slowly working through the Honey-Do list.  See my other BLOG for details.

Did I mention?  This weekend is the Toastmasters District 37 Spring Conference, hosted right here in Cary, NC.  Since it jumps all over the State, I figured I'd better jump on it while it was so close to home.

I really do want to get back to working on my boat... certainly no later than the 4th of July weekend.  Even with the major slippage in my schedule, I hope to have the work done by October.  This will give me a couple of weekends to throw it in the water before putting it away for the Winter.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wondering Where I am?

Yes, its been a while since I've posted... and it will probably be a while yet before I have time to do any more work on the boat.  Real Life has intruded, and I've got a few other projects (via "honey-do" list) that jumped the line:
  • Back yard patio
  • Reset back yard drainage line
  • Painting two rooms & outside railing
  • Garage shelving (this will actually benefit the boat project)
  • Garden shed (more junk out of the garage!)
I've set up a separate blog to talk about that stuff.  If you're interested, check it out there.
    I am hoping that I can get back to working on the boat in June...  I'll be lucky to finish it before it gets cold again.

    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    Sawed Some Wood

    No, I did not take a nap.  Set up the table saw with a 1" offset and ripped three strips off of my mahogany.  Looks good.

    Honeydo First

    Friday afternoon I went over to Capitol City Lumber to pick up my mahogany.  Three eight foot boards of 3/4" thick lumber six inches wide... $120.  Brought it home and brought it into the garage... and there it sits, two days later.  The honey-do list caught up with me.

    I did take a few minutes yesterday to cut the mast sections.  Angle slices at the ends of the 1x2 Aspen at about a 5:1 taper.  I could mix up some epoxy and glue them together today, but I rethought it, and decided that I should wait and catch it when I have a bigger batch of epoxy mixed to glue up my frames... hopefully next week.

    Today... maybe I'll be able to cut the mahogany frame sections.  Most of it is 1" wide strips, with some 2" or 2-1/2" elements.  The stuff that isn't 1" I'll just trace off of the template.  That's assuming I can finish up the honey-do's...

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Epoxy In

    Received my package of epoxy.  Ready to go this weekend on the mast.

    Sunday, March 6, 2011

    Finished Frame Cutouts

    Yes, I did.  Used up the remaining section of 1/2" ply too.  I know that Frame 3 and the Seat Sections (4) were originally intended to be cut out of 1/4" ply, but what the hey. 

    I'm set up for next week's work too.  I expect to get my epoxy in the mail sometime in the next few days...  so next week will see me working on the mast.  I came up with a rig on the table saw to allow me to cut narrow angles on the mast lumber.  Two quick cuts will let me splice the 8' and 6' sections.  I should have the entire mast blank glued up by Sunday.

    Nothing going on after that until the following week's pay check hits.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Getting Into Gear

    Actually feel a sense of accomplishment tonight.  

    That hoist that I've been fiddling with for the last few days finally came together.  I added the last pulley (for a total of 5), restrung it with rope, and up it went!  Slick as could be.  Only changes I made was to put a length of split hose along one end of the platform where it rubbed against the wall.  The thing doesn't want to come down once its up without encouragement, but I can live with that.  I still need to add a couple of cleats to coil the pull rope on when the hoist is in the up position, but that will have to wait until they come in the mail from Glen-L this week.  Here is a series of 6 shots showing the system in operation.

    And as the guy on the infomercial says, "and that's not all!"  When I was at Lowes picking up the pulley (and some more rope!!), I decided to pick up some wood to make the mast and boom with.  The problem is that the specs call for a 13' 2"x2" Sitka Spruce mast as a blank.  Just about impossible to get out here.  So I started looking at what was available.  Yes, I could do better at Capital City Lumber, but I figured that the mast wasn't that critical.  So...

    White pine....  uh uh.  The 1"x2" looked like crap, and I'd already decided that I'd splice the out of shorter lengths of 1"x2", with offset angle splices for maximum strength.  But not white pine.  

    The red oak looked nice, but I know that its sucky for marine uses.  Yellow pine MIGHT work, but I didn't really like the boards they had in stock.  

    Fortunately, I found one more species of lumber at Lowes...  Aspen.  Decent strength, and nice clean boards, even in the 1"x2" stock.  Picked up 2 8' boards, and 3 6' boards.  That should give me enough for both the mast and boom.

    Now the plan for the mast....  First, I'm going to splice the 8' and 6' sections into two 13' pieces.  Then, the two sections are slapped together and clamped to make the mast blank.  There is additional shaping to give the mast a taper, but that is later...

    Got my work lined up for this weekend, but I'm really looking forward to the day I can put in my next order for lumber and epoxy to really get started on this job.

    Monday, February 28, 2011

    Slow progress

    Ok, so things aren't going as smooth as I'd hoped.  Still, its better than I'd feared...

    I was looking at the plans for the 8-Ball framing, and see that the bow panel is shown as being cut from 1/4" ply in two sections.  This is to allow the section to be cut from scrap from the side planking.  I've decided to use some of the remaining 1/2" ply instead, which I've got plenty of, allowing me to cut it as one piece, and not have to assemble it.  I know that this means it won't be marine plywood (as the 1/4" would have been), but then again, neither was the stern section.  C'est la vie.  I'll make it work, and since the whole thing will be encapsulated and glassed, it shouldn't matter.

    On the work platform hoist:  I've taken another stab at it, but thought it through some more and redesigned (again!!!).  Tomorrow, I need to get another pulley (just one more!), and re-rig the system so that there are four lines coming off of the platform hook (two pulleys attached to the hook), leading to two more pulleys and an anchor on the wall.  The loose end won't have any pulleys (other than leaders).  If I can ever get the thing finished, I'll snap some pictures of the hoist in action.  Of course, it won't be finished until the 3" nylon cleats I ordered get in.  Only need one for this project, but I figure I'll need some for the 8-Ball when its complete.

    Sunday, February 27, 2011

    Cutting Up

    Cutting up the first sheet of plywood into frame elements went really fast.  About 45 minutes, including sweeping up the saw dust and scraps.  Here is the result:

    Not so successful was my first test of the work platform hoist.  Stupid me forgot that that thing is heavy... probably about 80 lbs.  That results in about 50-60 lbs of pull in the rope to get the thing off the ground, which is more than I want.  Its back to the store this after noon to get a couple more pulleys and some various other hardware to re-rig the hoist with some extra leverage.  I figure that I can get the required tension at the human end down to about 20 lbs.

    Saturday, February 26, 2011

    Drawing Practice

    This weekend is a little warmer than it has been, so I finally got out into the garage and started work on the boat.  Yes, it was warm last week, but I had too many things on the honey-do list.  Got enough of those off the list now that I can spend a few hours working on MIKE'S PROJECT LIST.   Thus the boat.

    Actually got two small boat-related tasks started today.  

    First, I mounted two hooks on the wall, and strung a rope with assorted pulleys to act as a hoist to pull my work platform up against the wall and out of the way when not in use.  It isn't done yet, since I have a 3" boat cleat on order to tie things to when not in use.  I think I may need to buy a longer piece of rope though, since the 20' section of 3/8" nylon braid may be a little short when the platform is in the full down position.  I'll post a picture when I've got the cleat installed and the correct size rope.

    On the boat itself, I finally marked frame elements on the piece of 19/32 A/C ply that's been sitting in the garage for the last two months.  Since the plan called for a 3' x 8', and it comes in 4' x 8', I've got lots of extra.  I decided to use some of the extra to make a couple of the small braces that the plans call for in 1/4"ply.  Since I plan that plywood to be marine grade, and these are inside components, I figure I'll reserve as much of that for other uses as I can.

    Tomorrow, I'll be cutting out the frames I just finished marking out.  Again, pictures to follow.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Keeping Interest Up

    Not exactly on topic, but I thought I'd record it here.  Just enrolled in the Coast Guard Auxiliary Boating Skills & Seamanship course being offered over at Bond Lake Community Center here in Cary.  Yes, I took the same course back in the early 90's, but it doesn't hurt to take it again.  I'd also like to take the Sailing Skills & Seamanship course, but unfortunately it is at a different location at the same time.  Maybe next year...

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Coming Outof the Deep Freeze

    OK, it never really got THAT cold here in central North Carolina, but I've lost a lot of my motivation for going out in the cold.  Yes, I could have worked on the boat this last weekend, since it was in the 60s during the day.  Unfortunately, there were those darn chores...

    Anyway, the delay is inevitable, since Pam says I can spend money yet.  I'm just to the point I need to buy epoxy and a 16' mahogany board.  That's about $150 out of pocket.  Not going to happen before mid March.  So I've got lots of time to finish the stuff that goes before that.  Hoping to finish cutting up the plywood frames over the next two weekends, but there's no rush.

    Did I mention my thoughts on what to build (next) have changed?  I've decided to scrap the Three Amigos in favor of the Travelers:

         7' 10"     8-Ball                  DRIFTER
         15'         Minuet                 NOMAD
         29'         Francis Drake    VAGABOND

    You will notice that the boat I previously called "Dusty Bottoms" is now "Drifter".  Same design.  I've still continued with the proportionate size increase, except now the proportion is 1.92.  I could continue this sequence one more size to the 55' LodeStar, but that is more boat than I could ever want.  However, if I was to build such a boat, I would name it WANDERER.

    Anyway, had considered the Minuet before since it was small enough to easily fit in the garage, while still providing a small cabin for overnight trips.  I was shying away from the small cabin in favor of the larger one of the Glen-L 25 because it would allow me to be more comfortable, but there's no way I could build the larger boat any time soon.  I figure that I could build the NOMAD starting next year, with a completion date sometime in late 2013 or early 2014.

    And the Francis Drake?  Hey, it would be nice to have a larger boat, but I'm realistic.  I will probably NOT be doing any around the world voyages, especially since Pam has an aversion to boats that will have to be overcome.  I believe that the VAGABOND will provide sufficient capacity if I ever do, and it will be a heck of a lot less expensive than the AMIGOS would have been.  I had glanced at this plan before, but had dismissed it since it was a deep keel vessel with a small cockpit.  But I've been reconsidering my position on deep keels, and I do like the lines.