Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bunk Filler Doubles as Chart Table

I'm getting close to finishing the built-in shelves and other interior parts that will make this boat workable for my intended use. With each addition, I am well aware of the added weight and am carefully trying to keep each component as lightweight and small as possible, yet still sturdy enough to perform the desired function. Some sort of chart table that can double as a work station for a laptop computer was deemed essential. I did not want something that would take a lot of time to set up and take down each time it was used, and at the same time I wanted to minimize the amount of extra parts and pieces that have to be carried in the cabins. The chart table solution I decided on utilizes one of the bunk filler boards for the foot well area in the starboard cabin as table that attaches to a small hinged shelf on the inboard side.

Below is a view looking forward from a seated position on the raised cover that fits over the head, described in a recent post. From this seat I have full headroom and the table, when hinged down, is at the right height for a work surface.

Looking at the table from the other direction, you can see that it hinges down just forward of the companionway steps, attached to small shelf on the inboard side of the hull. This location allows it to hinge up against the inboard cabin side, and the length of the table gives it just enough clearance to fit into the inner corner. When in the up position, it is completely out of the way and will not interfere with entry and exit through the companionway. (Note that the companionway drop board opening has not been cut, as this is just a temporary fitting of the inner cabin side as described in the previous post.)

The table is also quite usable from this position, facing aft with your feet in the foot well. In this photo the unsupported edge of the table is propped up from below with a piece of scrap wood. When finished, it will be supported by a short length of chain or line from a hook on the shelf above the instrument panels or from the upper cabin side.

Here is a top view of the table, looking down from the position of bulkhead No. 3. You can see the small shelf attached with a piano hinge, and the two bolts that hold the table to it. These bolts are secured with wing nuts on the bottom for quick disassembly. In reality, the table will rarely be removed as it is not in the way when folded up and the aft bunk in this hull will not likely be needed.

Here is another view of the table in the folded up position. It will be secured in the up position with some kind of latch, but will likely be kept down and ready for use while underway, except when access to the forward bunk area is needed.

Here is the small hinged shelf with the table removed. It flips back over on itself to form a narrow shelf with a built-in fiddle rail if the table is not attached.

In this last photo, you can see the table fitted into the foot well opening to form part of the aft bunk. Another, shorter section completes the bunk if needed, when the porta-pottie and wooden seat covering it are removed to the cockpit. You can also see the hinged table shelf flipped back in the upside down position, where it is out of the way.

Glassing Stern Decks, Fitting Inner Cabin Sides

The stern decks have been neglected for awhile as I've been working on fitting cabin interior parts in both hulls. I had planned to put this off for later, but an usually warm day for January yesterday gave me the idea that I should go ahead and get the protective sheathing on the decks. Condensation in the shed caused by changing temperatures has been giving me problems with discoloration of unprotected wood, so getting these decks glassed sooner rather than later was a good thing.

I taped off the perimeters and did the big, main sections of the decks first. The edges overlapping the sheer stringers can be done at a later time. Below is a view of both decks with epoxy-saturated fiberglass extending out to the tape lines. I used fast hardener and spread it quickly with a squee-gee so that I could get the second filler coat on the same day.

Here is a another view of the stern decks a couple hours later. The tape has been cut away and the second coat of epoxy, thickened with silica and phenolic microballoons, has been applied to fill the weave of the fiberglass. This was left alone to fully cure until another day, when it will be sanded fair before applying the edge sheathing.

Today I fitted both of the inner cabin side panels. Since they are straight at the top edge, it is a simple matter to offer them up with temporary screws holding them in line with the top corners of the bulkheads. The curving bottom edge is then scribed from the inside so the panel can be cut to fit when it is removed.

Here is a view of both inner cabin sides temporarily fitted. The gap at the bottom front corners is caused by the panels being cut slightly over sized and resting on the outside of the sheer stringer, rather than fitting on the top edge of it as they should. For final fitting I will belt sand the bottom edges to a matching bevel until the panels slide in place nicely against the bulkheads. After this test fitting, the panels will get epoxy coated on the inside, but will not be permanently installed until the few remaining cabin interior details are completed.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Shaping and Glassing the Rudders, More Beam Glassing....

I spent most of the holidays away from the building shed where I have the hulls, but I was able to get back to work on some of the parts I have stored in my girlfriend's garage. As detailed in a post long ago, the rudders have been drilled for lashing to the sternposts and epoxy insets made to prevent rot from the lashing holes. The main rudder blades for the Tiki 26 are cut from 18mm plywood, with 6mm doublers on each side in the upper area above the waterline to the top of the posts where the tillers fit on. The lower sections of 18mm ply have to be sanded down to a hydrofoil shape on the trailing edge to decrease turbulence. This was accomplished with a belt sander first, and then the random orbital sanders shown below. The glue lines between the layers of ply serve as a guide in maintaining a consistent thickness.

Here the rudders are resting across the three crossbeams while the first coating of epoxy cures.

You can see the sanded tapers and the epoxy insets with lashing holes drilled.

Cold weather forced me to move the rudders inside for fiberglass sheathing. I'm fortunate that Michelle is a creative person who always has projects going in her studio and doesn't mind an occasional boat sub-assembly in the house.

In the photos below the fiberglass sheathing on the lower blades of the rudders has been laminated with epoxy. The upper areas with the doublers will be sheathed as well. The corners on the upper parts are well-radiused to receive sheathing all the way around. Every ply part of the boat that is exposed to the sun will be sheathed in 6-oz. fiberglass.

Back in the garage I worked on the crossbeams as well. Sheathing them is a multi-step process because of all the surfaces involved.

This application of fiberglass is on the top plate of the forward beam. Masking tape put on in advance of the fiberglass and epoxy defines the edge and allows it to be cut straight. The next application of fiberglass on this beam will overlap the edge of this layer and extend down over the front plywood fairing, wrapping around the leading edge to the bottom. The sheathing involves lots of steps and filling the weave and fairing all this out will be a considerable amount of labor as well, but worth it to prevent possible checking and water intrusion into the beams.