Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back at Work....

Once again I've had a long absence from posting here.  I miss the days when I was tackling this project every day with enthusiasm, and this blog was the only thing I had to do on the computer and online.  Lately I've just been putting in too much screen time researching and writing my newest book, which is coming along but still far from done.  It's hard to spend any extra time taking photos, processing them and posting on blogs, but I hate to leave those who may be building their own Tikis waiting indefinitely for my updates.  So to let you know I am still working on the boat, here is the latest:

The decision to switch from the standard shroud lashing pads in the plans to regular bolt-on, external chainplates created a lot of extra labor and expense.  But regardless of that, I firmly believe it is well worth it for the secure means of attaching the Precourt terminators and deadeyes I will be using for my shrouds, as discussed in an earlier post. 

I fabricated the chainplates myself to get the exact dimensions and fit I wanted.  They are 3/16" thick by 1 1/2" wide, and 12 inches long.  316 stainless steel plate is hard to drill, bend and polish, but eventually it was done, and I'm well-pleased with how they look.  I didn't want a highly-polished glittering yacht look, just the rugged purposeful appearance that externally bolted-on chainplates exude.  (Note that I painted over part of this section of the topsides when painting the sheer and cabin sides.  The green topside paint will be brought up to the bottom edge of the sheer stringer.  I just wanted to get everything in the way of the chainplates painted so I can permanently bolt them on.  It's easier to bolt them on at this point, before I install the portlights, as I can reach through the window openings to back up the lock nuts on the inside - important considerations since I'm working alone).

This morning I completed the backing plates for all the chainplates and bolted them up to check fit.  They will be removed and then permanently installed with 3M 5200 as soon as I polish the backing plates a bit.  Then the windows can go in as soon as that's done.

Here you can see the clearance at the tops of the chainplates for the Precourt terminators.  None of the ready-made chainplates I could find, like Schafer's, had enough length above the sheer to keep the terminators from hitting the cabin when the shrouds go slack.  These do.  Note also that the pin size for the terminators is 1/2 inch.  This will certainly be as strong as any part of the rig.  Each chainplate is through-bolted with four 5/16" bolts. 

Here's a view of the inside backing plates in the starboard hull.  I didn't want to use individual fender washers for this application, as it is all too common to see them literally compressed into the wood by the strain that is put on the chainplate bolts under load. (This part of the interior is still only epoxy coated.  It will get sanded and faired and then finished with varnish). 

I'm also preparing to permanently install the companionway hatches.  Here, they have just received the first coat of paint after fiberglassing, fairing and priming:

The cabin tops and coamings are done.  It's hard to see the edges in these photographs, but I've laid-out a non-skid pattern for the walking surfaces on the cabin tops.

Here you can see the non-skid somewhat better.  This was the final paint coat that I applied this morning.  When this has had time to completely dry, I will permanently install the Bomar hatches in the openings on the forward ends of the cabins.  I placed an order yesterday for the remaining primer, paint and sealants to complete all these jobs.  Within a couple of weeks I should be moving these hulls out in the open to make room in my shed to bring in the beams that are still in my girlfriend's garage where I built them.  I still have some sheathing and fairing work to do on the three beams before they are ready to prime and paint.


Anonymous said...

Looking great Scott. You must be very keen to get it on the water? Am reading this blog from Australia with much interest as I'd like to build one in the near future. I'm tossing up whether to start with a smaller project like the Tiki 21 (as I have no boat building experince) or just jump straight in and build the 26 which better matches what I'm after, your thoughts appreciated?

Scott B. Williams said...

Mark, The Tiki 21 is much too large of a project to start just for the experience. If I were you I would build the smaller boat only if it is the boat you want to sail and to keep. Even the Hitia 17 I built was a big project. You can get some boatbuilding experience by building the dinghy you will need on the boat, or you can jump right in and build the Tiki 26 if that's the boat you ultimately want. You will get the experience as you go along, and you will have the boat much faster and for much less money than if you go through several smaller ones first the way I did.

Chris said...

Looks very nice, Scott. Wish I could be there to help you when you move it out. Good to see you working on it again.


Scott B. Williams said...

Hey Chris,

Yes, I wish you were going to be here as well. I think with some thought and the right jacks, block and tackle and the dollies, I will be able to move the hulls out and align them working alone, but it will take much longer than with help.