Sunday, October 13, 2019

Painting the 27ft Sportfisherman

The 27ft sportfisherman that Kevin Agee is building as an amateur project in Virginia is in the painting stage, with final finishing coats going on during the past two weeks. He is using an Alexseal paint system, from undercoats through to finishing coats.

A big bugbear for anyone trying to get a top quality high gloss finish, whether on a car, boat or almost anything else, is dust settling on the surface either during or immediately after spraying. It creates tiny imperfections in the finished surface that can be seen on very close inspection. Dust is in the air all the time, even though we don't see it unless the lighting is just right to highlight it. It is aggravated by painting in a workshop space where woodwork and sanding has been done because the dust produced will have settled on all horizontal and sloping surfaces and even on walls and other verticals. From there it goes back into the air when disturbed by any breeze or draft, including those created by the spray equipment.

Preparing for painting concentrated on making the work space as clean as possible. All tools and materials no longer needed for the final phase of the project were removed for storage elsewhere, partly to clear the work space and partly to remove all potential dust sources. Then the boat was towed out of the workshop before hosing down all surfaces of walls, ceiling, floor and steel structure with water to wash out all dust. All had to air-dry before any painting could begin because of the risk of drips from above.

See the captions of the photos for explanation of what is happening.
This is the final sanding of the finish primer. The turquoise color is a guide coat of food colouring in alcohol. It is sanded until no turquoise remains to ensure a smooth surface with all minor imperfections filled.
Finish primer has been sprayed over cockpit and deck surfaces and sanded, ready for finish coats.
Holes for hardware and instrumentation for the console have been cut and the items dry-fitted to check for good fit before preparing for finish coats.
Console, leaning post and access covers have been sprayed with finish coats. Beyond them is the hardtop, with the bottom facing into the shop. The bottom of the hardtop is the same colour as the hull, the rest of it white. The bottom will be sanded and prepared again because of perimeter imperfections where some masking tape adhesive remained after cleaning with alcohol. A stronger solvent is needed to remove all traces of adhesive.
Three coats of Etheral Blue Alexseal Premium Topcoat, sprayed to a nice gloss.
Transom and outboard bracket, sprayed the same colour as the rest of the hull.
Reflections in the hull side showing the high gloss finish. 
The fuel tank was delivered by the fabricator during the week. It has been pressure-tested and test-fitted into its compartment under the cockpit. Now it has been abraded all over with 220 grit paper, then acid-washed before painting with a heavy coating of epoxy barrier coat. This was all done with TotalBoat products.
The 110 gallon fuel tank, as delivered by the fabricator. It has two baffles, one running fore/aft on centreline and the other transverse at the midpoint. It has spigots for inlet, vent and two outlets, as well as fuel gauge sender unit. The corner brackets on the top are for bolting to the hull girders.
After abrading, acid-washing and drying, the tank is ready for painting.
Tank painted with a thick coating of TotalBoat epoxy barrier coat.
The next step will be to spray the cockpit and deck, so we covered the toerails with masking tape and draped the hull with plastic sheeting, to shield it from white over-spray.
Draped, ready for deck painting.
Kevin's boat is now only weeks away from completion. I will complete the drawings after launch and seatrials. Until then, see our other designs on our main website or our mobile website.

Friday, September 20, 2019

The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race Shearwater 45 Trophy

The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race is an annual 118 mile dash from Baltimore MD to Portsmouth VA. It has been raced every year since 1990, after Capt Lane Briggs of the Tugantine "Norfolk Rebel" challenged "Pride of Baltimore" to a race down the bay. It is a charity event, supporting various charity organisations involved with maintaining the health of Chesapeake Bay and its rivers.

The match-up between "Norfolk Rebel" and "Pride of Baltimore 11" was far from even
, a sailing tug against a much bigger and more powerful trading schooner replica. That set the tone for all races since then, with schooners of all types and sizes handicapped to race against each other.

I have sailed in this race on three different boats, all of my design. They were the 60ft "Ancilla 11", the Hout Bay 40 "Adventure" and the Shearwater 45 "Apella". This year there is another Shearwater 45 competing, the near-identical sister "Moonbeam". These two boats were built alongside each other in Cape Town, where they were owned by friends and business colleagues. Now they belong to two different friends, Dan Hall and Mike Ritenour.
Shearwater 45 schooners "Apella" and "Moonbeam"
This race originated as a challenge between two schooners. In that spirit, last year I challenged the two Shearwater 45 schooners to race for a trophy that I would provide. And here it is. It is a floating trophy, to be raced for each time both boats are in The Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. It is named the "Shearwater 45 Challenge". The winning boat will have the right to mount it on a bulkhead in the saloon and carry it with bragging rights until they next meet on that same course. I will provide the winner's name plate each year, to be attached to the trophy as the historical record.
Shearwater 45 Challenge trophy
I have three people to thank, for assisting me to create this trophy.

1) Hunter Gall, good friend and client. He reworked my 3D model to prepare it for 3D printing as a half model.

2) Philip Gurecki and his company Accurate Machine. He did the 3D printing of the half model.

3) Kevin Agee for the beautiful piece of sapele mahogany for the back board. This is an off-cut from the toerail of his new 27ft sportfisherman that is nearing completion in York County VA.

I will be sailing in the race this year on "Moonbeam" with owner Mike Ritenour, two of my friends and whatever other crew Mike manages to Shanghai on the wharf. My two friends are surfing buddy and cruising sailor Scott Page and accomplished single-handed circumnavigator Anthony Steward.

Dudley Dix

Thursday, August 22, 2019

27 Sportfisherman Tower Begins

The 27ft Sprtfisherman being built by Kevin Agee in Seaford, Virginia, is moving into the final stages. Work has started on the tower, with the metalwork being done by professionals. Kevin has been working on the non-metal components that will be attached to it. I will let the photo captions tell the story.
Foam cored fibreglass roof  being laminated over the hoop of the tower. The hoop has been wrapped in plastic to keep it clean. At this stage the top surface has been glassed to set the camber.
Bottom of the roof, with trenching formed with a router for conduits and recessed lights.
Roof trimmed to final shape and pods added for aftdeck floodlights, almost ready for glassing.
Upper helm pod being glued up from Coosa board. This will be on a hinged crows nest that will fold down in front of the tower to reduce height for trailing.
Completed upper helm pod, ready for hardware and electronics, then mounting on the crows nest.
Hardware for cabin doors and hatch dry-fitted ahead of final finishing. All fastener holes for hardware are being drilled over-size, then filled with epoxy. The cured epoxy is then drilled for the fasteners, keeping the plywood or foam core sealed against leakage and rot.
The console has a recessed panel for key controls and switches, with a hinged cover. The sapele mahogany helm pod, shown in my previous blog entry about this boat, will be mounted to the left of the panel. Electronics will be mounted in the surface above the wheel.
Dry-fitting the trim tabs to the transom, below the wings of the engine bracket. They must be set at the correct height and angle to operate correctly.
The sapele mahogany toerail has been sanded and sealed with three coats of epoxy, Another three coats of epoxy to go, followed by 8-10 coats of varnish.
The bow capping of the toerail has worked out really nicely, hand-shaped from a section of sapele mahogany plank where the grain would sweep part-way around the corner.
This design won't be on our website until after Kevin's boat is in the water and sea trials have been completed. To see our other design, go to our main website or our mobile website.