Thursday, January 15, 2009

Where'd everybody go??

The other i550 builder's blogs have been awfully quite lately. I know that Kevin in Chicago has been hampered by the cold in his garage, but that hasn't kept him from making great strides in identifying a carbon fiber rig for these boats. Sounds like a great solution. He has posted a great deal of information on the rig solution in the forum.

At the "Dalsin Boatworks" facility progress has resumed after a blissful holiday vacation. Work continues on the (expletive deleted) keel. Sorry, I grew up in Chicago---must be a little Blago coming through. Anyway, after a couple of iterations of filling and fairing over the carbon fiber reinforcement, two layers of glass were laminated to the keel. I tried the suggestion of wetting out the glass on a mylar film and then carefully slapping the whole assembly onto the keel in hopes of getting a nice smooth surface. It turns out that this is not as simple as one might hope. I found that the mylar film created a barrier which made it tremendously difficult to remove any bubbles under the film (of which there were many!). After substantial spitting and swearing, I carefully peeled off the mylar film and smoothed out the bubbles by hand. After it cured the results were not too bad. There will be more filling and fairing, of course, but the results should be nice. I imagine that I will end up rolling a coat or two of epoxy over the final faired foil.

Stay tuned...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hey gang! Hope everyone had a great holiday season!

It was super busy around here getting ready for the holidays and trying to get a bit of work done on the boat. Before Traci and I left for vacation, I got the aft two compartments cleaned out and coated with two coats of epoxy. Looks pretty nice...

With spending a week in the Florida Keys over Christmas, I didn't manage to get much done on the boat, but I did manage to get engaged!

We are planning a September wedding and a May boat launch. Obviously there is a lot to do!!!

After returning from vacation I got back to work on the keel (and guest lists!). I had a decent foil shape in the laminated cedar and needed to reinforce it with carbon. I had ordered 3" carbon unidirectional cloth from Sollar Composites, which worked great. I first cut a ~3/16" x 3 1/4" trough in each side of the foil centered at 30% aft from the leading edge and laminated in a single layer of 6 oz. glass cloth as a tie layer.

While the glass layer was still wet, 4 layers of carbon uni got laminated in and covered with saran wrap. So far it looks really good; after the carbon cured I set the keel between two milk crates and stood on it and it only deflected 1/8". I imagine I can get rid of that little bit of that flex with the two layers of glass cloth I'll add next. The resulting glass/carbon laminate was a little "low" in the trough which allowed me to fill with epoxy and West Systems Microlight #410 so that I don't sand through the carbon during fairing. The filler is curing now, so stay tuned!