Monday, 2 December 2013

Mast on...

Mast and boom on, but boom needs a bit of work on the goose-neck.
Sanded back for new painting
It's been a while to get the mast done, various reasons, all too boring to note here.... But now she's got the mast, forestay and shrouds on, and looking good.  Noel has done a good job.  He's also installed the Centreboard.
Noel also made the mast step and bracket.  Feels solid
The issue with the boom is that the goose-neck is a bit damaged, this being a second-hand mast that's been sitting around the Boatyard for some time....
When we've sorted out the boom issue, Stevo of North Sails will measure up for a set of sails, cotton/dacron in this case.
Then we can go for a sail!

Friday, 2 August 2013

For Sail to good home...

An SS at rest... Gabrielle is same colours

The time has come, the walrus said.....
I don't have any room to keep the little wooden picnic day-boat I built (aka "Gabrielle"), so I'm inviting interest form someone who would like to take her over in as-is shape.  And that's basically finished, but with mast to be stepped (mast included), and sails needed. Sitting at the RHKYC boatyard.
She's been sanded back for final painting -- British racing green marine paint, as in the photo above, is included....  and the elbow grease for painting could well be as well...
Please get in touch if you're interested in this Hong Kong Somes Sound 12 1/2, a lapstrake version of a Herreshoff design from 1902.
A "good home" means you would need to have a mooring or a hard standing available.
Phone or text me xxxx.
Designer John Brooks takes his SS out for a blast..

Friday, 12 July 2013

A non-update update

Gabrielle, as she was a few months back just before the lift-over the wall and trip to the Yacht Club

Not much to add to last post, really, just posting this to say that I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth.  We're still awaiting a pair of spreaders for the mast, then we can go ahead and step the mast and measure for the sails.  I'm off out of Hong Kong for a little bit tomorrow and back in a couple of weeks, so for now, she continues to sit at the boatyard at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Centreboard finished

Slab of 20lb of  lead ready to be inserted.  Note now much of the hull has
been sanded back
And lead installed.  Centreboard now ready to install.
We're still looking for the spreaders for our mast.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Chainplates on

We had the chainplates made up by our Boatyard, in 316 SS to our design.
We had previously cut the slots in the sheer clamp for them.
Then Noel made up some wooden blocks for them to fit inside the hull just below the sheer clamp.
Noel did a great job on this using what we call our "cool tool".

Noel does a neat job

Peek-a-booh.... Chainplate ready to take the standing rigging
Next, and nearly final, job: fit the mast and boom and running rigging.

LATER: Below, photo just in from Noel, a second-hand mast and boom from the yacht club:
A present from our Boatyard.  Second-hand Laser Mast and Boom
Still looking for the spreaders that go with this....

Lead Ballast Keel on

See this post first.
We had to fit the lead ballast keel to the hull while the boat was right side up.  We also had to make sure that there were no gaps between the lead keel and the hull.  To do this, we used the following technique: 
Put some baking paper on the hull to stop epoxy putty from sticking to it.  Then put lots of epoxy putty on the keel. 
Then push the keel up to the hull, using a car jack, enough that you get squeeze-out. 
Then leave the epoxy putty to harden overnight, now in the shape of the hull.  
Then lower the keel back down, take off the baking paper and then put more epoxy putty on the lead keel and push it back up to the hull with the car-jack and put the threaded 316 SS rod and nuts to tighten it onto the hull, through the holes we'd made by putting copper tubes in the mold.
Noel did all this on his own (while I was driving across Russia) for which I have great admiration.  Well done, Noel!

Step 1: epoxy putty on lead keel, baking paper on hull.  Push up against
the hull to make sure that the fit of the keel will be tight, after the epoxy
putty has set.  Leave overnight for putty to set
Step 2: the result.  Then, the baking paper is taken off
and new epoxy putty put on the lead keel to fit against
the hull
Step 3: Keel bolted onto hull
Result: nice tight fit.

Lead Ballast Keel unbound

Six weeks since my last post. Sorry 'bout dat. Part excuse: I've been "sailing" in a little car with three other sailing mates, over the steppes of Russia from Vladivostok to Moscow. That took up pretty much the whole of May.  Some photos here.

Meantime, our Xena boat captain, Noel, has been at work on jobs I left him with: (1) To add the lead ballast keel that we had forged, onto the our little Somes Sound. (2) To add the chainplates. (3) To get hold of the mast and boom that we're going to put on: namely a second-hand Laser rig.
Here's the result of item (1):
With the 1 1/2" pine we used and the lead not too hot
(because it was "stir-fried"), there was not much burning on
the mold and it came off quite easily, says Noel, including
the wood in the centreboard slot.  Here is the keel,
unbound, at the Royal HK Yacht Club, around 13 May.
And another photo of "Keel unbound", looking good..
Noel drilled down on the thru-holes we'd made in the keel by placing
copper tubes in the mold.   We needed to drill down to make countersink
space for the nuts for the 316 SS threaded rod (12mm and 10mm)

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Keel Foo Yung.... (stir-fried)

Mr Wong and Mr Kwong, stir frying the lead, in the back-streets of Kowloon

It's been a while since the last post.   I've not been idle (well... not too idle...), just that I wasn't sure how I was going to make the lead ballast-keel for this little Somes Sound 12 1/2.  Both Dave in California and Embla in Ireland (links at right) managed to cast the keel well enough, so that was an inspiration.  

But here in Hong Kong, I faced a peculiar challenge: first, that there's very little scrap lead around -- most is immediately shipped to China. Second: that there's no foundry that's willing to melt lead: again, that's all moved to China.  So I had various versions of Plans A, B and C....*

Plan B was to do the pour at my place in Discovery Bay, but at the last minute, and thanks to yachting mate Frank Pong, I got the address of a little place in Tai Kok Tsui, in the back-blocks of Kowloon, who, Frank said, would be willing to melt and pour up to 300kg of lead. So revert to Plan A, version 3.0....
So, off I head to meet up with Mr Kwong, who doesn't speak English, but does speak some Mandarin (which I speak), so we got along fine, though his Mandarin is what I'd call "Canto-rin" -- heavily Cantonese-accented Mandarin.  
Courtesy of neighbour Steve, who has a van (and who helped me with the first lamination of the inner stem), we took the mold to Mr Kwong Friday a week ago (26 April), and set Monday last (29th April) as the day to do the melt and pour.
Result: GREAT!
It started slow to be sure, and I wondered at one stage if we were going to have to give up.  Mr Kwong only using flame from above and one little bottle like you use for the lamb hotpot.  I said flame was needed below (industrial strength restaurant-style) and though he agreed, he didn't do anything about it, as he obviously didn't have the requisite gear. So he headed off round the corner and came back with another large gas bottle and flame thrower and with that, managed to melt the lead in reasonable time.
The lead was poured into the mold with Mr Kwong's soup ladle... it worked fine!  
We kept at it: pouring ladles of lead into the mold and melting bits of lead as quickly as possible so that the lead in the mold wouldn't be too hard -- if it gets too hard, the next layer poured in the mold won't "stick" to the one below.  
We kept at it until the lead was up to the line I'd scribed on the mold for the highest level of lead. Also, we'd pre-measured 265 kg of scrap lead and that was what we melted.  All of it.
It was starting to look good when the amount of lead we'd measured and melted matched exactly the line I'd marked on the mold.
Then we weighed it on Mr Kwong's scales: 265 kg was the design weight.  The actual weight: 263.99 kg!  Pretty good, I'd say! 
Photos follow...

Arlene works on the mold.  It's 1.5" pine.  The plans call
for 3/4" to 7/8".  I would't have considered 1 1/2" if Paul
in Ireland hadn't used it successfully.  It takes a bit of bending,
with clamps, but does so willingly, and worked fine.

I decided to follow Dave and put in copper chaser tubes
for the through bolts.  And following Dave's advice, we
put sand in the tubes, to stop the lead bubbling up into them.
Here is the mold finished, with braces to bring the pine into
the design widths along its length, and also lined with
fireproof paper, as per Dave's suggestion.

Change from the Plans: the sides are taken down to the bottom of the
mold, rather than being fitted to the bottom plank at the top (if that makes
sense): ie, instead of screwing in from the bottom, we screwed in from the sides.
That seemed easier to me, and it was so.  It also ensured there were no leaks of
molten lead by caulking the joins with the fireproof paper.

This is Mr Kwong's shop, Sheung Yip, 72 Oak St, Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon.
The area is all metal.  Mr Kwong has lead, rolls, scrap, lumps; Zinc; Aluminium...

Mr Kwong burns the lump of lead scrap, while Mr Wong gets ready to
funnel sand into the copper tubes: to stop the bubbling in of lead, which
Dave said was a problem when he cast his keel.

And here we are creating the new dish -- "Keel Foo Yung".  Using restaurant
utensils: a huge Wok, spatula, slotted spoon, soup ladle...

Measuring the weight.  (the mold had been pre-weighed).
After a bit of arithmetic: find that we're about 1kg
within design weight.  I'm stoked!

At this point the lead is still hot and steaming, though
you can't see it from the picture. The fireproof paper
was not really needed for this mold, with the thick and dry
pine that we use (maybe more necessary if you use plywood, as
Dave did).  There was minor burning of the wood, as the lead
poured in, a pleasant smell of burning pine and a bit of smoke.
Thumbs up!  Mr Kwong, Mr Wong, and our Noel, celebrate the
successful pour.

* Plan A: find a foundry in Hong Kong to melt and pour the lead.
   Plan B: melt and pour the lead at home.
   Plan C: forget about lead: throw a bunch of stones in the bottom of the boat, like the Vikings did in their longboats.

Monday, 18 March 2013

A Bucket-full of photos

Bucket (aka: Judy Roberts, Xena crew) sent along some photos of our last Saturday's "Over the Wall" manouver.  I thought of putting them in the post before this, to get them all in one place, but that'd make rather too many photos on one post, so here they are, a bit of overlapping from previous post's photos.
Thanks to Bucket -- seen here, left, cropped from a photo on Saturday, getting ready for the big lift...

Here Bucket's photos:
Better photo of the boat than mine.... The yellow line on the rudder is the
water line (DWL = "Design Water Line")

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Allez Ooop... over the wall and off to the Yacht Club...

Today was get the boat over the wall day.... Some photos....

In our backyard. Tiller dry-fitted. Ready for popping over the wall.

Looking pretty racy!  But she ain't... she's heeeavy....

Noel and our "Wall-jumping Jig".  Thanks to Steve W for the idea.

Marcus supervises making path for the boat to the wall...

Arlene with Marcus and Basil: respectively Chief and Deputy technical advisers....
In the yard, before the troops descend....

..... and here they are, the "Wall-jumping crew":
L to R: Arlene, Peter S, Kevin McL, Chris, Kevin D, Ian,
Fat Chan, Win, King, Rocky, Peter C, Paolo, Noel (obsc), Bucket, Wolfie.

Wofie and Paolo looking critically at something... I think it's the gudgeon
& pintle, which are not correct, I know: just there to fit the tiller.  This pair was the
only one in Hong Kong.  I have a set of three on order to fit later.
First move of the boat: off the cradle onto the ground for a rest...
L-R: Wolfie, Paolo, Bucket, Peter S, Chris, Kevin D, Kevin McL.

Another rest stop.  Boat has been turned around, facing wall, while we
position the cradle on some supports ready for the final push....
Kevin gives an early -- premature? -- "V" sign..
Others: Ian (obsc), Peter S, Kin, Fat Chan, Kevin D, Bucket, Benoit,
Kevin McG, Peter C.

Allez oop!... Chris, Fat Chan, Kevin D, hold balanced while rest of us run
around to the other side....

.... keep holding her fellas!  Just a bit to go... Chris, Kevin D, and Pete C....
we'll rush round to the other side....

... and here we are... the other side, ready to ease her down...
"Wall jumping Jig" making sure she doesn't tip over...
Remind SS builders:  the paint-work is not to the waterline;
will do final painting to DWL, more varnish coats, at the Club

Made it!
After a march through the bushes of the public Central Park at Siena One.
Sitting in her cradle by the roadside, waiting now for the crane-truck.
Rocky, Kevin McL (obsc), Paolo, Peter S, Chris, PF, Ian, Pete C, Kevin D, Bucket,
Benoit, Kin, Wing, Wolfie, Fat Chan, Noel.

Kevin and Lucas, giving the thumbs up

From my study, Gabrielle peeks out from the roadsides through the bamboo..

Crane Truck, with wireless controller.  How cool is that!...

Crane truck, lifts Gabrielle and cradle, easy....

Bye bye Gabrielle.... sniffle, sniffle... sad to see her go....

A big "Thanks" to all who helped out on the move over 
the wall: much appreciated!
After the move above, beer, bubbly & pizza on the newly-cleared back yard.  Pleasant day and feeling of achievement all round as the task was completed with relatively little hassle.
Now to make the mold for the lead keel/ballast and to find a boom and mast for the sloop rig...
Comments from the day:
From Paolo, a boatbuilder of yore: "The most impressive thing about this, is that you finished her!".  Not quite finished yet, Paolo, still have lead keel to pour, and mast to find...
From Wolfie, wooden boat owner & restorer: "You did a pretty good job, for a first boat."!.... [Later: Yes Wolfie, which is why I'd rather like to build another! Especially I'd like to have another go at planking -- where I made the biggest errors on this one -- to get the spiling, and plank dimensions closer to ideal. Related: I'll to do a "Lesson's learnt" Page (aka "mea culpa") in due course]

On another tack....
From Benoit: "It looks like you bought her, new, from the shop."! [Thanks Benoit, sweet, but not quite... I wish!]

At 4:10 pm, today: message from Noel: "... the boat is in the boatyard now."
And here she is...
And here she is, amongst friends.... back of the Ship Shop, RHKYC.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Catch up photos, before we jump the fence...

Nikki in the background.  Our constant companion on the build

We needed a bit of carpet to protect the hull when we
put it over the wall tomorrow.  We didn't have any other
than our Persian rugs, which I didn't think Jing
would be too keen on our using.  Then Arlene found a nice
piece in a neighbour's rubbish...  The dogs rather like it too...

Noel usually works on our Xena, but she's on the Hard stand, so he has time
to help us out on Gabrielle.  Here he is working on the tiller hole through
the transom.  This was a touch of a hassle.  If any builders would like
my comments on it, happy to provide, just email me.

That gudgeon and pintle at the bottom is not the right
size; we used it just to align the hole for the tiller.
The black line is the Design Water Line.

This evening, hull interior and the hardware installed on the
centreboard trunk cover.

I decided to add a little door to the hole at the back deck