Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Anchor Well Trials And Carlings Started

Last posting, I was trying to get an anchor well started. The idea was to have an anchor well floor that was angled down slightly at the aft end and angled up slightly on each side with a narrow flat section in the middle. The goal was to get the water to flow to the center aft part of the floor and then through a drain and out the side of the boat through a hose.

Before starting on the floor, I needed some idea of it's actual size and shape. I also needed to have some way to support it at the height I intended to mount it. After a bit of trial and error, I figured out I could use a spring clamp at the front to support that edge and a piece of lumber clamped to the frame 6 bulkhead to support the aft edge. A fair amount of fiddling around with it and I had the supports in place so that the floor would angle down at the aft end.

Aft support is shown to be level side to side here

And fore and aft supports are angled down at aft end here

Next up was the pattern for the floor. I used the same witness stick approach I've used elsewhere. For those unfamiliar with this, it requires a panel somewhat smaller than the area you are trying to fill and a bunch of pointed end pieces. The pointy pieces are hot glued at various points on the panel with the pointed end touching the walls of the boat. When completed, you have a fairly accurate template that you can then transfer to plywood for the final product.

The template was transferred and the part cut out a bit oversize. The idea here was that I wanted to bend the plywood up at the sides with the 4" rectangular section in the center running fore and aft. I was planning on using boiling water to "persuade" the plywood to bend. Here was my first attempt. While it looks like the plywood is angled down, in reality all it was doing was sagging under the weight of the cinder block. When the weight was removed, it straightened out. I tried several times and eventually got the panel distorted. But instead of being bent, it was curled.

So that piece didn't work out. Next I thought about making the floor out of three pieces, using epoxy and fiberglass to hold it together. The three pieces were cut out and a slight bevel placed on the center piece. Then they were epoxied together. I figured I would add fiberglass tape afterwards to strengthen the joints.

After the epoxy cured, I laid the floor pattern on the part and marked out edges of the panel. Doing it this way, after the glue up, ensured that the floor piece would still fit in the anchor well.

It was at this point that things changed somewhat. It was a weekend and I got an opportunity to go out on a friend's wooden boat. His boat also has an anchor well, but his approach was different than mine, requiring simply a flat floor and no drain in the center. Instead, he had two elliptical haws holes, one on each side of the well that went through the side of the boat. The heeling of the boat under normal use was sufficient to drain the well. This seemed like a far less complicated way to do this than my original design so I decided that this would be the way to go with mine as well. For the heck of it, I tried to fit the glued up floor into position and realized that it wasn't going to work either.

I wanted to try my friends approach, unfortunately, I have temporarily run out of plywood large enough to make the floor panel. Since I either have to have this shipped or drive a 4 hour drive to Houston to get it, the anchor well is temporarily on hold.

However, there are plenty of other things to do on the boat. One area that I was anxious to get started on were the carlings. The carlings, are 16 foot long structural members that are mounted on the inside of the frames running from frame 5 aft to the transom. Their main purpose is to prove a mounting point for the cabin sides. They also define the side decking and provide support on the inboard edges of that decking.

The first order of business was to get an angle cut on the forward end so that it matched up to the gussets on frame 5. Since the lumber was longer than area it was being installed, I had to use some temporary "faux" carlings made from plywood. A piece long enough to mount over two frames was sufficient for this purpose.

It was butted up against the frame 5 gusset. A straightedge ruler was clamped into position to establish the actual angle needed and then marked with a pencil.

The plywood was then cut on this line and the angle transferred to the real lumber and cut off.

Then, again using the "faux" carling plywood, I repeated the steps on the aft end of the boat to get the transom angle. I measured the distance from frame 5 to the transom and marked this on the carling lumber. Using the plywood, I aligned it with the mark and penciled a line. Not completely trusting this approach, I cut the carling lumber longer than the line and gradually trimmed it down until it fit in place.

In order to support the carlings while fitting, I used "C" clamps on the frames as supports. Then used my slide clamps to hold the board in position.

Fitting these carlings required some futzing around with the parts and a bit of trimming or making shims. The goal was to have the part in place and straight from front to back and even with the frames in the center of the boat. At the aft and forward ends, because of the shape of the boat, the carlings stuck up some and this will be faired away later.

Cleats were placed in position on the forward end to hold the part there. On the aft end, some blocking will need to be fashioned and inserted there to give additional support. However, I currently don't have any lumber thick enough for that, so that step will have to wait a while.

So it's Sunday early evening, humidity feels like 1000% and I am calling it a day.  Here are a few final shots. The carlings are mostly fitted with just a bit more work to be done.

Take care.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Anchor Well Started

This week started off with continuing the interior cleanup and sealing. After all the sanding from the previous weeks, I needed to seal all the seams between the frames and the plywood planking. I'm doing this in order to insure there are no possible openings for water to get into the wood structure.

This task involves, wiping down the area, taping it off, applying thickened epoxy and smoothing it in to the seam, and then removing the tape. All of this is done in my garage with temperatures hovering at 100 degree Fahrenheit and no air conditioning. Needless to say, it has been uncomfortable and not fun.

As the week wore on, I found it more and more difficult to drag myself out to the oven to do the work. I decided that I needed to change things up. What I am now doing instead is work on another part of the boat. Then, every once in awhile, I will seal another section in the hull.

After considering this for awhile, I decided that I wanted to do the section forward of frame 6. Since more than 3 years ago, I've been planning on having a bulkhead panel on frame 6 with a hatch to access that area from inside the boat cabin. I had always assumed it would be the anchor storage area and perhaps other miscellaneous stuff, but hadn't thought beyond that point until now.

One of the future problems I knew I was going to have to deal with was how to get the anchor out of the forward compartment and outside the boat. As designed, there was only two ways to do this. One option was to take the anchor and rope through the cabin and out the back door, climb over the boat, connect it to the top of the deck at the bow, and then toss the anchor into the water.

A second option was to take it through the deck hatch (over the berths) and lay it on the deck, then go out and hook it up as before and toss it into the water. Both of these options didn't set too well with me and I wanted to come up with something better.

What I came up with is an anchor well located in the upper section of the area forward of frame 6, sealed off from the lower section, and with a drain overboard for any water fro the rope or anchor. Interestingly enough, I came up with this idea before I knew that this was a common thing to do on boats!

To access this anchor well, I am going to have a hatch in the top deck with a small cutout in the forward corner so that the hatch can be closed while the anchor is out. The rope will be connected in the anchor compartment.

Here is a rough drawing showing what I have in mind.

There are several things that have to be considered when designing this well. First off, the floor of the well cannot be too low or it will interfere with the bow eye that will eventually be added to the front. I also wanted to leave room below it for storage. There will be some electrical wiring in this area and I need to allow for that. The hatch in the top deck and the compartment needs to be large enough to get the anchor in there along with rope. And I want to have the well contain a drain overboard for any water that collects in there.

To get started on this, I first made a pattern for the bulkhead panel using some of the 1/4" poster board I have on hand.

And then made the panel out of Okoume plywood I had left over from planking.

Next I wanted to add a filler block for the area between the panel and floor timber at the bottom of the frame.

After that, I wanted to start working on the lower storage area. This area will be boxed off so that foam insulation can be added between the compartment and the hull planking. It also keeps small items from falling into the bilge area. So far, all I have done is make the floor panel .

There is still more work to do in that section, so I will be completing that before moving on to the anchor well compartment above. All of these parts will be left uninstalled until later, as I still need to finish sealing this compartment and add paint.

As for the anchor well; I wanted to make sure that it was the correct size and that I could get an anchor into the well from the deck. There is a structural member that runs up the center line of the deck which will serve as a support for the deck and a place to hook the anchor to. But that structural member also constrains the hatch size for the deck.

I could have bought an anchor, as I will eventually need one. But in the spirit of buying things as I need them, and delaying expensive purchases until I can save for them, and because I need to save money for more lumber, I decided to wait on that purchase. Instead, I mocked up an anchor using dimensions from the Danforth website and I will use the mock up to aid in the anchor well design.

The mock up was made from dowel rod and poster board glued together with a hot glue gun (except the cross connection which is epoxied).

I must say that this anchor well project has been more enjoyable than the sanding and epoxy sealing task, even though I still have to work out in the oven. And to keep myself on track and honest, I will make sure that I spend at least one day this week doing some more sealing.

So that's it for now. Until next time, take care.