You are hereBlogs


Marsude on the slip ... still

Marsude has been on the slip for ten days now and in that time we have removed 40 years of antifoul, removed rusting steel frame supports  in the bilge and replaced them with stainless steel ... no idea why they put steel in a timber boat in the first place ... the cedar stringers and hull are fine, however the frames are rotten where they have been in contact with the rusting steel and screwed through laminated joints ...  

We have also removed all the through hull fittings to repair or replace with new bronze ones  ... The mast is down and the boom and whisker pole and spreaders are at home in the back yard waiting for sanding to be completed. 

Thistle 1040 - Costly mistake, measure twice - cut once

The Thistle has four long seat planks that are beautiful. They are about 6 1/2 feet long and follow the curve of the hull so even though they are only 6.5 inches wide, they must be cut from 9 inch planks. I used the old seats as templates to cut out four new seats and went to install them and they just didn't look right. Measuring (after the fact...) it turns out the original sizes where nowhere near what was shown in the Thistle plans. Two could be recut and used again. Two were wasted. Off to Crosscut Hardwoods and $100 later I had more mahagony, the same colors as the other planks and with just one day lost, I had two more seat planks cut out, this time to the right measurements.


MarsudeThis is the first Blog of Marsude 

She is a Ben Lexcen designed 33 foot yacht and the first ocean racer designed by Ben Lexcen ... because of his low math ability, she didn't quite rate as a one tonner ... but she has been successful over many years at club level racing and has completed the Sydney Hobart at least on one occaision. 

Marsude is a triple diagonal cold molded cedar sailing vessel ... except for where she is four diagonal layers at the mast region. She is dynal sheathed ... much of which needs repair.

Thistle 1040 - Varnish lessons and a product I don't like

Thistle gratingsI am varnishing the gratings before I install them. I hand selected different mahogany boards for their color. The small pieces have nice red ribbons of color running through them and I expect them to turn more red over the years. The wider pieces are a traditional blond shade of mahogany that is a nice light brown. I wanted to be sure these colors would be enhanced by the varnish I was using but I also have an interest in trying products that clean up with water so I tried a new one from Varathane this time.

Sea Knight - Frame Assembly

I discovered the mistake I had made with my frames when I had finished drawing out the full size frame pattern pieces onto a piece of plywood.  This is what is going to make sure all my pieces are properly aligned with the centerline and setup level of the boat.  When I laid out my frame pieces onto this I found some of them wouldn't fit properly within the lines.

I have since cutout and sanded my new pieces and they now do fit properly within the lines so I can start to assemble them.  Here is an example of frame 5 laid out on the plywood.

Frame 5 laid out on plywood

We are finally starting to see some spring weather up here which is good timing as I need to assemble my frames outside and the epoxy gets hard to work with in too cool of temperatures. 

Here is a frame going together, one side is already assembled and now I am doing the other side epoxying and nailing together.

Thistle 1040 - Finished bow tank

Thistle bow tankI now have the bow tank painted and finished. I'm happy with how it turned out. It's stiff and light and it's about as big a tank as you can get in a Thistle. It does have less volume due to being crowned so that the sides are about an inch lower than the center of the tank. This promoted drainage and the curved deck is stronger than a flat deck.

I now have several coats of urethane on the gratings and am making the mast stanchion. Once that's done, all I have to do is the seat supports, seats and thwart. Those should go quickly as I have them all made. I just have to install them. Once the interior is done, the boat will be ready to flip and then I'll start on the outside which will be faired, glassed and painted. 

Sea Knight - First Mistake

Last weekend i finished up the sanding and planing of all the frames pieces, stems, etc.  I then drew up the full size frame patterns onto a sheet of plywood.  This will ensure all my frames are correctly aligned and assembled squarely and properly.  Once I was done I quickly grabbed all the pieces for frame #1 and laid them out on the plywood to make sure my cuts were good and that everything will line up properly prior to actually glueing and fastening them together.

I soon discovered that I messed up the bottom frame member on frames 1, 2, 3 and the transom.  How could that be they all came from full size plans, its not like I even had to measure something.

When drawing out the frame pieces I assumed that the set up level line on the plans were perfectly level, or at 90 degrees from the centerline so I made sure I used the top edge of my lumber pieces.  This would save me cutting a perfect line at least on a few pieces.  It turns out it isn't perfectly straight but a very shallow V so instead of my bottom frames pieces having a nice upward wing to each side they have a downward wing and do not fit within my plan lines.

Moving Outside

transomWith the floor planed and its bevel roughed out, I'm ready to move the boat parts to the carport and begin setting up to hang the planks.  I made a pair of sturdy sawhorses out of two by fours, and when I had the bottom laying across them, I saw right away that they were too short for the stem.  How did I possibly fail to account for the length of the stem when I was making sawhorses for this very specific purpose?  I've found that when I build and fabricate, the most frequent challenge is correcting after the fact for one important point or other that I missed in the planning stage.

Thistle 1040 - Bow tank sandwich top

bow tank topI made the sandwiched bow tank top today. The photo at left shows it as the top layer is glued on and pulled down using "buttons" -- small blocks of wood with screws that assure the two halves are pulled tight together. The tank top is crowned so that the sides drop about one inch from the center line. This makes it easier to make the sandwiched top as the top layer presses against the bottom layer as the two pieces are glued into place.

The other way to make this kind of top would be to build an external jig and vacuum bag the deck-sandwich construction and then glue it in place on the boat.

Sea Knight - Cutting out the frames

Went out to the local wood yard for hardwood lumber to see what kind of wood I could find to make the frames of the boat.  The plans reccomend Oak, Mahogony or Spruce and my original intention was to use Oak but I couldn't get it in the widths I required so I ended up settling on Mahogony for the frames.  I might end up using the Oak for the keel, chines, sheers and battens though but we will see.

Bottom Member of Frame 2So here is my first plan laid out on my first piece of Mahogony.  Note that in this picture I have put the tacks around the lines of the plan I am going to transfer onto the wood.  In the future I put the tacks onto each corner of the plan frame member that I am transfering onto the wood so that I knew exactly where the corners were.  This next picture (if you can imagine the lines) shows how I started to place my tacks on the plan to mark the corners.Back side of Frame 2 Bottom Member

Best Marine Epoxy

My favorite epoxy? Progressive Basic No-Blush Epoxy

Google Search



Syndicate content