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Sea Knight - Spring is Just Around the Corner

Just attended the annual Vancouver Boat Show over weekend here and it is nice that it starts this early in the year as it gets you excited about the upcoming season.  I am sure real boat owners (I am not one yet) that attended the show will be running down to their boats over the next few weeks cleaning things up and getting ready for the 2013 cruising season.  Myself, well I came home and got really excited about my Sea Knight project. 

We had a pretty mild winter up here in the Pacific Northwest and I am hoping Mother Nature is not teasing me but we might have a decent spring as well.  As I write this the East cost just got hammered the last couple of days with 2+ feet of snow, meanwhile we have Daffodiles sprouting and rose bushes showing new greenery.  Still it is not warm enough here yet to use epoxy outdoors and that is where my project is.  I can still do some dry fitting until it does warm enough in the evenings.

My last post was way back at the beginning of September and I definitely didn't get as far as I had hoped.  But I will catch you up on how far I was able to get.

Sea Knight - Keel, Chines and Sheers assembly

Gotta love summer time!

Sure wish I had a boat to enjoy it with ... sigh

Right, I'm supposed to be building one for these long wonderfull days of summer.  I can tell you I had a schedule in my mind when I started this of where I should be at different times of 2012 and I am quite a bit behind schedule.  Nonetheless, the overall goal is to have it ready for summer 2013. 

Hard to stay on track when the sun finally heats up Canada and starts to dry out the Wet Coast here.  Did some camping trips and an island trip (to Galiano Island) with my better half.  Spent 5 days on Saturna Island with some friends building a ramp and a deck at cottage for one of them.  I have an annual fishing derby (at least that is what my buddies and I call it) that I put together coming up soon.  All sorts of things to distract me from my project and I would not change a single thing.

My hope is to at least be able to paint the hull before it starts to get too cold which should give me till sometime in October hopefully.  I have gotten a fair amount done but I do think I need to be a bit more diligent as the days get shorter.

Sea Knight - Building Form Construction and Mounting the Frames

So I went downstairs and started working on my building form, one of the most important aspects of putting this whole boat together.  Must say I was glad it was a nice day out as I wasn't too impressed with what I ended up with.  I will cut myself a bit of a break as the parking spot I am working in has more little hills and valleys than the foothills and is definitely not level.

building form assembly

Had a bad feeling already at this point about how this was going to go, but had to keep going anyways.

building form assembly

Not complete, not even I could go any further.  As it looks there, believe it or not, it was perfectly level just not sure if it was at proper 90deg.  Somewhat solid, but nowhere near where it needs to be to build on.

building form assembly

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.

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.

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

Time to start a new project, the Sea Knight

I have been rather quiet for the last couple of years, but I ended up really enjoying my canoes.  I built two more canoes after the one I blogged about here, one for my wife and one for my brother.  I also converted the canoe building form into a cat play/scratching tower that they absolutely love.

During the last couple of years of enjoying my canoes and all the new places I could go and do with them I continued to ponder what my next project would be.  Building the canoes was really enjoyable and rewarding (still is everytime I go out in one of them), and it really wet my appetite (excuse the pun, more to come)to do something more, something bigger.  I live in the Pacific Northwest and there is so much to see here by boat.  So I started to scour the intenet, my Wooden Boat magazines and the boat shows to see what was out there.

I ended up waffling between two designs, one a sailboat and one a power boat.  They are both trailerable and both are built out of sheet plywood and most importantly can be built by an amature.

Skin-On-Frame Canoe - Part VI

Shrinking the cloth can be really easy or very time consuming. The easy method if you have the room is to soak the cloth right down and then put it in the sun to dry. Must be a warm day. I am not too sure about this method as I have read that it truely doesn't tighten the cloth properly and it can relax again eventually.

Skin-On-Frame Canoe - Part V

I have varathaned my entire frame, in and out with several coats. Now I get to put the skin on it. I got some outdoor double sided carpet tape and put a strip down the length of the keelson and each gunwale. Can't really see them in this photo but I also stapled a strip of thick nylon ribbon to each stem near the top. This will be used to cover my seams and act as a bumper protecting the cloth.

Skin-On-Frame Canoe - Part IV

I was sitting outside on my balcony this last week and I heard a peculiar cracking sound coming from the canoe frame.  Didn't see anything out of the ordinary at first glance, and then I noticed a little later one of my stems had split.

Best Marine Epoxy

My favorite epoxy? Progressive Basic No-Blush Epoxy

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