Tuesday, February 24, 2009

AIS, This and That

I installed our new ACR Nauticast B AIS-300 over the weekend. The GPS cable is run to Laz aft, but not yet up the Radar post and VHF antenna is sitting in the cabin irradiating my head instead of at the masthead, but the unit works great just as we saw coming back from Bermuda with Ben (Panbo Article). The screen shot (click for larger view) is how the targets are displayed in Expedition. You can see the two Narragansett Bay Pilot boats across the Harbor and a CG boat out in the mouth of the bay. Our new version of The Cap'n is on its way and I am excited to see how it displays the targets.

Other weekend projects (after building an oven on Friday night) included relocating the Raymarine Life Tag base unit to the pilothouse for better coverage of the cockpit (it used to false alarm a bit too much when located at the Nav Station) as well as re-installation of the Water-maker pump after Ocean-Options replaced the pump and I re-painted the motor. The watermaker is now making almost 30 gal/hr where it was only making 15 gal/hr before the pump replacement.

One and two half jobs checked off the list....eventually I will get there.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lets Cook

Friday night I shot up to Tiverton to help build the oven. Here is the time-lapse of the process. We were able to pull over 26 psi on the bag and got the oven ready to go. They should have cooked it off today while I wire-brushed, repainted, and then reinstalled the Watermaker motor with a new pump attached. It is working much better now, makine almost 30 gal/hr. I also installed the ACR Nauticast-B AIS transceiver and played around with that a bit. I can get the output directly, but am having a problem getting the data through the multiplexer. Hopefully Brookhouse will have an easy solution. Tomorrow I try to finalize cockpit hatch design and try to figure out the pilothouse hatch.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Inside Skin

I got up to the shop again on Monday and Tuesday to help the boys finish the inside skin and start laying out the core. I hope to have the time to spare to get back up there today or Saturday to presumably build the oven and cook this bad boy off. Laying out the 45's was a pain, but the second layer of 0-90's went really well.

The core is bonded with 400 gram film adhesive, which is effectively the same resin that is in the pre-preg carbon layed onto a VERY light scrim (probably polyester). If not kept cold it gets REALLY sticky, so the trick is to work fairly fast and not hold onto the stuff for too long.

Friday, February 13, 2009

First Ply of Carbon

So Mike and Mark got the first ply of carbon down on IT2 on wednesday night, bagged and de-bulked, but thursday morning discovered a fair amount of puckers. I headed up last night to help figure out a solution. Heat seems to be the trick and we figured out that with some ducting parts we could use the bullet heaters to heat up the mold and get the cloth to lay out nicely. We ran out of propane and heaters, but they should be able to finish that process tonight and hopefully lay the second ply on Saturday. If I can get along with my other projects this weekend I hope to get up there Sunday or Monday afternoon to check in and give a hand.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Boatbuilding Weekend

I spent the weekend helping friends Mike and Mark set up for laying up the inside skin of their new "keelboat-skiff" to replace their old "kiwi" In Theory. This is a pretty cool boat, designed by friend Ross Weene at Rodger Martin Yacht Design. The idea is a narrow light hull form with most of the righting moment coming from crew weight out on the racks. A relatively light keel makes the boat self rescuing, but the boat is supposed to operate at less than about 14 degrees heel upwind (to keep the chine/spray rail out of the water) so the keel weight isn't doing much. This keeps the boat super light for blasting offshore. They have built all the deck parts already as a warm-up, learning how to use carbon pre-preg before finishing the hull plug last week. The weekend I had the time to help out, spending Saturday building the rest of the oven panels used to surround the boat and cook the hull, waxing and buffing the hull plug (see pic below) to make sure the part comes off when they are done and then cutting out 32 plies of pre-preg carbon that surrounds the hole in the bottom of the boat for the keel fin to pass through (replacing the core).

The flats you see in the plug are at the bow. The lower part will be solid foam as it gets too narrow to make a decent plug, and the upper part is left off to create a chainplate for the set back forestay. It also makes a somewhat sacrificial bow should they bang this thing around. They were hoping to start laying out the carbon tomorrow, but we discovered a problem in the test panel with the core-bond resin they had planned to use that was a room-temp curing epoxy that basically lost all properties once it was cooked with the carbon. This means that they will likely have to lay core out with the inside skin and cook it all together to get a good core bond and avoid delamination. The downside of this is that they will have to be more carful when laying out the core to avoid disrupting the carbon and it also insulates the carbon from the heat of the oven so they may have to leave the heat on a bit longer. The other thing this means is that they will have to pre-cut all the core before they start laying out the cloth to save time and avoid contaminating the skins, so this delays their initial layup a bit.

If you know anyone interested, they have enough carbon to lay up a second hull and are entertaining an interest in a follow-up hull. It should be a blast of a boat. I will definately be making time when I return to New England in August/September to get out for at least a Tuesday night PHRF evening.

In other news, I finally got over my adverse reaction to the Yellow Fever Vaccine I got last Friday on Saturday morning. After 50+ hours of fever, rash, hives, and swollen hands and feet, relief was sweet indeed.