Sunday, May 9, 2010

I feel much better now!!!

There. It's done. I made the decision, committed to it, and moved forward. I feel twenty pounds lighter. The keel has been milled, fitted, relieved for the ballast casting, and dry hung on the boat. The photos show it before it got tapered and relieved.

For all of my bluff and bluster in previous posts, one would think that it would have been easier for me to actually do it. It wasn't. I take very seriously any significant change made to somebody else's work. I know as much about the finer points of yacht design as I do about Santeria. I did not make any of my decisions regarding these changes willy-nilly, particularly the keel profile. They are all the result of careful math, long hours of research, and tapping the expertise of many respected marine professionals. Special thanks to Messrs. Taylor, Crocker, Ford, and Prescott for the advice and encouragement to move out of analysis paralysis.

Forward rang is laminated and dry-fit to the boat. This part is a much tighter bend than any of the others. It is about the absolute limit to what 1/8" laminates will do without breaking. As a matter of fact, during the dry run, there were a couple of ominous cracking and popping noises as I sucked the last of the curve into the stack. Note the ridiculous number of clamps near the center of the part. I let the stack sit in the form overnight. When I removed it, there were three laminates with short grain that had begun to spilt. I pulled them out of the stack and replaced them with straighter-grained pieces. The lamination went without a hitch. It was a wrestling match, though.

I fitted the part this morning. All went well, but one of the laminates blew out while radiusing the edge. It is getting a localized repair and will be installed tonight. I'll glue the outer keel in place, too.

I have re-thought the installation method for the outer keel. I am gluing it the same way the rest of the boat is assembled. I will still run a line of centerline pinch bolts, but epoxy here makes me feel that much more secure. I'm committed, anyway, and removal of the outer keel will involve a sawz-all no matter how it is hung.

Tomorrow, I have to re-locate the project so that final coats can go on the boats surrounding Dark Secret. I will take the opportunity to flip her, prep and prime the bottom, and carry the topsides work to a first coat of black paint. Come to think of it, if I melt, pour, and hang the lead, paint the bottom, and finish the topsides, then there's no reason to have to invert her again. Unless she's in the way of paying work...