Archive for June, 2016

Will She Float?

Monday, June 27th, 2016

I launch Fish Taco yesterday at Hagg Lake in Gaston Oregon.  Fish Taco is not finished but finished enough to launch.Fish_Taco_launch (Medium) I still need to work on the bridge and anchor deck, install the inwale, finish the thwarts and paint the insides.  The Suzuki 15HP outboard worked well and I am very happy with it.  The power tilt and electric start are very nice.  2016-06-26 12.21.51 (Medium)I did some test runs with 1, 2 and 3 people aboard and she is a little more tender than I would like.  I need to do some more testing to simulate fishing and I might add some water ballast.  I estimated that Fish Taco only weighs about 175lbs and I hope to weight her this week to find out the actual weight.

Launching Fish Taco off the trailer was very easy; I just gave her a push and she rolled/slid off.  Retrieving was a little more difficult as we got one of the bilge keels on the wrong side of the bunk.  We had to lower her back in the lake and bring her up again.  I do have a problem with the trailer; even though I bought a wide trailer it is narrow and I can’t see it when backing up.  I think I will add some trailer guides.

A Little Paint Looks Good

Monday, June 20th, 2016

2016-06-19 12.13.50 (Medium)I started painting Fish Taco’s hull.  The paint is Systems Three WR-LPU water-based polyurethane.  The color is Whitby White which is a cream/ivory color.  The very nice thing about this paint is that it can be re-coated in 2 hours depending on the weather/temperature and up to 24 hours without sanding between coats.  It is a little tricky to put on and by the third coat I had improved the process.  Being water-based cleanup is easy as long as you don’t wait too long.  I settled on using a 4 inch wienie roller used for door and cabinets.  I then tipped out the bubbles and streaks using a 3 inch foam brush. While the final paint job is not perfect, there are dust, streaks and runs in the paint, I am happy overall all.  I decided not to put the blue stripe on now so I will have to sand before I do.

Trailer and Transom

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

2016-06-14 06.40.12 (Medium)I accomplished two more milestones.  I ordered the trailer for Fish Taco; an EZ Loader EZWB-12-14 1200.  This is a bunk trailer and I will add keel rollers and a tongue jack.  The standard 12-14 ft trailer has a width of 44 inches between the fenders which might have been OK but I was concerned so I ordered the wide trailer which is 54 inches between the fenders.  The trailer is 64 inches wide over all and Fish Taco’s beam  is 59 inches. This trailer is only 17 feet long which is better than my old trailer which was 19 feet long.  The trailer has 12 inch tires instead of the much preferred 13’s but with such a light boat there should not be a problem.

The second milestone was the cutting of the transom to mount the motor.  The plan was to make a router pattern that I would use to do the final trim of the cutout.  I would rough cut the opening with my VersaCut 3-3/8 inch circular saw and then use the router to clean up to the final dimensions.   I made a measuring mistake and the two sides were not symmetrical; strike one.  I decide to use only one side of the pattern and route half the opening and then flip the pattern over to route the second.  I was cleaning up the good side and I took a little too much off and it looked funny when I cleaned it up; strike two.  I still had the other half of the pattern that was mis-measured so I cut the formally good side off the pattern leaving just over 2/3 of the pattern.  This time when I cleaned up the pattern without mistakes.  I used the pattern to mark off where I would be trimming to and then used my VersaCut and cut wide of the line except one spot where I touched the line.  OK, I can fixed this; I moved the pattern out by 1/4 inch on both sides.  Using my big router and a pattern cutting bit I trimmed the cutout to the final shape.  It looked very good except for a couple of spots were I started or stop.  A quick sanding cleaned every thing up and it looks very good.

More of My Favorite Boat Building Tools

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

In this second installment of my favorite boat building tools, I have brought out some power tools.

2016-06-05 11.54.18 (Medium)

The first is the Dewalt Corded TrackSaw (PN:DWS520K, $475.19, http://www.amazon.com)  In the August 2016 issue of Fine Woodworking, (http://www.finewoodworking.com), Mark Edmudson reviewed several track saws.  The track saws from Festool and Mafell were rated the best and the one from Makita as best value.  I have not used any track saw but the Dewalt and I have very happy with it.  I always brush dust off the track and the work piece before a cut and never had the track slip while cutting.  To avoid cutting the table or concrete I have two 4′ x 8′ sheets of 1-1/2 inch rigid foam insulation from Home Depot that I put the work piece on.  I use the track saw for any straight cut on sheet goods and long boards.  The saw was an unbeliever time saver when I was cutting out the molds, bulkhead and transom for my Candlefish 13.  I marked all the cut lines in red (so as not to cut a centerline or water line by mistake) on sheets of plywood and then cut all the parts out.  The pull the trigger then push down and forward to start the cut was not natural at first but now I don’t even think about it.

The second is the Rockwell Versacut (PN RK3440K, $99, http://www.homedepot.com)  The Versacut is a 3-3/8 inch circular saw and don’t let the name fool you; this is not a tool make by Rockwell of years ago.  This Rockwell Tools is Positec Tool Corporation in China, a supplier of OEM and second tier tools.  I originally bought this saw to remove particle board as part of installing hardwood floors.  I would use the bi-metal blade and cut the particle board into 1′ x 4′ pieces and then pry them out.  The small blade allowed me to steer around (most of) the nails holding the particle board down.  Now I use the Versacut with a carbide blade for cutting curves in plywood.  I used it to cut all the panels for my Candlefish 13.  The V notch in the saw base is not exactly where the blade cuts but a few practice cuts solves that problem.

Lastly there is my baby router, a Dewalt Compact Router (PN:DWP611, $122.99, http://www.amazon.com)  I mostly use the round over or a 45° chamfer bit.  The routers small size allows me to easily route a round over on canoe gunnels.  I used the 45° chamfer bit on the plywood panels before stitching the panels.  The router has 1-1/4 hp and comes with a 1/4 inch collet.  This router is more than a panel router but not a full size router; I would stick with small bits and leave the canoe bit to a full size router.

My Three Favorite Boat Building Tools

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

When I am building boats or other projects, there are always some tools that I always reach for first and use them more than others.MyFavoriteTools (Medium)
The number one tool I reach for and cannot live without is my folding rule from Lee Valley (PN: 24N06.50, $6.95, http://www.leevalley.com).  At 1 meter long with metric on one side and inches on the other; I find more useful than any of my tape measures or steel rules.   It folds down to about 5 inches and extends out to a meter (just over 39 inches).  I also use it to double check the fence on my table saw so I get just the right thickness from a cut.

Number two is my Dozuki, Japanese pull saw from Woodcraft (PN:12F27, $50.50, http://www.woodcraft.com).  Dozuki’s are also available at Rockler and other woodworking stores.  A Dozuki is called a dovetail saw but I find that the 9-1/2 inch blade is just too big for dovetailing but excels at cutting trim and tenons.  For dovetail work, the 6-1/2 inch blade and shorter handle is just right.  The metal back keeps the blade stiff and I will often guide the blade by holding my thumb near the back for right angle cuts.  No one who has ever used a Japanese pull say can say they have never cut themselves; watch out the teeth are sharp.

Number three is a new tool that I just purchased this year and is not really a tool but safety equipment.  It is an Elipse P100 half mask respirator.  (PN: SPR451, $28.00, http://www.amazon.com)  The respirator comes in two sizes, Small/Medium and Medium/Large.  The Small/Medium fits 80% of the users and is the one that I have.  I was using the 3M particulate filters with a valve but I found they continually fogged up my glasses especially when working in my cold garage.  The P110 fits perfectly without any problems with my beard and the only time it fogs up my glasses is when I don’t have it on right.

Fish Taco’s Launch Day Has Been Set

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

2016-05-29 10.35.24 (Medium)I have decided Fish Taco will be launched on June 26th.  This is also RiversWest Hagg Lake Messabout so it was a convenient target.

I made templates for the Bridge Deck and the Anchor Deck.  The Anchor Deck has been cut out and I have put the second fairing coat on the inside of the hull.  I have a little more sanding to do then I can prime, sand, prime, sand, prime, sand, paint, paint and paint.  Yes the boat gets three coats of primer and three coats of paint although except for the outside of the hull it might not have all the coats of paint for launch day.  Before I install the Anchor Deck and Bridge Deck I need to have painted that part of the hull so I won’t have to crawl through the hatch to paint.  A little more gets done each day.

Sitka Fishing

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

2016-05-24 15.45.33 (Medium)I was in Sitka Alaska last week fishing for Salmon, Halibut and rock fish.  There was a couple of firsts: first time fishing for Halibut and the first time I caught a Lingcod.  I went with my uncle Chester and we each brought back about 100lbs of fish.  The Salmon fishing was very similar to what I have done at Sekiu WA; use the down riggers to get the bait or lure to the right depth and wait for a hit.  The Halibut fishing was out in the ocean in 300 to 400 ft of water.  We lower the bait to just off the bottom and then wait for the Halibut to show up.  It takes a while to bring anything up from 350 feet.  My uncle caught an octopus which was exciting as the octopus did not want to give up the bait and was attached itself to the boat.

The rock fish and Lingcod were caught near the shore off some rocks.  We used spoons and jigged near the bottom for the Lingcod and up and down the entire water column for rock fish.

We did an all inclusive trip with Kingfisher Charters & Lodge in Sitka which is first class outfit.  The food was excellent even if they put red bell peppers in the colesaw.