Thursday, April 28, 2011

The i550 Class Association

This is one of the really great stuff about building an i550 : the builders community, the frienship, the learning, the help, the tips and advices that all make it possible for a first time builder like me to build such a nice sportboat.
İ dont think İ would have gone so far without all that help.
And it just gets better and better because all of these builders have recently created the i550 Class Association.

Check it out at
That i550 Class Association is truly an international class and people from many different countries, regions, background and experiences have joined.
The last great example is an Australian builder offering a set of sails that might be donated to a Mexican builder but might as well end up in Turkey !
You will find everything at you will ever need to build your boat, and that includes experienced builders who will guide you through all the building process. Join the forums and ask your questions !

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hull fairing.....and lamination

That was another milestone in my boat's construction and İ wanted to make sure my hull was as nice as possible .

So İ spent a great deal of time fairing the hull BEFORE lamination. One area of concern İ had was the starboard bow panel which was concave. İ guess this assymetry came when İ glued the bow piece in place and clamped everything together. The starboard panel "gave in" forward of f18 but İ only noticed that later in the build. My garage is indeed a bit crampy and İ dont have much space in front of the bow.

So İ basically had one side slightly bulging inwards while the other one was bulging outwards...Not sure what the best configuration is for the bow but İ sure was not going to finish off the boat with 2 different sides. So İ opted to build up the concave side since it was easier for obvious reasons than trimming down the other one :)

Anyways, İ solved that issue by initially taking quite a lot of measurements and comparing one side to the other to better locate the place and dimension of the assymetry.
Once İ had determined the importance of that assimetry, which was quite significant ie about, i realized İ could not simply fair it with fairing putty. So İ glued a large piece of high density Airex foam, the same material İ used to build the rounded edges, and later shaped it with almost all the tools İ had at hand in my garage. İ finally settled with hand planer and surefoam. Worked great on that hard to grind foam.

İt looked pretty good so İ took new measurements and discovered that İ still had a big gap to close. İ did not hesitate and glued another large piece. More grinding, shaping ,and fairing (on many different occasions !) and a couple of days later İ had a pretty symetric bow. İ then carefully worked out the final fairing to achieve the smoothest possible panel. İ reached the point where with my eyes closed and just using my hand İ could not tell the difference between the foam part and the ply panel. They merge perfectly into a nice curve.



İ also had to deal with more fairing in some other spots, mostly at the bottom to side panel chine. İ then got to understand how important it is to perfectly align those panels when stiching the hull together. Any slight deviation will turn out to be a hollow spot to be faired later. Dont rush that stitch part of the build !

So İ had about 6 spots to fair mostly along the chine, plus the bow which did not have the nicest V shape to it. İ used different types of sticks which İ would lay flat on the hull to better locate those spots to be faired. Marked them with a pencil, fair, sand, measure with the batten, apply more fairing, sand, etc...until the low spots were no longer there. Fairly easy process, and rather enjoyable.

Once all that fairing was done, i move onto the lamination per se. The main concern İ had was with the size of the fiber roll İ bought here in Turkey which is just 80 cm wide . So İt took a little thinking to optimize the cloth layout and the resulting overlaps and seams. İ ended up with a seam at mid panel on both sides and one on hull bottom center line .

The cloth was carefully lined up with the help of my wife and hold in place with the now famous pins (work perfectly for that) which İ have used in many occasions on my build. Then we started laminating. My wife on one side, and me on the other one runnnig like crazy back and forward to help her with the most difficult spots and making sure everything was allright.We ended up doing a pretty awesome job, really squeeging all excess resin out.

To finish it off, İ wrapped the whole hull with peel ply. İ am really starting to love the stuff ! Unfortunately, when we laid the peel ply the resin had started to cure somewhat and since our lamination was pretty dry, there was not much resin left for the peel ply to glu on. But we applied it all over anyways.

The next day, İ called my wife and younger daughter to rip it off. Although it did not seem like it, it was well glued in most places and was a bit hard to rip. We really had fun doing it and discovering the awesome surface that laid below !

That peel ply makes for a really beautifull, perfectly textured surface. Even the seams which İ feared a bit were pretty low and smooth...

So overall the hull was almost ready for the over coat. All İ had to do was sand the edges of the overlaps ,fair and sand smooth again. İ really got the hang of sanding those edges and using my rectangular orbital sander, a smaller block and 120 sanding paper İ was able to completely remove all traces of those edges in a relatively small amount of time. İ am getting good for the next boat !

Because İ had spent a good amount of time preping the hull before laminating, only minor additional fairing was necessary before the float coat. İ do believe this is the right way to do it. All fairing is underneath the fiber, hull looks pretty fair.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Zebra look

Worked a few hours on the wodd block to be glued on the cockpit floor to support the keel plate. No clue how this is called in nautical terms . But İ sure got a kick out of making it !

İ had this idea in my mind, executed it and it pretty much looked like İ had envisioned. Nice wood work for a rainy Sunday afternoon.

I was so happy with it that i left my garage, climbed the stairs up to show my newest creation to the rest of the family.......not much reaction there ! İ guess İ am the only one really enjoying this non sense of dust and glue !

İ will decide on how to finish this piece off but one thing is for sure. İ will leave it unpainted with this zebra look

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The white gown

İ am not sure my boat is a HE or a SHE..... but it sure looked that a bride about to get married in her beautiful white gown ! İ had tears in my eyes just to think about walking her down the aisle....

At least just before İ dropped a few liters of goey resin on top of it all and came back to reality !

No much to say on lamination of the top half of the boat except İ went nuts and did it in one shot.....and alone ! No one near to help...So İ had to be rather focused not to screw it up. Boy, that is a big area to laminate ! Took me certainly much more time and resin than expected....But İ pulled it out and İ am happy with the result.

As far as methodology, this really reminded me surfboard lamination which İ had some experience with while at school.

First, İ prepared the hull and wrapped newspaper all around the hull. İ left a clean space of about 15 cm wide on the sides which would be later used to fold the deck cloth onto the hull sides. İ will do the same laminating the hull, therefore overlapping the boat deck to hull sides with a total of 2 fibercloth layers.

Then İ layed the cloth on the deck. My fiber roll is only 80 cm wide so it took me some thinking to do it as effectively as possible.

1-I unrolled two long pieces of cloth and layed them on the side-upper-decks from bow tip to transom. That cloth was wide enough to hang on one side to wrap the deck-to-hull edges, and on the other side to wrap the sidedecks-to-topdecks rounded edges.

2-two more long pieces were used on each side-decks. They would overlap over the rounded sidedecks-to-topdecks rounded edges

3-two more pieces were used for the cockpit sole.

4-2 smaller pieces were used on cabin top.

To hold the fabric in place, İ used the same little pins İ used at the beginning of construction to hold the Tyvek patterns in place before spraying paint...Good memories !

Next was dropping the previously mixed resin from the bucket along the cockpit side and use my long squeege to spread the resin around. The squeegee was used in long smooth strokes, no pressure at all, just moving this wave of resin along the cloth in "S" movements.İt is a fun process to see the weave immediatly getting wet and İ worked my way from bow to stern.

After that initial wet out, İ applied more pressure and squeezed all excess resin out. İ gently moved this excess towards the edges and just let it drip on the cloth hanging on the sides.

Than İ folded the sides onto the hull squeezing hard not to leave too much resin in the cloth.

Did pretty much the same for the cabin and the cockpit floor. And finally İ used a foam roll to spread the resin evenly and remove all excess.

İt was all done in about 3 hours of hard work.

Here are some pictures to illustrate:


Monday, April 4, 2011

My Water is in the boat... :)

Yes İ know, the title of that post sounds weird and İ wish İ could say it the other way around :" My boat is in the water" but for the time being, that is really what i meant ! And for the first time in this boat construction's history, my wife helped me out ! Fact is İ could not have glued that cockpit alone because of the monoblock way İ build it. So we were two spreading that colloidal thickened epoxi all over on the support surface. We put enough to make sure everything would be properly glued, but not too much to the point where it would drip inside. İ used a mixture of colloidal, hard density filler and microfibers. Then it was a matter of carrying the monoblock cockpit (which by the way did not weight much although it is a pretty big piece) and drop it in place. İ had all the time necessary to make all type of fine tunning and adjustments before actually gluing the cockpit down, so it pretty much fitted perfectly and layed flat on almost all gluing surfaces. Big rocks and water gallons were used to press the cockpit down and ensure proper glueing. Then İ dove underneath and with the help of this wonderfull high tech tool (yet another one !) .......I finished off all of the smallest voids left behind. This big syringe used in bakery is really wonderful for small filet type applications. One straight continuous shot and its all good. No need whatsoever to use those special fileting spreaders which are time consuming to use properly. İ had heard about this technique before (as well as using zipblock bags cut at one tip) , but I had never tried before. Since doing filets in the very confined space underneath the deck was out of the question, the syringe trick was the very best solution. Not only do İ recommend it, but İ went to the local supermarket to buy two more for some other hard to reach places such as corners inside the cabin. İt is very hard to show good pictures from underneath, but here is one where you might just see in the back ground the nice little continous fillet. That was done with the syringe and the part is the cockpit sole resting on one of the T beams stringers İ made.