2/2/13 - Prep Work

No progress pictures to show this week.  I spent more time at my desk and on the computer than at the workbench this week.  Not a bad week to be in the house with it being so cold outside... woke up Thursday to 21 below 0 air temperature.

Much time was spent this week bringing up the website live and figuring out a bill of materials.

I’m struggling to decide on the motor well measurements.  Something that I need to determine real soon.  My initial thoughts were to power the boat with a 50 HP Evinrude E-Tec 2-Stroke whom’s technology I’m much enamored with.  The E-Tec offers cleaner exhaust, quiet operation, great fuel efficiency, and minimal maintenance.  But the tradeoff is a bigger heavier motor for just a 50 HP 2-stroke.  I’m surprised to learn that it is just as heavy (240 lbs) as a 4-stroke 50 HP outboard engine.  Making a bigger, wider motor well will in-turn decrease the size of the raked transom.  With a smaller transom footprint than was originally designed, I’m concerned that the boat may loose some of the advantages of having the raked transom which gives the boat its seaworthiness in following seas.  Will have to give this further thought and perhaps power with a lighter traditional 2-stroke to avoid making a bigger motor well.  As a boat builder, my philosophy is to avoid mucking with design changes.

I intended to use Ecopoxy for epoxying the the bottom of the boat.  But I just read about a new epoxy in Professional BoatBuilder magazine called Super Sap by Entropy Epoxies that is the first certified USDA “BioPreferred” epoxy.  Epoxy is a wondrous material but toxic to work with.  Unfortunately I am sensitized to it resulting in allergic skin rashes, nausea, headaches, feeling feverish, etc.  At GLBBS, our instructor was kind enough to try Ecopoxy, noteworthy for being "green", for epoxying the deck of the Cutter we worked on.  He was pleased with the results and I found I had no allergic reactions to the odor, like I do with the popular West Systems brand.  But I did have a slight rash when exposed to sanding dust.  I need to wear a Tyvek suit and respirator when dealing with epoxy and highly recommend it to anyone working with epoxies.  Despite the good results we had with Ecopoxy, it doesn't seem to be catching on as I see very little interaction on it when researching it on the internet.  However this Entropy Super Sap epoxy seems to be embraced as it is now being distributed by Jamestown Distributors.  But it would be another experiment for me in terms of learning if my body can tolerate the stuff.  Need to decide soon.

Also need to decide which wood species to use on the floors, frames, and deck beams.  I’m leaning towards Douglas Fir.  Simmons used Philippine Mahogany on his boats back in the day, but that is hard to find these days.  Ellis Rowe used Douglas fir which seems to be the most popular species being used today for Simmons builds.  It is rated as a moderate rot resistant wood with good strength properties.  I have some Ponderosa Pine on hand which I got from Marvin Windows and Doors that I’m considering.  They use Ponderosa Pine in the manufacturing of their windows and doors.  However Ponderosa Pine is rated low to medium in rot resistance and is not quite as strong as Douglas fir.  Since the floor frames will be encapsulated in epoxy, I wonder if I'm over-thinking rot resistance because epoxy encapsulation is the best method today to protect wood from moisture.

This alone is what I find most frustrating in building wooden boats in the Midwest... the availability of wood species most applicable to wooden boat building is scarce in the Midwest.

Well, next up, after deciding on a wood species and going out and procuring lumber, is eleven floors to layout and cut to size.  These floors are rather complicated as they have compound miter cuts and notches and its critical to get them right to achieve a fair hull.