Saturday, December 30, 2017

Filling the weave: akas (3)

One more hour today to complete the FG weave filling on the akas. 200 grams of clear resin were brushed on the glassed planks which had been previously cleaned to remove the blush. Today we did the top sides of the rear swing arms.

Total work time to date: 613 hours

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Filling the weave: the akas (2)

OMG, one more idle month. It's been a crazy end of the year: workload, conferences, family... So, even if we're late, Merry Christmas! We managed to work two hours this morning to sand smooth and fill the weave on the various aka segments, using about 400 g of clear resin.

Let's hope to be able to find some more time during the holidays.

Total work time to date: 611 hours

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Filling the weave: akas

After more than one month here we are again... Two hours today to recoat the two akas and two of the fours swing arms with clear resin to fill the FG weave. We had previously washed the blush away.

We'll do this to all fiberglassed surfaces, and then we'll prime and paint.

Total work to date: 609 hours

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Washing the blush from the akas

We are back after one month... too many things to do. Anyway, just one hour this morning to scrub away the amine blush from the akas, which will be the firts pieces to be primed and painted. We used a brush and a Scotchbrite pad with running water.

We'll then power sand everything, fairing with putty where needed.

Total work time to date: 607 hours.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Deck seats (11)

Two more hours todayto give a double coat of clear resin to the low side of both deck seats.

Total work time to date: 606 hours

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Deck seats (10)

Three hours today do give a double coat of clear resin to the upper face of the deck seats. We first completed sanding the surfaces with 60 grit to remove epoxy putty residuals all around and 120 grit to finish. We used about 800 grams of resin. The plywood edges suck a lot of resin so one has to pass the brush along several times. We gave the first coat at about noon and the second one at 6 pm. Here's how it begins

and here's how it looks at the end

Total work time to date: 604 hours

Monday, September 18, 2017

Deck seats (9)

Just one hour yesterday morning, to make two properly sized epoxy putty fillets between coamings and deck seats.

Total work time to date: 601 hours

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Deck seats (8), crush plates

Five hours today, so we hit the 600 hours mark!
This morning we both worked on the seat decks, rounding edges and grinding epoxy drips, using power plane, power sander, surforms, rasps and sandpaper. Hard work indeed.

In the afternoon, together with my friend Franco Toscano, who professionally builds high end astronomical telescopes in Matera, we built the sixteen "crush plates". Those are square (75 mm sided) pieces of 6 mm thick aluminum, and are supposed to work as washers on steroids. Four of them (with a 12 mm dia. central hole) are going on the outboard ends of the swing arms, where those are connected with the steel studs on the akas' decks. The other twelve will go here and there around 10 mm dia. bolts.

Total work time to date: 600 hours

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Deck seats (7), outboard mount

The idea of having the two deck seats only glued to the low side of the coamings made me a bit nervous. I know, epoxy is fantastic but, just in case, we decided to secure the two seat platforms to the coamings with 5x40 mm ss screws on 15 cm centers... We also glued two 6 mm plywood pieces on both sides of the outboard mount beam. Here's a pic showing both things.

Total work time to date: 595 hours.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Deck seats (6)

Two hours of work yesterday morning to glue the coamings to the deck seats, using about 200 g of microfiber thickened resin.

Total work time to date: 592 hours

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Deck seats (5)

Here we are, back at it, after more than one month. August in Italy is vacation time. I actually remained in town but it has been so hot that working at the boat would have been very unpleasant.
Anyway, today we worked two hours and made all remaining measurements to complete the deck seats. Here's Cinzia scribing the glue line for the coaming on the port deck seat.

and here's a complete view of the cockpit including both deck seats and one crew

Total work time to date: 590 hours.

Friday, July 21, 2017


3 hours of work in the last two week ends in which we faired and double coated the coamings with epoxy.

Total work time to date: 588 hours

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Mast step and coamings (2)

Two more hours last saturday. We continued to work on the coamings (fairing corners and making some fillets) and fiberglassed tha mast step.

Here's the mast step, glued to the forward aka, with the fillets we made last week, ready for fiberglassing

Here's Cinzia preparing the FG cloth

And here's the finished work

Total work time to date: 585 hours

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mast step and coamings

Two hours of work this morning. We prepared the mast step for fiberglassing

and started to round the edges on the coamings

Total work time to date: 583 hours

Monday, June 19, 2017


Two hours only last saturday to work on the seat coamings. Those are 2x4s beefed up at both ends. Even in this case the measurements on the plans were a bit confused so we had to correct something...

In thje meantime, we ordered and received another 12.6 kg batch of resin (hopefully the last).

Total work time to date: 581 hours.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Akas glassed

Four more hours today to finish glassing the central beam of the forward aka, and grind away the fiberglass edges from the other pieces. Here's a view of the beam before glassing, while we're measuring where to pur the mast step which is anothere hefty piece of wood.

Here's how it looks at the end of the day

Total work time to date: 579 hours

Monday, June 5, 2017

Still glassing the akas

Four hours of work this week end, still glassing the akas piece by piece. Those are 6 big and heavy planks and one has to glass one side at a time, so it takes time. Here's a pic showing resin and hardener (about 350 cc in total) in a cup before mixing. The mixing ratio is checked with an electronic scale and a precomputed table. I hope this doesn't bring bad luck, but we have never screwed up the resin proportions...

On Friday we glassed the lower faces of both forward swing arms.

On saturday we glassed the doubler of the rear aka. Here it is before

and after.

Finally, on sunday we glassed the remaining sections. The forward aka is waiting for fiberglassing (upper face) in the background.

Total work time to date: 575 hours

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Glassing the akas

Five hours of work this weekend to continue glassing the akas with the usual 160 g/sq.m. cloth and epoxy resin. We glassed one side of the forward swing arms and both sides of the rear swing arms. Here's a pic taken on saturday morning by Daniele, a friend who came to visit us together with Mario shown here watching me and Cinzia working.

Here's a pic taken on saturday evening, showing all swing arms on sawhorses with one side glassed.

This afternoon we removed the fiberglass edges all around the planks using Surforms and then glassed the other side of the rear swing arms. Here they are with the FG cloth on, ready to be wet out (on the left you can see yours truly coming with the clear resin can)

and here's how they look at the end

We're running short of resin again so we have to buy one more batch. 

Total work time to date: 571 hours

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Three hulls, one trimaran

Six hours of work in the last two saturdays, messing around with diagonals and the like on the aka system. Once the beam system is on the boat, we had to convince ourselves that it's impossible to "close" it to better than, say, 1 cm. So, after much rimugination, today we decided to kill the scientists and to assemble the boat as it is. Well, it worked! Here's the whole boat

Of course it started to rain in perfect time, so we had to cover the beams (not yet fiberglassed) with plastic. Neverthless, we tested the retractable aka system with the real amas (floats) and it worked so well that we decided to open a VERY good bottle of prosecco to celebrate.

Total work time to date: 566 hours

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Back to it

After almost one idle month (boatwise) here we are again. Three hours today to fiberglass the bottom side of the two akas.Here's Cinzia cutting the fiberglass to size

and here is the complete job after the second resin coat (three hours after the first coat).

Fiberglassing is unpleasant. Air bubbles appear all over the place; there's always an unseen splinter which will stand proud under the wet cloth; rollers and brushes leave residuals. Anyway, fiberglassing is not critical for these pieces so it should be ok.

Total work time to date: 560 hours

Monday, April 10, 2017

Aka alignment

Two hours last saturday to check the alignment of the aka system. The whole stuff is accurate within +/- 5mm and we'll possibly have to slightly modify a few bolt holes. Here's a pic showing all beams cleaned and ready for fiberglassing

and here's another view of the whole aka system

Total work time to date: 557 hours

Monday, April 3, 2017

Deck seats (4)

Three hours of work in the week end. We first cleaned the aka beams form epoxy drips and the like

and then dry fitted the seats

Getting there...

Total work time to date:555 hours

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Deck seats (3)

Last saturday we worked two hours to glue up the various components of the deck seats.
Here are the two seats with the inner reinforcements. The wooden beams will rest on the port and starboard deck of the cockpit.

Those are the two beams (2x4 i.e. 45x90 mm) that will longitudinally join the forward and aft akas on each side. The reinforcement glued at the ends are there because we'll have to drill holes there for the 10 mm bolts. The outer side of the seats will be epoxy glued under those beams.

Total work time to date: 552 hours

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Deck seats (2)

Spring is coming in at last, so it's becoming more pleasant to work in the garage. We worked 2 hours this morning to cut out all the pieces to build the two deck seats, which are 2 meters long and 75 cm wide each.
Here's a view of the to panels of 12 mm thick plywood cut to size after being stacked

and here's yours truly relaxing to give you an idea of the size of the seats

We also cut all the longitudinal beams that will be glued to those panels next time.

Total work time to date: 550 hours

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Deck seats (1)

During the week we spent two more hours to complete the coating of the aka bolt holes with silica thickened resin. This morning we worked two hours: we took the vaka outside to check again the aka system and to take measurements to cut the two panels of 12 mm plywood for the deck seats. Those will be 199 cm long and 75 cm wide.
Here's a view of the two akas with the doubler

and here are the two deck seats ready to be cut to size

Total work time to date: 548 hours

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Akas (bolt holes)

The thing went so and so since we used an excessively thick putty (resin + silica) which could not flow freely in the space between the bolts and the oversize holes, so we had to recoat several holes (two more hours last evening). Here are a couple of pics of the rig. However, the bolts came out (relatively) easily thanks to the plastic tape wrap.

And here's a pic of one of the coated holes

At least, now we know how to do it for the next set of aka beams.

Total work time to date: 544 hours