Making the bridle fitting

February 5th, 2007

It has been again a long time without an update. Currently my schedule seems to be that I’ll do something every week, but the progress has not been that fast. Well of course it takes time to do things properly ;).
Steel work

Making the bridle starts with some steel work i.e. rounding the outside end and drilling some holes that let the screws go through the steel. It was maybe the third time that my Dremel set was used and this time for something usefull. After the steelwork and making the cedar pieces for fitting it was again time to put pieces together.

Bridle pieces

After some dry assembly, glueing the bulkhead 3, the bridle fitting and the 1/3 bulkhead (used as a back wall for fitting) starts.
Bridle fitted

The bridle fitting will hold forestay, so I used kevlar in addition to normal glass cloth. Hopefully this will make difference when there will be lots of load on the fitting :).

Glueing bows

January 7th, 2007

The hulls needed to be removed from deck jigs so that the bows could be glued. Before glueing I took apart the deck jigs so that I had more room to work with the hulls. I might have been little bit paranoid when glueing because I used almost all my clamps for one bow. This meant that the first bow was glued last weekend and the second bow was glued today. I took few pictures from the bow, the first one is from last weekend and the second from today after I glued the second bow.
Bow 1 glued Bow 2 glued

I have not yet made the daggerboard case because I ordered high aspect ratio daggerboards from Catamaranparts and in the plans the case is designed for low aspect ratio boards. My daggerboards came this week and I took a picture that shows the depth.

The daggerboards are longer and thinner than in the original plan. It seems that I need to be very carefull with the Finnish rocks, otherwise I’ll be rebuilding and fixing in no time ;). I have a bit of history of finding them with my (boardless) catamarans and even with the masts :).

Glueing transoms, inserting/glueing bulkheads and some hull flying action

December 29th, 2006

I have obviously been lazy and I haven’t written anything here :(. Today I finally digged my camera and took out the photos, so here we go. Transom was the first bulkhead glued in, but only from the outside, I might have used too much of epoxy or I should have been more precise. After the transom was glued I replaced the other bulkhead templates with Okume ones.

Glueing transom Inserting bulkheads

After the hull was straight I inserted the bow stem to see how the bow would look like. The picture below shows the bow, but of course the stem is not straight in the picture.

The bow

At first only four bulkheads are glued in. The pictures below shows skin stiffners glued and screwed around bulkhead 8 and bulkhead 15 filled/glassed in. The last picture (well actually first because it’s from glueing hull one ;)) show glueing beam landings.

Skin stiffners Bulkhead 15 glued Glueing beam landings
In the last few pictures the first hull is removed from deck jig and flying on top of the jig desk just like on water ;). The hull needs to be removed so that the bow can be glued and prepared.

The bow Hull from transom Hull from bow

Trimming the bulkheads

November 30th, 2006

I have been doing small tasks lately and it feels like I haven’t made any real progress at all. As a tribute to doing things without any visible progress I trimmed the bulkheads last weekend. Maybe next weekend I’ll manage to do some real work with the hulls again and maybe I could take some pictures with bulkheads inside the hulls 🙂


Well I took couple of pictures though. The first one above shows the frontmost and biggest bulkhead together. The smaller bulkhead show the hull shape at bow, it shows that the Blade design has quite much of flotation volume near keel line. The bigger is just front of the front beam, the hull changes quite much in one and half meters.

Bulkheads bow and transom

I took also picture with the last bulkhead. The picture above shows nicely how hull shape changes from bow to transom.

Making the bow stem

November 19th, 2006

The bow stems contains two layers of glass and six layers of plywood, so making the stems starts with cutting the plywood and the glass. After the pieces are finished the resulting jiggsaw puzzle needs to be solved with glue. The picture below contains the puzzle pieces.
Puzzle pieces
After the pieces are glued and the glue has cured the stems need to be planed. Planing is much faster with the Blade builders best friend (i.e. electric plane), it took around five minutes for each side. In picture below one of the stems is already planed.
Bow stems

After both of the stems have been planed and sanded they still need one more layer of plywood. In the picture below the stems are being cured again. Btw, the brick used as a pressure weight is made by Arabia, so it’s a “design” brick 😉
Stems curing

Cutting remaining bulkheads and reglueing the gunwales

November 7th, 2006

We have snow here in Finland, but luckily the Blade is now inside. Following picture shows place where I was torturing the hulls month ago.

There is already some ski tracks instead of plywood being steamed ;).
I have been lazy couple of last weeks and have not updated the blog. The remaining bulkheads were cut at the end of October and yesterday I reglued the missing gunwales. Following picture show the newly attached gunwales.

Hull from front

Cutting bulkheads

October 22nd, 2006

I haven’t had any time to work with my Blade for the last three weeks, but finally today I had couple of extra hours, so I managed to cut one sheet of Okume plywood.

Cutting Transom

In the picture above the main decks, one of the transoms and the bulkhead 15 has been already cut out and cutting last transom is still in progress. The following picture shows todays work, the bulkheads 3+8+15, the transoms and the main decks. The bulkheads and transoms still need to be trimmed and interior needs to be cut out from bulkheads.
Bulkheads and main decks

Steaming the hulls

October 2nd, 2006

Last week I spent making the deck jig. This yet again nice measuring, drawing, cutting, glueing and screwing task. This was done in normal Finnish fall weather (means that it was cold, wet and dark). I planned to steam and torture both of the hulls on Sunday but making the deck jigs was such a big task that I only could torture the first hull into shape before Monday.

Luckily I managed to negotiate a slave (Tuomas) to help me on Monday and we both left work early in the afternoon to torture the second hull. Before we got to steaming the hull my dad also joined us so for the first time I really had a team working with me. While torturing the hulls the gunwale glue decided not to hold and the some of the gunwales popped out so this will have to be fixed next time.

Thanks to Tuomas “the little Japanese with the camera” I have plenty of pictures of the steaming and some of them are included below.


Preparing for steaming
Ready for action:

Hull ready for torturing


Using hot towels to steam the hull

Bow will be broken when torturing, sawing makes the breaking line straight:

Sawing the bow

More steaming:


Hulls side by side (note missing gunwales):

Hulls side by side

Forcing transom into place with car jack:

Placing the transom with car jack

Transom almost fit, I decided to use birch plywood templates for now (didn’t have time to plan and cut the Okume):

Transom still in need of pressure

Other side of the transom:


Bow (note missing gunwales):


Glassing the outside keel joint

September 23rd, 2006

After letting the inside keel dry for a couple of days the hulls were turned around. The outside keel joint is sharp so it has to be trimmed with a plane and sanding paper. Also some packing tape needs to be applied to prevent the epox from spreading on the hull sides while glassing. The picture below shows the prepared hulls.
Hulls ready to be glassed
Prepared keel area needs to be primed with epox.

Priming the keel

The 5 cm glass tape is then wetted and placed on top of the keel joint.

Outside keel joints glassed

This was nicely done in a one short session of 4 hours.

Success in glassing a keel

September 21st, 2006

With the second try I managed to glass the inside of the keel without any hazards 😉 Practising and careful preparing seems to work. This took two days, one day for each hull.
Glassed inside keel

Both inside keels contain 10 meters of 2.5 cm wide glass tape and 20 meters of 5 cm wide glass tape. Note that the picture shows more boards supporting the hull in form, I have become paranoid 😉