Sunday, December 18, 2016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

"R2AK...you are approved to race Stage 1 in 2017!"

Gil,

Congrats and welcome aboard.  You're in!  I can’t wait to see the modifications you make to that Stevenson Weekender.

I've cc'd our Registrar who will work you through the rest of the process.
  …
Once we get that squared away we'll make you official and splash you onto the website.
 …
Best of luck in your training and preparations and drop me a line if you need anything.   And if not before, we’ll see you in June!


Regards,

Daniel Evans
Race Boss - Race to Alaska

Northwest Maritime Center


Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Spirit of the Race to Alaska

I am building Kingsfold so a crew member and I can successfully complete this adventure. We are preparing our story of the journey which will commence next June. He and I have our own sets of issues to overcome as we get ready. Thankfully for us, none are as obviously challenging as the bodily conditions these men live with.

In this very worthwhile documentary, three wheel-chair-bound sailors enter the 750-mile Race to Alaska. See how their efforts can encourage you in your struggles. As the skipper said, "We're only ever going to be racing against ourselves. ... If we do that, we'll have won our race."

Hard Ship | A Really Great Big Story

Monday, November 7, 2016

"Enough with the drawings already."

I think these are my last conceptual drawings for my modifications. Watch for photos of the actual boat from here on out.

The line drawings show a stock Weekender. Colored areas that are different from the drawings are what I will be doing.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

"KISS B" Keep It Simple Sailboat Builder, "Oh, yeah. I forgot."

Were you to flip through all my sketchbooks, both paper and digital, you would discover that my default mode is to create fairly complex modifications. Or when I design modifications, I tend to make them way too complex. I forget how much time they add to the construction process, time which I can't afford to spend, no matter how cool my idea may be.

This morning I caught myself doing it again. Here is my simplified self-draining cockpit drawing.


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Clarifying Ideas

Since I won't be needing propane tanks to fuel an outboard on the R2AK, I will cover over the spaces by continuing the seats back to the transom. Here is an updated drawing to help me remember my thinking.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Why Am I Doing This?!?


Entering the Race to Alaska has got to be the coolest adventure that was ever remotely in the realm of possibility for me. I will be sailing a nifty-looking sailboat, that I built, through my most favorite scenery on the entire planet.

I have sailed on the Puget Sound before, under very interesting conditions, and at night. I remember feeling fully alive, out "on the edge," "in the zone," pick your own metaphor for really living.

I enjoy science fiction. And while I won't be in outer space, I will definitely be taking my ship on a mission into the unknown. I discovered on my boating excursions, more than several years ago, that sailing on water and in space (as described in stories, anyway) share some features. There will be multiple ports of call separated by vast, uninhabited distances. And there are numerous creatures that I may encounter, some of them much larger than my craft. One species is known as "killer ...."

But.... There are several big "but"s I am facing. Financing is one of them. Actually getting the boat in the water, and acquiring sufficient sailing experience before the Race begins, are a couple more.

Is the joy of the Race alone worth the time and effort that overcoming these obstacles requires? It's close. But honestly for me, I have to say "no." Not just entering the R2AK, no, as worthy an endeavor as that is. On my own, I'm probably too easily distracted; I have a tendency to self-sabotage. Competing has to be about more than just something I want to do for me, if I am actually going to pull this off.

It is. Those two websites that I am promoting, MaleSurvivor.org and 1in6.org? That is me. I am part of their target demographic. Yeah, so? What does competing in the Race have to do with them? The publicity that the R2AK receives is huge. It represents a lot of eyeballs, including eyeballs belonging to men who are in the one-in-six group that need to be introduced to the resources available on those sites. Through my team's R2AK page write-up, I can draw attention to MaleSurvivor.org and 1in6.org and help men like me. I am doing this for them.

And the further I progress in the process, I realize that it is not just me and my motivations. It's my crew member—Ed—and his goal of sailing the Inside Passage on something bigger than his kayak. It's my friend from back in high school believing in me and my project enough to send me a nice check to keep things moving. It's Gig Harbor Boat Works eager to find a way to install their sliding rowing seat on my boat. And it's the friendliness and enthusiasm of the R2AK leadership as they have responded to my emails ever since I came up with this whole plan. We are doing this.


I am on the right track. Already, an old college buddy called after I told him about my plans in an email. He told me his story of abuse by some relatives that occurred over a period of years beginning when he was about six! I listened to him for as long as he needed to talk. And he now knows about the websites.

Monday, October 3, 2016

More Work on the Self-Draining Cockpit Plans


The aqua-colored shapes are the seat tops. The front edges are parallel to allow for the installation of the Gig Harbor Boat Works sliding seat (for rowing). The green is the sole. I plan to eventually use one of the Lehr LPG outboards, so I am building in wells for standard 5-gallon tanks. There will be covers, so maybe I should call these corner lazarettes? The little white elipses in the transom are the scupper holes.

This drawing does not show what I will be doing with the seat backs. And I left off the four inch wide bit of aft deck.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Significant Modifications


In order to make the cockpit self-draining, I have to raise the sole (floor) of the cockpit (the yellow horizontal line in the drawing). I will add two scuppers with a floating ball stop in them (little black shape in the middle of the transom). Raising the sole necessitates raising the cockpit seats (shown in light green).

A side benefit of this process is that I will be able to enlarge the cutouts in the main/cabin bulkhead enough that crew can extend their legs well under the seats. This Weekender can then sleep two with adequate room, rather than "cosily" as the website describes.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Throwing My Hat over the Fence




I created this video to announce my intent to enter Kingsfold in the 2017 Race to Alaska.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

I can't do it alone, so, "Thanks!" to:

A number of private individuals have already made great contributions to getting Kingsfold built. And I have begun conversations with boat-building and marine-related businesses about sponsoring my entry into the 2017 Race to Alaska.

Look for the names of those companies here, and thank them for me with your business.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Race to Alaska

As I write this, the last four boats in the 2016 Race to Alaska sailing towards the finish line are located here:


Team Bunny Whaler is sailing a 17' Boston Whaler Harpoon. Can't Anchor Us wends its cantankerous way in a 16' Swampscott Dory. Coastal Express moves along in a 16' Mirror Dinghy. Squamish meanders northward in a 20' Y6M. The fastest monohull under 20' in the Race, Team Excellent Adventure with a 17' Montgomery, was the 20th boat overall to finish this year, completing the course in 16 days, 2 hours, 15 minutes (12th in 2015 at 18 days, 22 hours, 52 minutes).

I am building Kingsfold with the 2017 Race in mind. This means that I am looking for ways to decrease weight and increase performance, and safety. I plan to install 2" of flotation under the entire deck surface, and 4" at the transom, and forward bulkhead. Additionally, I will be making this modification, designed by Paul Riccelli, to the stock keel and rudder.


The portion of the keel colored gray will be removed, reducing deadweight considerably. The (orange sections to be added) fin will be filled with flotation foam, and with the skeg and rudder will significantly improve performance. Paul described it this way,
[With] the revised profile, skeg and sectional shapes, you'll crunch any and all Weekenders you run across, especially upwind. About 20 years ago, we took a couple of common daysailors and fitted one with a full length, traditional yacht keel. Next we cut back the forefoot, then moved the back of the keel forward so the rudder would be under the boat. Eventually we ended up with a modern fin keel and a spade rudder. The unaltered centerboard sloop was able to beat the full keel version, but as soon as the full keel was cut to what is known as a "3/4's" keel (much like what I've drawn for the Weekender) the modified boat easily took over and started to point higher, had less leeward skid, could hold on in stronger wind strengths, etc.

As I build, I am also looking for a team member who is an experienced sailor that is up for the adventure. Interested? Contact me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Is it just me, or is there a problem here?

With the deck screwed to the stem in the front, and the transom in the back, I screwed the forward bulkhead in place. When I attached the deck sides to the main bulkhead, I was concerned by what I would describe as a severe twist in the deck surface transitioning from the strong curve of the aft deck as it moves forward to the flat of the sides of the cabin bulkhead in the middle of the boat.




My solution was to lengthen the transition from curve to flat, extending it beyond this bulkhead towards the forward bulkhead. 


I added a piece like this below on both sides. It is 1-1/2" high on the inside and 0-3/4" on the outside. I lapped some fiberglass over the top like a horse's saddle, extending the bottom edge an inch or so past the bottom seam and the inside end.





Assembling the Aft End Solo

The curves of the deck's aft end and transom are significant. My marine plywood is quite stiff. I only have me to hold the parts together and drill in the screws. During a visit with Barry Pyeat, Weekender builder and a formerly active member of byyb.org, he gave me this idea.

Steps in the process:


1. Measure the depth of your curve, 3-1/2" for example.


2. Find a board, such as the 2"x4" under the deck here, that is the needed depth.

3. Clamp the ends of the surface to be bent to another 2"x as shown in the photo above.


Alternatively, a cargo strap with a ratcheting connection can also be used, again with lumber in the middle of the plywood at 90 degrees to the run of the strap. The depth of the lumber need not be as precise because the amount of curve is determined by the tightness of the strap.


The vertical 2"x2" scraps are screwed temporarily to the transom. Their ends keep the hull bottom and deck panels separated at just the right distance. They will be removed once the joints are actually glued, and the screw holes will be filled in. The transom only has the stringers/gussets glued on the sides, and these work in parallel with the 2"x2"s. (The top and bottom transom stringers are already glued to the aft end of the deck and hull bottom.)

A Little over the Top?

In the process of turning my hunks of plywood into something that is starting to look like a boat, I wanted do my best to align the major parts: keel and stem, hull bottom, deck.

The keel was already on the cart, so I set the front end of the hull bottom into the notch in the stem where it goes. Then I suspended the deck from the garage rafters, positioning the cart beneath.


I dug out my (fairly old) laser level and put it to work.


This photo shows that the deck, hull bottom, and center keel lamination are nicely aligned.


Dry-fit 3D!


All screwed together! Now I am discovering where I need to tweak the bulkheads before attaching their stringers, discovering the actual—from life—dimensions of the bow gussets, stuff like that.

I will be assembling and dry-fitting the mast box next to make sure the foredeck is attached to the stem in the correct place.

Catching up on Documenting the Construction Process

I am coating all my inside wood surfaces with two applications of epoxy. For the top coat in the areas visible inside the cabin, I added white pigment to the resin. This way, I can comfortably get away without spending the time to paint the interior.




I am adding a fillet to all the stringers along hull seams.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Fully-completed Cart

After some feedback from folks on byyb.org, I tweaked my design with this result.
One of them said, "That'll work good."

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Full 3D soon!

I built a cart today to facilitate assembling everything and also being able to move in or out of my garage as weather allows. The deck and hull bottom assemblies are done, so completing construction is starting to look like a real possibility.
No picture yet, but the hull bottom sits on this nicely. And some detail shots: