Kaimusailing

s/v Kaimu Wharram Catamaran

Vessel Name: Kaimu
Vessel Make/Model: Wharram Custom
Hailing Port: Norwalk, CT
Crew: Andy and the Kaimu Crew
About: Sailors in the Baltimore, Annapolis, DC area.
18 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA
11 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA
11 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA
09 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA
06 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA
31 January 2017 | St. Marys, GA
22 January 2017 | St. Marys, GA
12 January 2017 | St. Marys, GA
04 January 2017 | St Marys, GA
29 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
26 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
18 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
18 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
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13 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
03 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
03 December 2016 | St. Marys, GA
28 November 2016 | St. Marys, GA
24 November 2016 | St. Marys, GA
24 November 2016 | St. Marys, GA
Recent Blog Posts
18 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA

BFB Proa Assembly

First I have to give some good reviews to a couple of businesses that have done an excellent job, both sell products on eBay. lcd4notebook is a vendor of laptop computer displays and I ordered a new display for the new toughbook. The display came in, but its backlight didn’t work, so I contacted [...]

11 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA

Hoist!

This is an attempt to make a vertical panoramic shot of Richard and Gill's catamaran as the crane worked to lift the boat so that the rudders could be installed from beneath, the blocking added to keep the boat's keel high enough for final antifouling on the bottom, and the mast also hoisted by the crane and lowered into position.

11 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA

Ama Sutra

Webb Chiles is off at sea again, rounding the Cape of Good Hope in Africa and heading up North. Here is his yellowbrick tracking site: https://my.yb.tl/gannet. I noticed that he has fired right out of the gate with a couple postings of 8 knots plus, in a 24 foot boat.

09 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA

Ama Construction Begins

It was time to start cutting out the hull sides of the ama for the outrigger canoe. I used the old offsets from the ama built in 2014, but had raised the lee gunwale of the ama a bit so that the deck of the ama would match the curvature of the crossbeams. The plywood was cheap 1/8" doorskin from Home [...]

06 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA

Ye Shoppe

Work continued on the hatch coamings, building up the outer perimeter with hardwood, faired with epoxy compound, painted, and the hatch bedded in Bed-It butyl tape. This is the recommended product for bedding hatches and other fittings that bolt or screw onto the hull.

31 January 2017 | St. Marys, GA

Hatch Week 2017

The stormy weekend didn’t stop, Monday morning saw 40 knots of cold northern wind blowing across the North River into the boatyard. The day continued blustery, overcast, and bits of rain now and then. There was no motivation to fight the weather and work on the boat.

BFB Proa Assembly

18 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/mild winter
First I have to give some good reviews to a couple of businesses that have done an excellent job, both sell products on eBay. lcd4notebook is a vendor of laptop computer displays and I ordered a new display for the new toughbook. The display came in, but its backlight didn’t work, so I contacted them and they shipped out another, expedited the shipping, and it was their big New Year holiday. Very happy with them. The second is Grant Philips, emmy1234us on eBay, a custom machined bolt vendor. He made an adapter for my VHF antenna and in talking with him I found he also can do almost any kind of foundry or machining work. I spoke with him about the need for custom parts for solar panel installation and wind vane self steering installation.
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Back in the woodshop I continued with the outrigger canoe. I cut out the panels for the main hull sides. The hull sides consist of a total of 8 pieces of plywood, but they can be laid out with just 2 patterns. One pattern is the bow section, 5 feet long, and the other is the midship section, 4 feet long. A hull side consists of two bow sections at either end and two midship sections in the middle. The seams between the sections are butt seams with butt plates or butt blocks glued over the seams. The width of the plates is equal to the width of a scarf joint. The design puts these seams at stress points in the hull because they have a double thickness of ply. Where a scarf joint would provide equal strength as the surrounding plywood, the butt plates provide a double thickness of ply, thus greater strength.
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The ama, or outrigger float, was wound up with its spanish windlasses, bulkheads, and center keel seam stitched with copper wire. The seam and bulkhead edges were then filleted with epoxy filled with 50/50 phenolic microballoons/"glue strong” mixture. Glue Strong is colloidal silica with 20 percent milled glass fibers. Instead of filleting the seams and then glass taping over them, the mixture I used provides plenty of strength and is lightweight and easy to work with.
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After the epoxy set, the copper wires and spanish windlass twine were removed, and the tops of the bulkheads were trimmed down flush with the gunwales. I decided to install the flat deck on the ama with a 12“ circular cut out right amidships. It will just fit. In the cut out I’ll install a Gamma Lid, which is a screw on lid for a 5 gallon bucket available at the local home improvement store for less than 10 dollars. If the lid and its surrounding plastic rim won’t fit, I’ll cast the female threads into the deck opening out of epoxy mixture.
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I cut out the two bulkheads for the main outrigger hull. They are rectangles 1 foot wide and reaching from the bottom of the boat up to the gunwale. They are installed 4 feet from the
bow(s) and form a flotation chamber with the deck at the bow. I made sure they were wide enough for the gamma bucket lid to form a hatch allowing access to the space in the bow. The shape of the side of the hull is slightly flared amidships, then going to vertical at the bow bulkheads, then with slight tumblehome at the bows. This produces the “destroyer bow” shape.
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Amidships I plan to have no bulkhead, but will use a former to maintain hull shape while it is being built. Later, side decks will be installed to maintain the shape.
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I would need an 18 feet long workbench to build the outrigger’s main hull, but my table is only 8 feet long. I made sawhorses along the lines of those in the “Kayak Shop” book. I made an extra one for the woodshop to use as a support when cutting long pieces of wood on the table saw.
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The long stringers for the main hull were sanded smooth and then the hull sides were glued up, first each bow piece and midship piece were glued together producing 4 pieces that represented the bow and stern of each hull side, then these were glued together to produce the 2 pieces that are the hull sides. The stringers were glued on using sheet rock screws to clamp them together. This produced about 250 little holes left over after the screws were removed.
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The hull sides were temporarily clamped together with the bulkheads clamped in place and then the ends of the stringers were trimmed. The gunwale stringers were lopped off and the ends rounded to a 1 1/4 inch radius. The chine stringers, called chine logs, were bevel cut so that they could fit inside the narrow angle of the bow.
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The midship beam was set by clamping a piece of stringer to one gunwale and adjusting the other till the beam was correct, 20 1/4 inches. The beam of the chines was set similarly to 15 inches. Now something looked wrong. The shape of the bottom, the shape made by the chine stringers, was distorted. It looked pinched, not fair, amidships. Then I remembered I made the bulkheads 12 inches wide to accommodate the Gamma Lid access ports. It was only a little change but it looked ugly. I experimented with the shape at the bulkheads, keeping the gunwale beam at 12 inches, but letting the chine beam reduce to around 10 inches, the original computer rendered beam. The gamma lid would still fit and now the hull looked fair again. The photo is of the hull being temporarily clamped, resting on the sawhorses.

Hoist!

11 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/mild winter
This is an attempt to make a vertical panoramic shot of Richard and Gill's catamaran as the crane worked to lift the boat so that the rudders could be installed from beneath, the blocking added to keep the boat's keel high enough for final antifouling on the bottom, and the mast also hoisted by the crane and lowered into position.

Ama Sutra

11 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/mild winter
Webb Chiles is off at sea again, rounding the Cape of Good Hope in Africa and heading up North. Here is his yellowbrick tracking site: https://my.yb.tl/gannet. I noticed that he has fired right out of the gate with a couple postings of 8 knots plus, in a 24 foot boat.
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I made a jig out of a short piece of cedar stringer stock, about 4 inches long. I cut a rabbet and drilled a couple of holes in it to use as a drilling guide. The rabbet holds the jig against the edge of plywood, and the holes, 3 inches apart and 5/16“ from the edge, are used to drill the holes for stitch and glue construction. One hole has a sheet rock screw partially threaded, so after you drill the first hole in the plywood, the tip of the screw is centered in the hole and the remaining hole in the jig lines up your drill for the next hole in the plywood.
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After drilling the holes (50), I used some donated solid copper wire, about 18 gauge, to twist and tie the panels together. Only the keel edges were tied, the bows will be done later. I used 5mm ply to cut out three bulkheads, one for amidships and two 3 feet forward and aft of amidships. The bulkheads were temporarily pushed down into position, forcing the hull into shape. I had to get a look at it.
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Next I cut out butt blocks, more like butt plates, 4 inches wide and extending from gunwale to keel. Two plates to each bulkhead. They serve to spread out the pressure of the bulkhead against the hull side so that the hull side doesn’t have its ribs showing. At the amidships bulkhead I added 3mm thick hardwood splines that ran fore and aft across the edge of the bulkhead to keep the hull sides fair. They were about 8 inches long and bisected the butt plate into two smaller plates on each side of the bulkhead.
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The whole shooting match was dry fitted with a hole drilled just under the gunwale on each side of each bulkhead, dynema string threaded through the holes and over the top of the bulkhead in a figure 8 loop, and the loop tightened with a spanish windlass, forcing the bulkhead downwards, and pulling the gunwales up tight against the bulkhead edge. The positions of the butt plates, splines, and bulkheads were marked and labeled so that they could be reassembled for the final gluing.
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I had expected the seam at the amidships bulkhead to need trimming, but it wasn’t necessary. A mix of epoxy was brushed onto the gluing surfaces, then mixed with “glue strong” filler and applied to one side of each glue joint. My mix for “glue strong” is 4 parts of colloidal silica to one part of milled glass fibers. The pieces were assembled again and the spanish windlasses were wound up. The pieces were finally tapped into position with a small hammer. The joint between the bulkheads and the butt plates was filled with the epoxy mixture. Later they will get filleted when the keel and bows are filleted.
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The photo is of the midships bulkhead. It has the spanish windlass of blue dynema line over its top and the white piece of wood used as a handle to wind it up is there with a clamp to keep it from unwinding. The butt plates and spline can be seen jammed against the hull side by the edge of the bulkhead. The pencil line across the bulkhead is the normal gunwale height and it intersects with the gunwale on the right. The gunwale on the left is higher, raised so that the deck will have an angle to match the crossbeams, which curve downwards to the ama. This picture was taken while dry fitting the bulkheads. Later they were glued in permanently.

Ama Construction Begins

09 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/mild winter
It was time to start cutting out the hull sides of the ama for the outrigger canoe. I used the old offsets from the ama built in 2014, but had raised the lee gunwale of the ama a bit so that the deck of the ama would match the curvature of the crossbeams. The plywood was cheap 1/8" doorskin from Home Depot and I used the multitool with halfmoon blade to cut the parts out. There were 4 halves of hull sides and will join amidships. I will use the same technique I used on the tortured ply canoe of 2014. The hull sides are not scarfed together or joined at all, just butted together and the gunwale stringer is glued onto them. That joins them together in a way, but the gunwale stringer is only 3/4" square, so it can snap if not handled with care.
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The two hull sides are laid on top of one another, keel to keel, and gunwale to gunwale. The keel edge is drilled on 3" centers about 1/4" from the edge. Both keels are drilled together so the holes line up exactly. Copper wire is then passed through each pair of holes and twisted to tie them together, but left a bit loose. Only the keel edge is wired, only up to the knuckle of the bow(s). Next the bulkheads are jammed down into the hull while pulling the gunwales up tight to them. This is accomplished by drilling small holes through the hull ply just under the gunwale stringer and straddling where the bulkhead edge will lie. Strong twine is threaded through the holes and over the gunwale, over the top of the bulkhead, and through the other holes in the other gunwale. The twine is then tightened with a spanish windlass which brings the gunwales toward each other and pushes down on the bulkhead, forcing it into position. The bulkhead can be tapped this way and that to position it exactly, then the inside of the hull sides can be marked as to where the bulkhead will be positioned. Because the bulkhead can distort the hull side, a butt strap is laid between the edge of the bulkhead and the hull side. The bulkhead then is bearing on a double thickness of plywood. The edges of the butt strap are marked on the inside of the hull side and the edge of the bulkhead is marked on the butt strap. When it's glued up these pieces can be placed in exactly the same place where they were dry fitted.
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The hull can be wound up into shape with spanish windlasses at each bulkhead, and then wound down again for any modifications for fit or to remove twist from the hull. The single seam in the hull side is at the middle bulkhead and the edges of this seam have to be relieved so that the ply edges fit exactly. The top of the edge, at the gunwale, is already glued to the stringer and is butted together. When the hull is wound up, the bulkhead pushes the seam outwards and the crack opens up. The edge is trimmed back a bit at the keel and a bit less on the way up to the gunwale. By cut and try the seam is made to fit. It takes a few sessions of winding up the hull, marking the seam, then unwinding, trimming, and winding up again, until it fits.
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The hull is then glued up, at least the bulkheads, butt straps, and hull sides are glued up. The hull is adjusted while the glue is wet for twist and any unfairness. Clamps, bungies, sticks, and string can be used to force the hull into a fair shape.
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After the gluing of the bulkheads, the inside of the keel and the bows can be filleted and taped with glass. The ends of the gunwale stringers have to be beveled where they meet and cut back to a point where the desired radius can be rounded on the point of the bow.
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The photo is of part of the glue up of the ama hull sides and gunwale stringers.

Ye Shoppe

06 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/mild winter
Work continued on the hatch coamings, building up the outer perimeter with hardwood, faired with epoxy compound, painted, and the hatch bedded in Bed-It butyl tape. This is the recommended product for bedding hatches and other fittings that bolt or screw onto the hull.
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In the woodshop, carpenter Ron began an upgrade. The debris of years and years of wood shavings, sawdust, and bits of offcut wood was slowly getting cleaned up. I helped pick up the pieces and Ron identified rare and expensive wood to save. My eagerness to contribute was due to needing a space to build the outrigger canoe later this month. I needed space to store plywood that was dry, also a place to leave glued up assemblies that was dry. Epoxy in the winter temperatures takes longer to set up, 2 or 3 days instead of just 1.
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I ordered the Bed-It tape and began looking for a replacement for my shop vac, which was losing its vacuum, and my dremel-like rotary tool, which had gone missing. It will turn up when its replacement arrives.
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I had been buying tools from Harbor Freight, they only charge $6.99 per shipment, so I searched their web site. The boat next door had one of their rotary tools and it was starting to fail after exactly 3 uses, two by the owner and one my me. I decided to search for alternatives. The small shop vac from Harbor Freight was $35, but the same unit (probably) was available from ACE hardware, free ship to store, for about $20 plus tax. I searched for rotary tool reviews online and found the Black and Decker tool was rated at #1 or #2, available from Target at $27, free shipping. I saved about 1/3 the cost.
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Surprise, surprise, the little shop vac at ACE was ready just 2 hours after I ordered it online, so I went out and picked it up. Then a little while later, Target canceled my order for the Black and Decker rotary tool. I reordered it for pickup at their Yulee, GA, store, about 20 miles away.
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The little Craftsman 2.5 gallon shop vac was put to work cleaning up the wood shop. This was not just ordinary dirt and sawdust, this was impacted dirt and sawdust from over a decade of use. People just don't pick up after themselves. The vacuum was packed full of sawdust and small bits of wood about three times and dumped out each time and put back to work. The only bad point is that the hose and attachments don't include a straight rigid section, so you have to stoop a bit to hold the vacuum fitting to the floor. I think we can come up with a solution for this problem, either a stick attached to the fitting or find a straight section that fits.
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The Black and Decker rotary tool looks very solid, but I haven't had a chance to use it yet.
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The woodshop was now ready for some woodwork. I picked up 2 cedar 2X4's from the lumber store and ripped them into 3/4" square stock, then used the scarfing jig to put 10:1 bevels on the ends. I planned on making 2 13 foot gunwale stringers for the outrigger canoe's outrigger float (ama), making 2 19 foot chine stringers (logs) for the main hull, and 2 19 foot gunwale stringers for the main hull. The butt ends of the stringers were left square and all the interior joints were 10:1 scarfs. Any bad spots in the square stock were cut out with the same 10:1 bevel. The 2X4's produced about 8 pieces of square stock each and a thin 8 foot batten.
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The pieces were glued up in two sessions, the first would put together 8 and 5 foot sections to make the ama gunwale stringers, as well as two 8 foot sections to produce the start of the longer main hull stringers and chine logs. The second section will add 3 foot sections to the main hulls stringers to bring them out to 19 feet. Actually all the stringers will be longer than required and cut back to the required length.
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The photo is of the woodshop.

Hatch Week 2017

31 January 2017 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/mild winter
The stormy weekend didn’t stop, Monday morning saw 40 knots of cold northern wind blowing across the North River into the boatyard. The day continued blustery, overcast, and bits of rain now and then. There was no motivation to fight the weather and work on the boat.
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The next day I decided to start installing one of the new hatches, over the starboard twin bunk, the cook’s bunk. The compartment was getting fouled with mildew from condensation. I removed the bedding and memory foam mattress and scrubbed the space clean. With the compartment cleared out I could begin the modifications to the hatch coaming. The new hatch was about a half inch larger all the way around. I expected to make a lot of sawdust and wood chips, so having a cleared out space below the coaming would make clean up that much easier.
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I tried to use a router to hack out a 1/2“ X 1“ rabbet in the inside edge of the hatch. This produced a lot of sawdust. There was no way to rout all the way to the corner of the coaming. I began to see the router made a lot of noise and sawdust, but was not the tool for the job. I tried the multitool with halfmoon blade and it was too slow, even with a brand new blade. Then I tried the angle grinder with the chain saw wheel on it. It was too dull and burned the wood. It was exactly the right diameter for the rounded corners though. I found the new 36 grit 4“ flap discs from Harbor Freight. They were the exact diameter of the corner also. These discs just ate up the wood. It took all day to find the right tool for the job.
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The rabbet was almost perfect, but the inside corner of the ledge it formed could not be shaped exactly square with the flap disc. The multitool cut that square corner quickly and I was able to drop the new hatch into the coaming. I would have to add some wood to the outside of the coaming to make it thick enough for the flange of the hatch.
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The forecast had turned to rain again, but I would be away on a shopping trip to Sailor’s Exchange in St. Augustine, so I put all the tools under cover.
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We left early in the morning and ran into a traffic jam going through Jacksonville on I-95. We still got into St. Augustine early enough for breakfast at a local diner. At Sailor’s Exchange we
browsed through the store. Although there is a huge inventory of used boat parts, there were no wind vane self steerers or endless furlers. I bought a very nice single block and Ron the woodworker bought about $500 worth of teak wood. We had time to hike around the town, a tourist trap. Along the way we looked out in the harbor and there was Peace, Ann and Neville Clements catamaran which they had sold, moored. It looked beautiful with its steeply raked masts. I was surprised to see it. It made sense that the new owners would take it further south, from Oriental, probably further south than St. Augustine.
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The rain that was forecast was still holding off. It would come from the North as we drove North and our exposure to the rain would be minimal. It only lasted about 15 minutes and when we got to the boatyard it had already passed over.
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The new hatch wasn’t yet bedded down, but I didn’t expect it to leak at all, but it did. It must have been a real gully washer to force water up over the coaming. There was no gasket or butyl bedding to stop it. That will come later. I took a snapshot of the hatch, in position but unbedded.
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I then began working on the other new hatch over the port forward twin bunk. This time I started work with the 36 grit flap disc and used it to form the corners, then grind out the rabbets. The whole job took about 2 hours including squaring off the bottom corner of the rabbet with the multitool and halfmoon blade.
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