Kaimusailing

Kaimu 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.
29 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
17 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
13 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
08 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
04 June 2016 | St. Marys, GA
01 June 2016 | St. Marys, Ga
24 May 2016 | St. Marys, GA
22 May 2016 | St. Marys, GA
21 May 2016 | St. Marys, GA
16 May 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
12 May 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
10 May 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
06 May 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
01 May 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
30 April 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
27 April 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
25 April 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
24 April 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
22 April 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
19 April 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
Recent Blog Posts
29 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA

Georgian Summer Break

Webb Chiles has posted his log of the voyage from Bundaberg to Darwin, Australia. He asks for help proofreading the log and there are a lot of typos in it. It is at inthepresentsea at blogspot.com. You can find out more about his little boat at http://moore24.org/.

17 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA

Left=North

The 3 end pieces, cedar, of beam #2 were glued in place all at the same time. It was tricky because they had to fit underneath the beam brackets, one at the end of the beam and the other at the inboard gunwale. I had to plan which surfaces get the epoxy “glue hard” mixture which is like mayonnaise [...]

13 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA

The Chimney Effect

After putting the beginnings of beam #2 into the beam brackets in the starboard hull, it was built out toward the port hull by adding a few of the prefinished planks. This beam was being assembled in the same way as beam #3, but its location made the work a lot easier. A pair of cedar 2X4‘s extended [...]

08 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA

Secrets of the Culinary Trade

A tropical depression was forecast to come in from the gulf, cross northern Florida, and hit us with high winds and torrential rains. Work ceased and we battened down the hatches. Some rain did fall intermittently and I read a couple books on the kindle. One was “iWoz”, Stephen Wozniak’s story [...]

04 June 2016 | St. Marys, GA

Heat

Heat. Heat and humidity. One report was that the heat index was 116 yesterday. I got out 4 planks for beam #2 in the morning and planned to add one plank to the beginnings of the beam, which are beginnings of assembly on sawhorses. This assembly will be inserted into the beam brackets, which are [...]

01 June 2016 | St. Marys, Ga

Just Squidding

The lower 2/3 of Beam #3 are complete, that is, the two bottom 2X6 planks and the two middle vertical 2X4 planks are glued in place. All the exterior surfaces have been covered with epoxy and arctic white paint except for a couple stretches in the middle of the beam where the crossdeck framing is too [...]

Georgian Summer Break

29 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
Capn Andy/Hot and humid
Webb Chiles has posted his log of the voyage from Bundaberg to Darwin, Australia. He asks for help proofreading the log and there are a lot of typos in it. It is at inthepresentsea at blogspot.com. You can find out more about his little boat at http://moore24.org/.
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A forecast for cooler weather also included rain which almost shut us down. I did a lot of reading and cut scarf bevels on the remaining planks in the woodshop. The next layer of planks was prefinished before the rain hit. I was concerned that the wood would get wet and I’d have to wait a couple of days before continuing.
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There was a brief pause in the rain and I ran around covering things as best I could, then it poured down again.
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The next day was cooler and cloudy with it spitting a little now and then. I prepared the beam for its top two layers of planks and made sure the planks had their excess epoxy sanded off.
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The first of the top two layers of the beam went on one plank at a time. I was calculating 1 oz of epoxy per 100 sq inches of surface to be primed and covered with thickened epoxy. I found I had to add more, maybe 1 1/2 oz. per 100 sq inches. About a third of the epoxy is used raw to prime the wood, brushing it on with a thin coat, almost dry brush. Then the remainder is thickened with about twice the volume of the remaining epoxy of silica/milled fibers. I use 4:1 ratio, the experts say to use just a bit of the milled fibers, about 17:1.
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I could have planked the whole length of the beam and done a layer of planks in one day, however the clamps prevented doing it that way. I had to slide some of the planks through the beam brackets to fit them into position while trying not to scrape off the epoxy glue mix. I ended up planking most of one layer, then finishing it the next day, then working on the next layer the following day and needing an extra day for that one too.
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The end of the top layer, the last plank, wouldn’t fit at all, it needed to be cut in half and pieced into place. I cut a long scarf joint across the face of the board. It was 5 inches wide, so the scarf cut was 50 inches long. After the pieces were glued into place, they fit perfectly. Ron the woodworker said it was a “Naval Scarf Joint”. This is the way shipwrights repaired ships in the old days, at sea and at war. Planks had to be repaired in place, so scarf joints were cut across the face of the plank instead of across the width.
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At this point I had used up the wood allotted for the beams. I guess there was no allotment for the pyramids or wedges on top of the beams. I measured the bevel, it was about 9:1. I will have to make another scarf jig to make the pyramids. For now we have run out of reasonable weather to work in, so it’s time to wrap things up for the summer, stow away, cover and secure, and take a midsummer break.
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After closing up the boat and making sure that nothing would be affected by rain or wind, I packed up the Miata and hit the road north. The trip up to Annapolis is about 750 miles and the Miata runs a little over 250 miles on a tank of gas, so I had stops at Florence, SC and Petersburg, VA on the way up. I had one of the most disgusting sandwiches ever at the Arby’s in Florence. They had a beef brisket sandwich, which is something I really like, but theirs was very greasy, like over burned bacon. But I was hungry and ate it.
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The picture is a painting by Teimuraz Gagnidze, of Georgia, not Georgia, USA, called “Summer” and is available at saatchiart.com.

Left=North

17 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
Capn Andy/Hot and humid
The 3 end pieces, cedar, of beam #2 were glued in place all at the same time. It was tricky because they had to fit underneath the beam brackets, one at the end of the beam and the other at the inboard gunwale. I had to plan which surfaces get the epoxy “glue hard” mixture which is like mayonnaise and gets scraped off easily. The planks were clamped in place by wedges left over from scarf bevels. Also, a couple of bar clamps were used to clamp down on them.
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I had an urge to start planking the top of the beam, but now was the time to attend to the bolts that hold the crossdeck framing in place and also the bolts that pass through the beam on the centerline of each hull. I had neglected to do the centerline bolts on beam #3, so that had to be done also. It is difficult to access the web portion of the beam after the top planks are glued in place.
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The centerline bolts pass through the wall of the beam trough, then through the beam, and are secured by nuts against the beam. These bolts hold the beam against the wall of the beam trough and also prevent the beam from sliding in and out of the trough. The length of the holes, plus the distance needed to pass through the trough wall meant an ordinary drill wouldn’t go far enough. Also these bolts are 3/4“ diameter which is too large for an ordinary drill bit in my drill which only goes up to 1/2“. I wanted to drill the holes oversize so that the bolts could be bedded in epoxy mix to prevent moisture from getting into the beam. I used the same 1“ speedbore bits that I had used on hogging out the skeg slots. First I drilled a pilot hole with a long thin auger bit. Then I drilled from the other side with the speedbore extended with a bunch of socket fittings. I used a hex to 1/4“ socket drive adapter, then a 1/4 to 3/8 socket drive adapter, then a long 3/8 socket extension, followed by a 3/8 to 1/4 drive adapter, and finally a 1/4“ hex socket that fit the shaft of the drill bit. After drilling the 4 holes, one in each hull in each beam, the holes were packed with epoxy “glue hard” mix, which is 4:1 silica:milled fibers, and the bolts were screwed or hammered home and tightened with nuts. Large stainless fender washers were used to distribute the pressure under the bolt heads and nuts.
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The foredeck framing has four bolts passing through beam #2 and originally also passed through the middeck framing, but that was a bad design, the bolt holes will never line up perfectly. I changed it to bolts only passing halfway through the beam, bedded in epoxy mix. In fact the bolts are not screwed into place, the deck framing was propped up in position and the bolts pushed into the epoxy mix until it hardened. Then the props could be removed. A generous amount of epoxy mix was built up around the bolts in the gap between the framing and the beam. The bolts for the middeck framing will be done later, they pass into the pyramid that sits on the beam. Wharram calls the pyramids “wedges”.
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Planks had already been got out with their scarf bevels for the top of the beam. They needed to be prefinished. The first layer sits on top of the cedar webbing and overlaps it, so the prefinish only goes on the edges of the planks and on the thin overlap margin. The top of the plank is bare to glue to the layer of planks above it, and the bottom has a bare strip wide enough to glue to the cedar web. The prefinish consists of priming with raw epoxy, then a coating of 50/50 phenolic microspheres/silica. The top coat is arctic white.
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A steel cruiser was relaunched after a long stay at the boatyard. The crew has said their plan was to go out to the Gulf Stream and turn left.

The Chimney Effect

13 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
Capn Andy/Hot and humid
After putting the beginnings of beam #2 into the beam brackets in the starboard hull, it was built out toward the port hull by adding a few of the prefinished planks. This beam was being assembled in the same way as beam #3, but its location made the work a lot easier. A pair of cedar 2X4‘s extended the web of the beam and a pair of 2X6‘s, trimmed to 5 inches width, extended the bottom of the beam. It now reached the inboard gunwale of the port hull.
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Now the planks had to be calculated as to how they could be positioned in the beam brackets and extend the beam to its port end. It was found that the web couldn’t be extended until the beam bottom was all in place, then the web planks could drop in from above, finishing the bottom 2/3‘s of the beam. An unexpected problem was that clamps could prevent additional work until that plank had its epoxy hard.
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The hockey style of work was appropriate for the time of year, hockey playoffs, and made it possible to get work done in the heat index of over 100. Today was 106. This has almost shut down the project, but the stopping point is when beam #2 is complete, including the pyramid of planks that support the longitudinal mast beam. This aluminum beam runs from beam #3 to beam #2 right on the centerline of the boat. The mast steps on it and the design has beams 2 and 3, and the short beam (#2.5?) supporting the longitudinal beam. Some designs have a “dolphin striker” set up beneath the beam that supports the mast. This is a strut that points down toward the water and has a stay from the ends of the beam, over the end of the strut, that is tensioned to support the downward thrust of the mast. On the Narai MKIV Wharram designed a pyramid on top of beams 2 and 3 and on top of the short beam. This pyramid tapers the beam up toward its center where there is a flat section in the middle 2 feet of the beam. The longitudinal mast beam crosses the crossbeams on the middle of each pyramid.
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The center part of the beam, between the inboard gunwales, has been left bare wood as a gluing surface for the pyramid. It has to be kept dry and for this reason the beam project has to be completed before we can stop and take a midsummer break.
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Another pair of planks were added today extending the bottom 1/3 of beam #2 to its port end. The planks of the web are ready to extend the middle 1/3 of the beam to the end, but clamps are in the way. The decision to call it quits for the day was easy, the heat index had gone up to 116.

Secrets of the Culinary Trade

08 June 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
Capn Andy/Hot and humid
A tropical depression was forecast to come in from the gulf, cross northern Florida, and hit us with high winds and torrential rains. Work ceased and we battened down the hatches. Some rain did fall intermittently and I read a couple books on the kindle. One was “iWoz”, Stephen Wozniak’s story of starting Apple Computer with Steven Jobs. He wanted to set the record straight that he designed the Apple II personal computer on paper and then built the prototype himself. That is a remarkable feat. He also hand built the first floppy disc drive interface. for the Apple. He also programmed it as well as the first BASIC operating system for Apple.
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Our own computer phenomenon arrived in the rain and when I went on the bike down to the boatyard office to pick it up, it was closed due to inclement weather. I biked back and read some more.
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The next morning it was obvious we had received quite a bit of rain, but the storm had split in two with a major part of it skirting us and heading North, while the rest of it headed East, so we had just a bit of high winds, not a huge tropical storm. The parts computer delivered the day before was at the office and I could open the box, ascertain that it was operating properly, load the previous unit, that had never worked right, into the same box, and shipped it off, back to the vendor. If you search for Panasonic CF-52 on eBay, you will find them available at eshoppingplace, or something like that. They are located in Lorton, Virginia. The parts computer is cosmetically in excellent condition and only needs the disc drive and disc drive caddy to be put into operating condition. My old chassis says it has over 35,000 operating hours in BIOS, but the new one has about 2500. I will buy another from them, the price is right.
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Webb Chiles has continued his circumnavigation and is crossing the north, tropical, coasts of Australia. His information is at inthepresentsea on blogspot.com.
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On the Wharram builders and friends website a Raka 36 restoration project has become available, for free. While there are many free boats that are worth less than zero, this one looks like a good candidate, a fun boat for a fraction of the usual build effort. The Raka design was not the most popular due to its inbetween size, kind of small for voyaging, and a bit large for daysailing/weekending. It is a racing design, however, so performance will be right up there.
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The Brits next door have achieved a very high gloss on their Fountaine-Pajot catamaran, but it bit them back due to the rainfall and wet surfaces. They have not yet done the non-skid and as a result there was a nasty fall down the port sugar scoop, bouncing off things. The glossy paint did not get marred.
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The #2 beam troughs were wire brushed, sanded, and painted with leftover rust paint after the beam brackets were finished with two coats. This is an old oil based paint that I’ve been told is good for wooden surfaces. The beam brackets and rubber spacers were reassembled, but not bolted down, and the beam #2 assembly, which only consists now of about 4 planks of wood, was forced into position. There are more planks already beveled for installation, but they have to dry out a bit due to all the rain.

Heat

04 June 2016 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/Oppressive Heat
Heat. Heat and humidity. One report was that the heat index was 116 yesterday. I got out 4 planks for beam #2 in the morning and planned to add one plank to the beginnings of the beam, which are beginnings of assembly on sawhorses. This assembly will be inserted into the beam brackets, which are now also on the sawhorses, getting painted with rust paint. I planned to get a lot done, but gave up and ran errands, got take out lunch, and read Eric Clapton's autobiography on the kindle.
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So, the heat index today is only about 106, "cooler" than yesterday. The brackets got a second coat of rust paint and the plank got glued to the beam assembly. I began to do things like they do playing hockey. In a hockey game, the guys skate like crazy for a few minutes, then take a breather at the bench. In the heat I work as long as I can, then sit down in the shade with a cool drink. After a while I'm good to go back at it.
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The picture is of the weather report, reporting today is cooler than yesterday, a scorcher.

Just Squidding

01 June 2016 | St. Marys, Ga
Capn Andy/Hot, Humid, Thunderstorms
The lower 2/3 of Beam #3 are complete, that is, the two bottom 2X6 planks and the two middle vertical 2X4 planks are glued in place. All the exterior surfaces have been covered with epoxy and arctic white paint except for a couple stretches in the middle of the beam where the crossdeck framing is too close to paint. Those areas will either be covered with fiberglass cloth soaked in epoxy and slipped in between the crossdeck framing and the beam, or the space will be filled with epoxy fairing mix.
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It took quite an effort to jam the beam down to its proper position in the beam brackets. The lower 2/3's of the beam has to sit right at the bottom of the brackets so that the crossdeck frame bolt holes can be correctly marked and drilled. My original plan was to drill oversized holes, then I thought I would drill the same size holes as original and use slightly smaller diameter bolts. These oversized holes or undersized bolts are to allow for epoxy bedding to prevent water ingress through the bolt holes. After looking at where the holes were lining up, through the “web” part of the beam, I decided to use epoxy mix to bed the gap between the middle or web portion of the beam and the crossdeck framing. The holes were drilled and 1/2” bolts were temporarily bolted through the framing into the beam. Now the cross deck framing was supported by the beam again and temporary supports could be removed.
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A young couple who had spruced up their boat to continue their cruising held a bon voyage banquet. He is Italian and made one of my favorites, pasta with bolognese sauce. Most of the boatyarders attended and there was a toast with wine and lots of stories by the old sailors. The next day they launched and I was surprised to see them scoot off silently, they were using an electric motor and instead of a heavy tank of fuel, they had a heavy bank of batteries.
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Now the top 1/3 of the beam could be installed, and I expected it to be much easier working above the beam rather than below. It turned out to be difficult in its own way. The beam kept riding up in the brackets so there was a gap below the beam and the space above the beam wasn't large enough to fit the top two layers. I tried prying the beam back down, tried using the many wedges I had created cutting scarf bevels, and finally had to beg the porta-power from the boatyard. This is a manual hydraulic device that has a hydraulic ram with various fittings and can exert tons of force. Putting it inside the gap between the beam and the top of the bracket and pressurizing it jammed the beam down and opened up the gap. Also, backing off the large beam bracket bolts that held the bracket to the hull allowed the bracket to rise up.
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The top two layers were screwed down with the composite deck screws with fender washers and the beam was now almost complete. It was a straight I-beam about 20 feet long with two layers of 2X6 planking as its bottom, then two side by side 2X4's of cedar on top of that, and finally top two layers of 2X6 planking. The planks had been trimmed to 5 inches width and the measurement from bottom to top was just shy of 10 inches. The small gap left between the top of the beam and the beam brackets will be filled with thickened epoxy. There is still more to be done, the beam has a middle section that is like a flattened pyramid with a flat top. This middle section sits on top of the straight I-beam and has about a 10:1 slope upward from the inner gunwales and a 2 foot wide flat level section in the middle. The longitudinal mast step beam which begins atop beam #2, runs over the top of the short beam that is athwartship right under the mast, and ends atop beam #3. All of the beams, #2, #3, and the short beam have the same pyramid section. The pyramid section will be completed later and slid into place and bonded to the new beams.
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What about beam #2? I began to look at the disassembly process and gained access to the top of the beam troughs by removing the covers over them. They are screwed down with long stainless self tapping screws. One had an active wasps' nest under it. I sprayed it with WD-40, the nearest chemical on hand.
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It was obvious that the best way to remove the beam was to cut it into three pieces at the inboard gunwales. I looked at the price of rental chain saws and asked Ron the woodworker if Lowe's rented tools like Home Depot did. He said he would loan me his sawz-all. It turned out he had several of them and his oldest, most beat up one, wouldn't take a blade, the mechanism wasn't working properly. He had loaned it to someone who forgot the return the blade mechanism to its operating position and the saw damaged itself. He gave me a brand new Dewalt saw, batteries, and I also asked for the damaged saw to take a look at it.
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The weather was beginning its summer heat cycle, tolerable mornings, then increasing heat and humidity in the afternoon, culminating in thunderstorms. I was more comfortable disassembling his broken saw than doing the brutal work of cutting 5X10 beams overhead.
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It turned out the blade attachment mechanism, which is a lever that bears against the spring loaded blade chuck, could be repaired by simply tapping its metal surface back onto the plastic lever. I put it back together and found I could load a blade into it easily. Then I decided to try it out and see if it really worked.
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The beam was originally covered in fiberglass, which would quickly dull the saw blade, so I ground off any glass that would get in the way. The saw cut extremely well and soon the beam was in three pieces, but still stuck in place.
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The cross deck framing had to be supported with posts and the bolts that hold it to the beam had to be removed. Also the large longitudinal bolts that bolt the beam to the hull on the hull's centerline had to be removed.
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The end pieces of the beam were the parts that ran from gunwale to gunwale. The beam bracket bolts were unthreaded, at least the nuts were, and the rubber packing pieces that create the flexible coupling of beam to hull were removed. The end pieces could then be pried up and removed from the hull, sitting on deck, ready for the beam brackets to be removed from them.
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The center section of the beam was carefully propped up as the cross deck bolts were removed, but it didn't budge at all. Years of epoxy and paint had bonded the beam to the crossdeck frames. I was afraid it would let go suddenly, so I carefully supported it at both ends and began prying it away from the framing and slowly lowering it. It took all day. It was tightly pinched between the frames and only moved a fraction of an inch at a time. When it was almost all the way out, it moved more freely, and I lassoed it at each end and lowered it down with ropes.
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The picture is of Kate and Fabio's sloop as they motor away from the boatyard under electric power. They blog at squddingaround.org.
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