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.
10 February 2010 | At the Dock, Still
10 January 2010 | Chesapeake Bay
17 October 2009 | At the Dock, Still
26 July 2009 | At the dock, still
10 July 2009 | Pleasure Cove
23 June 2009 | Chesapeake Bay
14 June 2009 | Bodkin Creek
03 June 2009 | Pleasure Cove
27 May 2009 | Pleasure Cove
08 May 2009 | pleasure cove, md
06 May 2009 | Chesapeake Bay
22 March 2009 | Bodkin Creek, MD
Recent Blog Posts
24 March 2017 | St. Marys, GA

French Toggles

The goal is to refinish the foredecks and the rest of the cabin sides by the end of the month. Some work on the outrigger canoe is being done at the same time.

23 March 2017 | St. Marys, GA

24 In. Multipurpose Trim Guard

I can tell when I have undesirable work ahead of me, I start doing everything else that I can think of. The hatch installation job was set aside so I could do something else, which turned out to be the proa, outrigger canoe, project. Now I had to get back to the hatches, but I still found other things [...]

20 March 2017 | St. Marys, GA

Birdseye View

It was time to return to working on the big catamaran and the installation of the new large Bomar hatches. I had cut out the hatch coamings to accept the new hatches and added new wood to the perimeter of the coamings to compensate for the wood removed. In order to get a perfect fit, I taped off the [...]

15 March 2017 | St. Marys, GA

BeamBrackets and Cold Snap

The remaining fiberglass work on the outrigger canoe included the underside of the inboard side deck and the bottom of the main hull. The inboard side deck already received a 3 foot wide fiberglass belt amidships and now only needed two 3 1/2 foot sections fore and aft to be completed. These are the [...]

05 March 2017 | St. Marys, GA

BFB Test Fit

The epoxy order was on its way so I used up the last little bit I had, priming the main hull’s decks and the bow compartments. The ama deck was primed and then I was out of epoxy.

28 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA

Side Deck Trouble

I had to order more epoxy, I was using it like a fiend. Laminating the hiking seat took 900 ml, about a quart, and that was only for the core. The two layers of fiberglass that wrap it will take as much or even more.

French Toggles

24 March 2017 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/Warm Spring
The goal is to refinish the foredecks and the rest of the cabin sides by the end of the month. Some work on the outrigger canoe is being done at the same time.
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I had purchased the old rigging from Richard and Gill’s Antigua catamaran for a low price. He purchased all new rigging and found that the French yard that built the boat used custom sized toggles on the rigging which are unobtainable, except by having them fabricated. The rigging wire from his boat is 10mm which is larger than 3/8“, the largest size on my rig. My original headstay is only 5/16“ and goes bye-bye with the old roller furler. My plan was to take a couple of Richard’s 10mm stays and use them as the new headstay and inner forestay.
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I’ve decided to rig the boat as a sloop with self tending jib on a club boom with a headstay available to rig a yankee (topsail) and add some area, flying a cutter rig. Also a 500 sq ft genoa or code zero could be added when necessary either as a large jib on the headstay or rigged flying on the spinnaker halyard.
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Richard’s stays were terminated with those odd French toggles, but my mast is set up for the stays to have eyes attached to bails with bolts or pins. To fit Richard’s toggles, the bolt holes in my bails would have to be enlarge, which is very difficult with stainless. After a discussion with Radio Bill, we stumbled onto an idea to modify Richard’s toggles and create an eye on the end of the stay. The toggle consists of a swaged eye with a large pin pressed into the eye. A heavy stainless strap wraps around the pin and has holes in it for a large pin to attach the toggle to a turnbuckle or padeye. The idea was to press out the pin in the eye and discard the rest of the toggle.
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The boatyard maintains a metal shop with a 50 ton hydraulic press, so I brought the stay over to the shop and set up the press to push the pin out. This took a while and the pressure built up. The pin moved a little, so I knew it would probably come out eventually. It seemed to be stuck as I pumped up the hydraulic pressure. Then, suddenly, P-O-W!, the pin shot out the bottom of the toggle ricocheting on the floor. Pieces of the toggle went every which way. But now we had an eye on the end of the stay. No one was killed.
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The other stay that would become the new inner forestay had an eye already, it was covered with unwanted vinyl tubing to protect sails from chafe, but the other end had a French toggle. My plan was to put up the mast with the lower ends of these stays unterminated, then cut them to length and use replaceable eyes, such as Stay-lok or Norseman fittings. So, I cut the toggle end off this stay as close to the swage fitting as possible, and then the vinyl tubing could be removed easily. Both stays were then bolted to their bails.
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The image is from Sail magazine, it is a toggle.

24 In. Multipurpose Trim Guard

23 March 2017 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/Warm Spring
I can tell when I have undesirable work ahead of me, I start doing everything else that I can think of. The hatch installation job was set aside so I could do something else, which turned out to be the proa, outrigger canoe, project. Now I had to get back to the hatches, but I still found other things to do. I worked on the mast a bit.
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I made an error in planning the work on the hatches. The individual tasks included priming with epoxy, painting with arctic white, drilling holes for machine screws and bedding them with epoxy filler, laying down bedding tape on the hatch coaming, and finally screwing down the hatches. My error was in deciding to do the whole job on both hatches in one day. In retrospect it would have been much better to do the priming and painting one day, and do the drilling, bedding, and screwing down the hatches a second day.
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It didn't help that the ambient temperatures were up in the mid 80's. The epoxy would set up very quickly, plus the environment up on deck was like a furnace. Doing all the tasks on both hatches meant I had to get the hatches screwed down before the epoxy hardened. The bedding tape had to be applied after the screw holes were primed and filled with epoxy. The arctic white had to be painted on top of epoxy primer, and it would be best to do this after the bedding tape. I didn't know how much area would be covered in one little batch of paint. If it covered a large area, I wouldn't be able to reach the hatch to apply the tape. It was the opposite of painting oneself into a corner, I would be painting myself away from the hatches.
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I was using stainless steel deck screws to screw down the hatches. They use torx bits to drive the screws, and I was using two different sizes of screws. The longer screws would be used on the hinge part of the hatches and the shorter screws would be used on the rest of the hatch flanges. I put the larger torx bit in the 1/2 inch drill and the smaller bit in an electric screwdriver.
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The actual work proceeded in a logical series of steps. First the hatches were dry fitted and screw holes were drilled for the threaded portion of the screws so that the wood coaming wouldn't split. A larger bit was used to open up the top portion of the holes to allow epoxy to bed the screws and prevent moisture from getting into the wood. Next epoxy was injected into the screw holes with a plastic syringe and the remainder was brushed onto the surfaces to be painted, as a primer. Next the bedding tape was stuck down. A small batch of arctic white was mixed and painted onto any surfaces that would be inaccessible after the hatches were installed. Finally, the hatches were jammed into position and screwed down.
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It was so hot up on deck that I drank over a gallon of water, but felt dizzy and weak anyway. I couldn't stop. The epoxy would set up and make it impossible to drive the screws in. I had to rush to get it all done in spite of feeling like I would pass out and fall down off the deck onto the ground.
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I was glad to get the job done, all in one day. My goal is now to finish any deck work and the rest of the cabin sides by the end of the month.
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I made an order for more epoxy and 7 oz. cloth from Raka in Ft. Pierce, and an order from Harbor Freight Tools for more chip brushes, plastic gloves, a replacement multitool, and an item called "24 In. Multipurpose Trim Guard". I had been searching for it using several appropriate names, like straightedge, painter's trowel, etc. and couldn't find it on the website. Somehow I ran across it while searching pages and pages of painting tools. This stiff but flexible tool helps painters keep paint from flinging blobs of paint onto a nearby surface of a different color, for instance, keeping trim enamel on a door frame from splashing onto the adjacent wall. In the past I have used one to fair epoxy filler over a large area. It can also be used to maintain a straight margin on spray paint. It is less than $5 from Harbor Freight. Easy to find in their stores, but well hidden on their website.


Birdseye View

20 March 2017 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/mild winter
It was time to return to working on the big catamaran and the installation of the new large Bomar hatches. I had cut out the hatch coamings to accept the new hatches and added new wood to the perimeter of the coamings to compensate for the wood removed. In order to get a perfect fit, I taped off the mating surface of the hatches and bedded them down on the coamings with an epoxy filler. When I now removed the hatches it was apparent that the filler hadn't filled all the space between the hatches and the coaming. I mixed up a new batch of filler, retaped the surface of the hatches, and jammed it all back together. Due to the cold weather it will take a few days to be sure the filler has set up.
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Meanwhile the canoe received a coat of "sand beige" paint on its decks and gunwales. On the one hand it made the decks all one color, on the other hand it revealed some rough spots in the finish.
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Sad news from Captain Lou who lost his boat in St. Andrew's Inlet. Lou was the fellow who rowed so forcefully just before hurricane Matthew and we set additional anchors for our two boats. His Sea Sprite was a very pretty, well maintained boat and hearing that he had lost it was startling. How could such a capable boat and skipper come to grief? He believes that an old rudder repair failed. He could not control the boat and ended up getting pounded on a shoal until the boat began to take on water. He was rescued by the Coast Guard and was heartbroken, but not injured.
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I did some work on the mast and rig. I had one of the Lewmar blocks that had failed, but the sheave was still good. Then I had a Harken block whose sheave had disappeared. I ripped apart (it was half apart anyway) the Lewmar to get the sheave, tried a 1/2" bolt as an axle for the sheave, it worked, then drilled the Harken block to accommodate the bolt. Now I had a good single block to use on the mast. The Garhauer block from Sailor's Exchange was mounted at the masthead for the spinnaker halyard. The remaining blocks were Harken, even if one had a Lewmar sheave, and they were used for the staysail halyard and topsail halyard. The foot of the mast had been damaged and about 2" were cut off to make the foot square again. The main halyard winch was jammed with its handle corroded in place. It looks like I will replace the jib and main halyard winches with some leftover 2 speed winches.
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Radio Bill sent me an unexpected email with a photo he took while up his mast. It shows Kaimu and Richard's Antigua side by side. Richard's boat looks pristine, Kaimu not so much. You can see the cabin tops and rear decks are painted on Kaimu, new solar panels in place, new forward hatches in place but not yet bedded in.

BeamBrackets and Cold Snap

15 March 2017 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/mild winter
The remaining fiberglass work on the outrigger canoe included the underside of the inboard side deck and the bottom of the main hull. The inboard side deck already received a 3 foot wide fiberglass belt amidships and now only needed two 3 1/2 foot sections fore and aft to be completed. These are the underside of the side deck, the top of the side deck is completely glassed.
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The outboard side deck which ended fore and aft with a blunt square that was roughly finished with glass because I knew I would cut it back in some kind of curved shape. There was also a curved strip from the end of the coaming of the inboard side deck that would wrap around across to the outboard gunwale and continue as a facing on the end of the outboard side deck. This curved strip was made out of the crappy 1/8“ doorskin plywood. It was shaped and laminated from two layers. It ended up looking good, it doesn’t have to bear any weight unless someone sits on it.
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The rudder gudgeons consist of the butt ends of the crossbeams which extend past the lee gunwale just enough to put a rudder there. The lower gudgeons are poplar 1X4 shaped identically to the butt ends of the crossbeams and situated below them just above the waterline. This hull design has little buoyancy in the ends, so when you are in the vicinity of the aft crossbeam, the water comes higher than the waterline and the lower gudgeon would drag in the water if it was not well above the waterline. The lower gudgeons pass right through the lee hull and are anchored inside the windward hull. The idea is to have them strongly mounted with a socket for the rudder pin, then put the rudder pin in place and attach the crossbeam above, with its own socket for the top of the rudder pin. The rudder pin is part of a cassette that holds the rudder but releases it when it strikes something hard, like a sand bar or a rock.
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The crossbeam details get complicated because I want square edges where the crossbeam is in contact with part of the canoe, like at the gunwales, but want rounded edges everywhere else. It looks like we will have to add spacers to meet the bottom side of the crossbeams because the curve of the crossbeam doesn’t exactly match the points of the canoe that it contacts. It is my fault that I goofed when I calculated the amount of arch in the crossbeams, still can’t figure out how I came up with 11 inches as the distance between the main hull’s gunwales and the gunwales of the ama when the ama’s keel is just touching the water. Perhaps I doubled it from 5 1/2 inches, which is probably more correct, because I laminated the crossbeams face to face with a spacer holding them apart, the ama ends of the crossbeams clamped together, and the butt ends pulled toward each other to create the arch. So, if I forgot that I doubled 5 1/2 inches to 11 and then doubled 11 into 22 inches, that would account for the excessive arch of the crossbeams. Of course I will show them to people and say they are arched that way to clear the waves better.
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I was going to make the crossbeam clamps, the brackets that hold the crossbeam to the boat, out of fiberglass and cast them in a mold. Then I decided to use hardwood and make them out of that. If the crossbeams had followed my original plan of laying directly on the gunwales of the main hull and ama, then the fiberglass route would have worked out, but with the increased arch in the beams, standoffs have to be made to follow the curve. Each attachment point has a slightly different profile and needs an individually constructed bracket.
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A cold snap hit us and gave two days of very wet weather, then continued with the coldest days of the winter, which we had thought was over. Work with epoxy seemed to be out of the question due to the cold temperatures.
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The crew from Bodkin Inlet came down to Florida to enjoy a spring break of mild weather. Sorry. Kaptain Kris and Cornelia Marie came down and Captain Neil and his co-captain Tess came up from Florida. We took a quick tour of the boatyard in between rain showers and headed to the local pub for burgers, etc. The photo is from that get together.

BFB Test Fit

05 March 2017 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/mild winter
The epoxy order was on its way so I used up the last little bit I had, priming the main hull’s decks and the bow compartments. The ama deck was primed and then I was out of epoxy.
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I could do other woodwork, trimming gunwales with the trim router, rounding off the square edges, but keeping the square edges wherever the crossbeams intersected the gunwales. The inboard side deck coaming was rounded off on 3 edges to facilitate the fiberglass wrapping around it. The corresponding piece of wood on the outboard coaming was also rounded off.
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The epoxy came in and I got to work, using almost a gallon in two days. The inboard side deck received fiberglass on a 3 foot section amidships. This locks the midships edge of the side deck so that the coaming can be lifted until the ends of the side deck are even with the bulkheads. The outboard side deck was totally fiberglassed, filling in the spaces between the previously glassed sections on the top side of the side deck, and the complete underside was glassed in one session. This took two days, glassing the top on one day and the bottom on the next.
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The glassing of the foam core of the side decks was done in steps, first priming with unthickened epoxy, then troweling on epoxy thickened with microballoons, then laying the first layer of glass on top of that, then wetting out the glass with unthickened epoxy, then adding the second layer of glass and wetting that out. Whew.
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It was time to cut the coaming where the crossbeams crossed it, so the boat was jigged together with clamps and sawhorses. The picture is of the boat after the coaming has been slotted for the crossbeams, with the hiking seat resting on the crossbeams. It looks like the outboard side deck will need spacers between its outer edge and the crossbeams. The plan is to attach the side deck to the crossbeams to support the weight without breaking the hull’s gunwale, where the side deck is attached.

Side Deck Trouble

28 February 2017 | St. Marys, GA
Capn Andy/mild winter
I had to order more epoxy, I was using it like a fiend. Laminating the hiking seat took 900 ml, about a quart, and that was only for the core. The two layers of fiberglass that wrap it will take as much or even more.
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I continued with the styrofoam and 1/8“ plywood stringer method to construct the side decks. One deck is inboard of the lee gunwale and is about 6“ wide at midships. The other side deck is about 1 1/2 feet wide and is outboard of the windward gunwale. Both side decks help stiffen the hull sides. The lee side deck has a coaming along its inboard edge to help keep any water from running right over the deck into the hull. The windward outboard side deck has a similar piece of wood at its outboard edge, but instead of protruding up like a coaming, it is flush with the upper surface of the side deck. On this side of the boat you will be sitting on the side deck and maybe climbing further out to sit on the hiking seat. A coaming would be uncomfortably in the way. Supporting the outer edge of the seat is important, so the wooden edge is there, it just doesn’t protrude above the seat. It will be clamped to the crossbeams at its ends.
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The curved edges of the side decks were trimmed and shaped to closely fit against the gunwales. I made a mistake in the design by not taking into account the sheer rocker. I laminated the side decks on a flat table and they didn’t match the vertical curve of the gunwales, even though it is only about 2 inches or so. I found that the outboard side deck could be jammed into position by putting a horizontal post across the gunwales and all the way out amidships past the outboard edge of the side deck. This would keep the middle of the side deck even with the gunwale amidships. Then the ends of the side deck were forced up to meet the gunwales fore and aft at the bulkheads. The styrofoam inner part of the side deck would bend up to meet the gunwales, plus the whole inside edge of the side deck matched up with the gunwale all along its length. This actually made a nice shape, the side deck has a gradual twist from amidships going out to its ends. It looks like the twist will give a downward slope to the ends of the side deck and it might even match the downward curve of the crossbeams.
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I found the styrofoam would end up with a very rough surface unless some care was taken with how it was cut. The best tool turned out to be the multifunction tool which made perfectly smooth cuts. A smooth surface is better because it requires less epoxy to prime it and bond it. If it develops a rough surface, such as when you listen to the store clerk who says “Just score it with a sheet rock knife and it will break in a straight line at the edge”, then you have to smooth it out and the tool for that is the belt sander. I used the belt sander to smooth the laminated blanks for both the hiking seat and the side decks. There were still divots in the surface, but when I epoxied, I primed with a thin coating of unthickened epoxy, then followed with a 50/50 mix of microballoons and “glue hard” or “glue strong”, a mixture of colloidal silica and milled glass fibers. This thickened mix was like mayonnaise and was brushed on in a thick layer, then squeegeed with a painters trowel, about 10 inches wide. This left a smooth surface with no divots. Then the fiberglass which had previously been measured, marked, and cut, was laid out on the surface and unthickened epoxy was brushed on. The painter’s trowel helped spread the epoxy and wet out the fiberglass, plus the smooth surface was retained. One surface of the hiking seat and two wide strips of the upper surface of the outboard side deck were glassed this way with two layers of 7oz cloth. I was now down to about 3 cups of epoxy.
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While waiting for my epoxy order to come in, I continued with the other side deck. I didn’t have enough epoxy to glass it, but I could work on fitting it. The problem with the inboard side deck was even worse than the outboard one. The outboard side deck was wide enough to take quite a bit of twisting to make it match the gunwale curve, the sheer rocker. The inboard deck was only 6 inches wide at its widest, so how was I going to twist it into position? As I trimmed it and clamped it, I found I could make the central 3 feet or so of the deck match the gunwale there, but the ends would then be sunk down below the level of the bulkheads and the gunwale there. It looked like I would have to first bond the middle 3 feet of the side deck, and after it cured, warp the rest of it into position. This would add a lot of twist, but I was able to simulate it with clamps and slats of wood to hold it into position. This side deck has no 1/8“ plywood stringers to stiffen it, so it can bend more than the outboard side deck that needs the stiffness for crew to sit on it.
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The photo is of the BFB hull on saw horses with the outboard side deck partially glassed to the gunwale, that’s the top side deck. The other side deck is the long white strip with the wooden edge. You can see the top edge of the wooden edge (coaming) is down almost even with the tops of the bulkheads. When finished it should be above the bulkheads and the white styrofoam should be even with the top edge of the bulkheads. In this picture the edge at the gunwale is even with the gunwale for about 3 feet amidships. This edge will be glassed and after it sets up, the coaming will be raised into position . Then afterwards I plan to add a coaming piece from the end of the side deck coaming all the way across the boat to the outer edge of the outboard side deck.
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