Diesel Duck 382

Diesel Duck 382
Diesel Duck 382 with the "get home" steadying sails up.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Third times the charm

This freakin damn roof is going to be my nemesis!  Last week I came home to find our 6 mil visqueen roof had failed again.  There was no major weather event, just normal light breezes and rain.  I guess I should have known something was wrong.  Two weeks ago I noticed water dripping from the roof during a rain storm.  It was not very heavy and I wasn't sure if it was just condensation.  Now it appears that there was a hole in the plastic in the area of the ridge beam.  I'm guessing that the hole grew bigger from the stresses of the wind and eventually grew large enough for the wind to really get a hold of it and rip it off.

As I began to remove all the torn plastic, it quickly became apparent that there was another contributing factor to the damage.  The plastic tore like paper, ripping cleanly like it was being cut by a razor.  I knew UV degradation would eventually destroy the plastic, but I didn't think it would happen this quickly.  The UV rays from the sun made the plastic extremely brittle.  Couple that with the abrasion of the plastic rubbing against the ridge beam in the wind and a premature failure was inevitable.  

So back to the drawing board we went.  The first thing I wanted to address was the abrasion issue.  It was very obvious where the most stresses on the roof were.  All along the ridge beam and at the peaks of the end walls are where the plastic is under the most tension.  I used some old carpet from my fathers house to cover all those areas.

Replacing the roof is a full 2 day job and I had no desire to repeat my mistakes.  I began to research alternatives for the new cover.  There are custom options available but they mostly work with very large structures like salt sheds and construction projects.  They use a heavy duty plastic fabric with a UV coating and claim up to a 15 year life span.  That kind of durability comes at a considerable price that I just could not afford.

I have seen and heard of others using large tarps to cover their building but I was concerned how that would block out the light.  That would force me to run electric to the shed and add interior lighting.  However I then found a few manufacturers that produced large white tarps.  Further research found a couple manufactures with UV coated, heavy duty, white tarps.  I ended up purchasing a 12 mil, 3 ply, UV coated 40'x50' white tarp for $290.

I looked at UV treated shrink wrap as well.  However, to get the 12 mil thickness of the tarp with a UV coating, it became very expensive.

This past weekend we went to work replacing the roof with our new tarp.  I quickly realized I should have done it this way from the start.  The tarp is a little more heavy and difficult to hoist up and drag across the structure, but the benefits easily out weigh the negatives.  Additionally, the tarp can be tensioned much tighter than the visqueen.  The visqueen has a tendency to stretch as you pull it so you can never get a tight fit.  The tarp, with it's added rigidity, has much less give which allows it to be tensioned much like a stretched skin aircraft wing.

I monitored projected wind conditions all week and we were lucky to have an extremely calm day on Saturday.  Even so, I enlisted the help of my Brother-in-law, Father, Wife and my son for the install.  Just like last time, we laid out the tarp in the grass and rolled half of each side in toward the center.  The finished roll looks like two parallel pipes laying tightly together.  The "pipes" were then tied to together at a few spots along the entire length to hold it in position.  A rope was then tied to one end and as the entire assembly was hoisted up to the roof on the east side, the rope was pulled across from the west side.  As the rope was pulling the tarp across, the lines holding the "pipes" together were cut in preparation for the unrolling.  With a little assistance from our ground crew with a long painters pole, we quickly had the roof in position to be unrolled. The pulling rope was disconnected and then tarp was easily unrolled down each side of the boat shed.  The extra hands we enlisted helped hold things in position until we could temporarily tack the roof in place.

We used the grommets on the tarp as a connection point for our battens along the knee wall.  As we learned from our first roof, screws are not strong enough to hold the battens. We once again bolted them to the knee wall.  Each bolt was backed up by a plywood "washer" on the inside of the knee wall.  This gives us a considerably more holding power capable of withstanding the wind loads our shed will be under.

We used the grommets again on the end walls along with wooden battens.  A combination of bolts, screws and cap washers hold everything tightly in position so the wind can not find a way to get a grip on our new roof.  The finished product maintains a relatively bright interior with a more durable exterior.  

I guess time will tell but, as usual, I have high hopes for success!  Ultimately I don't know what the right answer is.  Spend the big bucks for a more permanent roof, or save the money and be prepared to replace to roof a few times over the course of the project?  I guess if you are doing something similar let your finances be your guide.  However I would not recommend using visqueen if your building is subject to any significant wind conditions.  Our building is completely exposed from the South and West (the most predominant wind directions in our area) and is subject to the full force of the wind and sun.  

For only $100 more, the tarp gives us twice the thickness and a UV coating that the visqueen cannot.  Some have recommended green house plastic with UV inhibitors.  However I could not find anything but clear green house plastic.  The clear plastic just makes for absolutely unbearable heat conditions inside.  Our 2nd roof was clear, and the highest recorded temperature over the summer was 142 degrees (F).  I know it will still be warm inside when under direct summer sun, but the white cover should reflect at least some of the heat.

With all of this roof business going on, we were still able to make a little progress on our final glue ups for the last of the keel components.  The deadwood was completed and now just needs to be cut to shape.  All the lumber for the last 17' section of the aft keel has been milled and one sub-assembly has been glued up.  Only a couple more glue ups and we'll have everything for the keel ready for final assembly.

With our work space once again protected from the elements, we'll be able to get back at the actual boat building this week.  I also wanted to share a link to another cool project.  The Sampson Boat Company has a YouTube channel documenting the restoration of the historic wooden sailing vessel Tally-ho.  This is the story of a man from the UK who traveled all the way across the pond and bought Tally-ho for $1, saving it from the landfill.  It's a mammoth undertaking and should make for some interesting watching.  

As always, thanks for being here and following along.  We wish all of you good luck on your project and hope you find some time to create something beautiful!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Take a break

That was close!

I just tapped out a paragraph for this post expressing my opinion on an issue in the news today.  After reading it over I was struck by the fact that no one should care what I think.  This site is dedicated to an epic boat building project.  Our goal has been and continues to be the documentation of the building process and to serve as an affirmation that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.

I quietly told myself when I started writing on this site that I would not talk politics, social issues or any other controversial topic.  If you the reader want news, opinions or analysis on a particular issue, you have a nearly endless amount of options available to you on the net.

We are honored to have so many individuals check out our project.  We have received messages and emails from literally all over the world.  Some offer advice, others offer words of encouragement and sometimes it's just small talk about building stuff in their part of the world.  It's been a wonderful experience and served as a strong motivator to press on even when we are just not feeling up to working.

I hope to return that goodwill by maintaining a place that people can come and check out some guy on the internet building a huge boat in his backyard and that's it.  No deep reflections, no social justice side taking, just a cool DIY project.  I want to offer a chance for people to turn off the real world and disappear into their own dreams. 

I once made a comment on a particular site on a social media platform where I stated that I was disappointed at how contentious and political the platform had become.  That I always hoped that the platform would offer a respite from the real world, not a reflection of it.  Someone commented on my post and told me that I should not run away from the real world but find a way to change the things I didn't like.  I was a little irritated by that comment.  The person who commented was obviously a young person based on their profile picture, full of piss and vinegar no doubt.  I responded and truly believe, that we do not need to battle every minute of every day.  It's ok to take a break from the "real world" and decompress in the excitement of others accomplishments or our own frivolous dreams and hobbies.

Well that is what we want to do here as well.  Please take a break, scroll through the pictures and take a look at the different parts of our project.  Consider what you would do differently or what tool you wished you owned yourself.  If you want more, take a look at the "links we love" at the bottom of this page and check out those projects.  Maybe click on this LINK and check out a couple of young guys in Massachusetts building a big sailboat in their front yard in a series called Acorn to Arabella.

I'm always sharing links here on other projects and YouTube series I think people might like.  I'm not in a competition with SV SeekerTips From a Shipwright or Salt and Tar for viewers.  I'm a fan who admires what they do and I find their work fascinating and entertaining.  I hope people think the same about our project but the goal is to spread inspirational and interesting stories.  Stories that  counter all the challenges and negativity we all deal with everyday.   It's ok to allow yourself a chance to unwind, Don't you worry, the real world will be waiting when you're done.

A very cool project and outstanding camera work in their video series.  Check out the link above.

As for myself, no one cares what I think, and if they do, they shouldn't.  Of course I have opinions and a political position, pretty strong ones.  This is not the place for that.  Man or woman, black or white, gay or straight, on this site it makes no difference.  We are here because we like building things or wish that we could.  

So thanks for being here and we hope you enjoy it. If you have questions then please, ask a way.  Let us know what you're working on or what you wish you were working on.  Share with us the challenges you face in your part of the world as you work towards accomplishing your dream projects no matter how big or small.  Most importantly, don't forget to, at some point, put the Ipad, laptop and/or remote down and go create something of your own!

Now lets talk boat stuff!

It's hard to make the machining of rough stock fun to read about.  We continue to press on with the building of various parts of the keel.  Running hundreds of board feet of lumber over our jointer and through the planer then gluing up the lamination's and cutting them to size.  Not to much drama these last couple weeks.

After prepping the stock we attach the pattern to the side of the keel and begin stacking the pieces up until they cover the pattern.  The above pictured piece is called, I believe, the aft deadwood and supports the piece the transom will attach to.

The plans were designed with "2 by" stock in mind, but my stock is thinner so more pieces are required.  The result is the same amount of board feet in each piece, just more layers.

Once again we glue up in sub assemblies where we can just to make sure we exert enough clamping pressure for the resorcinol to work.  The layers slip and slide when you begin to clamp so it can be a challenge to get everything lined up properly.  I have considered shooting a brad nail into the layers to hold things in place until the clamps are applied.  I have not done so because I worry that will end up having to drill through the brads when I add the keel bolts or drifts.

The white oak stem has been glued into one large timber.  Same process here as well and man is this thing heavy.  I'll have to come up with a way to lift this into position when the time comes.  I have an idea for a rolling gantry crane running around in my head along with an idea for a homemade jib crane.  We'll see.

The last piece to build is the biggest at over 17' long.  I have a stack of lumber on my bench ready to be machined to make up this mammoth piece.  We hope to have this in clamps this weekend.

In other news....the summer is officially over as it was dock out day at the lake this past weekend and it was time to get the jetski out of the hoist.  This required me to finish up what I started on the Zip this summer as it was sitting on my jetski trailer.  I was able to bend around 3 of the 4 sheer lamination's before we flipped it over and off of the trailer.  These 5/8" thick pieces of white oak bent surprisingly easy with no steam or wetting down required.

We used thickened epoxy to glue everything up and then added many, many clamps to close all the gaps.  The stem required some additional support from some plywood "washers"

Even though I don't always love every step of either project, I am still having fun when I'm working on them.  I normally spend a lot of time in the shop on the weekends and as time allows during the week.  However, like most adults, we frequently have obligations at work or with the kids that limit our availability.  We do the best we can and are grateful for the time we do have.