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Author Topic: ULCC build  (Read 29650 times)

AlisterL

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ULCC build
« on: July 21, 2009, 06:25:07 AM »

Greetings to all,

The funny thing is I can't remember how I came across the subject of this build, all I know is that I was fascinated by it, fascinated enough to put aside the refurbishment of a Sterling Models Chriscraft Corvette and suspend further work on my Zwarte Zee. It occurrs to me that the subject might have come up in a thread here about tugs and towing - not sure about that though.

I spent several weeks Googling the subject and trying to get as much information as I could. I did find a image of the general layout of the subject which helped immensely and a number of other websites where the subject was featured. Fortunately most of these websites and even Wikipedia all agreed on the basic measurements of the subject. I decided early on that I would not attempt to contact the builders or the owners for more information as I wasn't really sure how to go about it and didn't really want to wait. Besides, not having the detail allows for a certain freedom in the detail and if I get something wrong no one will care! So this is definitely a "modelled on" rather than a "replica" or exact scale copy.

I then had to decide on the scale. Out came the spreadsheet and various scales from 1:200 up to 1:400 were considered. Eventually I came to the decision that 1:300 was about right - the resulting model will fit on the workbench, in the car and still not be too small. I might even be able to launch it! 1:300 yields a model of 1.527 metres - that out to give some clues as to the subject. Points may be awarded for correct guesses - but prizes may not be forthcoming :) However that also meant that while the model would also be reasonably wide - about 230mm's - it's height, particularly of the hull was still not great 100mm for 90+% of the length of the hull and that's not a huge amount to work in.

I then set about up-scaling the general layout. I quickly discovered that what looks nicely defined on a printout at A4 paper size - and that means both plan and elevation views) does NOT look sharp at all when scaled up and printed out on 12 A3 sheets. As an IT guy you would think I would have realised that would happen... Some of the lines came out several mm's thick. Ah well, as I knew what the scale dimensions are supposed to be I figured it's not so much a problem at this point.

What I did find - or rather didn't - were any hull lines available for the subject. This has proved to be an interesting problem as it seems to me that the majority of tankers and bulk carriers tend to have a very square cross section. That is not the case here and that meant that the hull lines that can be found for tankers and bulk carriers couldn't be used. Lets not talk about Delft Ship either :). I consoled myself by hunting out as many photos from the web as I could to give an idea as to what the lines of the hull were. Then I needed to think about how I would shape them. The result, along with some consideration of creating a solid and inflexible hull came from a thread I started a few months ago about frame spacing (http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=16977.msg169002#msg169002). So I settled on building rectangular tub framed externally - I guess what I mean is that the sides and bottom of the hull are the supporting structure, apart from some frames across the width. This would be attached to a traditionally constructed (plank on frame with a keel frames) for the bow and stern sections.

My greatest challenge so far and it will continue to be, is my lack of experience. My previous models are:
- A Moonglow, built with my father some 20 years ago,
- A Cachalot, now collapsed due to using inappropriate materials,
- A Dumas PT 109 from the 1233 kit,
- part of a Billings Zwarte Zee, that had been partially started that I rescued from our local version of E-bay ( called TradeMe).
And that's it. Diving into a scratch build complete with doing my own plans is a bit of a step. I think it'll float. Maybe for a bit. Hopefully it will be on an even keel too :)

I think that's enough for one post - it's quite long.
I realise I haven't named the subject either - I'm somewhat reluctant to, probably because I don't want to be called on detail later on! So I probably won't be naming the model after the subject either - I'm considering calling it the Freya... Any Freddie Forsyth readers here?

Photos of progress in the next post, hopefully in a few hours.. ( I need to go do dinner now :)
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Alister

ZZ56

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2009, 08:41:42 AM »

How big will your bow and stern sections be?

Might consider using the centre of the vessel as a free-flooding ballast tank, so you don't have to put much weight in to get it to settle down in the water.  Could even put a pair of simple pumps, connect them via three-position switch to one channel on your radio, and alter the ships draft as you go.  (both good ideas i got from the friendly people here  8) )
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AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2009, 09:20:27 AM »

Hi ZZ56,

Bow section is 260mm and the stern 373mm - to be exact :)
My plan is to build the hull, epoxy it inside and out and put it in the water. Then I will carefully fill the centre section with water, counting the litres and see how many litres it takes to get it to the waterline, or close to it. 1 litre of water = 1kg, so I will trade off usable space against water weight. I'm hoping to keep the static weight as low as possible and then either pump in water or free flood it, or maybe both. Of course I could put something other than water in...

Back to my little narration:

So I decided to shape the hull out of expanded polystyrene. I had a day off work and went and found a local supplier. $25 (Pacific Peso's) later I had a fairly large piece to use. It wasn't long enough, but there was plenty of it.



Poly chips make a heck of a mess and stick to absolutely everything by the way...

After a bit of mucking about, measuring, cutting, more measuring and cutting, referring to pictures, measure, cut, etc, etc, I ended with the following.
This is the overall shape:


The bow more closely:


The stern:


Because I had the elevation view on the general layout I was able to determine the vertical measurements of the various parts of the hull reasonably accurately. What I couldn't tell was what the horizontal measurements would be except at deck level. That means that everything horizontal on the hull, under the waterline has been done as a best guess based on photos etc. That process took several weeks as I was only able to work after work some days and only part of days on the weekend.

Fortunately the poly block was quite a high density - that meant that I was able to get quite a good finish on it with a B&D 3-in-1 sander and some 80 grit paper.

As someone if the framing thread suggested, I shaped only one side of the poly rather than end up with to sides that don't match - attribute that suggestion to Derek.

At this point I went hunting for building materials. After a couple of weeks mucking about I ended up with some 7mm construction ply C/D faced in a 2.4 x 1.2m sheet. I had to move the drivers seat way up close to the steering wheel to get it home - so close I got cramp in the legs. I won't do that again. I also got a 1.8m sheet of MDF 300mm wide by 18mm thick as a building board.

Ok - ending this post here, onto the next...
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Alister

AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2009, 09:51:38 AM »

The lines on the poly - the lower of the two horizontal lines is the water line - the top line is the deck level. There is two cm's difference between them. the top of the block itself is the level of the highest point of the hull plating at the bow - 2cm's above the desk.

So this is the point where the best laid plans start to come unstuck... I whipped out the skill saw and started to cut parts for the centre tub. 900mm long, 230 wide all good. Get the big square and set out the lines to cut and away we go. Ahh. Need more practice on the skill saw - it seems I can't cut straight lines. "xxxxx"... I wasted a few bits of ply, more than I wanted - or expected, but I also knew that I had plenty of ply to use if I needed it.
Anyway I made all the cuts, some of lesser quality than others, but I wasn't to phased by that. I allowed to skinning the deck with 1.5mm ply, for the width of the ply itself and pretty much had it covered. Cut. Whatever...

Currently the tub looks like this:



and with some frames:



No sides on it yet - I'm waiting until I get the bow and stern sections complete and ready to fit before I do that. That way i can check to make sure it looks ok before I proceed.

If anyone is curious why I chose to use building grade ply, the simple answer is cost - I didn't want to pay for expensive high quality ply and then make a booboo and have to re-do it. The other thing is that with covering it with epoxy and polyester or f/g cloth, I'll be able to hide the imperfections anyway.

To create the keels for the bow and stern sections I went back to the elevation view and drew them up. I knew what length I required and I knew where the hull curved so I could then plan where to cut the poly to get the shape of the frames. After a bit of measuring, some staring at it and thinking things through I made several cuts in the poly and ended up with 1/2 frame sections. I transferred these to paper and got on with it.

At this point I really made I mistake as I didn't cut to use the building board - I didn't allow any to attach the frames to the building board and make sure it was all trued up. I just worked to the centre lines and tried to square things up by inserting square ply braces. Suffice it to say that the resulting bow section was both twisted and skewed. Lesson learnt. Fortunately the frames could be saved, although the keel couldn't. I cut another. And went to work on the stern. Doing it the proper way as I hadn't cut the frames for that section yet - bar one that was exactly the same size as the end of the centre tub. So the end result is that we are now at this point:





Because of where the prop tube has to sit - as per the original vessel I spent quite a bit of time thinking about how I was going to do that. End result, split the keel, cut out a section the size of the diameter of the tube, glue the tube in and then glue the rest of the keel back on. Mock up as below:



I added the lubrication tube to the shaft myself as below:



The tube itself is 8mm diameter and 275mm long. The shaft is 4mm diameter. The last frame I located specifically where is it (actually I think it was mostly luck) as it meets the end of the shaft at the point in the hull where the stern section curves stop and meet the regular straight side of the hull. Maybe I did plan that... The tube glued in and I have started adding some stringers (is that the right term?) at the deck level. First I shape them, heating with steam and holding to approximate shape with string. It worked.



End this post...
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Alister

AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2009, 10:13:48 AM »

Damn - I hit the wrong button on the keyboard and lost a lot of stuff. Now I have to remember it all!

You can see that I have added some gussets to the keel where the lube-tube cuts through it and also between the last frame and the stern where the rudder tube will be.
The one big mistake I have made is not allowing in the size of the frame I cut for the diameter of the curve of the hull. Meaning that only one edge of the frame is going to contact the planking. I think I'll need to build this up, maybe with balsa or maybe with thin ply and sand to shape. Advice on this problem is welcome.

Currently one of the stringers is glued in and also tacked at the ends. The other is drying in place at the moment.

So far, believe it or not, this represents about 3 months (probably more) of work. Between a full time job and kids aged 4 and 5.5, time on construction is hard to come by. Most of the progress on the stern has been in the last week and a half as I have been off work with a bad cold (over that mostly) and nursing a sick wife and child (almost over that). Future progress will be limited to a few hours per weekend. Also it's winter and I have to make sure that when I glue stuff, the glue will be dry or nearly so when it starts to get cold!

So that's it for now. Maybe more progress and an update by the end of the week.
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Alister

Martin [Admin]

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2009, 10:24:39 AM »


   Damn - I hit the wrong button on the keyboard and lost a lot of stuff. Now I have to remember it all!


( NB. I've done that Many times, >:-o
 I now mainly use Firefox web browser which retains any typed info, even if you close the window and reopen in and
  use 'back', it's still there! Alternative, type the post in a word processor and then cut & paste into the post on here. )
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AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2009, 10:33:31 AM »

Hi Martin,

I thought of that afterwards. Of course as a smart-a@#e IT guy I use Chrome :) Says a lot doesn't it :)
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Alister

AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2009, 01:18:16 AM »

A bit more work has been done and some progress made. Quite a bit of this was correcting a mistake I made with the frames at the stern. It seems that when I translated the slices of poly onto paper, I had the reference line on the poly block wrong against the centre line on the paper. I'm not quite sure how this happened, but frames 3 and 4 looking (where 1 is the stern itself) where sitting a bit to high at the centre where they meet the keel. I was aware of this possibility at the time. This has been corrected, also allowing for the frames to be profiled to allow better contact with the planking I will need to do. 20/20 hindsight says it would have been smart to build a cardboard model to prove out the drawings before translating to wood. Live and learn I guess.

Here is the stern with re-profiled framed and keel glued in:



Probably not the best view of it, but it gives an idea. Also, stringers in place. All I need to do here is some work on the stern vertical to build up the inside edge of the frame to allow for better gluing of the planking.

Below is a view of the bow construction on the building board. I have tipped it on it's side to site, bend and attach the stringer down what is the top side in this orientation.



I was able to cut some spare ply to the correct height and sit the frames on top of these using a third piece of ply as a brace to keep everything square and located correctly. This will explain all the screws you can see in this view.

I've had some thoughts about other things too.
Firstly, I think I ought to name the subject just so as you all know where I'm going with this and also so that, should anyone care to, some of those pesky details I'm so worried about can be corrected if better information is available. My reluctance to name the subject is due entirely to my own belief [or lack thereof] in my ability as a modeller.
The current name of the subject is the Knock Nevis. Some of you may know of her as the Jahre Viking, but there is quite a history of names going back to Seawise Giant. I suspect the name changed as many times as the ownership. How anyone can name any vessel, without being struck down by lightning, "Happy Giant" I have no idea... It is my intention to get as close to the ship as she was as the Jahre Viking rather than as she currently is as the FSO Knock Nevis.

Some more assumptions I am making, as I haven't been able to get these details:
- There is no bow thruster
- The prop is 5 bladed - although it could easily be  4 bladed. I'm by no means 100% sure about this as this information hasn't appeared anywhere I could find it and I'm working from my interpretation of a photo taken from the stern while she was unloaded and sitting very high in the water.

Anyway, that's it for now. More updates when things happen.
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Alister

AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2009, 01:20:41 AM »

Just in case anyone is curious, the big screw in the front of the bow section in the last photo is used for winding string around - this is the string that I'm using to hold the steamed stringer into place while it dries. I decided it was easier to do that than pile batteries and stuff up on the string.
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Alister

ZZ56

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2009, 03:34:36 AM »

Here's a site with good photos of her in all stages of her life http://www.aukevisser.nl/supertankers/id23.htm

I think you are right about the bow thruster and it's most likely she had a five-blade propeller as a lot of large single-screw vessles have such propellers.  Cuts down on vibration, i think.
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AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2009, 03:52:04 AM »

Thanks for that ZZ56,

I found this site quite useful, some good detail in photos:
http://members.tripod.com/jahre_viking/index.html
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Alister

AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2009, 10:52:16 AM »

I'm making slow progress at the moment due to making sure that the glue is dry enough before moving on to the next piece.

Here is the start of the planking on the stern:



I'm using 1.5mm balsa sheet cut to length plus a bit x 10mm. With some of the curves at the stern it might have been better to go with 5mm wide strips.

Below, some progress on the bow as well:



Three layers of balsa block each glued and clamped in turn.

Will have to see how much progress can be made this weekend.
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Alister

AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2009, 10:19:54 AM »

I got adventurous on Friday night with a saw (well, several) and some 80 grit sandpaper - the bow is now shaped, as below shown with the original EPS for comparison.



and again, different view:



As it happens I'm really quite chuffed with how that has turned out - it seems to be regular and looks the same from all angles and just looks right. I took it off the building board to finish the blocks and deck level and it looks even better the right way up - I only thought to take a photo of that after I had screwed it back down...

So I got really carried away and started planking that too:



I am also quite happy with the way this is turning out. You might be able to see that I have changed to 5mm wide planking as it's easier to get it around the curves. I steamed one piece of planking and bent it vertically up the bow from the flat pieces I put on the bottom. All the horizontal planking buts up to this vertical piece. The eagle eyed will notice that this does not go up to the top of the bow - the intention is to use a single piece of balsa that will start at the point and curve around the bow and also up over the top of the deck - the result will be as high as the EPS shows. I hope that makes sense.

Progress is being made on the stern with planking as well - although no more photos as yet.

Thinking about the balsa, it's going to need quite a bit of strengthening, so I think it will need polyester/fibreglass inside as well as out - I was thinking just epoxy inside to seal, but I do think it will need the extra strength gained from another layer of cloth. I'm also thinking that I will do the inside to add some rigidity before sanding the outside and also give it a few coats of sanding sealer on the outside prior sanding to firm it up there and add just a little resistance to the sandpaper as well. The stern is going to require quite a bit of filler to even out the lines.

And that was the progress over the weekend.
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Alister

ZZ56

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2009, 08:24:01 AM »

Looking good!

You could probably get away with just epoxy on the inside, fiberglass is an incredibly strong material.  Might even be able to replace the sanding sealer with a thin coat of epoxy (although i confess i don't know what sanding sealer is and have never seen such a product over here).
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furball

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2009, 12:38:24 PM »

Sanding sealer is just cellulose dope with talc added to fill the wood grain.

Lance
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Minime

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2009, 08:40:07 PM »

not sure if this has been mentioned somewhere in the topic, but is the gonna have tanks to fill stuff in?
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AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2009, 01:42:03 AM »

not sure if this has been mentioned somewhere in the topic, but is the gonna have tanks to fill stuff in?

Mimime - I'm not quite sure what you mean?

I'm intending that there will be some free-flooding tanks and maybe some tanks I will pump water into in order to bring it down to the water line, or close to it anyway. Is that what you were referring to?
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Alister

Minime

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2009, 02:24:23 AM »

I think were talking about the same thing, not sure though. I was on a tanker once, much smaller though, I think there were 9 tanks that they could fill up, so are you gonna make something like that or just one big tank to make the draft bigger?
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AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2009, 05:34:55 AM »

Minime,

from reading through the way others have done this, I think the best way is to use one big tank but with lots of baffles to stop sloshing. It occurs to me that lots of smaller tanks connected with small diameter pipes achieves the same thing.
It will probably depend on how much water needs to be brought on-board to get it down to the waterline. One concern I have is making sure that I don't free flood so much water in that I can't lift it out of the water.

Thinking further bout the tanks, it seems that the free flooding tanks might be larger by baffled as there can be lots of holes to allow the flooding, but any tanks that I use for trimming should be smaller.

Ultimately I'm fully prepared to have to try one thing then fill some holes up and try another. I just need to get it right before I put the deck on :)
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Alister

Minime

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2009, 08:10:54 AM »

ah ok sounds good, good luck with build.
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AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2009, 10:40:43 AM »

Thanks :)

It's fun already.
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Alister

AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2009, 12:41:45 AM »

The last three weeks have no seen much progress unfortunately.
Kids birthday's and family visits have meant less done that I would have hoped. However, things are now on the move again.

This was was status yesterday morning:

The bow:


and two shots of the stern:





you can see on the second shot the gap that I have (well, had) to fill.

Some more work yesterday - a nice warmish day for glue-drying - produced the following:



So the stern is all planked and waiting for the next steps. I have added a couple of coats of sanding sealer as well. One coat was put over the completed side before the othe side was done. It was interesting to note the difference in sound made when tapping against the sides. In fact you may be able to discern the difference in colour btween the balsa that has had sealer applied and that which hasn't - there is a distinct yellowness where the sanding sealer has gone on.
At the moment I'm waiting for some glue to dry so that I can remove some pins from the bow and give myself more room to work there.
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Alister

AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2009, 10:15:17 PM »

Looking at the date of my last posting I realise that it's been pretty much two weeks since I posted.
One of those weeks must have had very little done in it!
Since last weekend however, I have been pouring epoxy into the bow and stern sections to strengthen the inside prior to sanding the outside. We have only just entered spring down here and although the weather is markedly warmer sometimes the epoxy would take ages to cure. Yesterday was much better though, warmer, even though it rained a bit.

So, a shot of the stern section with some epoxy curing:


(Hmm postimage having some problems for me this morning - or maybe it's me again, or FireFox 3.5.3. The URL to the image is not adding automatically to the post, but is in the popup so a little cutting and pasting and replacing of %3F's and %2F's makes it work.)

Either way the two sections to the lower left do not have epoxy in this photo, but all the remainder do.

And two shots of the bow section after an initial sanding:




The strips you can see of darker colour are the planks that are a little bit lower than the others. Also visible in these two bow shots is the raised coaming (that might not be the correct term) that wraps around the upper bow area. This is not either the correct height or length, but is both higher and longer than I need.

Since these shots were taken I have removed the MDF that was fixing the frame to the building boards and have done away with the building boards altogether - at least for the bow and stern sections. I have also added some filler to some areas on the bow that were low, or too flat and not rounded enough:


I started to look again at the centre tub section and to continue with that. I decided that my original efforts to cut the bottom and sides were simply not good enough and the cuts I made were not straight enough. I have now cut those again and it is waiting on further work. These are of 7mm standard building ply, as were the frames for the bow and stern. It's a little bit flexible depending on the vagaries of the grain, so I am adding strengthening runners of two strips of 7mm ply glued together to which the bottom, sides and ends will be glued and screwed. I will post pictures to make clear what I mean! When I get there that is...
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Alister

AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2009, 10:25:58 PM »

2 further comments.

1: The strips that I was referring to at the end of the previous post can be seen in the photos of the original tub section way back up the top in the 2nd post.
2: The shot of the stern section with the epoxy drying also show that it is balanced on bits of scrap wood etc, in order to get the section with the epoxy in it as level as possible and cover as much of the planking as possible.

TTFN...
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Alister

AlisterL

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Re: ULCC build
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2009, 11:29:35 PM »

Well it's been a while since I last updated.
Eventually the epoxy got into all the cracks and crevices of the stern section and dried up nicely.
Because of the radii of the frame in the stern some of the planks had some quite distinct differences in levels.

Here's a couple of shots after the first gentle sanding:




Because I didn't want to rip too much off the balsa planking I decided to bog it up with car body filler:



So far so good right?

Ahh no, as it turned out.

The filler didn't set. I left it nearly a week and still soft. I suspect the hardening catalyst may have either gone off or wasn't sufficient quantity. Either way, lots of soft bog.
Eventually I started scraping it off using a combination of putty knives and sandpaper. Basically the sandpaper caused the bog to turn into little thin rolls as it was scraped up.
After a while most of it came off and I had some very thin bits of planking as a result of using the sandpaper.
I resorted to using Selleys Polyfilla to get things smoothed out. It's not as hard as car filler when it's set, but it does work quite well.

I had also completed the centre tub by this stage so set about the task of attaching the bow. As I come to post about this I realise that I haven't taken any snaps of the tub prior to attaching the bow. I also realise that neither have I taken any snaps of the the bow and centre before attaching the stern.
So I ran out and took some just now.

Shot from the bow - with coaming profiled correctly:



I'm quite happy with how this is looking!

A shot of the stern. Note that the join you can see between the tub and stern is a work in progress - glue and filler are drying right now:



And finally a view from above showing the end of the stern section, where all the nuts and bolts are, the tub and in the distance the stern section attached:



That's a 1 metre ruler in the picture - it hasn't moved between the shots either.

So it's finally starting to look like it should. A bit more work to do to sort out the join between the sections as you may have noticed.
One problem that has become apparent is in the shape of the stern. I didn't notice it when building the stern, but one of the stringers bows out then around, rather than straight along then around. It's not much, just a couple of mm, but it does throw the lines out a little. I'll have to figure out how to fix or disguise that.

Hah! Just looking at the pictures - all those lines/edges that look wonky and wavey - they aren't!
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Alister
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