Jun 202011

When we lifted the boat for the IRC measuring last week we uncovered a few problems that needed to be fixed. This was supposed to happend this weekend. The bowthruster cover plate had gone missing.And there was about 10 small corrosion spots on the bottom. Plus the cover for the keel bolts in the fin was obviously not 100% watertight. This last problem was not too surprising, considering I did that in last minute panic just before launching in August last year…

Anyways, it rained quite a lot this weekend, which made work very difficult and not so fun. After three late night shifts of work everything seemed ok, including the new bowthruster cover which has very good fit:

Special thanks to Magnus and Stina for hands-on and mental support!

But just before launch I thought: Given that the whole weekend has been miserable, I am sure there is a last corrosion problem hidden underneath the lifting strap. And of course there was one. Now I am trying to fix that last one really quickly despite the cold weather, since the crane is needed for other work. A paddle, a ladder, a hot air gun and some straps:

Jul 162010

During the summer holidays there are always lots of little handcraft stores and local art exhibits sprouting in the Swedish countryside, hoping that people with lots of vacation time will make a stop. The same happens in Estonia. The Journeyman exhibit also gets its fair share of curious people stopping by. We have considered selling 1€ tickets to improve the budget situation…

Today we added a couple of more parts spread out outside the yard. It kind of looks like a wannabe art-in-nature installation, with the ruins of some Soviet era cranes in the background.

Approximately 30% of the yachts final weight is in this picture…

The keel now has the lifting cylinder mounted and the corrosion protection completed. The cylinder manufacturer put some really useless black epoxy paint on it, it is falling off immediately as you can see. But on the piston it doesn’t matter as the it is stainless anyway. The Cylinder and the keel itself are not, but as you can see the dough-like ThorCoat flexible epoxy cover looks a bit more lasting. One of the visitors commented on this as a shitty paint job :-) But as old readers of this blog knows, this stuff is some of the most difficult to apply I have ever experienced!

…and I had to make one more glory shot of the 4.5 tons of lead in the sunset:

Beautiful Lifelines

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Jun 042010

We just put the lifelines in, and in the middle of all delays and small setbacks they are making me very happy. Everything fit perfectly, and the welding work on the pull-pit is absolutely superb.

This image also shows the chainplates for the stay-sail, solent and code zero (actually I will have more of a code 2 for those who are picky with these things). The stainless pull-pit and stanchions are fitted in the deck bases using galvanic insulators made from Delrin.

Jan 132010

The keel is made from the SSAB super-duper Hardox 450 steel (remember the funny commercial about it?). Now this steel is not stainless, so it needs to be well protected from salt water. Usually you do this by painting it in epoxy. For the Journeyman keel this is probably not so good, since the steel will be flexing a little bit back and fourth when sailing. There is 4.5 tons of lead at the end of a 3.5 meter fin, after all… Ordinary epoxy will sooner or later crack in these conditions, which will lead to rust.

Now I found this nice Canadian propeller shaft manufacturer who has developed a protection paint for underwater steel. However, after learning that I would use it for something different than a propeller shaft they refused to sell it to me. This got me slightly annoyed, so thought I would play them a little trick. I contacted them through a completely different channel with a made up story about a propeller project, and was able to buy some paint that way. (Props to Alexander for helping out in this “scam” by the way :-)

Anyway, there are some points of the keel where it will be in contact with the supporting structure. In these points the paint will become scratched off over time, so we are putting small pieces of stainless steel in these spots. This means that as the paint is scratched off the exposed steel will be stainless and not rust.

In this picture your see the top of the keel with the mounting hole for the hydraulic cylinder that does the lifting (The keel can be pulled up from 3.8m draft to 1.8m for shallow harbors). The 4 stainless pieces that are being welded are the places where the keel will rest against the deck reinforcements when it is pulled up.

Dec 202009

So I’m off to celebrate Christmas in Stockholm and New Year in Berlin. I am wondering what it will be like to go to these gigantic cities? Will I suffer from cultural shock after 6 months in the Saaremaa countryside? I don’t think I’ll do any blogging there, so you will probably not find out until first week of next year….

In the meantime I give you a little story about the chainplates (that’s the points where the rigging is attached to the hull, in case the term is new to you). They have to support quite high loads. The worst case is the main mast shrouds during a broach, where the load will be just under 20 tons.

On most sailboats the chainplates are made of steel and you really don’t think much about them. But on an aluminum yacht it is more complex. The aluminum is quite soft compared to steel, which means that if you pull with that much force on a thin bolt, it will simply get deformed, a bit like clay somehow. So you need to have a nice big piece of aluminum that the load is distributed across. To distribute the load from the small rigging bolt to the big aluminum plate you need a steel bushing. This in turn creates a problem due to the aluminum-steel contact, which is guaranteed to cause corrosion problems. And we’re talking about a point on the hull where you certainly do not want any corrosion problems! So to minimize this risk the aluminum around the steel bushings is anodized with a thick layer of insulating oxide.

As you can tell, this work is a little bit more complicated than usual, and the story has been running for quite some time now… First the holes had to be made, and since Alunaut doesn’t have any machines for this we sent them to a nearby workshop for milling. I guess I have learned by now to never answer the question “When do you need them?” with “Oh, no big rush, do it when convenient”. The milling took forever to get done.

Then I didn’t know where to go for anodizing, but I found a company called H7/h6 OÜ on the Tallinn Technical University campus who could do it. Maybe I should have remembered what it was like when I was in the university: Lots of technical knowledge but no idea how to handle customers. So the first anodization resulted in ugly un-anodized spots in very wrong places, and first I thought we would have to start from scratch. The anodizing guys were able to fix it in the end, but made me very annoyed by always claiming it was somehow my fault that they didn’t do the first job properly…Plus this whole process took a few weeks too.

Finally the center bushings have been made and fitted. The guys who did that unfortunately managed to slightly damage one of the parts when they fitted the busing, but I think I will have to live with that. Doing it all again somehow does not seem like a good idea :-) ! As you can see the end result looks quite good for the most part.