Bulb is now bulbier!

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Jul 312010

We had to redo the threading on most of the bolts. They were damaged from the manufacturer, the guy who grinded the bulb probably was drunk or something… We also digged out some parts of the mold that had fallen into the cast, and filled the holes with fiberglass and polyester.

Now it’s looking nice. And as you see, my calculated center of gravity was pretty good. It’s hanging from a single lifting point.

(Oh.. The weight? 4 500 kg)

May 262010

Well… most hands, anyway. The first patches of anti-slip was a bit disastrous, but now the team has a good hang of the technique. We might end up redoing the first one, it was the sail-locker hatch which can easily be redone. At the same time, a good part of the deck equipment is ready to go in, just waiting for the guys who are painting the inside to get done. This takes a while unfortunately, since the sound damping paint dries very very slowly…

Goo. We’ve got it.

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Jan 152010

Goo (noun)
Definition: sticky substance
Synonyms: crud, glop, gook, guck, gunk, muck, ooze, sludge, slush, yuck

This Thorcoat stuff doesn’t act anything like a paint. It’s more like an extreeeemly sticky dough or something. Not so easy to work with. In the end I just stuck my hand in the bucket and put it on with my fingers!! I wonder why the manufacturer bothered to include paintbrushes in the shipment. They are utterly useless…

But in the end I think the result will be good and the keel will be really well protected.

Jan 142010

We’ve gotten the keel surface treatment going. Step 1 is sandblasting:

The blasted steel has a beautiful surface actually. Smooth dark and extremely matte grey. Too bad I can’t keep it like that!

When the sandblasting is done we have to paint the first ThorCoat layer very quickly, otherwise the steel will get oxidized and the paint will not stick so well. But the keel is COLD! And it can’t be painted until it’s 15° or warmer. So we will hang it in front of a 50kW diesel heater for a while to get warm, and then it will go into a separately heated painting room.

Click “Read the rest…” for more images of what it looked like before blasting!

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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.