How to Pinstripe the Deck of a Chris Craft

Even when watching this video it looks difficult to achieve a straight line when painting a pin stripe on your boat’s deck. However the painter gives a few key tips and doesn’t seem stressed by the job at hand.  He takes his time, seems to have NOT had 5 cups of coffee to keep a steady hand and I am guessing has experience with previous jobs.

Make sure to practice on a similar set up to what you will be pinstriping so that you get the feel for the tool (he is using a Beughler pin striping tool) and sign makers paint but our WetEdge Topside paint (one part polyurethane) should do the trick nicely.

If you have other ways to pinstripe or ideas that would help get the job done, let us know in the comments section below. We love to hear about the many ways our customers get their boats dialed in and on the water.

 

 

46′ Gar Wood Ensign Bleached Blonde

Why take the time and spend the money bleaching the planking? Compare this clip to the one posted earlier this week for an excellent before and after comparison of the 1946 Gar Wood Ensign. Bleaching makes the coloration infinitely more uniform, while it also raises the grain, thereby delivering the perfect environment for the filler stain that follows bleaching.

Sanding lightly, and I mean lightly, scuff off the “feathers’ left by bleaching by hand and using 200-220 grit paper comes next. Do not get aggressive here as the bleached layer is only 1/32” to 1/16” deep. Sand through it and you will either end up with disfiguring blotches when you stain, or you must bleach anew.

Wood Bleach is available at Jamestown Distributors.

Rather than applying once and allow the surface to dry, and then coming back with a second application that must be neutralized, we keep the planking wet with repeated applications of the equal-part A and B solution over at least 12 hours before allowing the wood to dry.

Our results speak for themselves.

Drying will continue for the rest of today. Yes, the covering boards appear a bit darker than is the rest of the planking at this moment. Why? Because they are original to 1946, and are therefore a bit more porous than is the new planking, they are still quite wet. Once dry, they will match the rest of the planking.

We will stain the planking using Interlux InterStain Wood Filler Stain in brown mahogany tomorrow morning.

Then comes three coats of Penetrating Epoxy, and into the paint booth she will go, where varnishing can begin.

Quinn Connell’s White Water Kayak Project – Part 4: Finishing Touches

In the Fall of 2013, Quinn Connell devised an Independent Study in Kayak Design using free courseware from an MIT Naval Architecture Graduate program. Quinn was able to combine his experience as a kayaker with his studies in fluid dynamics and design his dream white water kayak. He then approached Jamestown Distributors and asked to sponsor his project  in order to make his dream boat into a reality.
Check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

With the hull and deck fully molded, I had a few key pieces to add before the boat was finished:  I needed to install grab loops, cockpit coaming, pillars to reinforce the boat, and outfitting to secure the paddler.

"Making grab loops: I used webbing and slitted extra pieces of carbon to layer them in without impacting the structural integrity of the boat.  The packing tape kept the handle portions from getting coated in epoxy and sticking to the boat."

“Making grab loops: I used webbing and slitted extra pieces of carbon to layer them in without impacting the structural integrity of the boat. The packing tape kept the handle portions from getting coated in epoxy and sticking to the boat.”

"To make the cockpit rim, I tacked on rubber hosing with hot glue then molded from the inside of the boat over half of the tube using carbon tape."

“To make the cockpit rim, I tacked on rubber hosing with hot glue then molded from the inside of the boat over half of the tube using carbon tape.”

"An extra layer of carbon wrapping from inside the boat over the first cockpit rim layer added a lot of strength to the deck.  I used the hose from the first part of cockpit rim construction to clamp the second layer on and get a nice, smooth finish.  I kept the hose intact as a ring, heated the rubber and slipped it on like a spray skirt.  As the rubber cooled, the hose shrunk and clamped the second layer into place giving a tight layup and smooth, watertight finish.  Extra foam core and carbon/kevlar was used to make front, back and side pillars. I also used extra bits of foam core and carbon to reinforce critical areas like the thigh braces."

“An extra layer of carbon wrapping from inside the boat over the first cockpit rim layer added a lot of strength to the deck. I used the hose from the first part of cockpit rim construction to clamp the second layer on and get a nice, smooth finish. I kept the hose intact as a ring, heated the rubber and slipped it on like a spray skirt. As the rubber cooled, the hose shrunk and clamped the second layer into place giving a tight layup and smooth, watertight finish. Extra foam core and carbon/kevlar was used to make front, back and side pillars. I also used extra bits of foam core and carbon to reinforce critical areas like the thigh braces.”

"Now time for a paint job -  chalk helped out here to lay things out without being permanent."

“Now time for a paint job – chalk helped out here to lay things out without being permanent.”

"Spray paint did the rest."

“Spray paint did the rest.”

"No stencil? Better make one."

“No stencil? Better make one.”

"I should have been an art major."

“I should have been an art major.”

"One last hot coat of epoxy to seal things up."

“One last hot coat of epoxy to seal things up.”

"Look at this beauty!"

“Look at this beauty!”

"For the outfitting, I carved minicell foam to the shape and height that I wanted for the seat and thigh braces.  I augmented this with a seat cover, back band and hip pads taken from an old broken boat."

“For the outfitting, I carved minicell foam to the shape and height that I wanted for the seat and thigh braces. I augmented this with a seat cover, back band and hip pads taken from an old broken boat.”

"Just in the nick of time, too! I took her to the pool, and after pleading with the lifeguards to let me test it out, I was able to pull some strings and get in a corner of the pool.  She floated, and I was able to throw around some flat water tricks to christen her.  Thanks, Joann!"

“Just in the nick of time, too! I took her to the pool, and after pleading with the lifeguards to let me test it out, I was able to pull some strings and get in a corner of the pool. She floated, and I was able to throw around some flat water tricks to christen her. Thanks, Joann!”

"That afternoon we had a poster session to showcase our various projects.  Bernie designed and built a SUP and Quinn Harper did the same for a RC scale rendition of an America’s Cup boat. We had several other mid-term projects we had developed along the way, including developing a curriculum to teach high school students to design and build their own RC system and catamaran for an underwater robot."

“That afternoon we had a poster session to showcase our various projects. Bernie designed and built a SUP and Quinn Harper did the same for a RC scale rendition of an America’s Cup boat. We had several other mid-term projects we had developed along the way, including developing a curriculum to teach high school students to design and build their own RC system and catamaran for an underwater robot.”

The process of turning this boat into a reality was both mentally and physically taxing.  While I could not be more pleased with the outcome, I am in no rush to go through the experience again any time soon.  This was certainly a high point of my education and as I had just graduated college, there was nothing left to do but go use my new kayak.

Stay tuned for the final installation of Quinn’s project series!

Quinn Connell’s White Water Kayak Project – Part 3: Layups

In the Fall of 2013, Quinn Connell devised an Independent Study in Kayak Design using free courseware from an MIT Naval Architecture Graduate program. Quinn was able to combine his experience as a kayaker with his studies in fluid dynamics and design his dream white water kayak. He then approached Jamestown Distributors and asked to sponsor his project  in order to make his dream boat into a reality.
Check out Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.

Now that I had the plugs fully prepped, the real work began. With just around two weeks left in the term it was time to start laying up the carbon fiber.  I’d never attempted to make anything nearly this large or complex before, and owe a lot of my success to the expertise of people more experienced than I who were willing to share their knowledge (also, the internet)- big shout out to Dave Niewenhuis, Jason Downs, Kevin Baron, Eli Stein and Quinn Harper.  The videos on the Jamestown Distributors website were a huge help here too, I strongly recommend checking them out before starting any project.

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“Once this little honey badger arrived, it was off to the races. I cannot thank Mike Mills and Jamestown distributors enough for their support and making this project a success.”

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“Cutting the fabric down to size: On the hull I sandwiched carbon fiber with carbon/kevlar to maximize durability while keeping weight to a minimum. As it turns out, it’s incredibly hard to cut kevlar. I cut all of the layers down to size while dry before hand to ensure we didn’t waste any time once the epoxy was mixed.”

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“Wetting out multiple layers is a team job – brushes, rollers and good old fashioned handwork ensured that every fiber was saturated with epoxy before adding the next layer of cloth.”

Here’s where things start to get nerve-wracking; you’re working against the clock with a limited time until the epoxy cures, it’s all permanent, and you’ve got a lot of time and material on the line by now.  It was key to have some good friends around to help. Thanks Quinn & Eli. Tip: measure out multiple smaller batches of epoxy before beginning to mix or start your layup.  This is useful on multiple fronts: The reaction is exothermic and causes positive feedback – in my first composites project we tried mixing around ½ gallon of epoxy at once. The bucket we were using melted and we were lucky to come out with just losing that amount of epoxy – burning down the school would have been much more expensive.  Using smaller batches gives you a longer pot life and you can mix each when you are ready for it.  Leaving the cups around lets you check to ensure you got the ratios right and the epoxy hardens correctly.

I used a 4×8 sheet of formica on top of a table so that I could wrap bagging plastic all the way around and seal it to itself.  Packing tape on the sheet of Formica kept things from sticking.

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“Peel ply made sure the vacuum bagging materials came off cleanly and didn’t stick to the boat.”

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“Peel ply, breather and bag on. Vacuum bagging is a really cool technique that uses negative pressure to clamp your material to whatever shape you want. The breather/bleeder layer allows airflow for an even vacuum and provides a reservoir for excess epoxy. This allows lighter, more efficient layups.”

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“An hour into curing, Thayer’s high-end vacuum overheated and shut off, causing the vacuum bagging system to fail. In a borderline panic, I ended up finding this little engine-that-could tucked away in the basement.”

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“It worked like a charm. The rails came out sharp! Without a vacuum, there’s no way I could have gotten this definition.”

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“We moved operations into the boiler room, affectionately termed “The Ghettoclave” where temperatures were high which helped the curing process…”

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“…But not before getting lost wandering through basement labs trying to get there.”

A few days later: Once it was fully cured getting the plug out was fun.

“A few days later: Once it was fully cured getting the plug out was fun.”

"I used butcher’s paper and chalk to make a stencil for a Divinycell core on the hull."

“I used butcher’s paper and chalk to make a stencil for a Divinycell core on the hull.”

"Back to the boiler room! Layering the foam core into the hull interior with more carbon and kevlar. And of course vacuum bagging it all."

“Back to the boiler room! Layering the foam core into the hull interior with more carbon and kevlar. And of course vacuum bagging it all.”

Although I had tightly scheduled out construction, I hadn’t factored in nearly enough time for incidentals like additional cutting, sanding, and extra coats of epoxy.  With the end-of-term and my imminent departure closing in, this meant that I was now spending roughly 20 hours/day working on her.  To add to the fun, by this point I was covered in epoxy with carbon and kevlar splinters in places I didn’t know existed.  My friends joked that I was turning myself into a bulletproof man.  If I were to do it again, I’d invest in around 100 Tyvek suits before ever leaving the CAD lab.

"Inserting the deck plug"

“Inserting the deck plug”

"The green coating is PVA, a mold-release agent I sprayed on using Preval.  It’s alcohol-based, so theoretically it dissolves with just a little warm water and releases easily from the layup..."

“The green coating is PVA, a mold-release agent I sprayed on using Preval. It’s alcohol-based, so theoretically it dissolves with just a little warm water and releases easily from the layup…”

"I molded over the deck plug straight to the hull in order to avoid any seams or weak joints as molding it in two separate halves would have required.  This was possible because I only made a single boat, and had to destroy the plug to get it out."

“I molded over the deck plug straight to the hull in order to avoid any seams or weak joints as molding it in two separate halves would have required. This was possible because I only made a single boat, and had to destroy the plug to get it out.”

At one point, halfway through this layup I turned around from mixing a fresh batch of epoxy to find myself dumbfounded by the sight of the entire boat, beaming in majestic carbon for the first time.  At this moment, I started calling her La Sirena (Spanish for ‘mermaid’, or ‘siren’, like in the Odyssey) – she was beautiful and the object of all my pursuits, but at the same time she had become the bane of my existence. Or maybe I was just in a sleep-deprived haze.

"The deck ended up just being a wet layup as I couldn’t get the vacuum bag to seal to itself at 4am, alone, dripping with sweat in the boiler room.  Ironically, having epoxy everywhere kept the tape from sticking. I had my breath held for a few hours there, but it came out better than I could have hoped for."

“The deck ended up just being a wet layup as I couldn’t get the vacuum bag to seal to itself at 4am, alone, dripping with sweat in the boiler room. Ironically, having epoxy everywhere kept the tape from sticking. I had my breath held for a few hours there, but it came out better than I could have hoped for.”

"Now it’s starting to look like a boat! Sanding her down."

“Now it’s starting to look like a boat! Sanding her down.”

"I used the dremel to cut open a hole for the cockpit, which left a new question:  "How do I get this out of here?"

I used the dremel to cut open a hole for the cockpit, which left a new question:
“How do I get this out of here?”

"10 hours later…"

“10 hours later…”

With the plug removed I had the shell fully molded.  I was ecstatic and exhausted at the same time.  With just a few finishing touches she would be seaworthy!

Almost there! Part 4 coming soon!

Quinn Connell’s White Water Kayak Project – Part 2: The Plug

In the Fall of 2013, Quinn Connell devised an Independent Study in Kayak Design using free courseware from an MIT Naval Architecture Graduate program. Quinn was able to combine his experience as a kayaker with his studies in fluid dynamics and design his dream white water kayak. He then approached Jamestown Distributors and asked to sponsor his project  in order to make his dream boat into a reality.
Check out Part 1 here.

After many iterations and a few months in the CAD lab, it was time to build the plug – a life-size mock up of the kayak that I could use to form the carbon fiber around.  I used Thayer’s ShopBot (a 3D CNC router) to cut styrofoam panels to the right geometry, one 3” layer at a time. This machine is awesome.  With a 6′ x 8′ cutting table and vacuum clamp, you can make just about anything you can imagine.

It took around  a week of cutting time to get all of the layers done.

“It took around  a week of cutting time to get all of the layers done.”

 

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“Getting excited with the first layers hot off the press.”

 

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“The ShopBot gave great definition if you were patient enough.  After 2 weeks or so in the ShopBot control room, I was easily confused with a Smurf –  everything I owned was covered in blue dust.  Little did I know, this was just the beginning…”

 

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“Next I laminated the layers by clamping with packing tape and wood glue – Gorilla Glue expanded too much and caused layers to slide out of place.  Then I sanded and faired the foam using construction putty.”

 

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“Epoxy, sand and repeat.  After around 6 cycles of working my way up to 400 grit, both the hull and deck plugs were looking nice and shiny.  It’s important to get a glassy finish to prevent the carbon fiber from bonding to the plug.”

 

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“Wax on, wax off.  Car wax on the plugs helps them release from the carbon fiber. Make sure you don’t let the wax dry for too long! I made this mistake and had to put in a lot of elbow grease to make up for it.”

At this point things were getting exciting – the boat was taking shape and I had tangible results from my effort put in.  The next task was to begin laying up the composite.

Stay posted for Part 3!

 

Quinn Connell’s White Water Kayak Project – Part 1: Design

In the Fall of 2013, Quinn Connell was only a few credits short of an Engineering Degree from Dartmouth College.  With the help of the Engineering Department and his Fluid Dynamics professor, Quinn devised an Independent Study in Kayak Design using free courseware from an MIT Naval Architecture Graduate program.

Quinn was able to combine his experience as a kayaker with his studies in fluid dynamics and design his dream white water kayak. He then approached Jamestown Distributors and asked to sponsor his project  in order to make his dream boat into a reality. 

"Design Development"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past winter, I had the opportunity to design and build a kayak.  As any paddler does, I’ve constanly critiqued boats, formulating opinions about design elements that worked, those that could have been better, and which ones downright sucked.

After graduating with a BA in June, I was headed back to school for another 6 months to finish up an engineering degree.  For this “victory lap,” I wanted to make sure I my studies focused on topics I was actually interested in. Upon arrival to campus, I approached my fluid dynamics professor about setting up an independent study in boat design.  As it turned out, a few of my friends were interested in similar projects and we started a special topics course in Naval Architecture based on MIT open courseware.  For a final project, I combined my experience as a kayaker with the fluid-body dynamics we spent the course studying to develop a design that would perform as I desired.  Using composite materials, I was able to turn my design into a reality; composites also yielded a lighter, stiffer boat than traditional plastic, amplifying its hull speed and altitude for aerial tricks.

For the last 12 years or so, I’ve slowly been formulating an opinion about what my “ideal” kayak would look like.  This past winter I used SolidWorks to turn these ideas into hard dimensions.  As my design developed, I was able to bring in profiles of different boats to compare against.  Knowing how these boats perform informed design decisions about certain elements such as the rocker profile.   For some features, I took inspiration from previous designers were I thought they had nailed it.  In areas I thought there was room for improvement, I innovated.  As the virtual boat began to take shape, it started to resemble more and more closely this idyllic kayak that had been brewing in my head.

Click the Gallery photos to view Quinn’s design process!

Two months and roughly 20 iterations later, I had locked down my final design – aggressively sharp chines and a hybrid rocker profile built for speed and performance. The deck maximized volume in critical areas while maintaining a streamlined figure that would fit my body like a glove.  Now that I had the design finalized, it was time for the real work to begin.

Check back soon for Part 2!

What’s Your Story? – Mary Richter

Mary Richter

Mary Richter of Rogue Sailing sent in this photo of the newly revarnished deck on her 22 square meter. She tells us this gorgeous woodwork was varnished using Flagship Gloss Varnish, one of the top varnishes sold over at JamestownDistributors.com.

What’s Your Story? – Jeff Nagle

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jeff Nagle and his father, Doug, of Erie, Pennsylvania purchased Altair in September of 2012, and have been working on her ever since. Last winter, this 29′ Rhodes received extensive overhaul on the decks and cabin top, but after splashing in that summer, the Nagles encountered some framing issues. The following winter, the two made the decision to bring her back inside and tear her down once again. They plan to replace a total of 24 of the frame bottoms. Based on Jeff’s current photos, however, we think she looks fantastic already! We can’t wait to see her next summer!

What’s your story? – Jim Anderson

Jim Anderson

Jim Anderson sent us some photos of this gorgeous antique wooden boat for our photo contest, but we just had to show everyone his restoration of her on here! The photos above show this 34′ Marblehead Deck Cruiser from 1938 while she was being sanded, stripped, and repainted. She looks great back in the water!