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Thursday, December 18, 2008

UPDATE - December 18, 2008

It has been quite a long time since I updated this blog and worked on my IOM so here is the scoop on what has been going on.

Some in our local group who built IOM hulls by laying up strips of balsa and covering with Fiberglass and epoxy discovered that these boats can leak water, causing the balsa to swell up. A hull plug was made of one hull design and and a mold was made of the VEKTOR.

Several VEKTOR hulls and decks were made for some of our group in order to increase our local fleet size. At this point 3 VEKTORS are in the water and 3 still remain to be built, mine being one of them.

I hope in the next few months to work and complete my VEKTOR. I ordered my servos (including back-ups) yesterday and they should be be here Friday. From Servo City I bought the following:

Sail Servo = HSR-5990TG Servo = 2 @ $99.99 each
Rudder Servo = HS-225MG Servo = 2 @ $27.99 each

Presently I am putting together my list of parts and pieces to complete the build. I have looked at ISOBAR's website and at MIDWEST's website for purchasing the items i think i need. I hope to make the order his afternoon.

I have some work to do on my hull and deck, mainly adding some fiberglass to stiffen the hull and some thinned out epoxy to the inside of the hull to seal up any pinholes that were noted o be in some of the other hulls made from the mold.

Christmas is fast approaching and do not think too much will get done for the next few weeks, but at least I will have all of my parts and pieces!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bulb and Keel Blade update

I have not had much time to work on the IOM lately. Have some news to report though. Took the Victoria’s out to the new pond where we will be holding the Victoria Region 5 Regional Championship Regatta on May 17th 7 18th to test out the venue. Anyway, Al brought his IOM out to sail her after his trip to Dallas for the IOM BLOW OUT REGATTA. The waters edge, being shallow for a few feet, Al threw the NOUX into the water and off it sailed, until he tacked, then the boat just tipped over! She floated upside down and eventually made it to the bank where Al retrieved it. To make a long story short, the keel fell out and now he has to make a new keel and bulb. Since my bulb has been poured for months now and needs to sanding and shaping AND my keel is nearly faired, Al is going to use my keel and bulb for molds. In order for the molds to be made, Al has been working on my bulb, sanding and shaping and he is doing the final fairing to my keel blade as well. I hope to get over there soon to take some photos to document this effort in the VEKTOR.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Keel work

Not much to report on lately. Have been sanding keel blade and then adding more epoxy. Infact, sanded it down for the 3rd time this afternoon. After sanding/shaping the keel blade, I cut the top so i can now work on making a keel box. I also epoxied some 3/8 inch balsa strips that i will epoxy to the inside of the gunwhale to help give the deck something to attach to when that point comes.

Friday, February 22, 2008

More Weight details

Today I sanded the inner hull to remove some of the excess epoxy and epoxy wrinkles from the vacuum bagging process. I then mixed up some west epoxy (1 pump each) and squeegeed this inside the hull to cover any pinholes that may be left from the original fiberglass. After squeegeeing the epoxy I then donned some rubber gloves and rubbed the epoxy all over the inside, along the stem and the stern joint to ensure a good coverage. This extra layer of epoxy is to prevent any water ingress to the balsa planks, which was discovered to be a problem on both Hew's Vanquish and Al's Noux. This extra epoxy only increased the weight of the hull by 19 grams; the total weight of the hull is now up to 347 grams.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


The hull, planked with balsa and with 4 ounce S fiberglass on the inside and 4 ounces of S fiberglass on the outside of the hull = 328 grams. no sanding or filling done yet.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Epoxy and Fiberglass

It took four (4) 'pumps' of from the West Epoxy system cans to wet the fiberglass on the outside of the hull and four (4) more 'pumps' to wet the interior fiberglass. It was noted that on Hew's Vanquish it took three (3) 'pumps' to wet the outside and three (3) 'pumps' to wet the inside. Al's Noux also required three (3) and three (3). Both the Vanquish and the Noux have less beam the the Vektor. I am not sure the fiberglass that Al & Hew used on their builds, but i am using 4 ounce S-Fiberglass on both the inside and outside of my hull.

Putting hull in vacuum bag

Putting the hull in the vacuum bag

In order to prevent the vacuum from crushing the sides of the hull, we put some foam shadows in the hull to help the hull keep its shape.

Preparing to vacuum bag the hull

Wetting the fiberglass

Laying the diaper in the hull. This material will absorb the excess epoxy.

Removed hull from building board

The hull off the shadows
Fiberglass dry fitted to the inside of the hull.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Fin Keel

Poured some more epoxy on the keel fin to fill out some shallow spots. Will have plenty of sanding to do in the next week or so.

Glassed the outer hull!

Laid the fiberglass and trimmed it to fit the hull, with about a 1/2 inch overhang. Then poured over the West Epoxy and wetted it out. Had lots of help tonight, as you can see all wanted to get their hands sticky!

Fiberglass arrived today!

The 4 ounce S-Fiberglass came in today from US Composites. Hope to be laying the glass on the outer hull soon.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Updated costs

I ordered some 4 ounce S-Fiberglass from U.S. Composites. I ordered 12 yards, 3 for my boat and enough for 3 other boats to built by others in our club. This way we will share the shipping costs. $4.90 per yard was the cost of the material and we gained a small discount by purchasing more than 10 yards. The cost listed is for my 3 yards and my portion of the shipping (UPS-ground)The fiberglass should be here for Monday and then the fiberglassing starts!
Here is a link to this supplier:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The expert is lured into picking up some sandpaper and using some elbow grease.

Pictures of sanded hull

Here I am sanding away on the planks to get a smooth finish and a fair shape to the hull.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sanding of planks completed!

Completed the sanding and fairing of the balsa planks on the hull this evening. What a chore! I will post some photos in the next few days to show the sanded hull.

Ordered fiberglass cloth today. I will use 4 oz S-Glass on both sides of the hull. The glass should be here in a week or better. Hope so, because Hew will be ready to glass his new hull by then!

The plan is to glass the outer hull with the 4oz S-Glass with West Epoxy System and then fill and fair with epoxy and micro balloons before taking the hull off the building board. Once the hull is off the building board and shadows removed, I will then glass the inside of the hull with the same 4 oz S-Glass. After this process is done will then 'paint' the inside of the hull with a thinned epoxy in order to completely waterproof the inside of the hull to prevent water ingess to the balsa planks.

In the mean time, I have a keel to fair, a keel box to build and a rudder to build.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

COSTS up to 8 February 2008

A running total of the total costs as of February 8, 2008 ----->
I will update the costs as the build progresses. I will be ordering fiberglass soon. Right now lots of sanding is in order. When laying the planks apparently I did not do a great job butting the joints of the planks together. So look for the cost to reflect sandpaper!

Friday, February 8, 2008

CAREFULLY laying the planks on the foam shadows.

Looking at the starboard side, planked from the deck knuckle to the waterline.

Finishing planking the hull

Laying up planks on the hull. Laid up the keel planks 1st, then put 2 on each side at the waterline. Then worked from the deck knuckle towards the keel. Here is a shot of looking forward from the stern.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Planking the hull

Today I got most of the hull planked. My fingertips are sticky with crazy glue that is used to glue the planks together. I will have some photographs posted before the weekend is over. After the planking is finished I will sand the hull smooth and then fiberglass the hull inside and out. The total costs have increased by $6.00 as I had to get some pins to hold the planks to the foam shadows. Total cost so far is $32.41.

Friday, February 1, 2008

No progress

I haven't had time to work on the boat this week, and doesn't look like it will for another few days. Darn work getting in the way of progress on my boat!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Shadows mounted and a few planks laid down

Installing the balsa planks on the foam shadows.

Today we installed the shadows on the building board and lined it up straight and square (I hope!) We also laid down 2 balsa planks on both port and starboard sides on the designed waterline. After laying these 4 planks down, we scored, trimmed and beveled the two planks that run on either side of the center-line.

Check out the detail on the stem, the 2 planks along the center-line meet up snug with the 2 planks on each water line.

This is a view of the stern. You will note that on the center-line planks, the inside is colored with a sharpie so it will be easier to see at later stages of the construction

Friday, January 25, 2008

Cutting out the stations on the scroll saw. The photo doesn't show it, but I am sure my tongue is sticking out.

Cutting stations out of the foam board on the scroll saw. Adult supervision was present and I did not cut my fingers off.

The line drawing pasted to foam backing board for each station.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Setting up building board & cutting out shadows

Today we worked on the building board and we cut out the shadows. The shadows were cut from paper and glued to some foam backing board then cut out on the scroll saw. Should have a few pictures to post soon. Tomorrow will probably not get too much done as a Mardi Gras parade will be rolling. May get the board finished with the shadows lined up and mounted so i can start planking this weekend.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I am #691 reaching from the weather mark to the offset mark. Mad Marvin on my port side and Hew & off my port quarter and Gilbert behind me.


Got back from Houston after the Frostbite Regatta. What a great time! Hope to start planking my hull this week and will take photos and post them.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Strips cut, Indy and San Diego on the tube! Al's NOUX in the background.

Balsa strips! Some folks say this looks slow!

Monday, January 14, 2008

'The Jig' - Can be used by both right handed people as well as southpaws.

COSTS up to 14 January 2008

So far only $26.41 has been spent on this project, not including the beer and crabs/crawfish it will cost me when Declan comes over from England, to pay him back for getting the Plans for us from SAILSetc. Nor does this include the cost of the mast sections that Hew has obtained for us from Steve.

$8.97 - Michael's - Crazy Glue
$2.49 - Michael's - Blades for Exacto knife
$14.95 - Michael's - 5 sheets of 3/32 x 4"x36" balsa for planks


The plans FINALLY arrived from England today! We ordered plans of a few different boats (KITE, VEKTOR, ZIG-ZAG & NIMBUS) from SAILSetc in England, but since they do not have a pay pal option for purchasing items, or any other type of secure website, it has proved a bit difficult to get plans. Luckily, my colleague in London (England) was kind enough to send his “cheque” for the amount of the plans to SAILSetc so we can get the plans as cheaply as possible, avoiding currency conversions, wire transfer fees, e-mailing of credit card numbers, etc. The only problem is that the next time my colleague is in the States I have to buy him beer and crab cakes. As a typical Englishman, he can drink a lot of beer and he loves crab cakes, so this may be a money loosing scheme after all. Will have to wait and see.

Sunday, January 13, 2008
I Went to Al’s house this morning to strip the balsa sheets into planks and to drink Bloody Marys. You see, Al makes the finest Bloody Mary’s I have ever tasted from an old family recipe, and his wife is kind enough to let us turn their attic into a remote control boat yard of sorts. You should see the boat yard! Al put an old television in there so we could watch the football playoffs while we ‘work’ on our Bloody Marys and our boats.
Anyway, I set up a place on the work table to cut my strips of balsa and commenced cutting the strips with an Exacto knife and a straight edge. It seems that my being left handed, uncoordinated and without a lot of skill in such things, the few strips that I did manage to cut came out as curvy as J-Lo’s backside. At this point I recalled reading on the US1M site that a jig can be built to make cutting these strips easier. We epoxied up some scraps of wood and made the jig. It turns out the jig is very helpful in making straight strips of planking material, until the 3rd bloody Mary kicks in! At this point things went haywire! Luckily for me, Al’s 16 year old son came up to the ‘He-Man Women Haters Club’. Reverse psychology was used to manipulate the young man into cutting the remaining 3 sheets of balsa wood into strips. ‘Say dude, check out the jig we made to cut these strips of wood. I don’t think your old enough to use this jig, you could get hurt.’ AND, ‘Duuuuude, I bet you can’t take this jig and cut these 3 sheets of balsa into STRAIGHT strips!’ It worked! I sat back and watched Peyton (Archie Jr.) Manning and the Indianapolis Colts get beat by the Chargers of San Diego, while I sipped my wonderfully spicy bloody Mary while supervising the young man cutting strips with our special strip cutting jig! Life is good!

We are on stand-by now until the plans come in. But this is just as well, as we got to get ready for the Victoria Frostbite Regatta at Clearpoint Model Yacht Club in Houston, TX. This will be the 3rd year we have made this regatta and it is one of the best Victoria Regattas we go to. You can check it out @

Saturday, January 12, 2008
Went to Michael’s craft store and purchased some balsa wood sheets and some crazy glue in order to be prepared when our plans do come in. The balsa sheets will be cut into strips to be laid up as the hull form. So far I have spent $26.41 on crazy glue (3 bottles of the brush on type) and five (5) sheets of 3/32 x 4"x36" balsa for planks and some extra blades for the Exacto Knife.