Thursday, 24 April 2014

To San Fran, with the wind at our back!

Progress Report: our hull is well underway! We started work on it back in March during our prototyping phase. The photo below shows a half-scale version, constructed with cardboard stations and household insulation. The half model was built to familiarize the team with an entire cycle of the build process. The prototype allowed us to test ideas and construction methods without having to put in large amounts of time or money (Neither of which we have large amounts of). Some novel ideas were tested to great success; such as using saran wrap as a mould release agent.  The half-scale model also identified the number of stations that are needed to fully define the hull form, and gave us an idea of how much work is required to create a fair final product.  The team also discovered the tricks and problems of working with foam; mainly with regards to how soft it is.
Half-scale prototype – wrapped in saran wrap and ready for glass.
Following on the success of the half-scale, the team began building the full-scale version. For this, we started with laser-cut 1/8" birch stations, profile and deck. The profile was added due to the size of the hull, the thinking being that another defined line would help with the sanding process. Below, Adam Day can be seen putting the "skeleton" of the plug together. The deck had some warp in it and had to be held down with drafting ducks from the senior naval arch. class room (better use for them than door stops...) while the putty that was used to assemble the skeleton cured.
Adam Day and the "skeleton".

Skeleton puttied, loaded down with ducks.
Once cured, the next step was filling the skeleton with foam. This took much longer than expected, more time than was needed on the half-scale model. Each piece had to be cut square and some sections had to be custom fitted to length. The final result looks a little rough around the edges but with some sanding should shape up nicely.
Adam Day and Martha Hermann sizing up the foam.

The team is aiming for an early launch, so expect more posts to follow as the hull emerges from the foam! 
Now... We Sand!

** All photos taken by Emma Williams**