Monday, March 31, 2008

Ventilation for the Tropics

The first two photos here show the openings we've cut for the portlights that will be fitted in each aft cabin bulkhead. This bulkhead has enough vertical clearance above the aft crossbeam for a good sized opening portlight, and these will greatly improve the habitability of the cabins by increasing ventilation. Below is the port hull, showing the galley and port opening which is positioned in a good location to vent the heat from the stove.

In this photo you can see the portlight in the starboard hull. Just above the portlight opening, in a protected location near the cabin roof, you can see the shelf we've built to house the VHF radio and a marine stereo system.

This interior view looking forward from inside the port hull shows the cabin roof installation and the reinforcing deckbeams that support it. At the forward end you can see the cut out for the opening ventilation hatch that will be fitted to provide airflow over the bunk. The cabin side port cut outs are also visible here. These too will be fitted with opening portlights, so we will have maximum airflow down below - important in a boat that will be sailed in south Florida and the nearby islands.

This view of the inboard side of the starboard hull shows the portlight on the cockpit side of the cabin, as well as the forward hatch and the main companionway opening.

Here's an overview of the Tiki 30, with both hulls now decked and the cabin tops on. The crossbeams are nearly done, so we will soon be joining the hulls together. The next two big projects are building the cockpit and the mast.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Closing in the Hulls

Work on the Tiki 30 has continued at a steady pace since the last update here. Below you can see that the cabin roof has now been installed on the starboard hull. These roof panels are built in foam sandwich construction, with a foam core and top and bottom skins of 4mm plywood. This construction insures a stiff, lightweight panel in larger spans such as this.

The photo below shows the solid lumber parts that went into the cored roof panel at the edges of the hatch and companionway openings and around the perimeters.

In the port hull you can see that the galley sink has been installed and the opening for the ice box is finished. The ice box door is a 5-inch thick foam cored plug with a plywood panel on the interior side. The sides of the opening taper inward, as does the top, and the bottom tapers down, so that the plug fits tightly in place and forms a seal. Addition sealing will be fitted to the inside of the plywood panel.

Here, we at last have a finished ice box, shown here with a coat of primer in the interior. The area around the top edge is the mating surface for the top part of the box, which is built into the underside of the stern deck.

This is the matching top section of the ice box beneath the top loading opening in the stern deck. This plug fits perfectly to the surfaces surrounding the top of the box, shown in the photo above.

Here is a view into the starboard hull navigation station, showing the finish paint coat in the interior before the cabin roof was installed. The shelf edges, bulkhead edges, and ring frame edges will all be trimmed in natural-finished teak to offset the white paint.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ice Box Nearly Finished

In the last post I mentioned how some of the interior extras like the ice box were adding a good bit of extra time to project. These modifications definitely add complications beyond the basic plan but will result in a much more habitable boat for cruising.

The ice box is almost done, as you can see in the photo below. It's not pretty at this stage but will soon be ready to paint inside. You can see access opening going through the 4-inches of foam into the main cabin. At the bottom of the ice compartment we've installed a drain line that also passes through to the inside, where melt water can be drained into a bucket.

Here's a view from inside the galley hull showing the ice box opening and the drain line at the bottom, just to the left of where the galley freshwater foot pump will be mounted.

Forward of the entry compartments we have the main bunk areas painted. The rest of the interior finish painting is not far behind.

These are the lids for the storage areas below all the bunks. They've been epoxy coated and finger-holes have been drilled. The next step is priming and painting.

New Project Blog

To the readers who have been following our progress on the Tiki 30 construction with interest, we would like to announce the launching of a new project blog. We are now building a complete interior for a Liberty 42 Flybridge Sportfishing Yacht in the shop alongside the Tiki 30. These interiors for Liberty have been an ongoing part of our business at Boatsmith, and for the first time we've decided to document the construction and show how we do this in a location remote from the hull of the vessel.

As with Pro-Built Tiki 30, we've contracted our friend Scott B. Williams (who is building and writing about Element II) to design and write for the new blog.

Check it out at

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Lots of Work without Visible Progress

We're at a stage right now where there's a lot of work going on in out of sight areas, namely the interior under the decks at the deck to hull joints and in such added features as the built-in ice box. These details have to be completed though, and then more visible progress will become evident. Stitch and glue wooden boats like this are literally built from the inside out, unlike some other more traditional forms of construction. In the case of Wharram catamarans, it is easier to completely finish the interiors while access is easy. When everything inside is done, the exterior surfaces can be sheathed, faired, primed and painted.

Below is a view from inside one of the forward bunks. This is the final paint coat in this area of deck to hull joint.

The ice box is taking an inordinate amount of time, but we feel it will be well worth the effort. That's 4 inches of solid foam insulation you see below, in addition to the insulating properties of the wood hull skin. The interior surfaces of the foam will be glassed over and painted. This ice box should stay cold enough to keep perishables for a long time using block ice.

In the foreground you can see the central epoxy station we now have set up between our two major projects: the Tiki 30 build and an interior fabrication for a Liberty 42 motor vessel. Between the hulls is another view of the tables mentioned previously that we've set up between the two hulls to allow easy access to all work areas. This set up is working out well.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Decks and Interiors

Deck panels have been installed with the exception of the one stern deck over the ice box, in the port hull. Below you can see the starboard hull with the foredeck clamped into position.

The reddish patch here is fairing compound in the area of the bow cleat backing plate.

This is the ice box compartment aft of the cabin bulkhead in the port hull. Foam insulation has been glued in and is awaiting fiberglassing and epoxy finishing and fairing.

In each hull in the area of the companionway, we fitted additional ring frames to reinforce the unsupported area of the cabin sides and coach roofs where the companionway openings will be cut. This is the starboard hull, looking aft at the navigation station.

Here is a view of the galley showing the added ring frame in the port hull.

A view of one of the forward bunks, showing the painted underside of the deck. All that remains here is to paint the joint areas where the deck meets the hullsides.

Looking aft from the decked forward cabin, into the larger main cabin.

The hulls are now spaced the correct assembly distance apart and we've set up work tables between them with steps on each end so the crew can move freely about all the various areas that are in progress.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Moving Forward....

Today we rearranged the shop and moved the Tiki 30 hulls forward to a location near the front entrance. This space in the rear where we built the hulls will now be used for work on another project.

The Tiki 30 will be finished here, near the front where we can easily get it out the door for loading on a trailer.

Today the forward bunk areas were painted with a top coat of Awlgrip Matterhorn White. These are now finished except for the taped off areas at the hull to deck joints.

All other areas inside the cabins are primed and almost ready for paint.

A view into the main bunk area of the starboard cabin.

The plywood panels for the cabin roof tops, which will be foam sandwich construction, are prepped for scarfing below:

This is the frame work for the hatches that will be located in the forward part of the roof of each cabin over the main bunks.

The undersides of the decks are also painted with Awlgrip and are ready for installation. The portlights beside them on the table below are the new ones we picked up last week for the inboard sides of the cabins. These are opening ports that will provide more ventilation in the cabins.

In the two photos below you can see the locations of these opening ports scribed on the inboard sides of the cabins.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Finishing the Cabin Sides

Today the cabin sides were installed on the port hull, so now you can see the two hulls side by side at the full height they will be when finished.

The starboard cabin interior is almost ready for primer and paint.

Both hulls are in progress simultaneously, as we still have the full crew on the project for most of the day. A couple of other small jobs not related to the Tiki 30 had to be taken care of, but we're still going full steam ahead on this project and plan to continue until done.

In the port hull filleting and taping is in progress at all the joints where the newly installed cabin sides meet the bulkheads and sheer lines.

This is a view looking aft to the galley from forward in the port cabin.

This view of the starboard cabin shows the height and the outboard slope of the cabin roof line. The guys are standing at bunk level.

Galley, Interior Fairing and Painting

The built-in features of the galley are now done. Below you can see the shelf (where the bucket is) that will hold the stove, and on the outboard side of the hull you can see the sink. The opening in the middle of the bulkhead is access to the icebox that is built into the aft compartment. An insulated door here will make it convenient to retrieve items stored in the ice box, while a top-loading hatch from the aft deck will make adding block ice easy.

In this view of the port hull you can see the bulkhead to cabin side joints have been filleted, glassed and faired.

The undersides of all the deck panels are being primed and painted.

In the starboard hull, we have the forward cabin area primed and ready to paint.

We're scarfing plywood to get long enough pieces for the cabin tops and cockpit panels. This will avoid having to join these parts with butt blocks.

Here's a side view showing the lines of the cabin roof.