28 Foot Force Project

Discussion in 'Hawaiian Fishing Reports Forum' started by HelluvaBoater, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. kapnd

    kapnd Newbie

    Location:
    haleiwa Hawaii
    Name:
    don
    Boat:
    ss minnow
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    Update????
    Don't do what I did, start building a boat, then stuff it into the backyard while making a family, building a house and all sorts of other irrelevant bullshit!
    Prioritize and move ahead!
     
  2. HelluvaBoater

    HelluvaBoater Member

    Location:
    Maui
    Name:
    Maka
    Boat:
    Force 28
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    I'm still working on the boat and things are coming along nicely. Taking my time yet working my ass off. I do have a normal job so things don't progress quite as fast as they could. Here is some of what I've accomplished in the last 7 months:

    Decided adding some 5' fish boxes along the sides of the engine would add versatility and contribute to the overall function of the boat. They can also be used for keeping food/drinks/bait cold, or I can throw scuba tanks down there. The bulkheads and the fish boxes are all made with 1/2" Kay-Cel foam that has roving in it already. I pre-coated every panel with 3/4 mat | 7 oz cloth | 3/4 mat. The Kay-Cel already offers some insulation, but I plan to add more insulation later. Not the biggest boxes in the world, but there is already a huge insulated box up front.

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    Since the layout was decided, it was time to finish the inner portion of the rudder. I wanted to tie the rudder shelf into the stringers but the stringers weren't tall enough. So, I decided to raise them with a leftover piece of Microlam LVL. I raised them about 5 inches total. I did 4 units of 3/4 mat | 1208 nytex | 3/4 mat, then went over it all with big pieces of 3/4 mat and 18 oz roving. It is all tied into the transom, bulkhead and existing stringers. Some of the glass pieces actually go all the way down to the hull. I did not skimp in this part but still had to keep it all pretty square.

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    Got a custom exhaust elbow and heat guard from Tony. I basically just saw it in one of his pictures and asked him to make me one just like it. Fully adjustable and all 316 stainless. Has a raw water flow sensor already in it.Turbo should never see salt water with this thing...

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    Since I was ready to finish installing the rudder, I decided it was time to make the outside of the boat pretty before I had the rudder and running gear in the way. So, I got into spraying gelcoat for a while... Turned out pretty nice. Nice enough to get on the water. The gelocat wasn't kicking with the surfacing agent alone, so I sprayed PVA after 10 hours which made it kick nicely. The color match is pretty good too. One day down the road I want to color match 5 gallons and spray the whole thing but first I want to go fishing. I haven't wet sanded it and don't plan to for the time being. I'm happy with it.

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    Next, I worked on the rudder. I oversized the rudder hole 1/8" to allow the epoxy room to fill. The epoxy is thickened with Q-Cell hollow microballoons and a little cabosil for a final thickening. I got lucky and used just the right amount of epoxy which squeezed right to the top of the hole. The bronze backing plate is a Buck algonquin Stock piece. That was floated in with an excessive amount of epoxy. Once cured, I drilled the holes and used plenty of 5200. The four 3/8" 316 stainless bolts alone were like 50 bucks from Fastenal which was a rip. McMaster Carr did not even have them. If you have never been on the mcmastercarr.com, check it out now because that is the best site in the world.

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    The rudder shelf itself is made of 1/2" T6061 aluminum with 1/2" angle floated in with epoxy. The 5/8" bolts are probably overkill. The self aligning flange bearing is 304 stainless and has a load rating of 16,000lbs if I remember correctly. I got the bronze steering ram from Tony. I could have probably went a little smaller with the rudder shelf but I'm happy with it. Love working with aluminum. I got a Diablo non-ferrous metal cutting saw blade and it cuts the 1/2" aluminum like butter.

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    I finished glassing the fish boxes. I did 3/4 mat | 1208 nytex | 3/4 mat tabbing all over the inner corners and then went over it all with 3/4 mat | 18 oz roving | 3/4 mat. They turned out really nice although I am still going to insulate them more.

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    Since the rudder was pretty much in and the gear was pretty much ready to go in, I sanded everything down and laid some Cloud White gelcoat from Fiberglass HI. I used PVA because I didn't want the wax interfering with any future bonds. It felt good to put some gelcoat down. Gelcoating is a luxury vacation compared to some of the crap I've had to do on this thing. Using cloud white below the deck because I can easily get more color matched from fiberglass HI. It will also show stains/leaks and give me the best visibility down there.

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    Once I gelcoated, it was time to get serious about putting the gear in. The transmission is a ZF 63IV v-drive with a 1.56:1 reduction. I am basically using the transmission itself as a jig for locating the brackets, shaft, prop, rudder, EVERYTHING... I bolted the isolators to the gear, adjusted the height, positioned everything perfectly and then floated the front stringer brackets in place with epoxy. I used wood wedges and clamps to hold it all. Once the epoxy cured, I drilled and added backing plates (also floated in with epoxy). The stringer bracket bolts are all 1/2" 304 stainless with nylon locknuts and sealed heavily with 5200.

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    With the gear in almost it's exact finished spot, it was time to epoxy the strut into place. I taped everything off and had a friend come over. We put a jack under the strut. He lowered the jack and I slathered thickened epoxy on the strut, then we jacked the jack back up and shimmed it with wood in case the jack sank. Through this process the gear/shaft accidentally slid back about 3/4" and I did not realize it until after everything cured. This left about 2 inches between the strut and prop hub which is unacceptable and can cause vibration or a broken shaft. The distance between the prop hub and strut should never exceed 1 shaft diameter (which in my case is 1-3/4") So, I ended up moving the gear forward on the front brackets about 3/4 inch which Tony says is perfectly fine. This gives me about a 1.5" gap which is good and I still have plenty of room in the front for removing the shaft coupling. There is plenty of room to remove the prop even without turning the rudder, but I did try to keep the prop closest aft because it is more efficient. If I were to do this all over again, I think I might go with a 1.5" diameter shaft and a 20 inch prop instead of the 22 and I'd design the tunnel around those parameters. Seems like most of the people running Cummins B's with my reduction have a 20" prop. But, live and learn. Since the tunnel is designed with an 11" radius instead of a 10" radius, I am hoping that just provides more clean water to the prop (in rough water particularly). Hopefully, I don't lose too much dynamic lift and buoyancy from the tunnel being 10% larger than necessary with a 20" prop. I doubt it will but we will see.

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    I needed some holes in my stringers for water to drain and for the fuel tank balance line to pass through. I chose a couple spots along each stringer, but avoided areas where I have done tabbing. I was originally going to use a thru hull fitting but Tony set me straight and I used used a bunch of coats of epoxy. Much simpler and lighter. I till probably do some more coats just to be safe. But it already has a bunch. In total there are 4 of these holes.

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    A little more work on the rudder shelf:

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    I decided now was a good time to insulate the fish boxes (before the deck goes in). I ended up using more resin than I hoped doing this part. The insulation is un-reinforeced Kay-Cel high density foam. This expensive ass foam is $230 a sheet from Fiberglass Hawaii and is 1-inch thick. I doubled it up on the floor so it is 2 inches thick. In the cavities to the front and outboard of the fish boxes, I an going to drill holes in the deck and pour in foam to insulate those areas. I drilled 1/2" "weep holes" throughout all these compartments just in case the foam absorbs moisture. It should all drain aft and into the bilge this way. There is a 4 inch square area where I did no insulation on the floor of the fish box. In this deepest "sump" area I dill a 1" drain plug hole. This should also stop the onos from biting my drain plugs out. It's also nice because it looks like ALL the water is going to drain out *knock on wood* I went over all this with 2 layers of 3/4 mat. Might do more when the deck goes in but in the meantime I have stomped on it and it seems super solid already so hell I might just leaved it the way it is to save weight. The boxes were already glassed before the foam went in and all the voids are filled with thickened resin.

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    The strut backing plate is 1/4" thick 316 stainless. I got a hell of a deal on it on eBay and it fit in a Priority flat rate box which is great deal out here to Hawaii. I found the trick to drilling stainless is maximum pressure on the drill bit and the slowest drill speed possible even if you just have to tap on the drill trigger. It's all about not creating heat.

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    With the strut in place, I could finally do a last positioning of the gear. I am really tired of pulling this shaft in and out, but I keep convincing myself am getting there. I did a feeler gauge alignment on the shaft coupling until it was aligned with .001... It took about 2 days of messing around until I really got a feel for aligning it and I can honestly say it is aligned very good and the shaft spins free and easily in the cutlass bearing. The weight of the engine is going to throw the alignment off anyway, since the isolators will sink, but for now the alignment is good enough to glass the shaft tube in place. I've heard the alignment should actually be done at the dock because the hull is going to flex when in the water. I plan to do this one day down the road.

    For the shaft tube, I am using an expensive piece of fiberglass pipe I got from Tony. It is $75 per foot and used in the oil and gas industry. It seems super strong and perfect for the job. I am also using a Tides marine dripless shaft seal. Hoping to have room for an extra shaft seal or two riding on the shaft to allow for quick seal changes.

    So far, I've done 4 units of 3/4 mat | 1208 nytex | 3/4 mat. The first unit goes up the stringers 2 inches and subsequent layers taper 2 inches narrower each time. Looks strong as hell. I used wood wedges to align the tube as close as possible before glassing.

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    Lately, I'm finishing up the outside of the shaft tube and messing with the trailer. Trying to figure out exactly how high I need to raise the boat on the trailer so the rudder never hits the ground (even with a flat tire). I'm thinking I will raise it 4 inches from where the bunks were before. I might end up cutting an inch or two off the bottom of the rudder if I need more clearance. I am leaning towards using 4x12 timber to support the boat. My new axle tubes are larger then the old ones and the back crossmember is smaller. I kind of want to go to Mala and check out the parasail boats to see their trailers... I think the rear cross member has plenty of drop for the shaft. Thinking of just building the bunks in position under the boat and then measuring everything off of that to figure it all out. Not sure. I just started working on it. It will be nice to at least have the boat off blocks and back on the trailer. I'm also considering just making the bunks VERY tall, testing it all out and then cutting the bunks down once I have tested it all out. Not sure. I don't want it too high to where it won't come off the trailer at the ramp. Might end up having to extend the trailer tongue, but I hope not. I had a sliding tongue for a while and I hated it. I think I'd rather just have a really long trailer tongue.

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    I'm curious to see how it floats at the ramp with the engine. I added some weight in the back for sure, but the engine is forward now and the flybridge model is heavy anyway. We will see I guess...
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
    Holoholo808, le22, mikedynp and 2 others like this.
  3. patfishhi

    patfishhi Registered User

    Location:
    Oahu
    Name:
    Pat
    Boat:
    32' Blackfin "Kai Nana"
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    Maka,
    You learned very well from your mentor; he must have been a good teacher and obviously you are a good student. Excellent work, thanks for taking us along for the ride.

    Cheers
    Pat
     
    Holoholo808 and anykine77 like this.
  4. Gil Marlin

    Gil Marlin World Peace? Visualize Using Your Turn Indicator

    Location:
    Laguna Percebu Baja Norte
    Name:
    Scott
    Boat:
    19.655' Aluminum
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    Nice work!!! How much weight do you think has been added???
     
  5. Surfdawg

    Surfdawg Newbie

    Location:
    Kailua
    Name:
    Mike
    Boat:
    Blackfin 29' Flybridge
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    Beautiful work! I love all the pictures and explanations of what you are doing all the way through the build. You are going to have an incredible boat very soon. Congrats
     
    NoMake likes this.
  6. shadzdad

    shadzdad Member

    Location:
    Ewa Beach,HI USA
    Name:
    Darren
    Boat:
    building one
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    Very nice work, very clean, detailed and well thought out. One of the most informative posts i have read and alot of it will come in very handy for me in the near future. I know it's a long process but can't wait for the next update
     
  7. mikedynp

    mikedynp Newbie

    Location:
    montana
    Name:
    mike
    Boat:
    "the drain plug", 18' klamath;1979 17' Boston whaler (it's a project)
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    Incredible!!! This is the best thread I have seen in this forum.

    I use the McMaster website everyday at work and I wish all sites were as easy to use and find exactly what you need.
     
  8. le22

    le22 Newbie

    Location:
    Kailua Oahu
    Name:
    Lucas
    Boat:
    13 foot Boston Whaler and 24 foot Radon Project
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    Keep up the amazing work, your build has been so informational and inspirational, I just brought home my project today and I'm going to try my best to model it after your build.
     
  9. HelluvaBoater

    HelluvaBoater Member

    Location:
    Maui
    Name:
    Maka
    Boat:
    Force 28
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    Mahalo for the kind words everybody. Good to know people still read this.

    I am estimating I've used about 12 five-gallon jugs of resin so far. Considering resin loss it is probably like 11 jugs that actually made it into the boat. Foam is 20% lighter than plywood. I've used 3 full sheets of foam. Plus stringer weight. I also lost a couple hundred pounds of displacement with the tunnel. Plus the weight of the glass itself is probably 250 lbs. Hull weight was 3200 lbs before I gutted it. I am estimating around 1000lbs added so the hull weight is probably around 4100 lbs now. Engine / gear / shaft / strut / rudder / prop is probably 1800 lbs. So I a probably looking at a dry weight of 5900 lbs ish maybe? Hopefully less since I am rounding up on everything. Luckily all the weight I added is in the lowest part of the boat. Everything above the water line is going to be lighter weight. If too much weight in back, I'll have no choice but to add weight up front and use the front fish box. Thinking of putting house batteries up front, getting xtra anchor line, xtra anchor, fishing gear all up front. Once engine is in I'll see how it sits at the dock and design the rest of the boat. I wonder what the ideal trim angle for this hull is at 10 knots? Maybe 1-2 degrees bow up?

    For your 24 foot Radon... are you going to go with a Cummins? If I had do this over I might go with a single 6BT with a Konrad outdrive if I could get a good deal on one. The tunnel itself probably set me back a year total and has made the project a lot more complicated, but I'm hoping it's worth it as far as efficiency and reliability. Check out Tony's site sbmar.com if you plan to go with a shaft. Also start a thread, I'd like to check it out.
     
  10. HelluvaBoater

    HelluvaBoater Member

    Location:
    Maui
    Name:
    Maka
    Boat:
    Force 28
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    Nice! That's exactly what I did. Shaft angle is 8.4 degrees in relation to the bottom of the hull. I've heard anything better than 12 degrees is good.
     
  11. HelluvaBoater

    HelluvaBoater Member

    Location:
    Maui
    Name:
    Maka
    Boat:
    Force 28
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  12. le22

    le22 Newbie

    Location:
    Kailua Oahu
    Name:
    Lucas
    Boat:
    13 foot Boston Whaler and 24 foot Radon Project
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    I want to go with a Cummins, I am a big fan of them (its what i have in my truck too.) I remember back a ways you mentioned the Konrad outdrive, I still have to do some research and decide what I want to go with, its been a dream to start a project, but now i have to start turning those dreams into plans. I do like the idea of a straight shaft for the reliability and lower amount of maintenance. I do plan on starting a thread especially how you said that you were able to get a lot of advice on your build from people viewing your thread.
     
  13. HelluvaBoater

    HelluvaBoater Member

    Location:
    Maui
    Name:
    Maka
    Boat:
    Force 28
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    I think where you go depends entirely on what you have right now.... Might be better to go straight shaft or v-drive. If you go either of those, you will probably need to modify your trailer which might make it hard to load/unload. Are you gutting the boat completely? How is the boat setup now? The sooner you start your thread, the sooner you can start getting others input and ideas.
     
  14. kapnd

    kapnd Newbie

    Location:
    haleiwa Hawaii
    Name:
    don
    Boat:
    ss minnow
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    Don’t cut the rudder until you are able to get the boat in the water and get a feel for how it handles, especially backing up!
    If the trade off is a higher trailer/longer tongue, that’s the direction I’d go.
     

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