The Tolman Build has Begun

June 24th, 2019

After a year’s hiatus I am back building my Tolman Widebody Alaskan Skiff and I finished the bottom.? At 21 feet long and 7-1/2 feet wide she barely fits in a building bay at RiversWest Small Craft Center.?? The next step is to reconfigure the building jig so I can build the hull upside down.? I will be done in June; I just don’t know what year.


Looking For Medium

March 15th, 2018

I have been glassing the insides of the hull panels with 5.6 oz fiberglass cloth and West System epoxy.? I predominantly use 205 Fast Hardener which is usable down to 40° F which I typically use around 50 to 60° F.? This last week the temperatures were in the 60’s during the day and dropping to the low 50’s at night.? I wanted a long working time so I could have used the 206 Slow Hardener but that may not cure completely when the temperature drops.? I recently read that you can mix the fast and slow hardeners to get a medium hardener.? I tried this on the rear side panels and after curing for two days I don’t see any issues.? I will give it another 3 to 5 days before I sand it and then I will definitely know if there are any issues.

Final Score: Fishing 0, Boat Ride 1

March 12th, 2018

Fish Taco had her first outing of the season and she performed as great as every.? You may remember that I replace the transom corner knees and the transom center knees this last winter.

I went to Green Peter reservoir, about two hours south of Portland, for Kokanee fishing.? The fishing was very poor but the weather and view were excellent.? I had added pads and power connectors for the downriggers and this was the first time I have tried them out.? The downriggers are mounted the bridge deck about amidship and this turned out to be a good location for them.

I trolled east on the lake and after 3 hours I had a nice run back to the boat ramp doing around 17 knots.? I had a little problem getting the Fish Taco back on the trailer because I had forgotten my boots.? This week I will pack Fish Taco for a crabbing trip which I hope to have better luck.

Friday in the Boat Shop, March 9th

March 10th, 2018

The weather was nice yesterday and I was able to open the shop while working. Mark N. show up and help me cut the fiberglass and peel ply. Later Rick H. showed up to watch the proceedings. Amazingly both had somewhere else to be when time came to epoxy the fiberglass the the side panel.

The process I use for applying fiberglass the the panel is to lay out the fiberglass where it needs to be and smooth it out. I use lead weights to hold it in place. Since the fiberglass cloth can be pulled out of shape there is a lot of smoothing out. I also set out the equipment that I will need: many sets of gloves, paper coffee cups, stirring sticks, squeegee and paint roller with an epoxy tolerant paint roller cover.

I mix up a batch of epoxy; in this case West Systems 105 resin and 205 Fast hardener. The fiberglass I am using is style 3733 5.6oz. X 50″ Fiberglass Cloth. I pour the epoxy over the fiberglass and spread it evenly. I then make up another batch of mixed epoxy and go and see how the previous batch of epoxy has penetrated the fiberglass. I add more epoxy where it is needed and the rest of the epoxy is used on the adjacent dry area. Once the fiberglass looks wet, I use the roller to even it out and move epoxy to a dry area if needed.? I want the fiberglass wet but not too wet and not too dry; if is off I can still make it work but it is work.

The peel ply was cut into squares and once I have an area of coated fiberglass I put the peel ply down and work out any folds or air bubbles. I was asked why I cut the peel ply into squares instead of using it full length and the reason is to make it easier to remove the folds and bubbles. Also working a large piece of peel ply is a lot of effort to flatten out. Sometimes I have stubborn bubbles that just don’t want to work out so I add denatured alcohol to the paper towel and the alcohol breaks down the surface tension and thins the epoxy. The last thing I do is clean up the tools with denatured alcohol and leave the shop before I get any epoxy on me.? The photo shows the finished side panel with fiberglass and peel ply waiting for the epoxy to cure.

The next Friday at the Boat Show is looking to be March 23rd.

Tolman Skiff Build Resumes

March 6th, 2018

After two months of little progress the Tolman build is moving ahead again.? I was sick in January and the garage was too cold to epoxy in February. The bottom panels have been scarfed, the scarfs glued up and the inside of the panels have been glassed.? In the photo I show two rear side panels having the scarfs glued up at the same time.? After the epoxy cures I will glass the inside of the panels and then they will go into storage until they are needed.? The rear side panels are 32 inches wide while the forward side panels are 48 inches wide to account for the sweep of the bow.? The forward side panels are put on the hull, marked, cutout and then glassed on the inside. It is a lot easier to glass the inside of the panel while they are flat. ? The outside of the panels will be glassed when the hull is upside down..