Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

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Denon Osterman
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Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

Post by Denon Osterman » Mon May 20, 2019 6:34 pm

Well it's officially boatbuilding season again! Despite a very, very late start to the season for us due to flodding, I've been able to get my seats done over the winter, and just finished them this weekend. I've also done a huge amount of research and prep work on my engine, fuel system, all of that jazz...so I am, knock on wood, hoping to actually launch at some point this summer!

Very high level, what's left to do is:
-Re stain, epoxy, and finish the deck
-Install the hardware like cleats, bow eye, etc
-Launch the boat and trailer it to a shop
-Drop in and rig the engine

I'm likely going to sand and epoxy the deck, then switch to all hardware, then mask everything and spray whatever I decided for my topcoat....hopefully getting that all done by the start of July but we'll see what ends up happening.

As always I'll use this thread to keep everyone updated on my progress, though I may do a separate thread on the engine itself.

To kick things off, the seats! A huge thank you to everyone at Sailrite for helping me out with all of this. I *never* though I'd be able to do my seats myself, but I'm happy and proud to say they actually turned out really well as far as I'm concerned. I've already posted a picture of the first few patterns so I'll just do the final step that I got done this weekend - which was assembling and installing the foam.

Step one is to cut the foam; step two is to cut the batting and coat the foam with it using spray adhesive; step three is to wrap all of that in silk; step four is to use a shop vac to suck all of the air out and compress the foam; step 5 is to actually place the compressed foam into the vinyl covering, position it, and get the zipper done up properly timed with turning off the shop vac...last but not least step 6 is to desperately try anything and everything to get the foam to properly "fill" the cushion against friction (I found bending it in half along it's length and trying to wiggle the foam inside the vinyl worked pretty good).

Here's a shot of the materials getting ready before vacuuming, and then the foam being vacuumed - it shrinks a *lot* which is really nice in getting it to fit in the cover!
vacuuming the foam.jpg
Next up, my first completed bench! VERY excited that it turned out as good as it did :)
IMG_20190520_151933.jpg
Last but not least, here's all of the cushions completed. A few of them still need a bit more massaging to fill out the corners and everything but they look pretty darn good. Note to self - do NOT design something with deep square notches and piping on the border for your very first seat (second from left)...it was by far the hardest part of the project and reared it's ugly head at every single step, from the mental math on stitch allowances for the first top panel, to sewing the piping and everything else, right through to cutting and fitting the foam. Man am I glad that worked out.
IMG_20190520_161857.jpg
From left to right, it's the bottom bench for the front seat, bottom bench for the rear seat (which is notched to clear the uprights for the rear backrest mount), front backrest, and rear backrest.

Anyways that's it for this weekend...it's going to be a busy few months to try and get everything done!

Cheers,

Denon

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hoodman
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Re: Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

Post by hoodman » Thu May 23, 2019 6:55 pm

Nice job on the cushions.
Matt

Building a Geronimo......!
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mrintense
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Re: Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

Post by mrintense » Sat May 25, 2019 7:49 am

Thanks for the tips Denon. And nice work on the cushions. I like the vacuum bagging idea. I recently had a mattress delivered this way. Quite interesting. Those Sailrite videos are the greatest and I will definitely be using the company's products when I get to that stage. We need to support companies like them and Glen L so that they can survive against the large corporate behemoths.
Carl
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Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise

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Denon Osterman
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Re: Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

Post by Denon Osterman » Mon May 27, 2019 7:28 pm

Thanks for the kind words guys!

Carl, there's no way I could have even gotten close to fitting the cushions without the vaccum bagging idea...and they weren't even over-sized for "preload" if you will. I absolutely love the support of sailrite...the articles they publish, the videos, the support e-mail...I had zero hesitation or regrets buying from them and would happily do it again!

This past weekend I managed to get everything totally ready for re-epoxying the deck. That involved the final sanding, and the staining, both of which are now complete!
IMG_20190525_134501.jpg
95% of the sanding was done with the new long board I made myself. It's nearly 2' by 8" and takes two 24x4 sanding belts. There's a quarter inch rubber backing so it doesn't gouge on the edges, and made much quicker work of doing the whole boat than the old 16"x3" longboard I had...and likely made it much flatter as well. I did a final light pass with the RO sander just to get the sanding marks out and then lightly passed over with the longboard with some much finer grit paper to make sure everything was still flat.

Next up was the tack cloth...I've never tack clothed before, always just vacuumed and blasted with compressed air. Boy, am I glad I started using the tack cloth...it took 6 full sheets until they came up clean!
IMG_20190526_102114.jpg
Last but not least, the stain went on. As always, it looks far darker in the photos than in real life...I have no idea why. It's nearly jet black in the picture but it's the exact same stain as last time which was a beautiful, deep, almost purpley brown when the light hit it under a clear finish. In the photo it's also still wet in some places so it looks a bit uneven but once it dries completely it should turn out really nice.
IMG_20190526_144408.jpg
Next weekend the plan is to get the whole deck coated with a few coats of West 207. Then just the hardware, and the final finish...

Speaking of which, does anyone have any input on finish? I have researched the living heck out of all of the options and I'm still completely torn. I'll likely start another post or add on to Paul's knowledge base...but I know Carl and Jim are both dealing with that right now so I might just bug them ;)

Cheers,

Denon

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Re: Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

Post by footer » Tue May 28, 2019 3:24 am

I've never been good at finishes on anything, so I'm no expert. But, after much deliberation, I went with Interlux Perfection Plus. I brushed it on and it turned out pretty good. I like the way it went on and it has a real nice shine. I have two coats on so far and after I finish a few more details, I will wet sand it all and put on one more coat.

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mrintense
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Re: Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

Post by mrintense » Tue May 28, 2019 3:44 am

Whoa, when I think of the sanding it must have taken to get the boat back down to that bare wood. You must have shoulders like Charles Atlas!! :D :D

Really good work. The stain looks great Denon. Looking forward to seeing you get this coated again. I know you are too.
Carl
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Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise

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Denon Osterman
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Re: Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

Post by Denon Osterman » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:08 pm

Hi all, and apologies for the delay. Been utter hell at work over the past month or so...I've barely gotten anything done and I've had zero time for anything else, sadly. Got quite a bit done last weekend and this weekend though. Raptors mania can't keep me from my boat, especially after finding out just how much I have left! This post, like many posts before it, will be one of many given the 3 photo limit. I'm hoping to cover my plans / timeline in #1, my epoxy adventures in #2, the seats in #3, and the engine mounting in #4 and #5. Bear with me as I infamously write a small novel on 4 days worth of progress :lol:

First and foremost, what's left to do before the soft launch? Here's the list I made after getting some inspiration to do so - and unfortunately it's likely not even complete.

- Mount gas pedal - DONE
- Add small sections of floor to frames - DONE
- Holding areas for phone / wallet / etc - HALF DONE (needs epoxy)
- Resew front seats - DONE
- design and build fuel tank, trim pump, and battery mounts HALF DONE (needs epoxy)
- Mock in engine including mount plates and oil pan clearance!!! - DONE

(Next weekend)
- rubber feet for floors
- Velcro seats to benches, backrests
- Lock benches to stringers, including V notches for forward / backwards movement
- mount bow, stern eyes and cleats / steps / bumpers
- Mark true waterline
- sand off transom varnish for LPU coating
- Trim benches for clearence between stringers
- Measure for shifter, steering wheel
- mount in engine accessories including oil, cooling, etc

(July long weekend)
- sand and final epoxy the exterior
- sand and epoxy the interior including benches, backrest, stringers
- plug screw holes with epoxy, plug other holes with epoxy / 3D printed cylinders, sikaflex everything
- put in two bilge pumps and garboard plugs somehow

(Week off / Second week of July)
- Sand and paint bottom to true waterline
- finish interior with LPU including sanding, spraying
- finish exterior with LPU including sanding, spraying
- sand off and mount rub rail
- lettering and flag

(Misc / can do during the week)
- cast and mount backrest holds, flag pole stuff
- design and fabricate shifter, steering wheel, fuel tank fill plates, cav plates
- design / build shifter mount
- design and cut and mount front / rear banding, stainless trim

And that's just before I bring it to the water so that I can put in the engine (more on that in a second), which means I'll still need to wire it, install all of the cabling / plumbing / engine / etc.

Terrifying stuff, especially since that whole list needs to be done by my "soft launch" date of July 13th. I've got it all done up in excel and between the long weekend to kick off July and taking a week off the second week of July, I have about 4 extra days to cover screw ups...so I'm feeling pretty good. Plus, quite a bit of stuff can slide until after the launch, which is good.

I've also had a few people ask what the heck I'm thinking, trying to put the boat in the water before I install the engine. The reasoning is relatively simple, but relatively unique as well. In short, the boat is being built in a cabin in the middle of the woods, 200m from shore, on an island with no roads or transport infrastructure of any kind. The ONLY way to get the boat to the water, short of ripping off the roof of the shed and using a helicopter, is to carry it by hand, across relatively uneven terrain, down a hill beside my cabin, and into the water off the rocks into the sandy beach. There is *no way in hell* this is going to happen with the engine in the boat. The plan, therefore, is to get as many people as I possibly can (hoping for 15-20) to hand carry the hull - and I've booked them all for July 13th, as it coincides well with my and a close friends birthday. This makes it easy to gather a large number of people, ready and willing to do manual labour for free beer, but puts a hell of a deadline on me.

Once the boat is in the water, it will get towed to mainland, loaded on a trailer, and taken somewhere (not sure where yet) that I can actually drop in the engine and rig it all up. With a small miracle, it will back in the water for it's maiden voyage sometime in early August!
Last edited by Denon Osterman on Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Denon Osterman
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Re: Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

Post by Denon Osterman » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:26 pm

Anyways, last weekend I conquered a fear I've had since late last summer - re epoxying the deck. While a heatgun makes stripping epoxy easier, having to fully strip a "finished" deck, sand through all of the stain down to the bare veneer, and start all over again...is not fun. The knowledge that you only get one redo before you sand through the veneer itself is terrifyingly stressful, and something I do not want to ever have to go through again. I knew the previous issue was with the epoxy, so after a successful staining I was DETERMINED not to mess up the epoxy job this time around. I pulled out all of the stops - bought the good shit, followed the directions to the letter, hammered the (very good!) customer service to death for tips and tricks...the works.

In the end, what I did was hot coat 3 layers of West 207, as the wood was cooling (from 4 pm until midnight), with temps consistently over 16 C, with a VERY fine mist of 99% isopropyl alcohol sprayed on about 10 minutes after each coat was rolled on. I'm sure there are more details, but the critical ones that the tech line stressed over and over were the ones above.

When I first rolled it on, it was cloudy as all hell. I had a minor panic attack. But I was patient, hit it with the isopropyl, and almost immediately it started improving. It was shocking to see just how quickly it went from a cloudy mess to totally fine. Thank god!!! The below picture is literally one minute apart. The first shot was 10 minutes after application, and the second was 11 minutes. Amazing.
isopropyl.jpg
It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows unfortunately. I had one !@#$% mosquito find it's way into the shed and land on the surface. Most of it will sand out, oh well. Similarly there was one area that ended up with a bit of cloudyness as it flowed over the edge of where the coaming pokes through the deck - but only on the last layer so it should sand out, thankfully.
issues.jpg
The rest of the deck looks incredible. Like last time, the colour does not show up in photos at all - it just looks black. It's more of a rich walnut colour that looks stunning, particularly in the sun, and which I hope the camera will capture once it's launched. All in all though, there were a few issues beyond the cloudyness in the first trial that I'd decided to live with...that are no longer. They all had to do with how stain had bled through the masking tape (ugh) and then ran with the epoxy. All told I had a few divets right along the white ash, and a weird globby looking discolouration in the stain in similar areas. This time, none of that happened...it's perfectly flat, and perfectly uniform colour. And the mirror finish on that 207 is nothing short of spectacular! It's important to note that this is completely unsanded, and up close there are tons of runs and imperfections, but overall the deck is extremely flat, and any imperfections will sand out before the top coats go on. Either way, I'm extremely happy that I decided to re do it all, as the results speak for themselves:

mirror.jpg
I'm planning to sand it perfectly flat again and then brush on one final very thin coat of epoxy before a final sanding and the LPU. I may just sand and move straight to LPU - it will depend on how much I have to take off to make the surface perfectly smooth. But, I'm sure happy with how it looks for now, and that I avoided a second round of disaster!

Denon Osterman
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Re: Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

Post by Denon Osterman » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:29 pm

This one's pretty quick...but I got the seats mocked in! I still need to fasten them down to the wooden backing, but at least you can get a sense of how they look. The front bench is too thick / tall, but otherwise I'm extremely happy with how they turned out!
IMG_20190610_170834.jpg
Importantly, the "lines" all line up. The exhaust, stringers, deck accents, and seat accents are all perfectly in line. I'm shocked I was able to pull this off with the sewing, but very happy I did. Shoutout to Sailrite for making this possible!
IMG_20190610_170821.jpg
Unfortunately I got overzealous on the thickness of the front bench. A desire for a cushier seat meant it ended up TOO tall...so I've taken it home and trimmed it down to be 4" like the rest of the cushions. In the pic it's nearly 7" and you can see it's notably higher than the rear one, and is actually too tall to fit the front backrest cushion. Oops.
IMG_20190610_180400.jpg

Denon Osterman
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Re: Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

Post by Denon Osterman » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:39 pm

Next up, the engine. This is the only time in the entire construction phase that I've used every single measurement tool so often. The angle finder, square, level, laser level, and tape measure all came out at least 10 times...but the engine is now perfectly centered and level side to side, and the exact distance and inclination needed front to back.

I used a glenwood 4 point mounting system because I think it looks gorgeous, is the strongest way to securely mount the motor, and Glen-L carries them. Installation is relatively simple once the engine itself is positioned, and BOY am I glad I had a foam block for that! Nothing like being able to lift the whole thing with one hand so you can shim a popsicle stick under one end to raise it a 16th of an inch :D
IMG_20190615_155918.jpg
With the engine itself perfectly located and the cross rails bolted tightly too it, I was able to drill and tap the "feet" to mount into the rails. I decided I wanted to fabricate some aluminium plate to spread the weight of the engine across the stringers, and act as super beefy washers. The idea is that the mounting legs themselves are bolted through a plate on each side of the stringer. Instead of the entire weight of the engine resting on just the feet clamped against some washers, there are now some beefy plates to share the load. With the help of some rubber pads to save the surface finish and a LOT of C clamps, I was able to secure the cross rails to the feet, the feet to the plates, and the plates to the stringers...and drill everything all at once.
IMG_20190615_162840.jpg
In addition to the aluminium plate, I also wanted to spread the load form the bolts themselves. Something about the entire engine weight resting on a few bolts 3/8" thick just didn't sit right. So I overbored all of the bolt holes to 5/8 and installed polypropylene tube. This spreads the bolt load over nearly double the area and provides a bit of cushioning. Polypropylene is a tough, durable, chemical / water/ fuel / solvent immune plastic that's perfect for the job and should absord the worst of the vibrations or knocks while spreading the bolt load through a much wider area. I also drilled two additional through holes at the top corners of the mounting plates as shown below. In total, I spread the clamping force over nearly 10 times the area, across 70% more fastener strength, which in turn was supported by almost 3 times as much "meat" in the stringers. Definitely makes me sleep easier at night in case I ever hit a rogue wave!
IMG_20190616_114825.jpg

Denon Osterman
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Re: Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

Post by Denon Osterman » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:49 pm

Last but not least, I had to completely clear out frame 1 for the oil pan. This worried the living $#@! out of me. "Let's hang a 700lb engine here, but then remove the one cross member holding everything together"...sounds like a great plan. But, I realized that the only thing the frame is doing between the stringers themselves is holding the stringers together, if that makes sense (stopping the "V" of the boat from flattening). And now I have two solid metal cross beams holding the stringers together on either side of that frame... so if anything, it will actually be much stronger once all is said and done.

Feeling much about my boat not failing at a critical area, I had to actually remove the frame, which was a bit difficult. Step one was to rough cut it with the hacksaw, hard to do because the stringers and keel prevent you from getting anywhere close to their edges. The below pic shows how close I was able to get with just sawing (and you can see just the feet and support plates for the engine mounts as well, as I was still drilling them through in this stage):
IMG_20190615_215127.jpg
Not looking forward to belt sanding the entire rest of the way or ripping things with the power planner, I decided to saw across the members as close as I could to the line and getting to work with the chisel. This proved to be quite effective on the bottom, nearly removing everything where there weren't screws, and worked decently well on the sides of the frame members as well (though not as well).

IMG_20190616_114831.jpg
Last but not least, the belt sander came out...and when all was said and done, it almost looks like it was meant to be! I need to reseal with epoxy, but I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out:

IMG_20190616_143227.jpg
Anyways, 5 posts later, that's finally it for this week. I am really trying to get back some balance after the past month so hopefully I'll be a bit better over the next month or two. This weekend the plan is start mounting the fuel tanks; finalize the bench mounting including rubber dampening; install all of the deck hardware like cleats, bow and stern eyes, and deck steps; mock in the engine accessories like oil coolers, sand strainer, etc; and mark the true waterline and sand off the transom's varnish to prep for painting and clear coating the boat in a few weeks. Whew, going to be a busy two days!

Cheers everyone,

-Denon

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mrintense
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Re: Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

Post by mrintense » Wed Jun 19, 2019 3:55 am

Wow Denon, that's a whirlwind of activity. Lot's of good stuff here and glad that the finishing work turned out like you wanted it too. Engine mounting looks like it's coming along and I sure can sympathize with your fear of cutting the frame out. I think this same fear in different forms leads people to overbuilding at times. I'm sure I've overbuilt some areas.

I agree with you on the Sailrite videos. It's funny but doing my upholstery is one of those things I am really looking forward to doing.

Thanks for the update and good luck with meeting your deadlines.
Carl
a.k.a. Clipper

Crafting a classically styled Vera Cruise

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

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hoodman
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Re: Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

Post by hoodman » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:34 am

That's a jet pump right? I didn't realize (or remember) you were going that route. Cool. I'm sure it is a little nerve-wracking to cut out that big chunk of framing.
Matt

Building a Geronimo......!
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Re: Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

Post by Gayle Brantuk » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:38 pm

Wow Denon, your tenacity is so impressive--especially for a young man, which as I recall you are :D Good for you! We are all very proud of you and appreciate that you've shared so much of your project with us. I love the cushions and I totally agree about the piping and that Sailrite rocks. I've used their videos too because I'm home decor DIY'er. I totally messed up on the seat cushion I tried for my bay window which had some funky angles, so kudos to you for your cushions--they look great!

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Re: Rampage update 2019 - Final year?!

Post by Denon Osterman » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:04 pm

Thanks for the kind words as always everyone :D

Carl, the whirlwind is just getting started. The next 3 weeks are going to be intense but I'm really looking forward to it! I'm definitely happy with how everything is coming along as well. The upholstery took some getting used to for sure but it was one of the most satisfying aspects of the whole project, especially since it was completely new to me and is something I now feel I've conquered, if that makes sense.

Matt, yes, it's a jet pump! The dock this boat will live at doesn't actually have enough draft to safely hold an inboard when the water gets a little low, and there's a maze of rocks to navigate, so being able to steer with a high degree of control in reverse was very important to me. Jets are also becoming exceedingly rare, at least in my neck of the woods - I might end up with the only one on my lake - and the rooster tail is just too cool for me to pass up! Cutting the huge chunk of hull out for the pump was scary to be sure, but at least it's a rectangle at right angles. To be honest, I think it would have been more of a mental challenge to do a prop shaft! Any gaps I made with this I could just fill with epoxy and fair down, so ultimately it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Gayle, thank you! That means a lot coming from you :) I'm actually planning on launching the Saturday after my 28th birthday - so I guess I skew a little to the younger demographic :D I started this project when I was 18 and while 10 years is a long time to work on a project it's been an incredible experience, and I wouldn't have been able to afford it otherwise. I am *very* thankful I've been able to save up for a few years towards the engine and finishing touches, and now have a real job (as opposed to tuition to pay) to get me through the last little bit. Boy, is clear coat expensive...

I'll try and split up my updates a little more evenly going forward given the amount of work I've got to do. Fingers crossed I don't start falling behind schedule.

Cheers,

-Denon

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