Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: Dudley Dix / Didi 26
A couple quick thoughts here:
I am a big proponent of being organized in tracking information as you are building any project. One of the things that I recommend to anyone building a boat is to keep a log (preferably electronic but hand written works as well) with various sections in it.
One of those sections should be questions and answers. As you develop questions, record them in the log, with references to the drawing if applicable. As you get answers, record them.
I would draft a sequence of construction, although I think I recall that Dudley actually may provide that with the packet. But as you look at the sequence, it is helpful to try to insert milestones when items need to be purchased in order to have the tools, parts, and materials on site and ready when you get to that step. I would also carefully consider how and where you will store completed parts. (I once designed a trimaran for a fellow who built it in a ground floor apartment. The outer hulls were built first and stacked in a hallway to the kitchen with their beam set by the width of the hallway. The main hull was built last diagonally across the living room with the length and beam of the main hull designed with the longest length and width that could be rotated and taken out the door.)
Similarly I would keep a log of 'open items'. This is intended to remind you of tasks that need to be completed. For instance, you might have time to prime and get a first coat of paint inside a locker, but never got the final coat(s) of paint on that area. You log that as an open item so you don't forget that still has to be done. Similarly, when I use bed hardware using sealants that are not butyl (I have become a big fan of butyl), I install the item and do not fully torque down the bolts until the sealant has cured. I would record in the log those pieces of hardware that need to have the fastenings given a final torqued, and then check them off as they are completed.
I would keep a log of immediately needed items by which I mean items needed in the next week or two, thereby being able to group purchases to minimize shipping.
I would also keep a longer term shopping list broken down by task. There is no point in buying things too early and have them lying about to be in the way, or get lost or damaged. But for example, you might have a line item in your long term shopping list which is something like 'installing the sink'. There you might indicate a milestone at which everything needs to be ordered and list all the materials, parts and tools required, such as the sink, hoses, faucet, pump, seacock, hose clamps, thread tape, sealants, hole saws, backing plates and everything else that you will need to do that task. You put that list together by thinking through each step of the process. This also is a chance to think about the tools that you are likely to need, and at what point in the construction would be best to do each piece of the work. In other words, in that example, it may make sense to install the seacock before installing the counter top, or before doing the final cabinet installation.
Lastly I would keep all receipts, if only tossing them into a box for future filing. It is my understanding that some states will accept the proof of tax paid on purchased parts in lieu of paying a tax on the boat when you register it. You will need to check that for your state.
As to your questions, I think that ordering the boat in kit form is a good idea. While it saves construction time, more importantly it insures that the boat is more precisely constructed.
While I have used and basically like West System products, and the Gougeon Brothers are heroes of mine, the professionals that I know who have done glued wood and saturated wood construction professionally have been big fans of MAS epoxy products. The claim that the MAS products minimize the amine blush issues of most epoxies, and that MAS products are less likely to cause allergic reactions. This is second hand information, but it came from several people who I consider reliable sources.
I have just looked into the synthetic rigging issue for tdw. Frankly, I only spoke with one rigger at this point, but he believes that synthetic rigging is in its infancy and still has issues with UV degradation and chafe that result in a much shorter reliable lifespan than SS wire. His position is that synthetic standing rigging only has a place on race boats. That may change as the materials are getting better but that was his point for now.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay