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The Valdivia Schooner R/C Sailboat - Building Diary Page 1


7/1/04 - Kit arrives from Gold Coast Hobby:  (yippee!)

7/2/04 - Worked like a dog installing new electrical outlets in the basement, so I could rearrange things and setup my new work area for the boat!

7/3/04 - Rushed to Emergency Room, severe Kidney Stones (Arrgh!)

8/28/04 - Finally starting to build - Bow reinforcement and power module (motor) installation. FYI: Watch the details, even at this early stage. I found that after I had securely glued the prop shaft in place, that the prop blades barely cleared the hull overhang. Had to add some washers to the end of the shaft just to get a little clearance.

8/31/04 - Rudder installation:

9/3/04 - Ballast install pt.1 - I'm supposed to cut one of those lead bars and shape a piece of it, but I'm still looking around the house for a blade that will cut it.

9/4/04 - Reorganized the work-area some. It's changed a bit since the first picture.

9/5/04 - Ballast install pt.2 - went after the lead bar with a hacksaw and my Dremel.  I found out later I should have done a better job aligning these.

9/6/04 - Deck foundation

9/7/04 - Temporarily bolting deck to hull, to measure placement of the mast steps (footers) that rest on top of the keel ballast.

9/9/04 - Secured the mast steps, reinforced the ballast-to-hull connections, added battery holder, and started shaping the channels (see picture). The mast steps show my effort to overcome a mistake I made in the lead ballast placement. The steps are suppose to fit around the top of the ballast bars, so that when it comes to aligning the masts, I should only have to slide them back and forth. But the glue dried too fast and I got the bars angled crossways. I had to rearrange things with extra wood to align them correctly.

9/11/04 - Completed shaping the aluminum channels (the anchors for the mast stays), and it was NOT easy.  I was suppose to hammer the channels to introduce a slight warp to them for a tighter fit against the hull, so I used the steel support beam in the basement for my anvil, made the whole house ring, the family was not amused. :)

9/12/04 - Planking the deck, this is not starting off well. I'm trying to figure a method for laying the planks and very thin plastic strips that simulate chalking with what is essentially fast drying super glue.

9/16/04 - Planking the deck, Still trying to get started. Having a tough time deciphering the meaning behind some of the steps in the manuals. The outer strake is a single long mahogany piece, which snapped in two places the first time I tried to bend it along the curve of the deck.  This time I soaked the two remaining long strakes I had, and clamped them in place to dry in the correct shape. Once they are glued, I can start on the teak planks.

9/18/04 - Planking the deck. Ok, I seem to have had a break through. I was pulling my hair out because it seemed I couldn't get started correctly for the deck layout.  Then I realized that the photographed examples in the manual didn't exactly match up with the pattern drawings in the manual.  After that I was able to get a start on it, but the decking is still going to take awhile.

9/19/04 - Planking, with yesterday and today you are looking at 6.5 hours work for what is visible. I imagine things will speed up once I'm past these notches an onto some straight pieces.

9/21/04 - 10/7/04:  Planking, I hit a fast spot. with no trimming of the planks, but it still takes awhile putting those plastic caulking strips on.

10/8/04 - OK, done planking! I get to move on to sanding and waxing next.

10/10/04 - After using a small electric hand sander with 280 grit, I applied a Teak Oil Finishing solution.