April 8, 2007

66 Days to go!

The cold has not been slowing down CMSS's momentum. We have been very busy (as always) and have a few exciting things to tell you.
We have fiberglassed in ribbing with great success. The ribs were placed in the rear half of the boat and were custom carved from foam and covered in fiberglass. The ribs have made the boat much more solid. The addition of rigid foam in the bow will further prevent the boat from twisting. After installing the ribs, we turned the boat over and turned to our old friend, Bondo. This bondo-ing was much more intense than the application on the foam plug because we were creating the actual outer surface of the boat. It had to be perfect, and that is what we did. Using our eagle eyes, and our incredible spackling skills, we made sure to cover and improve any blemish on the fiberglass. We then sanded the entire boat with three different grits of sandpaper to make it smoother than a baby's bottom. As I write this, primer is being sprayed on the hull and by week's end; the base coat of paint should be dry. It is quite something to see, and we are all very proud of what we have accomplished.
We see the finish line in the propulsion group. The mount is complete, the propellers are being ordered (and then will be tested to see which will work best), a mock transom has been constructed, and the lower unit is nearing a final design and construction. Marco and Will will be running some tests on the strength of PVC piping which will determine how we want to construct our lower unit. Mark Fuge has done numerous calculations regarding how to efficiently shape the transom for a flawless integration between the hull and propulsion system. Brian and Otto are finalizing the steering design. We will be ready to test our system by the time the hull is completed.
The power dissipater is done and will be used to cycle our batteries. The batteries need to be cycled to achieve the optimum efficiency. This will be done very carefully as we will be mixing high voltage/amperage and water.
We are nearing the end of the construction as you have read and hope to test the boat on a local lake after spring carnival. Moral is very high and excited to show off what we have done in all disciplines of this project.

and now, some pictures!

Will, Josh, and Lluis work on the gunnel and ribbing.

Some of the ribs in layed in the hull.

Hard working silhouettes

Mike, Will, and Josh keep a strict eye on the vacuum bagging for the ribs.

Andrew Moore applies the first primer layer to the fiberglassed hull while Will, Jen, and Riddh look on
Some might see this as a mess...
But really it is extra foam to be used later for floatation.

Kevin and Winston work together to get the needed wire for the power dissipater.

The finished product to be used to dissipate the batteries.

The mock transom with the lower unit

The 99% finished motor mount.

The start (motor) and finish (propeller) of the propulsion group.

Jen and Andrew being constructive while the primer dried.

Josh and Jen had a slight misunderstanding that turned violent. (Jen won of course!)

The variety of Bondo products used over the past weeks.

The hull after the first layer of primer (looks like chocolate right?)

The transom before priming, but after the various bondo layers.

The transom after adjustments were made to accomodate the motor mount.

A chocolate boat: mmm mmm, if only there was cookie dough inside...

Another long post, i know, but you must forgive me. I get really excited and can't stop typing!!
All the best,

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