Monday, September 24, 2018

Rear Wing is On

It has been super hot here the last few days - so hot that I did not want to do any epoxy work knowing I'd have very little working time.  Once the sun started getting low, the kids and I got the rear wing on the surf foil yesterday evening.

There is still work to be done before this goes into the water - sanding, filling in pukas along these last two joints, sanding that work down, applying a fill coat of epoxy, sanding that down, and spray painting it flat black.  I also have to modify the light wind kiteboard with the tracks.  If I'm diligent, all this should actually be done before next weekend...  For now, I'll just sit in the glow of knowing this got built and it looks halfway decent.

WIndsurfing 101

Marlon (and Noe a little bit) have been asking if I would teach them how to kitesurf.  I said 'not yet, but I'll teach you to windsurf and if you can do that independently, then I'll start to train you to kitesurf'.  They were actually more excited by that prospect than the original request.  I found an old Naish Kailua on Craigslist and we finally had the time to start lessons this past Saturday afternoon.  Originally I was going to take everyone to Kailua Beach Park, but La suggested we

Have I mentioned "We LOVE this truck!!!"?

The kids already knew most of the terminology and parts from sailing.  I only had to elaborate on the small things (downhaul and outhaul being a little different, and an uphaul not on other boats).

Both kids got the sail uphauled and were able to sail around.  And with a SUP I could stay relatively close and coach.

This sail (unfortunately my smallest) is just a hair too big for Noe, but she still handled it like a champ.  Next lesson is more practice on uphauling, foot positioning, hand movements to control the sail and tacking.  The neat thing about this... I learned here too - nearly 20 years ago.

Saturday September 22, 2018 Dawn Patrol

The wind was up.  Not so bad to blow the surf out, but enough to put a chop on it.  Size was decent, but the tide was a little full and prevented the waves from really breaking.  I took the ULI GLX out and Marlon surfed the longboard with the banana fin again (he really likes the 'drift' he gets from the fin).

Fun day regardless!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Front Wing is On

Got the front wing mounted before the sun set today.

0.7 ounces of epoxy and 5 spoons of milled fibers.  Wasn't quite enough mix to pack the back void, but we'll mix more tomorrow for the rear wing - which is smaller, so we'll have more to fill the void and fair it in.

So here is where I deviated from the Clearwater Hydrofoil instructions - Marlon and I choose to attach each wing separately instead of in a single step.  Less time pressure to get everything glassed up (we're using Fiberglass Hawaii Two Part Slow - but with the Ewa Beach heat in the garage, the slow starts to cure very quickly - even faster than fast in normal temperatures)

This was actually pretty easy.  Three layers of 4 ounce cloth on each side with a single 4 ounce piece bridging the span.

Looks pretty straight and square.

Tomorrow will be a light sanding on this joint, then shifting over to the rear wing.  The glass is already cut for tomorrow's work (on top of the wing to the left of the picture).  It's coming together and taking our time has produced great results so far.  Up next since this project is getting close - shaping the two foil boards...

Monday, September 17, 2018

Sunday Dawn Patrol - September 16, 2018

Or not so dawn patrol - I woke up late and we left even later because we took some time to switch out the fins on our surfboards.  I opted for a Greenough Stage 6 and Marlon went for a smaller banana fin.  Marlon was not happy with the water quality - it was noticeably acrid and there were protein bubbles everywhere - so we only stayed for about 45 minutes.

This Stage 6 seemed really sticky to me - not as fluid as the 8.5" flex fin I've been using for a while now.  

I went ahead and swapped out the Stage 6 for a 9.5" Stage 4C.  More of a conventional fin, with more surface area than the flex fin - we'll see next time if this one feels better than the flex.

Mast to Fuselage Join

We got the mast-mounting plate assembly attached to the fuselage on Saturday.  Constantly checking for vertical alignment, but the results look good.

In theory, this was supposed to be the hardest part of the assembly.  I'll clean up the joint this afternoon when I get home from work (it's Monday - the weekend got away from me since these pictures were from Saturday...).  Then we'll see if we can get the wings epoxied on to the fuselage.

Saturday Dawn Patrol - September 15, 2018

The tide was really full which dampened the breaking waves, and the wind was up - but it was still good fun!  Lots of opportunity to convert speed into pure torque!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Garage Works - September 13, 2018

Got the board shaping racks put together.  Still need to cut up some carpet and tack it on, get the sand/buckets and do a little sanding.  The two blanks are sitting and waiting for these to get finished.

I got the fiberglass squares cut out for the mast-fuselage joint.  The table is setup for the epoxy work - will try and get this part done soon.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Bouncing Around In My Cranial Space

Here is something I've been trying to research - a Windsurfing/Surfing (SUP) Foilboard.

Wide for stability while paddling and reduced swing weight and windage.  We'll see if this ever rises to the top of the to-do list, but at least it is out of my head and down on paper (virtually).

I've Been Looking for this for YEARS!!!

I have finally found the holy grail of shaping accessories - a 10" jigsaw blade!!!

Just look at it!  It is magnificent!!! 

It makes a normal blade seem like a toothpick!!!

Cutting out a blank was fine with a regular jigsaw as long as the blank thickness wasn't over 2.75" or so.  Even then, chances were you would have to make some passes with a hand saw.  

As I've gotten older, I prefer my boards to have meat on them so that meant I'd have to cut the templated blank with a hand saw.  That's fine, but it takes time and it is challenging to keep the blade straight up and down as you cut curved lines over long distances.  This is a 5.5" thick blank and this blade changes everything...

No issues at all - I wish this was available 10 years ago...

Both blanks were trimmed in 20 minutes - that is start to complete finish including cleanup -  unbelievable!  I know these days with CNC routers and CAD this is not really relevant, but for garage hand building this greatly speeds up the process by enhancing the consistency up front.  Not having to correct cut errors through the entire shaping process is big.  Mahalo nui loa Bosch or whoever thought this blade needed to come to market!!!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Moving Forward Again on the Surf Hydrofoil

I've been walking past this project for a bit now - coming up with every excuse why not to work on it.  "It's too hot", "I'm really tired", "there is surf to be ridden" are the most popular ones.  But yesterday, after knocking out a bunch of errands from the to do list, I finally got back to work.  I cleaned up the mast-mounting plate joint, exposed the bad glassing areas and filled the voids with epoxy and milled fibers.  I was able to sand that down also (since the weather really was hot) and got the mast-fuselage joining operation bouncing around in my head.

Next I also templated out the blanks.  Here is the 5'2" (combo kitefoil and prone surf foilboard)

The old fashioned way of doing this - nowadays it is a computer that scans the blank and controls a router to carve out the board.

And here is the 5'6" prone foilboard

And as the sun started setting on a really fun and relaxing weekend, I went ahead and routed out the divynicell blocks so the mast track boxes can be prepped and epoxied in place.

So three simultaneous projects going on to get a foil and foilboard in place.  It may seem like a lot of work and effort to avoid a $2500 pay to play fee, but really it is more about having the satisfaction of being able to make something with your own two hands and make it all rip in the surf!!!  There are very few feelings of accomplishment that can top that!

Sunday Dawn Patrol - September 9, 2018

We went on the dawn patrol again yesterday.  It is still down right hot and humid, but you can sense fall conditions are starting to come around.  The sun is moving southward and first light is coming just a little later every morning.  I mention all this because the water was a little less warm jumping in.  I took the Starboard Element SUP out and Marlon took the longboard.  No wind so the faces were really glassy.  The swell seemed about the same as Saturday, but bigger on the sets.

The GoPro had the field of view on narrow so these pictures suck - but filler they are no matter how bad they suck.  Lesson learned - verify your settings are good to go before paddling out.