Monday, October 29, 2018

Evening Surf Session - 10/28/2018

Marlon and I were out most of the day running errands - haircut, music practice, groceries, clean up around the house - but before the afternoon slipped away, we headed to the beach to grab some of the last remaining energy coming up from the South Pacific.

I brought out the longboard thinking the swell would have backed off, but yet again I was proven wrong.  Marlon even said the waves were bigger than Saturday's session.  I managed to snag a few really good sized waves - just overhead - and they were awesome!!! Top to bottom turns and running right walls -

The other notable thing about yesterday's session was that it was really cloudy.  I didn't even see the sunset - the day just kinda faded out.  Hopefully there is still some swell to be ridden at White Plains, but taking a moment to reflect on this past year - this has been a really good year for surfing!

Hanging Out on the Log

I took Marlon to orchestra practice yesterday and had a few hours to burn.  I drove over to Kailua to check out what was going on. 

There were a few kiters out on foils and a couple of windsurfers (also on foils).  The wind was marginal - maybe 10 kts.

There are a few logs set out at the western side of the beach park - a place where people have sat and checked out the conditions or taken in the jumps the kiters were making.  The logs are timeless.

I took pictures of the boards when the riders came back onto the beach.  The foils aren't too different size wise from the one I finished building... hmmmm

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Saturday Evening Session - 10/27/2018

Marlon and I hit the surf this afternoon.  Nice sized late season swell hitting.  I brought out the longboard and got some great rides.  I could have brought the shortboard out - the waves were that good.  If the swell holds, I'll likely repeat tomorrow evening -

Friday Evening Session - 10/26/2018

To rinse off the week, I took out the foil.  Second session out and the shims seemed to make paddling easier.  I caught three.  I got up and rode for a few seconds on the first one.  I got up on the second one and I got thrown pretty quickly.  The three one I stayed prone and I never lifted up.  This last ride is making me think this foil is really too small for me.  The span is 25.5" tip to tip.  I'm thinking the next one I put together should be 29.5".

I also wore my neoprene cheater top - saved my belly from being rubbed raw. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Bottoms Spackled

I got the bottom decks of both blanks spackled yesterday afternoon.  Here's the "before" picture:

Those voids are EPS beads that got pulled out during the shaping process (the small block plane I have isn't narrow enough to trim down the stringer without causing this type of collateral damage).  The spackle helps fill the voids back in and also helps close up the smaller voids along the rest of the deck.  This process helps keep the epoxy from being sucked out of the fiberglass during lamination resulting in a lighter board with the epoxy out in the outer layers where it works best.  For future reference (to myself), 2.80 ounces total - 2.15 ounces of spackle and 0.65 ounces of water was enough for both bottom decks.

I'll try and get the top decks spackled today after work.  That leaves printing out labels, sanding the blanks again with a fine screen, building the brackets and PVC racks for glassing, and then psyching myself up for glassing (my least favorite part of making boards - darn air bubbles...).  I also have to set in the mast track boxes in the d-cell reinforcement blocks with epoxy and microballoons, then open up the boards where the blocks will go in, install the blocks, place a cap sheet, install a leash plug and vent, then clean up the installs, fill coat the whole board and do a final sanding to fair everything in.  Yup - the easy part is done...

Sunday, October 21, 2018

And Fine Sanding Done

I got back from towing the boats back to Rainbow Bay Marina and I figured I'd get the fine sanding done.  I hit both boards with 80, 120 and 180 screens.  Stacked up you can see the 5'2" has more nose rocker than the 5'6".  This was more from the blank (recall the original was an 11'2" that I split)

I do not anticipate this will be an issue - with the shorter overall length (smaller sweet spot for balancing), the nose rocker can only help.  The rails are really sharp up to the last third of the board towards the nose, and from there up they transition quickly to 50/50.

Next step is mixing up some diluted spackle and filling in the remaining voids (EPS cells that came loose) - top and bottom.  A light sanding after that and these boards will be ready for glassing - yes I decided to glass first, then install the track boxes.  I have to install the leash plug anyways so the post glassing should be fine (and it's the only way I've actually done this before).  I'll throw a carbon cap sheet on top of the boxes so the small increase in thickness there will be imperceptible.

Weekend Regattaing

Marlon and Noe both sailed in races this weekend.  Marlon sailed on Saturday and Noe sailed both Saturday and Sunday.  Noe got 2nd on Saturday and a 3rd today, and Marlon got a 3rd yesterday.

I towed on Saturday out to Kaneohe and back again today.  I like towing.  And I like helping to make sure these kids (all of them at Pearl Harbor Yacht Club) get to sail.

Have I said I love this truck????

Hydrofoil Shimmed Up

With the surf really pumping, I haven't had the inclination to take this out again - but I did get it shimmed up so it should work better than the last time I had it out.

I had to use 60mm M8 bolts... And this is the real reason I'm trying to get the new dedicated foil boards finished.

Coarse Sanding Done - 5'2"

And here is the 5'2" getting sanded.  Surform was first, followed by Dragon skin, 60 grit screen, and lastly 80 grit screen wrapped around a foam block.  Block plane to shave down the stringer a few times during the process.

I will probably try and get the fine sanding done later this afternoon - that way I can just get to glassing the boards.

This one looks like it is going to be exceptionally fun!

Coarse Sanding Done - 5'6"

I was able to get the coarse sanding done on both foil boards this morning.  Here are pictures of the 5'6" all sanding down.

Still have to get the fine sanding done.  I am also debating whether to drop in the reinforcement blocks first, or laminate the decks then go back and drop them into place.  I'm leaning towards the latter - easier lamination and I can slap on a carbon patch without the urgency required if it were all placed at once.

I had the GoPro setup to take some time lapse shots (the kids weren't with me today - La took them to their activities and she let me have the time to knock this project out * Thanks La!!!).

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Been a Long Time Since I Mowed Foam

The kids were sailing in a regatta today and they were going to a marching band event afterwards.  I helped tow their boats over to Kaneohe then came back home to work on some stuff.  First thing I did was get the shimming of the hydrofoil on the light wind kiteboard done (I think the misalignment was one reason for the difficulty I was having on the foil - lift was generated unless the angle of attack was positive; the alignment had it negative from the get go).  After that I put the carpet strips on the shaping racks.  Then I dug out the long vacuum hose I use with the Hitachi planer.  That set the next 3 hours in motion.  I set to mowing all the excess foam off of the foilboard blanks.  I emptied the vacuum three times and it filled one of the trash bags that we use in the house.  Here are pictures of the 5'6" after the mowing job.

You can see the garbage bag full of grinded off foam just below the nose of the board.

And here is the rocker profile for both the 5'6" (top) and 5'2" (bottom).

These went pretty fast since there really isn't much shaping to these.  Mostly flat rocker throughout (with some nose rocker to make paddling easier).  Super thick everywhere and sharp squared off rails for paddling power.  Of course this is just the rough shaping.  I'll have to fair in the rails, smooth out the top and bottom decks, sand everything down and then install the reinforcement blocks for the mast tracks (used to mount the foil).

I might be able to get the fairing and sanding done tomorrow.  I might also be able to get the voids cut out for the reinforcement blocks.

These are important to finish as the flat tail rocker is key to mounting the foil (without shims) and the extra thickness should make catching waves easier.  If I keep pecking away at them, I think I could be glassing them by next weekend, and riding them by the following weekend.  That's the plan anyways.

Also - there is a late season SSW swell hitting.  Marlon and I got on it yesterday afternoon and it was about shoulder high.  I paddled out late this afternoon (to rinse off the garage sweat and foam mowing grunge) and I took off on a few overhead waves.  I love living here!

Monday, October 15, 2018

First Test Run

Marlon and I took turns trying out the foil this past Saturday afternoon.  There is definitely a learning curve associated with this...

First - I need longer screws to properly shim the foil to correct for the tail rocker on the board.  It was not impossible to catch waves and get the foil to lift, but if shimmed better, I think it'll be much easier.

Here's a picture of  Marlon catching a wave and just before the foil lifted him up.  I caught four waves and my longest ride was about 4 seconds.  There is no forgiveness if you do not stay centered on the board or if you lighten up pressure on your front foot.  Either of these happen and the board bucks you straight off.

I may go ahead and crank out a dedicated foil board as I can carve out the time - I think with more paddling power and a much straighter rocker (like minimal nose rocker and nothing else), learning will be easier.  All said and done, not a bad first outting.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

More Closer Pics

Being this close to the finish line, I feel compelled to get these two projects completed.  After work yesterday, I got the boxes covered up, protective cover laminated and the box slots cleaned up.

I also got the fill coat applied on to the foil.  I still have to sand off the excess fill and paint the foil, but that should not take too long. 

We should be able to try this thing out by the weekend for sure.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Foilboard Getting Closer

Got of lot of things done this weekend.  Helped out some plant people, got the yard work done, rearranged the garage to make better use of the space, and got some work done on the foil board conversion and foil.

The donor board is a light wind kiteboard I made a while back.  I've used it a few times over the years, but as I have been getting the hydrofoil built, I figured doing the conversion would be the quickest way to getting everything wet.  I still have to do a light sand to knock down any high points, tape up all three boxes (middle one is for a tall fin in kiting mode - but it'll need to be taped up again), apply a cap sheet of carbon and fiberglass, and then clean up around the box slots.  All said and done - I should be able to get the foil and the board in the water this coming weekend.  I still think I am too heavy for this foil - I'll start work on another with larger wings soon after this one is done.  not to mention I have two blanks waiting to be carved and a bunch of foam billets also waiting to be transformed into science experiments (literally - upcoming Lacy Veach Day of Discovery).

I opted to not use divynicell blocks in this board as the flanges are pretty wide and should be able to distribute the forces better than a straight chinook box would.  But just to be sure, I did put a slice of carbon fiber beneath the box.  For future reference, I used 1.75 ounces of epoxy for each of these longboard boxes.

Also - you can see the stack of reinforcement blocks I trimmed up.  I've got enough reinforcement blocks to make a total of five boards capable of supporting a foil or some mix with mast tracks and foils (I am starting to think about shaping a windsurf foil board that would double as a SUP foil board).

Lastly - since I didn't take any pictures this weekend of the surf, I'll just mention the sessions here.  Dawn Patrol on Saturday morning.  Fun waves but for some reason they were hard to catch.  Got some decent rides regardless.  Sunday evening glass off session.  I changed out the Greenough 4C 9.5" fin for a 9" Josh Faberow Flex - I love the new combo!  I can feel the fin flex when I turn and it has the right amount of hold.  The GL Flex 8.5" had the flex I wanted, but the size was a hair on the small side, especially when I needed to do a hard bottom turn - this Josh Faberow is perfect for my weight and surfing.