Overblue – cruising houseboat/catamaran

>>> Overblue – cruising houseboat/catamaran

 

Somebody really looking “outside the box” on this one… neat looking, but different I think.

Overblue was designed in collaboration with the well established italian designer and architect Stefano Nolletti.

It is a result of long time experience and passion for boating as well as good analytical approach towards the market where the trend is showing that people today are seeking for comfort, safety, innovation, efficiency as well as adventure all combined in one product.

To enable that, we designed a yacht that offers all the comfort of modern home, is able to cruise in all conditions, is full of innovative solutions, easy to maintain, ecological and competitively priced.

 

Christmas time into the new years (2018)

Last installment, I think. Than we should be all caught up.

My older daughters came down in time to help me emplace the last bit of 1/4” paneling on the back of the cabin. They came down for Christmas but since I’m a bit of a scrooge, I like to say it’s to help on the boat.

We measured from the top of the plywood panels in the frame at the end of the cabin to the roof. Since I had one panel left we measured the width we needed as well and determined that we could do it out of one panel.

I ripped the panel down the middle to give us the width, however only the bottom was flat. The top of these panels that went against the roof were curved. We pondered a bit to determine how we could cut that curve accurately. My oldest daughter Samantha came up with a really brilliant idea. She said we could hold up the panel until it contacted the roof and trace out the curve directly onto the panel. We did just that and it worked beautifully, only having to plane or sand it to get a perfect fit. We than proceeded to use epoxy and construction adhesive as well as screws to permanently affix both panels.

Holiday 2017 Building Installment 2:

Late December 2017

As Promised this is installment 2.

It got mighty cold around here! I’m talking like in the teens during the day as a high!

This meant it was all heaters on deck inside the shop as well as time to man all heat lamps.

I was able to keep the epoxy and the work surfaces at 55 degrees which is the cut off temp for my epoxy. Verifying this was done with my infrared thermometer.

I figured I would start at the back and work forwards as it would take almost 2 full sheets to go across the cabin. Also starting at the back meant that the amount of faring to be done would be forward on the sheet that did not need to be as long. Thus it would make it easier to emplace the sheet, trace and trim and refit it to the shape of the forward part of the cabin. Using my Locktite construction adhesive, spread it along the cabin studs before screwing the sheet to the studs. I was able to get the big sheets on the studs and affixed permanently with only slight hassle. However there was a bit of a gap at the bottom of the sheets of plywood along the sheer almost the entire length of the cabin. This is because the cabin walls were taller than 4’. The gap was about six inch’s at its tallest point in the back but tapered with the sheer towards the bow.

The solution I came up with was to use the left over scrap from the parts of ¼” ply used at the front of the cabin and cut them into strips about 6” wide. These 4’ long strips I would than scarph to the remaining length. The next day after it had hardened, I placed the much longer strips now against the cabin. They fit great at the stern, so cool. After securing them I went inside the boat to trace the line at on the strips that would give me the outline needed to trim them. With only minor inconvenience and difficulty, the strips were cut, planned, sanded fit and attached. Since they are going to be at the bottom of the cabin I decided to use epoxy.

Now the port and starboard sides were completely roughed in, next would be the back panels which would effectively rough in the cabin.

Holiday season building Installment 1

Early December 2017

Ahoy everyone,

Once again I know I am playing catchup in getting the details of the progress out to you guys.

It seems like putting the raters up and trimming the studs happened eons ago. Much more progress has happened since then.

The next stop after the cabin was framed was installing the roof. For this I used four 4×8 sheets of ½” pressure treated plywood. I figured I could use the middle rafter as the point that the fore and after sheets met. Yet for the middle I was perplexed. I didn’t want a beam running fore to aft as that would maybe cut down on headroom. It would also add a lot of weight to the top of the boat and I did not like that prospect much at all. So I figured I would create a 6” scarph joint down the sides of the plywood. Thus getting out my trusty planers and belt sander I got to work. Once that was done I figured the next day I would be able to lift them onto the roof.

Wow, did I underestimate how much of a pain getting those plywood sheets on the roof was going to be. My wife was busy doing something and she said that she could not help me until later. Yet me being the ever impatient one (I like building this boat but I really want to use it.), I decided I could just muscle those plywood babies up there on my lonesome. I figured what I would do is just prop up the sheets on the transom of the boat, get in on the fantail and overhand-head heave those sheets up to the roof. What I did not expect was that the angle I needed to avoid the rafters of the shop was pretty drastic. I therefore had neck craned back to watch as I lifted. After several attempts of lift, set back down and lift again; I finally got it. Boy was I sure happy when that was done! My shoulders, back and arms killed me the next day.

The following day, my wife planned on coming out to the shop with me to help me affix the roof permanently with epoxy and glue. Before she came out however, I had to figure out how to “clamp” the scarphed edges together. I decided that I would screw a board on the underside of the exposed panel and screw a 2 ½” screw through the top panel. This would hold the panels together while the epoxy hardened. With a plan made, we got to work. First step was lifting up the panels off the rafters so we could apply glue to them. Once that was done and the panels were ready for their scarphs to be epoxied, I headed up to the roof. I had my very capable wife do the mixing of the epoxy and fillers and handing me up the can. I liberally applied the gooey stickum to the inside of the scarphs and began drilling the screws. The screws and board clamp seemed to work out well as we obtained a uniform thickness down the middle of the roof (more or less).

Since I have a lot to catch you up on. I will be doing this update in installments. What happens next is getting the walls up to complete the roughing in of the cabin.

Rafters and Stud trimming

25-56 November 2017:

Ahoy everyone!

I hope that everybody had a great Thanksgiving holiday! We were traveling for ours; which to be honest I never like to do. Yet everyone seemed to have a good time so that is what is important.

In the Yard, it was time to get those rafters installed and trim the cabin posts. So on Saturday, my best friend Tony came out to give me a hand aligning, cutting, screwing and gluing the rafters. We started by figuring out the center of each rafter as well as just how much to trim from each side so that the apex of the curve remained centerline. That took a lot of measure, cut, fit, re-measure, recut and refit. However it worked out rather well as we were able to get each and every unique spot on the cabin requiring a rafter fitted. After the myriad of cutting and fitting, it was time to mix up some epoxy and permanently attach these things. It worked out real well save one amidships on the port side. While screwing it, the front part of the bracket split. Requiring a repair of copious amounts of epoxy.

The next day it was just me on my lonesome for the most part as I scaled the side of the boat via ladder to cut all the cabin posts to their required height and shape. I figured I would start with those that actually had rafters and brackets on them. I think could use a batten (a shipwrights mainstay) and trace the outline of the roof curvature on the empty studs. This worked out brilliantly albeit extremely laborious and time consuming. The forward part of the cabin that actually juts out and holds the front door gave me a quandary. I ultimately decided since I had a spare rafter that I would cut a piece out of the middles at the correct size. I figured this out by measuring the overall distance of the rafter and dividing it by two; giving me a mid-point. I than went over to the posts between the door that were affixed to Frame C and measured the distance at between them at the frame. I than divided that measurement by two and on the rafter measured that half measurement from my mid-point mark port and starboard. It was cut and fit and checked to ensure that its roof curvature matched up with the one directly behind it. It did so we glued and screwed it into position. I had my wife come help me while we were fitting so one could hold while the other used levels, or clamps to ensure a correct fit.

Next up on the list is to figure out how to connect that forward door frame to the rest of the cabin studs. Once that is done (which I am sure will prove difficult), I will begin the process of laying the cabin roof. Although I may do the exterior walls first, I have not yet fully committed to either.

Tying in the Cabin studs and prepping for the Roof.

19 November 2017

Well as I stated in my last post, work on the cabin has commenced.

Of course since I am new at this boat building thing, I started with making an error. I wanted to tie all the cabin studs together in an effort to get the rectangular shape of the cabin. I figured the best way to do this at first was to use small pieces of timber cut to the exact length between the studs along the sheer. Once they were cut I would glue and screw them in between the cabin studs so that the port and starboard sides of the cabin were for the most part plum. What a bloody nightmare and effort in futility that turned out to be! I found that it was like trying to stack jinga blocks while people were playing. None turned out exactly on their marks as to where they needed to be. I therefore thought to myself that there must be an easier way to do this that would also provide better results.

The idea that I came up with to solve this problem was to scarf scrap pieces of 2×4 that I had ripped to make the studs into long pieces that spanned the cabin length. Once those dried I went ahead and cut notches into each and every cabin stud at the top right under the overall cabin height marks. Using the timbers I had scarfed as a guide. I outlined the exact area of the notches on the frames as well as their corresponding spots of the scarfed timbers so I could match them up again. Using my handy sonic crafter oscillating tool, I cut the notches in each of the studs. While this required a bit of leaning, twisting and almost all the work was done overhead; the end product produced far better results. I still used the distance along the sheer between the studs to get my measurements; once emplaced the result was no doubt far superior. The timbers holding the cabin sides plum were glued and screwed in place in their notches.

The next day I decided that I would work on fixing the roof brackets to their areas on the pre-identified studs. The roof will be held up with 1×6’s on cut brackets at the forward, midships and aft portions of the cabin. These 1×6’s were shaped to the exact curvature of the roof using my saws and an electric planer before being sanded uniformly. Once the brackets are emplaced on their studs, I will cut the roof frames or rafters so that they fit. The brackets themselves are once again repurposed scrap pieces of the 1×6’s about 9 inches square that I cut at a 45 degree angle. Some planning needed to be done to them so that they would sit flush and plum on the studs.

My wife came out to help me mock up the brackets. This required her holding them on their marks while I pre-drilled and screwed them in place to ensure they sat the way we needed them too. Once that was done (and a bit of an ordeal it was), I mixed up a batch of thickened epoxy and we permanently attached them.

Since it is beginning to get a bit chilly, I used my heat lamps on three of them not near an immediate heat source to ensure the epoxy stayed at its required working temp.

Up next is to attach the roof frames or rafters to their brackets. Hopefully this will be a bit easier than the other work that has been done on the cabin so far. I somehow doubt it lol!