Part three; Bulding the Daedalus

Build Logs of single hulled boats
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Part three; Bulding the Daedalus

Post by capt.fred »

Draft copy 12/15/15

Chapter Twelve
1974 thru 1977 Part two (Building and launching the Daedalus)

The Lay-up: If you are interested, this part is for you. If not, then please skip to somewhere further on, because I’m basically just reminiscing about all this. Laying up a fiberglass hull that extended out 45 feet was a feat. I will call the DAEDALUS 50 feet because of all the overhangs and booms that stick out. That is what I was charged in fees at most docks. Yes 50 feet 23 tons overall.

It is a coincidence that the boat took a total of 23 each 55 gallon drums of resin, 23 rolls of 1 ½ oz. matt and 23 rolls of 12 oz. roving. 17 drums of resin were polyester and 6 drums were Epon epoxy. Well 1st you cut a pile of 30 inch wide X 60 inch long sections of matt and a separate pile of roving with a razor knife on a sheet of plywood. Don’t waste your time with a scissor.

BTW, coincidence # 2 that one double layer of fabric around the whole hull required one drum of resin, one roll of matt and one roll of roving. Also one 30X60 double layer, 1 matt, 1 roving, required one gallon of resin.

Here’s a major problem in manufactured boats. Many fiberglass boats had what were known as air bubbles in the lay up, I had none. These bubbles sometimes showed up years later and were a torture to the industry and very expensive to remove. They were unnecessary. They were simply caused by the rolling on the resin, while wetting down the fabric. Practically the whole fiberglass boat building industry was doing it. I thought that when that resin set up those tiny air bubbles that were almost invisible, would expand and be concealed by the next double layer of chopped matt and roving.

Starting at the top edge of the mold, (gunnel or coaming) when I hand laid my hull, I just slightly wet the mold, laid the 30X60 matt down, then totally wet the matt, sloshing it liberally on with a brush, then laid the roving over the matt, wet as necessary and then I just squeejee’d all the bubbles out and the excess resin flowed with matt particles to the bottom of the mold (hull). I lapped the next section about 6 inches and repeated that around the entire mould until the entire mould was coated with a double layer that were all lapped about 6 inches. Now I had a hull 1/8 inch thick in the field and ¼ inch thick at the 6 inch laps. I continued that process around the mould until I had a substantially thick hull, able to be run aground on the rocks, because after all that ocean sailing reading, I realized that I was “Chicken Of The Sea” and I was.

I just wanted you to sense the effort that went into just the bare beginning of that boat. One had to be very driven. I hardly took a day off. And slowly a beautiful hand crafted ship materialized. Many people walk away from their projects and many took time off, but taking time off turned a 30 month project into a 15 year project and I still had that Island of Inagua in my mind. Maybe not that particular exact Island, but that adventure lay before us. That is what Carol and I felt we wanted.

By mid 1977, we were ready to launch. Boat slips in Santa Barbara were very hard to come by and we were on a waiting list and our number was coming up, we had to launch. The City rules were, your registered boat had to ready be put in the slip within a very short window of time, once your number came up. No ifs or buts, we made arrangements with a boat mover in Los Angeles and he kept saying he would come up this week, then next on and on.

A couple weeks before the boat launcher finally showed, we saw smoke on the horizon south and day after day the great Santa Barbara fire came closer and closer. No mover and those propane gas storage tanks were a real concern. Hundreds and hundreds of homes were burning and the eucalyptus trees, because they were so oily would just explode out in front of the wind driven flames over hill after hill, we were getting covered with ashes. We removed some stuff, but we just resigned to our fate. At some point I felt a cool breeze on the back of my neck and the steady wind rapidly changed direction and the fire raged up some adjacent hill and we were spared.

After some to do, we were launched, but we lost our boat slip, due to timing. Slip fees in the visitor slip were exorbitant. We decided to go back to San Francisco. We Launched on August 23, 1977. Carol finished her 3rd year in December 1977. The University was preparing to transfer me to a position in the USCB Architect’s Department.. A big promotion and step up in the University of California system. We practiced sailing the DAEDALUS and worked on her continuously.

On December 17, 1977 I proposed to Carol and two days later on Friday, December 19, 1977, Carol and I were married. Our friends from La Cresta in Los Altos Hills unexpectedly showed up on the boat that evening, as they were passing thru to L.A. We told the minister not to say anything and when we announced what the minister was doing there, all our girl friends starting uncontrollable crying. It was the best..!

Over the Christmas holidays in a cold winter rain storm we left Santa Barbara and took a treacherous winter sail north to San Francisco.

End chapter 12
19, 1977 Daedalus to launch.jpg
20, 1977, two days before launch.jpg