Pícara, my Hazardous Zero-9 Merlin Rocket build and a Keith Callaghan design, was successfully launched and sailed this morning on Lake Travis, near Austin, Texas, USA. She gracefully sailed in light winds and quickly responded to mild gusts.
More photos, videos and a big blog update (after a year in hiatus) will come in the days ahead!Pícara and I on launch day.
Pícara after her first sail.
A little bit of bubbly...
2015 - The Missing Files (Coming Soon!)
Varnishing The Decks
I selected EPIFANES Clear Gloss Varnish for being a traditional marine varnish, based on tung oil, phenolic-modified alkyd resins and having maximum U.V. absorbers. Being in Texas and going sometimes through significant temperature variations within a single day, not to mention the hot Texas Summer, I wanted a product that not only had the ability to handle our weather but also had superior flow, gloss and durability.
Preparation, per Epifanes, included sanding the deck and rails, and cleaning the clear epoxy thoroughly with alcohol and Epifanes Thinner.
Thinning ratio varies depending on the the number of coats applied. No sanding is needed if re-coated within 72 hrs.
I used a good quality, clean, natural bristle brush and applied 4 coats of Epifanes varnish.
The product is very easy to apply and results are of great quality if instructions are followed.
I'm very pleased with the high gloss finish she now displays.
Perhaps the most expensive aspect of boat building, and for a good reasons: Safety & Performance . It can't be said enough, choosing the right rigging hardware is key for accomplishing both. Buying parts as the build progresses can save money and help offset the big cash outlay at the end. Many of the suppliers have discounts throughout the year and I took advantage whenever possible.
For Pícara, I followed the recommended hardware listed in Keith Callaghan's drawings. In some cases where the exact part was not available in the US or in the UK, I consulted with Keith to select a comparable or better replacement. Hardware wood screw holes or machine screw holes were filled with epoxy and 404 High-Density filler, which is a thickening additive developed for maximum physical properties in hardware bonding where high-cyclic loads are anticipated
The cam cleats and the cheek blocks were bolted through the brackets.
Bow tank deck covers fitted with stainless steel screws and recommended silicon sealant.
Ronstan 5/8" jib track x 18" fitted with corresponding track ends.
Allen Webbing Bridges (2" Grey) were fitted on the plan landings to secure the buoyancy bags.
Starboard side Harken H306 & H302 wire through deck blocks and covers for the shrouds and lowers.
Port side Harken H306 & H302 wire through deck blocks and covers for the shrouds and lowers.
Thank you for watching! More to come soon...