Boat Building Pics

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Boat Building Pics

Postby kg » 11 Aug 2010, 12:19


I finally got around to scanning some of the photos and such I had into my computer so that I could post them in various places. I've wanted to do this for quite a while. That way, I have a semi-permanent copy of them; more permanent than paper, which will degrade over time.

These photos and others are posted on my Facebook page now, but I thought I might post a few of them here. I wasn't quite sure where to post this, as it has pictures of me, but not altogether, and the newspaper article is about one of my little "adventures", but it's the only one I have from that trip (digital cameras didn't exist then, and a normal camera would have been destroyed).

The rest are various boats that I had a hand in building while working for Sintes Fiberglass Designs in New Orleans. This was in West End Park on the lake front of Lake Ponchartrain also bordered by the 17th St. Canal. That facility no longer exists, thanks to Katrina.

First, the newspaper article:

[ img ]

I look young there, don't I? I was around 28 1/2 years old in that picture. As I said, this is the only picture I have of this boat, which we built in our back yard over about a year and a half.

It is a tri-hull pontoon boat made from 22-55 gallon drums tied together with a boxed angle iron frame, the front half of which is elevated above the rear by around 8 inches, covered with 3/4" marine grade plywood. It was powered by a 1957 Mercury Mark 75 outboard. You see the front cone on the front of the port pontoon? I designed and built all three of them.

Following is a picture of the high-tech 53' Sport Fisherman, the building of which I was involved in:

[ img ]

I always wanted to be as handsome as that fine young fellow standing to the right of the rest, in his white tee-shirt with the Sintes hat on...wait a minute...that is me! No wonder he's so handsome! :P

Over a period of several years I was involved in the building of this boat. I was in on the fairing of the outside of the hull (naturally, it's a one-off) then, when we flipped it over (I was there for that event...it was an intense few hours, culminating in a highly intense few seconds!) I was involved in the inside lay-ups and internal and external construction.

The hull was formed from a frame kit (designed by David Sintes of Sintes Fiberglass Designs, to give credit where credit is due), covered with C-Flex and external fiberglass laminates, faired, and painted with a final coat of paint. We then built a roller cradle for it in order to flip it over to the up-right position.

All laminates and infrastructure was done high-tech all the way. We used uni-directional woven rovings and vinyl ester resins for the hull and used high density foam panels laminated on both sides and vacuum-bagged for high strength. All this was done to make the boat as light as possible while maintaining maximum strength.

Here is a picture of the (almost) finished boat after we had moved it outside the shop:

[ img ]

At the rear of the boat and on the other side of the fence is the famous 17th Street Canal. You're looking into Bucktown, which was a fishing village that existed at the time of the photo.

More to come later. I have something I have to do right now.
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Re: Boat Building Pics

Postby Ice.Maiden » 11 Aug 2010, 21:09

Blimey Glenn - that's fabulous!!
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Re: Boat Building Pics

Postby pilvikki » 11 Sep 2010, 19:44


cool pictures and a very nice boat indeed!

was this prior to kevlar, since you were using fiberglass? or was it a cost issue? what was the frame made of?

what does fairing mean?

and why is the 17th str canal famous?

:P
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Re: Boat Building Pics

Postby kg » 12 Sep 2010, 01:31


pilvikki wrote:was this prior to kevlar, since you were using fiberglass? or was it a cost issue?


Actually, there was some Kevlar and Carbon Fiber in it, but if I remember correctly, it was more a weight consideration than anything. Probably cost too, but I'm not sure how well Kevlar and Carbon Fiber material reacts with Vinyl Esther resin. Generally they use Epoxy resin with them, which weighs more.

pilvikki wrote:what was the frame made of?


Frame kits are made of plywood, which is then set up on a precisely leveled frame. The frames are built from the loft, which is where Dave would design and draw the lines of the boats. They look something like this:

[ img ]

The image on the right is a frame kit that has been set up. Then C-Flex is stapled on them and wet down with resin. Once the hull is built, the boat is turn right side up and the frame kit is knocked out and disposed of, and the inside structure is built.

pilvikki wrote:what does fairing mean?


When you have put all the laminates over the top of the C-Flex, naturally you won't have a finished, painted, mirror-like surface. You have to apply putty, primers, and finally the finish paint. Fairing is making the surface "fair" in preparation for the final coat of paint. The image on the right above shows the hull faired and almost ready for the final coat. The following is a short video on the process:

http://www.sintesfiberglass.com/id74.html

pilvikki wrote:and why is the 17th str canal famous?


Several things. For years it has been famous for the fact that it has some of the largest drainage pumps in the world. When those pumps are going full-force, there is around a 40-45 MPH current in that canal. I know...I've been there...in the canal (on a boat, of course! :P ). It's impressive! Those pumps will really move some water!

In more recent years it is famous because that is one of the spots where the levies failed after Katrina and flooded massive portions of New Orleans.
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Re: Boat Building Pics

Postby pilvikki » 12 Sep 2010, 13:10


um... from where did the pumps pump the water and where to? [for some people you need to s-p-e-l-l things out...]

looking at the video, all i can think of is "easy when you know how"... :lol:

a few years ago i'd been on that like a squirrell on a bag of nuts, but now i think i'll pass... drat. looks like a great project and i've always wanted a boat. :sigh:

one thing i found odd was that nobody is wearing chemical masks... that stuff stinks!
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Re: Boat Building Pics

Postby pilvikki » 12 Sep 2010, 13:10


um... from where did the pumps pump the water and where to? [for some people you need to s-p-e-l-l things out...]

looking at the video, all i can think of is "easy when you know how"... :lol:

a few years ago i'd been on that like a squirrell on a bag of nuts, but now i think i'll pass... drat. looks like a great project and i've always wanted a boat. :sigh:

one thing i found odd was that nobody is wearing chemical masks... that stuff stinks!
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Re: Boat Building Pics

Postby kg » 13 Sep 2010, 04:06


pilvikki wrote:um... from where did the pumps pump the water and where to? [for some people you need to s-p-e-l-l things out...]


The 17th St Canal (I think there were a few other similar canals) provides a large part of the drainage for New Orleans. The majority of New Orleans is below sea level and requires "pumping out" from time to time. When it rains, the water can't flow anywhere naturally, so it must be pumped. That's what the pumps in the 17th St. Canal do.

Here's a picture of the 17th St. Canal just after Katrina. You can see the breach:

[ img ]

Here is a picture of the pumping station (notice how much lower in elevation the canal is behind the station, upper right in the picture):

[ img ]

Here are the pumps in action:

[ img ]

Oh, and the canal empties into Lake Ponchartrain, which is the northern-most border of this map:

[ img ]

The following is a view of West End Park north towards the lake. The pylons are where all the restaurants and bars used to be, looking out the mouth of the 17th street canal from a little foot bridge that goes across it. If you panned toward the right around 45 degrees, you would see the building where we built boats. The first set of pylons was where the Bounty Restaurant stood, the 5-Star restaurant where I once worked:

[ img ]

The very farthest set of pylons in the picture above was where Augie Delago's once stood. In another thread I mentioned making recordings of a band I ran with while there...Augie's was where I made those recordings.

The following is from the opposite direction, looking south down the mouth. Notice the big white building on the left? That is the very building in the picture above. We were standing in front of the boat just inside the right hand door:

[ img ]

<Edit> Seems they denied permission to link to the picture, so I put it my my Photobucket account.

I'm still amazed that building remained standing. Every building around it was obliterated. I saw the satellite photos just afterwards. The office and loft was so much rubble; the building you see to the left of the boat in the third picture...gone; there was a bar and restaurant further to the left and next to the office...obliterated, reduced to rubble. There was a part of the old shed still on the right side of the building when I was there. I don't know whether Dave finally just tore it down, but that's gone, as if it were never there.

But the shop withstood it. It's gone now, but it was disassembled, as far as I know.

OMG! I just realized! That cement platform in the foreground? That was Federico's, my favorite watering hole! I knew Bobby Federico well, and his brother Dave. Their father ran a little bitty restaurant further to the left, just out of the picture, for years, but shut it down due to getting too old to keep up with it. Great seafood, but the Bounty was better.

Ah, the memories! :sigh:
Last edited by kg on 14 Sep 2010, 01:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Boat Building Pics

Postby Ice.Maiden » 13 Sep 2010, 16:30

Thanks for the pics Glenn. Looks like you've had some fab experiences. :cool2:
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Re: Boat Building Pics

Postby pilvikki » 13 Sep 2010, 18:47


i suppose these building were not near the boardwalk? i'm wondering if the bricks with all those names are still there? in order, i mean...

for my life i cannot fathom why a city would be built below sea level, when the sea is just on the other side of a levee? crazy, man! sometimes i look at the netherland's map and get the chills, that's a whole lot of folk below sea level... an angry sea as well.
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Re: Boat Building Pics

Postby kg » 14 Sep 2010, 01:24


pilvikki wrote:i suppose these building were not near the boardwalk? i'm wondering if the bricks with all those names are still there? in order, i mean...


Are you talking about the dedication bricks by the Aquarium? I'm sure they're still there. They really weren't near the flooding. According to this page:

Leave Jackson Square through the Decatur St. gate and continue to walk towards the river. Go up and over the stairs (be sure to look back towards the square), then cross over to the short boardwalk. Turn right, and you'll be able to amble down the Moonwalk to the Aquarium of the Americas.

A world-class aquarium, which has over 15,000 sea creatures from almost 600 species. You don't have to go inside, however, to enjoy the distinctive architecture and green glass. Walk around the building to enjoy the different angles, colorful art, and the dedication bricks at your feet.

The aquarium is the site of the saddest non-human Katrina tragedy. While the building didn't really suffer any hurricane damage, power went out on the main grid and also from the backup power generators. The entire building was evacuated of personnel for four days, and when the staff returned they found that very few of the fish survived.


That's pretty close to the Mississippi River.

That's another crazy thing...I also had the opportunity to attend the New Orleans World Fair in 1984 while I was there. Saw the very beginnings of GPS satellite receivers and maps, soon to be put into cars (it was in the planning stages).
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Re: Boat Building Pics

Postby pilvikki » 14 Sep 2010, 12:54


i thought the bricks were a brilliant idea... and loved the aquarium. it's not often you get to look at manta rays and sharks from below. unless you're on the menu... :shock:

i spent most of a day meandering about the area and went into the shopping mall as well. there i was thinking 'they're all the bloody same' and bought some shoes the kids called 'hooker heals', but they were comfortable, so... pft!

i also bought some soup and looked at the river and looked into my bowl and wondered...? they were the same colour.
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Re: Boat Building Pics

Postby Ice.Maiden » 30 Sep 2010, 15:30

Explode with laughter at that last bit!!
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Re: Boat Building Pics

Postby pilvikki » 30 Sep 2010, 23:00


you should have seen my face when he showed up with it!
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Re: Boat Building Pics

Postby Ice.Maiden » 29 Nov 2010, 18:51

:lol:
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