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Bottled Ship Builder

A pair of 16 foot Hobie Catamarans


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4 hours ago, exwafoo said:

I wouldn't want to meet them on a dark night tho'.¬†ūüėĀ

A motley crew for sure. I made 'em a bit shaggy so I could try and get a sensation of motion. The close up photo looks horrible as always, hoping from a distance it looks more like sunglasses than bug eyes. :)


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So I ran into a bit of trouble. I mixed a two part epoxy to go into the bottle as a base for my "sea". I'm not sure where I went wrong but it wasn't getting hard, so I put a bit more of the hardener in and swirled it with a stick. It helped some but as you can see there is still a little fluid on the top of what has hardened.


In doing all this, it rose the sea level to high tide and messed up my plans a bit. The way I originally had the cats oriented, when flying a hull it would hit the roof of the bottle. So, I have been experimenting with a different orientation so now when the cats are flying a hull, the mast top will be tipped over lengthwise into the bottle instead of sideways. Hope that made sense.




I buried a couple of "pegs" for each cat hull in the acrylic so when slid on, they assume the correct posture. True to form, I typically do things 3 or 4 times before it is acceptable. It's working out well in my mind at this point, so hopefully that translates to minimal issues on bottle day.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 I completely ruined my original bottle by messing around trying to save it from angry epoxy seas. I got goo on the inside and slop for a base so... I got a new bottle. This time instead of epoxy, I rolled up some plastalina in the shape of my "sea base", slid it in and unrolled it. It was a bit hard to unroll so I put it on a heating pad for a while and that helped.



Once I had the Plastalina clay tamped down, I rolled up the "sea base" and slid it in.


Once in the bottle I flipped the "sea base" over, put some glue on it then flipped it on top of the Plastalina clay.


I pushed down on the "sea base" into the clay as best I could. Then I held the bottle over the gas burner on my stove for a minute to soften the clay and accept the "sea base". I put a little white silicon on the bottom of my starting buoy and placed it in the far end of the bottle.



 I started a dry practice run to put the catamarans in the bottle and I broke a peg that goes from the trampoline deck into the hull.  I've glued that up, but I have used up my daily supply of patience. Tomorrow looms hopeful.

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  • Houston, ...we have a problem. It did not go as expected and I have pulled the one I tried to rig up, back out. I have only minor damage and I think I have figured out a better way to get them in there. Stay tuned, it has only strengthened my resolve to get them in there.¬†
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Boy just when you think you know something... I spent all day today and managed to get the first of the two catamarans in the bottle. I had to use a small roll of putty to squish the hulls into to keep them straight. 152377405_138914134753562_339237421230794204_n.thumb.jpg.cba031159976a01bed34782fff94c5a5.jpg152298824_695610487773428_7189014346023047654_n.thumb.jpg.d3889815e09a449db41ba0b27c932bff.jpg151551162_341675393738139_2538237970778254181_n.thumb.jpg.9cff3e1bba77723aeb012f951a7df4b9.jpg152269494_1159836124433227_5977515429061181149_n.thumb.jpg.b308f53a75b81b80a01b42dbbd8c6e3c.jpg152361394_254643156112951_6107958929049461129_n.thumb.jpg.83532b39aadb053d354a573664fceb31.jpg152397910_136088175050900_2645531044222999576_n.thumb.jpg.64e32d9edf767be3195717f5273eb291.jpg


Edited by Donald
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1 hour ago, Onni said:

Worth the effort you've put into it,looks great.

Thanks Onni. Hopefully the second one goes in a bit easier than the first. I think it will as I leaned a couple of what "not" to do things on the first. I am a little upset at myself for somehow aligning the seam of the bottle in the worst place possible. ...rookie

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Well this is proving difficult. This rascal has been in and out of the bottle 4 times! This morning I thought I had it, until this sailor jumped over board and I hopelessly tangled every line around trying to get him back on board. I'm just going to take a deep breath, count to 10 and figure it out.



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22 hours ago, Moab said:

Sometimes it’s just good to walk away for awhile. Very frustrating. That sailor should go to Captain’s Mast...Moab

True, this one has tried my patience for sure. You must have some Navy background? Most don't know what Captain's Mast is...

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Yay!! Finally, got 'er in there and sailing along. I plan on carving a stand for it that is a sea turtle, upside down with the bottle resting on it's belly. I "turned turtle the first time I ever sailed one of these. I was by myself, had no clue what I was doing (left the main sheet cleated), and it turned into an 8 hour nightmare of lessons learned. Thus the "turned turtle" stand idea.




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1 hour ago, Moab said:

CONGRATULATIONS! Looks like a wild ride! 

(p.s. Yep! Several years in Uncle Sam's Navy and several times at Captain's Mast representing a sailor...Moab)

Thanks Moab. You probably represented my brother. He was based out of Norfolk and several times represented youthful ignorance. Eventually he retired from the Navy so apparently that Captain's Mast stuff is rather effective.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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