Saturday, February 28, 2009


Over the weekend I got the cabintop stitched up and Traci helped me get it glued in.

I started out by stitching the cabintop together on the floor of the garage---that's the wrestling part. There is a substantial twist in the cabin sides that the plywood does not want to do. I also found that the pieces as cut in the kit do not want to completely come together toward the front of the cabin top. No big deal, the small gap can be filled with silica-thickened epoxy before taping.
The trick to getting the front edge of the cabintop flat is shown below. After stitching, I "squeezed" the cabintop down between two 2x4s until the front edge was essentially flat. I then laminated a 2" wide strip of plywoodto the underside of the front edge with a piece of 9oz tape in between. the tape was 4" wide so I wrapped the tape to the topside which served to resist downward bending in the forward edge.

After an overnight cure I released the 2x4 "clamp" and there was only the slightest curve in the forward edge of the cabintop.

From there I lifted the cabin top into position and stitched it into place starting from the front and working my way back from the center to the outboard edge.

Filetting and taping the under side was routine. The only thing we did prior to that was fill the gaps (1/2" max.) between the side and center panels (see above).

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chain Gang

Since my last post I got the bunk tops coated with epoxy and filled and taped a small gap between the forward and aft bunks under frame 124. Actually, Traci filled the gap and taped the joint while I was traveling earlier this week. Her first unsupervised job on the boat! And the results were tip-top!

Over the weekend, I got the chainplate gussets installed. I started out by beveling the outboard end the gusset to ~26 degrees to match the angle from the outboard end of frame 110 to the base of the mast. I then "hung" the gusset and scribed the curve of the hull onto the gusset and used a scroll saw to cut out the curve.

Using the "hanging" approach shown below I tacked the gusset in place with thickened epoxy making sure that the gusset was pointed at the location of the mast base.

Once cured, I taped the gusset in place.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Total bunk!

Nah, it's actually true. The bunks are in place. And the keel box is extended up to the deck level.

Late last week, I glassed in the keelbox extension. In accordance with Andrew's (TTB) advice I put in some "big-ass fillets" to ensure the keel box was good and solid.

Over the weekend, Traci and I got the bunks glassed and taped in. The diagonal-ripped 1X1s that I epoxied to the bunk sides served to support the bunk tops. This worked nicely, but I plan to round over the edge of the bunk and tape it with a 2" strip of 6oz cloth to give the joint a bit of tensile strength.

I also got up the courage to whip out the circular saw and widen the forward end of the cockpit. The "stock" version of the long cockpit is just a little narrow at the forward end, and I really like what Kevin did with his boat. The wider cockpit will allow for a bit more room in the pit during mark roundings, etc. The result of the widened cockpit is a little less clearance (~12") to the aft bunks, but those will primarily be used for sail storage, so it's a good trade off I think.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What's up my sleeve?

Who cares---all that matters is that I finally got the keel faired so I could use it to glass up the keel sleeve. My first attempt on the keel sleeve consisted of three wraps of polypropylene paint drop cloth on the keel. The sleeve itself was composed of a layer of 0-90 cloth, a layer of biaxial, and a layer 0-90 cloth. I wet out the first (inner) layer with epoxy mixed with a liberal amount of graphite powder. I figured that if there was any wear on the inner surface of the sleeve, super-slippery graphite would be released---couldn't be bad, right?

FYI, to avoid giving yourself a hernia trying to remove the sleeve, drip a little water between the release liner and the foil and that sucker will slide right off! Ask me how I know...

Turns out the first try on the sleeve didn't work out just right since the end of the keel I used as a male mold had a chord dimension 1/8" shorter than the opposite end. Therefore, the resulting sleeve bound up as I tried to slide it down the foil. I wound up running the trailing edge of the sleeve through my table saw to open it up and "remolded" the sleeve around the opposite (wider) end of the foil with a ~1mm sheet of foam between the leading 1/3 of the foil (sorry no pics). This allowed a little extra space between the foil and the sleeve to account for maybe another layer of epoxy and finish paint.

I dry fit the sleeve with a couple of pieces of plywood with groove cut in them to serve as guides to keep the sleeve vertical. I epoxied those in place and set about trimming the keel box side panels to fit.

To glass in the keel sleeve I spread generous fillets on both sides of the sleeve, for and aft. I also filleted the bottom edge of the sleeve (with the sleeve protruding ~1/4" through the hull) and layed a 3" strip of glass cloth along each side at the sleeve-to-hull joint.

I epoxied up the core of the keel box with a bead of epoxy on the edges of the vertical sleeve guides and a bead up the sleeve at the maximum thickness. After getting the side panels in place I clamped them and turned in for the night.

Next up: Trimming the keel sleeve even with the top of the keel box core and extending the sides of the keel box up to deck level. Stay tuned!