Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Taking Shape

Though the long hot sunny days appear to be over we have continued to make some good progress.

A 5mm stainless steel plate stem fitting has been fabricated to make a new forestay attachment, the gelcoat on the bow has been trimmed back so the new stem fitting will lay flat, holes drilled through and a generous carbon fibre laminate added to the inside of the bow creating a flat surface for the penny washers to support the machine screws.

The forward bulkhead has been shaped and fitted, a 10mm foam fillet sits between it and the hull to avoid hard spots, it will be shaped to a curve and laminated over with biaxial cloth. A water tight inspection hatch has been fitted, the end grain of the hole in the plywood has been smoothed round and laminated over. The old anchor hawse pipe hole has been filled with a wooden plug to match the existing deck reinforcement and again laminated over.

The largest of the flat foam and fibreglass panels I vacuum bagged months ago has been cut in to two pieces and shaped to make the forward flotation compartment, there's just enough room for them in the bow whilst I get the new bulkhead laminated in place under the carbon beam...

The bulkhead itself has been shaped to leave a 10mm gap all round, a foam fillet will be added as per the forward bulkhead. After much procrastination a hole has been cut in the new bulkhead for access to the forepeak, just big enough for me and leaving enough in place to form the forward end of the two main stowage compartments.

The two through hull holes for the cockpit drains have been ground back to a taper and laminated over, the cockpit drains themselves have been enlarged for the new drain fittings... just in time for summer to end and the rain of Hurricane Betsy to spoil things!

The rain prompted some furious hole filling around the entire boat, whilst Betsy was all stripped out I didn't mind the odd dribble of rain water here and there but now we are beginning to reconstruct the interior I would prefer it to stay bone dry.

The lazarette has had a stringer added to match the existing one on the port side, although the new one is sheathed in carbon... an off cut from the bulkhead.

The old fuel filler hole has been filled, another hole another pancake of biaxial glass cloth and epoxy, that makes 12 holes filled not to mention countless little screw holes from numerous old deck fittings long since removed. I have the dove grey polyester gelcoat now so all those little holes can be countersunk and gelled over.

The doghouse has had three holes cut in it for the port lights, three foam and fibreglass rings have been shaped and laminated to form a framework for the perspex portholes to sit against. All three have been laminated in place...

...and the largest of the three now has an epoxy reinforced edge...

Using the circular laminate cut out to form the hole, I have wrapped the edge with teflon peel ply and filled the gap with thickened epoxy, some of the core foam has been removed from between the fibreglass skins so the edge will be watertight and strong, once cured the circle can be peeled out and a smooth edge should remain?! One down, two to go!

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