Sunday, 5 August 2012

Midwinter Blues

Well after quite a few months I finally have some time to work on the boat. I have done a few small jobs over the preceding months like finishing and glassing on the cabin top. Trouble is when you get out of the normal routines you can make serious blunders like I did. I forgot to set up the chainplate gussets first before I fixed the cabin top down. Sorting this out has been a giant pain but it is now done.
I drilled holes in my newly glassed cabin top (ouch!) to rerun the bow/stern stringline then managed to slide a piece of chipboard against F089. I made a T section ensuring an accurate 90deg angle and plotted my mast position on the board. The result gave me accuracy fore and aft and a cross check port/starboard from the bow. Now that I had a base to measure from a quick bit of trig gave me the necessary measurements to plot the correct angle from the mast position. I then ran stringlines at the correct angle and double checked all my measurements. Thanks to jray and tford for the supply of Kevin's gusset layout drawing as it provided a technical draft of what I was trying to achieve with an accurate set of measurements that I could check my results against. At this stage I think I am close to within a few millimetres so I can breath again.
Lesson learned: We do things in order for a reason!

As it is now August I have switched to the fast cure hardener (West 205) and am getting good results, both in curing rates and open time for working. Damn good stuff this West System. Makes it simple for those of us who are non-technical in fibreglass.

T section and stringlines to provide accurate gusset positions.

Final gusset position set against stringline.      

Sliding jig works well
I have also taken the plunge and started on my rudder and keel sections. Most builders seem to have started building the keel first but I have left it until last as this work seems pretty daunting for some reason. The rudder is my test bed and if everything goes according to plan I will use the same method for the keel (pretty obvious really).
I am using Tasmanian Oak and Western Red Cedar to try to combine strength with lightness. I set up a temporary work bench, leveling it with my laser level, then built a sliding frame to hold the router.
I have machined both sides and cut a trench in the leading edge and filled with epoxy to provide durability to the finished edge.

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