Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Finishing the Stern, Onto the Windshield

Finally was able to get the transom and splash pan covered in glass and resin. I wasn't looking forward to this step. It was like developing the pattern for a garment; I had to make patterns for the complex adjoining surfaces using six different sections. Had to decide which edges to put tabs on so that I had overlapped joints, and had to decide the exact order of placement to minimize interference. All concave junctions for adjoining surfaces were first filled with a fresh fillet of resin putty to prevent dry spots where the cloth couldn't adapt to the abrupt bend. Most of the surfaces were vertical, so the cloth needed to be taped in place while I spread resin and tried to avoid drips and runs. Because the glass cloth distorts easily, I had to note reference points for careful placement. This covering helps not only to protect the wood, but also to add considerable strength to this area which will receive maximum stress from the engine. To my relief, this session went well. Next up will be covering the entire deck with glass and resin.

Thinking ahead, I started to finalize the windshield design. No experience, so I started looking at pictures of old launches to see how it was done traditionally and what might work on the narrow, cambered foredeck. I sat in the cockpit and tried to imagine how a bimini top will join to the top of the windshield. Because the entire boat surface is developable and mathematically created, I was able to select x,y,z coordinates for all points defining the windshield and then calculate lengths and angles for creation of a cheap plywood mock-up of the windshield. Looks pretty good, so now to select real wood and put together the actual windshield. This will be a nice side project while waiting for resin to dry on the deck.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wood Decking

The plywood under-decking was bonded in place with temporary staples to hold it until the epoxy hardened. Then the plywood was trimmed around the sheer and cockpit. The process was repeated with cypress planks, about 3/16" thick. Now the planks have been sanded. Finally starting to look like more than just the hope of a boat. I need to glass the stern, recessed transom, and splash pan before glassing the deck itself.