Saturday, February 08, 2014

Pictures of boat windshield

I'm getting excited about what it will look like after the interior is upholstered (not by me).  The same people will also make a bimini top and travel cover.  By the time I get it back, the weather will be warm enough to finish the windshield details for final installation.

Winter progress

Sorry for the lack of recent posts; the winter weather and some logistical problems have slowed things down.  My previous boat has been transferred to a new owner and is now residing in Montana.  The new boat has been transferred to the trailer and fits it perfectly.  The new 75hp Evinrude E-Tec engine has been installed, and all the controls have been connected.  I still need to organize tubes & wires by wrapping and strapping them under the deck.  I had wanted a stainless steel windshield frame, but, no matter how exact and simple I made the proposed design, the metal fabrication shop still estimated the cost at $4000-5000 which just didn't fit my goal of producing a good boat at a moderate price.  So, I bought a plank of African mahogany for $68 and built my own windshield frame.  I have had the glass cut and fit for the frame.  The glass people said that they think the wood frame will look nicer than metal.  Nice to hear such comments.  The wood frame has been fabricated in four sections.  Although the four sections fit together well, I want to bond them together with epoxy while they are in place on the hull foredeck for a strong, accurate result.  The boat is now in our unheated garage with outside temperatures mainly below freezing.  The epoxy will require warmer temperatures.  It may be awhile before the final assembly of the windshield takes place, but, in the meantime, I can clamp and screw the windshield in place well enough to have a boat cover fabricated.

The windshield frame was designed mathematically.  It is a system which works incredibly well for me.  Everything is done in an X,Y, Z coordinate system.  After building two mock-ups, I elected to build a windshield 12.5 inches high which slants aft 10.5 inches from bottom to top and is 53.5 inches wide with rectangular sections.  Knowing also the offsets of the deck curvature, I was able to calculate the angle of intersection of the two front panels, 16.54 degrees, the angle of intersection of the front panels to the deck, 42.48 degrees, and the angle of intersection of the side panels to the deck, 9.09 degrees.  All the linear dimensions were calculated to similar accuracy.  When cut to those angles in the shop before assembly, the panels fit together well.  I can't imagine how much more difficult it must be to use trial-and-error, cut-to-fit methods.

We were in Bocas Del Toro, Panama recently and I brought back some pictures of abandoned, hollowed-out-log cayucos and the pangas which have replaced them to a great degree.  When we lived there 30+ years ago, our local maid said she wouldn't trust a boat which was made with adhesives instead of from a single tree trunk.  Times have changed.