Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fitting bulkheads to side panels

The bulkheads and side panels are almost ready for assembly.  Everything has 3 coats of epoxy and I spent a lot of time sanding all visible surfaces to a nice uniform flat finish.  I'm hoping the effort to do it now will pay off by not having to sand a lot at awkward angles once the boat is assembled.  I think I have this epoxy coating down.  It takes a bit of practice to lay down thin and unifiorm coats.  Working at above 70F makes for a much nicer surface due to the epoxy flowing more easily.  Normally that's not a problem here in FL but, as I have complained before, this winter we have only had a handful of days even close to 70 so some of the panels needed a bit more sanding.  This one turned out well, almost a shame to sand it.

 Looks like this once sanded, the final coat of varnish will bring back the shine.

The hull assembly has given some folks a bit of trouble when it comes to aligning the bulkheads with the hull side panel bottom edges.  The alignment is difficult once the chine logs have been glued on.  So I decided to mark and drill the side panels and bulkheads before the side panels are glued together.  Panel marked with bulkhead locations.

Temporary screw holes drilled.

I aligned the bulkheads and used the pre-drilled holes in the side panels as guides to drill the bulkheads. 


Now when the time comes to assemble the hull all I have to do is line up the drilled holes and everything should go together correctly.  The curved and beveled sides of bulkheads 1 and 2 were impossible to clamp in place for drilling so I just drilled one locating hole per side. 
Once marked and drilled the side panels got glued together with a splice.  The ply has a bit of curve to it and it's amazing how much weight it took to get the ends to lie reasonably flat.

Total time to date: 165hrs