Boatbuilding Blog

March 6, 2007

It’s a Boat!

Filed under: Building - Before Flipping — tomlarkin @ 5:18 am

I paneled the boat over the weekend. Saturday I took down the work table and raised the forward two bulkheads, then I dropped the bottom panels on and stitched them together using my pre-drilled holes. I broke a bunch of the wire ties trying to get the gap between the panels completely closed, but ended up with a 6 foot section with a 1/8-inch gap. I can live with it.

Bottom panels, facing stern Wire stitching at bulkhead one

On Sunday morning I dropped the side panels onto temporary braces I clamped to the bulkhead edges. After a couple of hours of tweaking – raising and lowering and moving fore and aft – they looked pretty good. I forced the bow together with line and cleats and when it was lined up perfectly I ran a bunch of long screws through both panels to lock them together. Everything fit really well. Sam Devlin did a great job with the plans.

Bottom stitched and sides hungPulling the bow panels together. There are 2x6's on the outside to keep the side panels straight. Glued and fasteners removed

When everything was lined up I started to fasten the sides to the bottom with 1″ drywall screws in preparation to drilling the holes to stitch the sides to the bottom. By the time I was done though, it was fastened perfectly. I skipped the stitching completely! It was still early so I mixed up some epoxy and fastened the bow, back to the first bulkhead, inside and out. It was a little messy – it’s been a long time since I did any overhead gluing. Meryll had to cut some drips out of my hair. Note to self: painters caps.

After work tonight I pulled the screws and wire ties, and it looks great! I’m amazed at how fast and relatively easy this step was. The boat looks really square and symmetrical. I hope to finish glueing the sides to the bottom this Saturday. I didn’t seal the bulkhead edges in case I needed to rearrange something, so I need to seal them and fasten the bulkheads to the panels. Here’s the plan:

  • jack the hull up a few inches off the bulkheads
  • seal the bulkhead edges and a narrow strip where the bulkhead meets the panels
  • add some thickened epoxy along the bulkhead edges
  • drop the whole thing back down to fasten the bulkheads to the panels

I think this will work. My only real concern is the pressure of the panels on the forward bulkhead will make it hard to slide the hull up and back down. The glue should help lubricate it in the way down (I hope). With any luck I can get this done by Sunday night. The weekend after we’re thinking of going camping!

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