Tuesday 30 September 2014

Inner gunwales, seat tops, and fillets

Before trying again on the inner gunwales, I spent a little time fitting the cockpit seat tops nicely, and cut out a seat top for the forward thwart. Here's both my men enjoying coffee (frothy milk in the case of our cat) aboard the boat:

Rather than have small round hatches in the bulkhead to access the space under the forward thwart, I elected to put larger rectangular hatches in the top, ala pathfinder. This will make this space a lot more useable for stowing gear that I want to stay dry. I'm already making a battery mount for this place, and will be putting all the electronics (radio, ais transponder etc) in here. The coaming will need to be trimmed a little to ensure the hatches can open, I think.

I also enlarged the centerboard pivot hole and did a test fitting of the pivot and bushes. It all fits nicely, and the centerboard turns easily on its pivot. I'll add some caps to either end of the pivot to locate it, and some o-rings to keep water out of the boat.

Much work is still needed to clean up the centerboard slot and glass it. This can wait until I've done planking and decks, and even painted the inside of the boat.

After the initial failure, putting the inner gunwale in turned out to be quite easy. I just steamed them in two halves, leaving a clamp on the scarf. One other tip I learned was to ensure none of the Tassie oak tea that collects in the tubing runs back into the kettle, as it causes the kettle to boil over. This is easily accomplished by ensuring the kettle is at the top, so the water runs down away from it into a handily placed bucket. Also there's no need to wait while steaming. I had my best success when I just started pulling the gunwale in to the frames as soon as the steam was running. I'd pull each tie in a little, then work back along the gunwale and give each tie another pull, until after ten minutes or so it was held in its notches. Then I just kept the steam up until the kettle boiled dry. Much less exciting than trying to guess when the kettle was about to run dry and rushing to get it tied in place.

After running the plane and spokeshave down the gunwales, and a little time finessing the fillets and coating much of the boat in epoxy, it's really starting to look the part. I really love the curve the deck will take, swooping down around the cockpit, coming up for the foredeck, and mostly levelling off by the time it gets to the bow.

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