Happy New Year. Well, Ok, probably a bit late. First post for 2012. I really did think I would be posting travel blogs by Feb 2012 when I started the build way back in late 2005. But like many endeavours life gets in the way. And whilst I wish the project were finished, I am still enjoying the process and most of the time the actual work. Its hard not to enjoy the high visual impact work that changes the look of the boat or reveals the picture of what I had in my head for so long, into real 3D life. So stick with me as I stick with it and we bring this thing home.

But first some news. Jo and I had an almost life changing event over the past 6 weeks since my last post, and it somewhat explains this particular delay. Posts have become less prevalent as the project wore on (mostly due to the complexity of posting the previous blog method), but recently since switching to Yikes I have been able to post a minimum of once every 4 weeks, and I will try to maintain at least that frequency until we finally launch. But, in early December Jo’s oldest son had a massive accident. He fell down a cliff which was slightly inclined for about 30 meters, where he rolled uncontrollably and then at the bottom of that was a sheer drop of about 10 meters. In most cases a fall like that results in death. And he was very near to it. He was discovered unconscious and transported to hospital. There they kept him in a medically induced coma for a week to assess his damage. The accident happened on a Saturday night, by the following Thursday the doctors finally decided to operate on his broken back. During the preceding days they were concerned that if they woke him he would move and his broken vertebrae would sever his spine. But the neurosurgeons also needed to know the extent if any of his brain damage as he had multiple skull fractures and had been unconscious for some time before paramedics arrived and had lost a lot of blood, which can result in loss of oxygen to the brain resulting in damage of varying degrees. So it took a few days to sort some of that out and stabilize the rest of his vital systems which had also suffered trauma (he had broken ribs and a punctured lung and bruised internal organs) as well as generally recover from the massive loss of blood that he had sustained.

He sustained many fractures and breaks including multiple fractured vertebrae and he now has 3 300mm rods to support his spine permanently embedded in him. He broke his greater trochanter which is the ball part of the femur in the hip. He has severely reduced feeling in his right hand such that he cannot feel his finger tips, the result of nerve damage in his broken ribs, he is deaf in his left ear (probably permanently) and has numerous other minor fractures healing.

During that week before they woke him, we (Jo and I) wondered what our lives would entail going forward. Would our lives change into those of full time carers for a severely disabled possibly brain damaged young man? In times like this its hard not to think the worst. I envisaged an end to the cruising dream. You cannot care for a person profoundly disabled on a boat. Jo’s son is on the (long) road to recovery. In short, he is alive and as well as could be expected. And whilst it has been a struggle at times and no doubt there are struggles to come, we too are alive and well. And you cant ask much more than that.

He is walking unassisted, in fact he has been for a few weeks now. He has started back at work this week, and life is returning to normal. Jo and I would like to thank all those that knew of our family crisis  and offered such kind words and thoughts of us during this time. We are back. The build continues, our lives have never been better. I wasnt going to mention this very personal life event in this blog, partially out of respect for Jo’s family privacy (and its why I have not referred to Jo’s son by name), but Jo wanted me to, and on reflection it fits well with the narrative of this entry. Here I am over 6 years into a 5 year build because, as I put it earlier, life got in the way. And this event is a part of life. People have all sorts of tragedy and triumph over the time it takes to build a boat. Some can get it done in 3 years some in 10. It does not matter. Over even 3 years many things in life change. Some dramatically. For us all of these ups and downs are part of the (I hate this cliché but cant think of another way to put it) journey. My advise to would be builders is accept it, embrace it and get on with it. I have a new mantra. The longer it takes and the harder it seems, the colder the first beer sipped watching the first sunset from the rear steps will taste. But you must push on. Time waits for no man!

Ok, so what have I actually been doing all this time. Well I have ticked off another couple of things that have been on the to do list for a long time and ticked off another of the milestone jobs. I have braced the roof and glassed the edge of the cockpit roof (its much stiffer now), fitted the windlass base, laid all of the wiring and water pipes ready to be connected to the various hardware at each end, and have glassed the dashboards in over each bedroom.

Ever since first putting the roof on a couple of years ago I have been concerned by the amount of flex in the roof in the cockpit overhang. It is a big overhang so some flex is inevitable but it was like a diving springboard. I was still to glass the rounded edge all the way around and always thought that with a couple of layers of uni (uni directional glass) it would stiffen it enough, but just to be sure I decided to also glass a cedar brace down the middle of the roof. I have been in the process of investigating importing solar panels and the samples arrived before Christmas. I am having them scientifically evaluated and will make my final decision pending that evaluation. But the samples gave me the physical dimensions of them and helped me decide how to lay them out. If these prove to be not up to their spec sheets, then I am sure similar wattage panels will be of a similar dimension, so there is no risk if I dont import them. I have also decided I have a lot of real estate up there that I am going to cover with panels. 6 x 180 watt panels to be precise. The panels I am looking at can be walked on, are semi flexible so will curve around the curved roof and there is no reason other than cost not to cover as much roof as I can with them. And because I am importing them, they are very reasonably priced. More on this once I get a positive evaluation, I will post results and costs for anyone else interested on a great deal on solar panels. OK blatant plug aside. Having seen how they will lay out up there it became a benefit to have the centre beam strengthen the roof. One other thing that the beam would correct was a slight curve I had ended up with in the roof. Of course it curves up from front to back, but I had a slight curve from about the middle of it, going back and it curved back down again. Only very slightly, so little it was barely visible. About 50mm over the 1500mm overhang. So to correct it, I jacked the floor up past the point of level (by about 20mm), so that when the jacking brace was removed the roof would spring back down a little and hopefully into the correct position, but this was a guess and I would not know for sure until the job was finished. In the end it sprung back about 30mm so it now slopes back 10mm over 1500mm or so little as to be negligible.

 

   

To ensure a very stiff roof I put 3 layers of uni and 2 layers of double bias (one as a base over the foam edge, one over the top to seal it all in) and the layer of double bias on top overlaps over the edge to create 2 outer layers on the edges, meaning in all the edge has 6 layers of glass. There is another reason I wanted a very thick layer of glass over the edge of the roof. I intend to put a hand rail all the way around and I wanted the edge to be a substantial surface for the hand rails to be attached to. There is also 3 layers of uni, one each side overlapping in the middle and the final layer across the middle down each side of the cedar stiffening beam, and then the same with 3 layers of double bias tying it all in. The roof barely moves now, except at the very edges of the 2 corners and that section is curved down so very unlikely anyone would ever need to stand on it there and even if they did, it is immensely strong enough to hold them but will bounce a little if you jump on it there.

In the meantime I also laid nearly all of the 4mm wire around the boat to carry the 12v power to various components including the nav station electronics, water pumps including toilets, light switches and outlets etc. I still have the super heavy duty cables to lay for the windless and the outboard starters and there is going to need to be a very heavy duty cable connecting the inverter and then also the 240v wiring from it. There isnt much 240v and all of it is in the kitchen or laundry so it is a very limited run but it is still to be done (there are dedicated 24ov only conduits glassed in to where 240v will be needed so this will be a fairly quick task to lay out the wiring). I will have an electrician do that part of the work. There will also be some wiring from the solar panels to the regulator charger and I will need to work out the route this will take, I have it worked out, there is space inside the slide out pantry for conduits that will take that wiring from the underside of the cockpit roof (the cabling from the solar panels needs to come through the roof, which is a potential water leak point, so I will have this over the cockpit rather than into the saloon, then through the bulkhead into the pantry) and from the bottom of the pantry it goes into the kitchen cupboard and around with the other wiring to the electrics cupboard. But all of that will happen once the panels arrive and are fitted near the end of the fit out.

The space between the forward bunks has always been set aside for tanks, in the designers brief that includes fuel tanks for inboard diesels and water tanks but as I will have outboard motors I do not need to store bulk fuel in this area, besides I would not want to, considering it is a more volatile fuel than diesel. And the space is capable of about 900 litres in total and we just dont need that much water storage (or the weight that entails, 900 litres is 900kgs!). So I had always intended and had built in bulkheads to have 600 litres of water (only ever to be filled when going on a long passage that would require us to have that much water in reserve) and forward of them is to be the second anchor well which would become the main anchor well. The D section directly in front is the designated anchor well and will become our back up anchor well with a spare anchor ready to deploy in a emergency (main anchor dragging) or whenever the situation calls for twin anchor deployment although there is much debate about whether deliberately setting 2 anchors is wise. I dont know so the likely answer is we wont ever.

  

The anchor well between the bunks brought with it a few problems along with its advantages. By building the second anchor well further aft toward the centre of the boat we have the benefit of not only a much deeper well but bringing the weight of the chain and windless further toward the middle of the boat and off the bows.

But this presented a bit of a problem. The height of the winch. The chain will travel at the height of the catwalk, which starts at the back edge of the middle of the forebeam and then to remain level it meets the D section just above the forward point, so its quite a bit lower than the full height of the new anchor well. It is also behind the D section anchor well so the chain must travel across it to get to the new well. This is not a big deal, I will just fit a steel hawser pipe at the back edge of the catwalk, through the top of the D section well and through the bulkhead (Below the uni trough in the top of it) and through to the new anchor well. Ideally the chain should travel in a straight run to the gypsy to minimise friction and noise of the chain rubbing on the edge of the pipe and under tension it can travel through the pipe hardly touching the sides. But with the winch elevated, it will come out of the aft edge of the hawser pipe and then have to turn upward to the gypsy. I experimented with having the winch directly opposite where the hawser pipe will enter but this put the winch too low in the well. The winch needs to be accessible for adjusting the clutch, hand cranking the winch in the case of power loss and having to raise the anchor manually and of course for fitting and servicing. This lower position was just too low for these purposes. And of course, what is the point of having a really deep fall if only to mount the winch deep in the well and losing all the fall (too shallow a fall and you have issues with the way the chain piles up under the winch and if too shallow it can even topple over making it impossible to get chain out from under other chain that has fallen over the pile trapping it).

To further make up my mind to not have the winch low is that the other side of the winch is a capstan for rope and this can be used for a variety of jobs not least raising the spare anchor by the capstan instead of having to haul it manually, but this would not be possible with the winch mounted low. The winch base is made from 25mm ply and I have glassed it in using 4 layers of uni each side to ensure it is extremely strongly mounted. The weight of the boat would not normally be on the windless as you snubber (rubber or rope bridle attached to the forebeam and attached to the anchor chain to take the load and provide some spring) the chain off or at the very least secure the chain to the bow roller or some other strong point to take the load off the winch. But before that is done and for brief periods during set and retrieval the entire weight of the boat will be pulling on the winch. I also have a slot in the back of the winch pad, as I have water pipes, power cables and maybe even ropes may need to pass through the pad. I have jumped up and down on the pad, it doesnt move, of course this would nowhere near equate to the kind of loads it could face but I think it is strong enough. It will still need a layer of glass over the entire top and another coat of epoxy white over to finally seal it when I eventually drill the winch bolt holes. When I eventually fit the hawser pipe, which I cant do until the boat is faired because it travels through the D section, the lid of which will be cut from the deck so it must be fair before it is cut, I will also fit a roller of some kind to turn the chain up from the hawser exit to the gypsy with the minimum of friction or jolt as each link bounces in turn over it. The bigger the roller the lesser the jarring but there is not a lot of room in there for too big a roller. Maybe the solution is not to have a roller at all but to gently angle the hawser so it takes the chain from the horizontal of the catwalk to the required angle to meet the gypsy. It can meet that gypsy at any angle, it is round so the sooner it meets it in the arc (say 7 o’clock instead of the horizontal of 9 o’clock) the more teeth of the gypsy in contact with chain so theoretically the better the windless will have grip over the chain before it deposits it over the back into the hole in the mounting pad to the fall into the well.

 

Next I started on one of the big jobs, finally fitting the dashboards. Initially the dashboards were going to span in one piece across the boat over both bedrooms and the tank area between them, so of course the tanks needed to be completed before the dashboard could go on. Originally I had intended to save the money of purpose built water tanks by building my own. I glassed the panels in to separate the 1200mm space into 3 x 390mm (the rest of the space is the thickness of the dividing panels) x 600mm wide by 1000mm deep tanks each holding about 200 litres. I even bought the potable water paint to seal them with. Then I got cold feet about it. I decided that the floor of the tanks is the bridgedeck and with 1 meter of water above creating quite considerable head pressure, I could not risk there being even the slightest weakness in the seal because if water ever got through the glass into the balsa core, the water pressure would push it all the way through the core and could undermine the structure of the entire boat. I just cant live with the risk. For the small amount of money in the overall build cost it is money well spent. I will now have 2 300 litre tanks, side by side (one port one starboard) 295mm wide, 1200mm long and 1000mm deep. So in order for them to fit into the space I have to cut out the 2 panels I had previously glassed in.

The space beneath the dashboards is actually 1100mm and when I was making my own tanks I was going to have them plumbed from above with the take up pipe extending to the base of the tanks but coming out of the top, the filler and breather also coming out of the top, so the 100mm void was needed to fit all of the plumbing so the dashboard would give me the clearance. But when I switched to pro built tanks I decided to have all the tank services at the forward end of the tanks, which would be accessible through the anchor well in front of them, and could lower the dashboard over the tanks as a recess in order to hold the tanks in place and to become a lowered tray for a variety of things, somewhere to throw everyday things like keys, sunglasses, binoculars, all the little day to day things that need somewhere handy to be put where they wont move anywhere. And all of that meant that they now have nothing to do with the tanks and the dashboards could be glassed in now, before the tanks arrive.

So once I had cut the now redundant and in the way tank walls I started on trimming the dashboards to just lids for the bedrooms and to the curve of the cabin side. The dashboard came as part of the kit, but many years ago I discovered that the height of the bulkhead and dividing walls that set the dashboard height only left room for a small hatch in the bedroom to the outside deck. By raising the dashboard just 120mm and as a result of the angled front cabin side the hatch space doubled, allowing for a 600mm hatch instead of a 300mm hatch. Every win is a loss somewhere else but I felt I could live with losing 120mm of saloon window height by raising the dashboard. And of course the added headroom in the bedrooms is a big bonus. But as the dashboard is now raised it is not the correct size, it is oversize and needs to be trimmed down. And the forward edge meets an angled cabin turret. It always would have so once trimmed to size the next step of bevelling the edge would have happened no matter what. But it was easier to bevel the edge first, knowing I had overhang on the other edges to be trimmed, that way if I made a mistake the panel could be corrected with no risk of it ending up too small.

  

The dry fitting brought to light a minor mistake I had made all the way back in the first weeks of construction. I got one of the z joins slightly out of level. It meant that the join of the duflex down the middle of the dashboard panel was causing a trough on one side and a hill on the other. In this case the hill is on the underside in the starboard bedroom and the trough on the top saloon side. If you look closely at the dry fit pic above you can see a hollow under the spirit level. I will fix this by some bog on the top side but the underside will likely be lined and if not and painted I am not too concerned. Whilst the hollow is visible you cannot see the hill on the underside. Maybe it will be a little more noticeable with paint on, but I doubt it.

So once I had them both fit to size I glassed them in. Not a major job except that I had to work fast because its a large area of glue that sets fast in summer heat and to avoid having to sand set glue I wanted to cove it and glass it wet on wet. So with pre organisation and having everything ready and a routine worked out I managed to get it all done in time. It was tight, I just made the coves over hardening glue here and there and then just made the taping over hardening coves here and there. The first one took me 4 hours, the second one only 3 as I got the hang of it. And as is usually the case with twin jobs, I did a better job second time around. Because of the trough in the first one, and because I did the one with the trough first I was a bit up and down in getting it level. I had it braced from below to the right height with the braces pre-cut to length when dry fitting and because of the shape the braces have the effect of jamming the bevelled panel into the cabin sides. And I set them by having spirit levels above telling me that the dashboard was level, but somehow in the hurry of getting it all done in the heat I managed to get one section too low and another too high but still have the overall panel level. So it moves up and down where it meets the cabin side, and is visible because the join line moves up and down but the panel itself is level overall except for the trough in the middle. Because it was not visible before the cove line that joins the dash to the curved section of cabin side, and because this top cove was the last one I did after completing the underside in the bedroom, this up and down did not reveal itself until it we too late to move the dashboard to adjust it back out. And moving it wet would have ruined the nice job I did of the underside coves and glassing. Those that have tried to move a setting coved panel after the glass is on will know exactly what I mean. Just too messy, too hard to fix and if the coving is already setting and going off it wont budge anyway, even if you wanted to try. Nah, easier to fix the visible unevenness above than risk trying to move it now.

So the bog work will also have to level out the edge also. This join may end up hidden behind a facia panel I will fit once the windows are in and the dash top is finished in either paint or some kind of lining or laminate. The join is a sharply angled space that is difficult to fair so painting it is out of the question, it will need to be hidden somehow and because its a tight space its better to hide it completely with a fascia panel of about 100mm high all the way around. This can be a piece of ply covered with foam backed imitation leather (vinyl). As one solution to the trough issue in the dash I briefly considered putting a skylight roof in the bedroom ceilings which would remove a large section of the dash to be replaced by opaque perspex. It would be recessed so as to be flush to the dash top and be much thinner than the 20mm duflex that the dash is made of, perhaps only 8mm thick so the trough could be catered for in the depth of the recess so as to have the perspex end up flush or close enough to it. But in the end I decided against the skylight. We will have wrap around window in the bedrooms as a result of the raised dash so the only lost benefit is that the perspex skylight can be removable to act as added ventilation. But again we will have a much bigger hatch, as well as a portlight to aid in cross venting. Its worth mentioning though as it is common for Schionning’s to break up the quite large dash with skylights but we have decided we dont need them or the extra work to have them look well finished. Glassing the edges of the recess that houses the perspex would need to be well finished to look good and it would be a fiddly time consuming job that would be best done off the boat before the dashboards are glassed in. I decided against it.

  

The inside edges of the dashboards inside the bedrooms were coved and glass taped, the outside of the dashboard in the saloon were all convex joins so the edges were rounded with a router and sanded smooth, the balsa edges were pre coated in epoxy so it seeped in some before applying the wet tapes. If you dont pre-soak the balsa it can suck the epoxy out of the glass and cause it to set dry and not as well adhered as is ideal. I made sure the glass was epoxy rich and then peel plied to soak up the excess and to help smooth the glass down tightly to the joins.

With the anchor locker and dash in, the next step is preparing the last panel to be glassed into the boat, well the last of the kits panels. There is still the steps to be made once the outboards are hung, probably next month, but the last actual panel that came in the kit, yet to be glassed into the boat is the panel over the dashboard that joins the 2 kerfed curved saloon sides and becomes the front window panel. The irony of this is that once glassed in, most if it will then be cut out again for the middle window panel, leaving only a strip the duflex along the top and bottom and each side. It cannot be glassed in until the tanks are in, and once in and this panel glassed in the tanks have to be cut out of the boat as there is not enough height to get them out without cutting a hole in the front panel again, or perhaps the bulkhead that separates the saloon from the bedrooms but this is a structural panel with uni rope buried in it so it cannot be cut without replacing the uni rope all the way to the hull sides. Very big job, would be easier to cut a hole in the front panel and glass it back in before replacing the perspex window. Anyway, that wont ever happen so no point thinking of contingencies for it. The panel is already the correct size but to make life a little easier I glassed a piece into the boat about 100mm wide across the front of the boat where this panel goes effectively making the hole 100mm smaller so I needed to trim the main panel down by that 100mm. The reason I glassed this in is that being smaller it is easier to handle and glass in neatly and makes the next join of the main panel so much easier to do as I dont have to make the tape go around the corner and down the bulkhead in front, I just have a flat taping to do all around. And just for the fun of it, before dry fitting this panel I marked where I think the windows will be cut out of the turret walls. It gives me a better idea of what the boat will end up looking like.

  

  

With the panel snugly fit I marked where the 3 hatches would go. 2 of the hatch openings will have hatches fitted for the bedrooms. Escape hatches big enough to climb through, so that from fast asleep I can be deploying the emergency anchor on the bow in seconds should I wake to feel the anchor dragging. I just climb straight out onto the foredeck. I dont have to climb down into the hull then back up the stairs, through the probably closed door, through the cockpit and up onto the hull decks and around to the bow. Those seconds saved could one day save the boat. At the very least I am able to stand up in bed, do a check and if a false alarm be back in bed in seconds. The third hatch in the middle is the anchor well lid. Its lid will be made from the price of panel cut out of it. It will be hinged back on once treated. That means the edges will need to be de-cored and back filled, both of the lid and the panel, especially the panel, its edges will need uni ropes, the edges of the hatch lid wont, but I will probably do so anyway just to beef it up as it will be stepped on and if it gave way you could break your leg.

So once marked out I cut them out of the panel before it gets glassed in. Because of the extra piece I glassed in, it disects the hatch openings which means I cant uni fill the edges off the boat, so the saved work in one area means the uni rope work will be a little more difficult on the boat, but they would have needed to be done one way or the other so not that big a deal. Just a little more time consuming on the boat rather than on the bench. I could at least cut the openings in the relative comfort of being on the ground on a bench. I got quite a neat job done.

  

  

When I had the hatch spaces cut out I dry fit the panel again and for the first time the look of that section of the boat revealed itself for the first time. Moments like these call for intense staring at from different angles. Its just hard not to. Something you have pictured in your mind for months sometimes years is finally revealed in real life. The anchor well is slightly larger than the 2 escape hatch openings. But in the interest of symmetry I made them all level across the bottom and the middle hatch is slightly higher. This worked for best access to the anchor well. I was tempted to keep them all the same height but felt that the added access to the windless and the tank fittings behind the anchor well was better served with a slightly taller middle hatch. The lid is the same as the boat, sprayed white so only the outline of the edge would be visible when closed anyway. And the raised centre hatch look works anyway. What I discovered prior to dry fitting the panel was that I might need to cut a hole in the deck below the hatch edge right next to it, touching it, because of the height of the windless capstan and a likely bow roller on the forebeam and in order to have a rope not rub on deck anywhere I might need that hole. But as luck would have it, with the height marked of the best position of the escape hatches from the inside of the bedrooms, the height of the bottom of the anchor locker would be low enough to encompass the space I was thinking would be the rope hole, so it wont be needed. At least at this stage. Confirmation will only come once the bow roller is made (custom stainless steel fabrication) and fitted.

  

Just for the fun of it, the last pic is a mock up of what our window profile will look like. A bit different to any other cat out there with the separate wrap windows for the bedroom to match the wrap of the saloon. About the only decision to be made is whether we need a mullion in the middle rectangle front saloon window. It is currently 1800mm x 900mm which may be a little big. It has to be able to withstand a green wave over the hulls and smashing into the turret without being stoved in.

With the hatch openings cut I decided where I would like the windless deck foot switches, 2 of them, up and down, and the pad they will be fitted to. I made up a ply pad and worked out where it would best fit for ease of operation of anchor winch raising either chain on the gypsy or rope on the capstan. Next I made a ply panel to be glassed under the anchor well lid as its support in the down position. Even though the lid is on the angled turret, I might still be stepped on or sat on and must be strong enough to support 100kgs of person on it, and some in case they fall on it. The well opening with the windless base in the top of it already makes getting into the bottom of the well very difficult so I cant close the opening by much with the ply pad, so I decided that the sides could afford 30mm of overhang but top and bottom only 20mm. Once cut to size with the opening also cut to size I routed the egdes top and bottom round. I may one day need to squeeze in and out so I dont want sharp edges. I wont completely cover this with glass I will just coat it with epoxy to protect it. It will be glassed into the well though, as I said it must be able to support someone falling on the lid. The anchor locker is already a “wet” locker, that is, the chain will enter the locker wet, so there is no real need to seal the lid so that it is water tight. But at the same time you dont want water to flood in so I will put thin rubber seal on the inside edge of the ply ring to direct water that seeps through the open surround of the lid to the ply and a drain at the bottom of the deck opening, through the deck not into the well. It only needs to be 1mm thick, just enough to redirect water out of the well. The well will have a drain at the bottom so it does not matter that some water will get into the well but there is an electric winch motor that even though it too is sealed against the elements it is not designed to be immersed.

I also had a go at one of the lining ideas I have been harbouring (pun intended) for a long time. Sadly it did not work as well as I had hoped. I found a thin plastic laminate similar looking to laminex but made from vinyl instead of compressed paper. This made the product extremely flexible. Unfortunately a little too flexible. Well on first attempt anyway. I decided to experiment  on the inside wall of the walk in wardrobe in the port bedroom. It is an area I had not intended to line or finish in any way other than to white epoxy coat as I have done on the inside of other cupboards. It wont be seen when full of clothes and even so, it is after all a cupboard even though it is room sized, so I am not too concerned with how it ends up looking. So what I did was attempt to glue some up doing the absolute minimum of preparation work. I just ground down any really obvious spurs or rough glass edges or glue dobs etc. But I didnt fair it in any way. I left the tapes as protruding as they would be if I white coated. I applied the contact with a brush instead of the best method of spraying it on, but this experiment was more to see if I could get the laminate to stick on in place and if it stayed stuck. And I did all of this on one of the hottest days of summer so far. The results mirrored the preparations. It went up easily enough. It is super easy to cut to size and shape, you can just use scissors. It even curves around the coves if I want it to.

But because I didnt feather out the tapes they are still visible albeit faintly, under the lining. And because I brushed the glue on I have pools of it under the lining, thick in parts thin in others. And finally because I applied it at the peak of heat of the day on a 35 degree day I got some air bubbles develop under the lining the next day as the weather cooled. All in all I could not have done a worse job, and still it looks presentable. For a closet. Not good enough though for a highly visible wall like a bedroom wall. The good news is it has stayed stuck and now that I have rolled out the air bubbles they have not re-appeared. I am going to attempt it again this time lightly fairing the tapes out, spraying the glue on and applying it on a cooler day and if this is more successful the idea is not dead yet.

  

I guess what the above pics show is that there is no completely lazy way to get a great finish. And the better the finish required, the more preparation work needed to achieve it. I guess I always knew this. The above is zero internal fairing. Painting requires the maximum of internal fairing, as paint, especially gloss shows up not only every ripple and bump in the surface but after you bog to get the ripples out, every pin hole in the bog, which when painting you remove with layers of high-build paint, which is a thinner version of bog. In all you could coat a surface about 5 times and sand it between each coating before you top coated with finish paint. I may end up having to bog and fair to a degree, but if a better application of this lining ends up working, I at least know I dont have to fill pin holes.

Next week the tanks arrive. Once fitted and a top made to cover them in the saloon the front panel can finally go on to seal the cabin closed. The top in the saloon extend over the anchor well which will have the lid elevated back up to top of dash height to enable access through the anchor well (under the dashboard) to all the various plumbing to the tanks including a cheap but effective way to have depth guages fitted to your tanks. (After market tank senders will cost in vicinity of $200 per tank, I have them for $40 per tank and just as effective (more on them when the tanks are fitted). Then once that panel is in some external fairing of the turret will need to take place before the wrap around windows can be cut out again to flood the saloon and bedrooms with light again. And of course that is another section of high visual impact work that will really show off how the boat will look when finished. I cant wait for that. After that is done it will be time to finally finish the outboard fitting and rudder fitting so that the rear steps can finally complete the outward look of the boat. And then the hulls and decks can finally be faired and eventually painted. Here and there I have been working out deck hardware layout for winch pads, sheeting block pads etc. But there is still a little engineering being done on how we sheet the twin booms so more on that as it is finalized.

But happily the boat is starting to finally reveal its final look. Unfortunately there is hours and hours of low visual impact work between the few high visual impact hours left on the build. Work continues nonetheless. Thanks again for sticking with me and reading.

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Paul