Gremlins creep in at the most unexpected moments. I lay awake last night carefully planning the almost military set up of getting the u bolts into the beam and the 2 halves glued together in one fluid operation. I started by setting out everything I would need for the entire job in the order I would need them, including cutting lengths of double bias and uni glass. The intention was to glue and glass the blocks into place first resin coating the timber block then seating it in a bed of glue before covering it with a layer of glass, then mix some of the special flexible resin, glue the u bolts into the beam through the blocks with it, over a layer of uni on the outside of the beam by first wetting out a small 100mm section under the u bolt front plate then wetting out the rest of the uni once the 2 halves were glued together and wrapping the wet uni around the beam once it was glued together.

But as I was doing up the locking nuts onto the first u bolt they got very tight before the SS plate had been pulled in tight so in effect they locked early. I am told because SS is very fragile and that I needed to lubricate the nuts as they went on to prevent the heat from building and stripping the threads. I didn’t know this (it is counter intuitive to me to lubricate something you want to lock tight!) and had already ruined the threads so I had to pull the u bolts back out and throw away the uni I had started to wet out and settle for just having the blocks glued in. I also cleaned the wet glue off the stainless straps to redo next time.

Assuming I had successfully attached the locking nuts on both u bolts, next I would have laid a small section of glass over the nuts inside the beam as a secondary protection against them ever coming undone, then i would have buttered up the front edge, back edge and centre cedar strip with glue and screwed the 2 halves to each other to set, wiping off any excess glue that oozed out, then once set I could remove the screws and back fill the holes and any other areas with glue, then later again sand it back and finally glass it, with a layer of uni already under the u bolt and around the beam. I would have just cut a slot in the next layers of glass over the beam at the u bolts. The entire beam outside will need a layer of uni with the threads along the beam and a layer of double and extra layers of uni with threads around the beam at the u bolts. Whilst glassing the outside of the beam I will also glass in conduit for the tramps.

This is still the plan but it will now have to wait until I replace the u bolt but at least the blocks will already be glued into the beam. Then once all that is done I will have to fair the beam, trim the ends to size and cut a slot for the bulkhead and then finally glue it into the hulls.

I had really hoped to finish gluing the beam today, so with that disappointment aside I went back to the dingy. I sanded the bog back off and then applied a layer of high build. One of the most annoying things about bog is that no matter how thin you try to apply it, you always end up sanding 90% of it back off.

Work will see me busy until at least mid week so not much will happen on the build until then, when I hope to get the inside of the strip planking sanded ready to glass, then back onto the boat for setting. I wont be able to glass until I have people to help me lift it back onto the boat whilst the glass is still wet. Last time we needed 3 to do it, one at each end and one in the middle and that wont happen until later next week.

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Paul