In parts of Australia today was a public holiday including where I live in Sydney but not in Melbourne where the company I work for is based so I still had to do some work but still got the afternoon to work on the boat. The work I did was to set up all of the mold frames for making the roof. I still have about 3 more to do but I have set all of the pre cut molds that came with the kit. The rear set of molds that mirror bulkhead 6 are repeated if I want the roof to continue past the rear bulkhead and over the cockpit, which I do, so I need to cut more of them out of mdf or ply and set them out at roughly 500mm centres for as long as I want to run the cockpit roof. I want to run my roof about 1800mm past bulkhead 6 so I have decided I will need 3 more frames, I have cut one set and will cut 2 more sets later this week and attach them to finish the frame to the entire size of my planned roof.

I started by setting the front frame that I had sat in roughly the correct place last night, but not before I finished the ply base so that I would mark out the curve of the front to side of the roof. The plans tell you the radius of the curves but don’t show the axis of the circles that the radius is taken from, that is how far from front and side edges that the centre of the circle is. I decided to try to draw the line freehand, well not freehand but with a strip of duflex curved to where I thought the curve would go using the side edge and the point of the first frame as a guide but I was not particularly happy that I had it right. So I tried making a giant compass out of the strip of duflex. I knew the radius so I set a screw in the strip at the radial length from a marker pen in the other end of the strip and then I set about figuring where the centre of the circle would be with some trial and error. I eventually found it on one side, took measurements so that I could easily find the other side and marked out the roof front to side curve shape.

first 2 roof frames setroof frame marking curveroof frames setroof frames set 1

With the corner curves marked and the outside dimension known but the front and rear frames down it was just a matter of setting each frame the correct distance from the next, centred and square and level. Eventually (after 5.5 hours!!!) I had them all fixed in place. I felt very satisfied that I had got this all done today but my back was starting to hurt a little from being bent over under the bridgedeck all day!

I decided to do one more little job before knocking off for the day. I kerfed the 2 seat back panels so that I could get that final cockpit shape in. I set the saw and just cut the first kerfs by eye. I got them wrong! The panel would not bend the way I wanted it to. No matter, I just cut them correctly and it bent as I wanted so I ran some screws into the panel to just hold it in place. I cut the other side also by eye but this time at roughly the correct angles and it bent the way I wanted so I repeated screwing it into place and stood back to admire my cockpit.

I wont be gluing these backs in until the duckboard and steps are in as these shapes need to compliment or match the seat back. I have screwed them in for now so that I have a starting point from which to work when making the other side of the bulkhead at the duckboard and steps. The top of this triangular area will include drink holders set in the top and fishing rod holders. I have been tossing up whether these need to be drained but in the end I will ensure that they cant leak and let evaporation take care of any water that sits in the bottom of them.

Today was a very satisfying day. I don’t need to confess that I have in some ways been putting off making this frame. Oh I had a very legitimate reason for doing so. I still have to strip plank the roof and just setting the frames under the bridgedeck bent over all day was not as comfortable as it would have been had I had space next to the boat to work which will be free in about another month or so. I would still be bent over making the frame on the floor unless I had a big table to work on but it would be more comfortable. But those that have read the whole blog would know that there are many jobs I have put off because I feared doing them, and each time when I finally got over that and did them I found the fear unfounded. But there is also a raised level of satisfaction when you successfully complete a job you have feared doing. You would think by now I would have learnt to just get on with it but fear gets us all in some ways. And we all get over them when we are ready. And the raised levels of satisfaction are rewards enough in themselves to worry about changing who I am. I write this in part for the benefit of anyone putting off starting out of fear. If you are considering building then let me tell you that you already have it within you to do it. You would not be considering it if you did not. Don’t let it stop you. You wont regret it. Much!

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Paul