Another milestone day. The catwalk is now a part of the boat and is glued in place. I finished fairing the top of the catwalk sides today, actually I created some work for myself yesterday, the resin from the underside coat dripped under and onto the top sides (the catwalk was upside down at the time so the top was underneath) so I had to sand all of that off first and in the process finished the fairing. I then turned it over again and coated the underside with highbuild so that later when the boat is painted, a light sand of the highbuild and the underside will be ready for paint. Ideally I would sand that highbuild before gluing the catwalk on but I didn’t want to lose another day waiting for it to fully set and it only needs a light run with the orbital to finish. Murphy the fairing rule maker adjudicated again today, as with the forebeam I did a better job of fairing the catwalk undersides than topsides.

I trimmed the rear ends of the sides back the thickness of the foredeck so that it will slide under the sides when the catwalk is set on the bulkheads. Because of the angles it may not get under and if it cant I will have to cut the full shape of the side out of the foredeck and then glue the pieces back on from inside and glass it all back together once the foredeck is glued on and a hatch is cut out. I trimmed the catwalk out of the foredeck minus the side shapes in the hope I can slide the deck under the sides and then glue it all and glass it all. After about half an hour the highbuild was dry enough to handle the catwalk and I placed it on the boat ready to glue it on.

I then removed all of the bog from on the beam around where the catwalk would be glassed on (so about 150mm radius of the tape areas). Then I mixed a batch of glue up and buttered the front of the catwalk where it is shaped to wedge the back of the forebeam. Then once it was covered both sides I pushed it into place, in places some excess glue squeezed out in others more glue was needed. I wedged a brace under the catwalk to hold it up tightly in place. Then I thought the right front edge was a little high based on the position of the conduit, they need to line up each side, so I put a screw with a timber washer through to push it down again, but later once the glue had set I realised I was mistaken and it was in fact correct to start with and I had now made it low on the front right edge. At first I was annoyed with myself, then I realised that this was a blessing in disguise as the catwalk sloped down forward and right meaning it would be the perfect way to drain the inside of the box and anchor chain channel pulling water away from the deck and stopping it pooling inside. I should of thought of it and done it on purpose!

With the front glued down I moved to the foredeck and glued the back of the catwalk to the bulkheads. Then I made some filler up and started filling and coving all of the gaps. In one section on the top of the forebeam I had a little too much glue (as the gap was quite big) going off and I got some exothermic heat happening and it started smoking but nothing too serious. I did a lot of coving today whereas usually I would cove and glass wet on wet but because these coves and gaps are a bit bigger than usual I have decided to cove today, sand them to shape and smooth tomorrow before glassing then glass them.

Once it is all glassed on I can glue the foredeck on, so tomorrow my task is to glass all of the catwalk joins in and to paint the inside of the 3 foredeck lockers inside with the white epoxy paint in readiness for the foredeck to go on. I enjoyed today as I do on the milestone days, but also because the catwalk is another self design and it is particularly satisfying to think out a design myself and apply it, making my boat a touch different to anyone else’s.

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Paul