Today we cut a cardboard stencil to ensure I had the correct size of the floor and then once I had trimmed it here and there I had my size and I transferred its shape to a piece of ply and cut it out. Sam and his sons helped again, and the youngest came up with what sounded like a funny idea but ended up being a good on. I crouched down in the space and they lowered the floor down on with me underneath. I was able to see where it was binding and after just one trim it fell down onto the ledges perfectly. I pushed it out from under it ready to glue it all in.

I then coved and glassed the floor bases that yesterday I had glued into the first buoyancy chamber between BH3 and BH2 in the port hull (I am going to put floors in 4 of the 6 sections, not doing the most forward ones in each hull). The cove applied with a flat scraper so is not a half round as normal then whilst wet I applied glass tapes all around and rolled it down with the detail roller to be sure there were not air bubbles. Before I started I cut 2 glass offcuts to size and whilst I was glassing the bases in the boys were wetting out the bottom of the floor.

I then smeared a lot of glue along the top and got out and we lowered the floor down onto the glued base frame. I then got in again and back filled the edges with glue and coved the edges. While doing this the boys were wetting out the tapes and once I was done coving I laid the wet glass on and rolled it down to seal the floor in. I decided not to push on and glass the top today, I will wait for it to set, sand the tapes and top and glass the top, probably in 2 pieces.

I then glued the bases into the corresponding space on the starboard hull. The method is to decide on a height and screw the first side level to the bulkhead, then you do the same on either side hull panel ensuring you maintain the level and finally the other bulkhead. Once all dry fitted you remove one at a time, butter up the piece with glue and re attach it to set, once all 4 are on and set you cove and glass them as I did today.

I intend to make the next 2 higher so that the space below the top is less deep, these will be deck hatches to store fenders and docking lines.

Then to finish for the day, I cut the last sheave box into the second dagger (the bottom half sheave) and glued it in. I am still to fair the second side of the second board, the fourth and final side. The bog on this last side was only applied yesterday using the mold as a screed (this means it is almost fair already and will sand fair a little easier) and is not set enough to sand today but I can start on it tomorrow. The last 2 boxes are glued in but I am still to grind them back to faired in.

For regular readers you will know that on the first day of each new season I inspect the PureSeal sample I am testing. For new readers PureSeal is a prototype antifoul that claims to last 5 years or more and works by staying so slippery that nothing can grip to it and I have a test panel of it hanging off the pier where I live. The first sample was an abject failure. But the second sample is still working after 18 months in the water.

I actually tested it a week ago prior to leaving for the boat show because I wanted to know if it was still working so I could talk to the importer at the show (that is what the stripe down each side is). The importer is still deciding if they will re release it to the market having lost a lot of money on the failed first batch. As far as I am concerned, it is still working properly. If I had applied normal antifoul to a cat when I first put this in the water, now is about the time that I would be hauling it out to remove growth and re apply it, so lets call it a couple of grand in slip fees, and about a grand to re antifoul. All I would be doing if I had this on my cat would be to anchor in shallow water and giving it a wipe every 3 months or so.

As you can see from the test plate it still wipes clean using just the skin on my finger. There are some hairline scratches on the surface but they don’t seem to affect the performance, they started to appear on the last test 3 months ago. The panel comes out of the water with just light algal cover, no hard crustacean growth (compare that to the original test panel that showed a failure after 9 months and has now been in the water 27 months and has oysters growing on it).

pureseal 1 June 08pureseal 1 June 08 algaepureseal 1 June 08 cleanoriginal pureseal

As far as I am concerned, the test is about a third of the way through, or maybe half. If this is the way the panel will perform in another 18 months I will be applying it to my boat as I will be about to launch some time after that. 3 years in the water and still working for me makes the stuff a bargain. I have copper epoxy on my hulls and this works in a similar way but starts to lose its effectiveness after a few years as the copper exposed to the surface loses its toxicity to growth. Who knows this stuff might also lose its effectiveness after the same period meaning I would be no better off with it than my hulls would already be with copper epoxy but I will continue to report and if it continues to work it makes the decision to buy it easier.

A good start to the month.

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Paul