I did another 4 hours on the boat today. I could have done more, given it was a public holiday but I spent the morning with Jo. Jo wanted to see Sex and the City movie so I went with her, she had organised to go on Friday evening with some friends but she wasn’t feeling too well. Whilst it isn’t a movie I would normally choose to see, I enjoyed seeing it with Jo, not least because she clearly enjoying it so much. Its a 2.5 hour movie and we went to the 10.30am session so I didn’t get the the shed until 2pm.

I glued the false floor into the more forward hatch between BH1 and BH2. I had the bases (duflex strips) already glued so today I coved the bottom of them and glassed them in, glassed the bottom of the ply and glued it into the boat. I pushed glue down into the join and if I had time I would have coved the top and taped it in, but because I didn’t have time I just made a rough cove with my finger and tomorrow I will run a proper cove over the glue and tape it down. I will then also glass the top to fully seal the panel in.

I ran out of time because before I started on the ply floor I cut the bulkhead slots into the forebeam. It started badly. Despite reading the Schionning manual on installing the forebeam numerous times over the past few days including twice yesterday, and also re reading the plans I started cutting the slot on the wrong side of the ply web. The instructions clearly say to cut the slot at the back of the ply web so the aft face of the ply web glues against the forward face of bulkhead 1 but I started cutting the slot to the front of the web. Fortunately I only got about 200mm in before I noticed my mistake. Also fortunate is that this will fix fairly easily (in fact I glued it today and tomorrow it will be fixed). In the end even if left unglued, it will be of little consequence. The beam will be glued and glassed onto both the forward and rear side of the bulkhead and the cut is just 20cm on out of 4 70cm edges and will be under the glass that joins the beam to the bulkhead.

Still having said all that I would still have preferred to not make the mistake but you are going to make them so better they are minor. What was more annoying is that I managed to mark out the saw cut line on the beam measuring and marking it out and still hadn’t picked up I was marking it in the wrong place.

One of the reasons I realised the mistake early is that the beam is so hard to cut. I tried my battery circular saw but it just didn’t have the grunt. I started with my jigsaw but it was like I was cutting it with a butter knife. I changed the blade and that worked for about 200mm before it was blunt also. You know when it is blunt as it stops cutting and starts burning. In the end it is pointless continually changing blades as it is the glass that is blunting the blades so fast. So I just persevered with the blunt blade. Once I had the first slot cut out (so both sides of the slot on one side and end of the beam so that the piece comes out, so it is 2 700mm saw cuts) I then used the grinder sander to trim down the slot to size (I had undercut to be on the safe side) and to ensure the slot was exactly at the face of the ply web so it is in full contact with the bulkhead face. I then went to the other end of the beam and cut that end out, this time in the right place from the start. I then turned the beam over and cut the other side out to complete the slot on one end. Again I repeated the method used, using the grinder to finish the slot to size. I had a piece of duflex the same width as the bulkhead to ensure it was a good fit. Not too tight and not too loose, and flush with the web. Then finally the last cut and both slots are done. I have followed the tip in the instructions to stop the slot 10mm short and to trim them out on the job once a dry fit is attempted.

Later this week I will prepare to fit the beam. I have read the building manual and whilst it does not mention to re check the levels of the hulls I am going to do this with the water level (water in a hose) to be sure the 2 hulls are still correctly set at the same height. I have to admit that it didn’t occur to me to check this, but I mentioned to James that I would need a hand to lift the beam up and he asked if I had checked the levels and it makes sense. I am not sure what if anything I will be able to do about them if they are not given that they are glued and glassed to each other for 2 thirds of their lengths via the bridgedeck but if they are just a little out perhaps I can raise the low one with the pallet jack until the are level and the beam glued in. I don’t expect them to be out but I guess I should check them before gluing the beam in but I suspect that the manual doesn’t worry too much about it because only minor decencies can be fixed.

Finally today, I have glued the last piece back onto the port hull, the piece I cut off the chamfer panel when fitting it all those months ago. I had been waiting until I had finished all of the work inside these sections of hull as they make getting in and out all the harder. I wont glass these glue joins separately as they will get covered by tapes when I join the hulls to the strip planked sections.

So tomorrow I will finish the hatch floor taping in the Port bow, and glue the floor into the Starboard side if I get time, if not then Wednesday in preparation for fitting the beam.

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Paul