Last January I did not get much work done (in fact I only did 34 hours for the month) because of the heat. Well, it hit 36 degrees today, but I am determined to get more done so I managed 3 hours of light duties. I repositioned the top on the boat in exactly the correct position and I was pleasantly surprised with how well it lines up. I measured the gaps for the cabin wrap around and I am at tolerances of below 5mm all around. There is no twist and the measurements are the same all around, I think it is the best tolerances I have had so far. I must be getting the hang of this boat building! I don’t even need to use screws to pull the roof down onto the bulkhead because it fits so well. I just need to lift it off the bulkhead to smear glue on the top edge to glue it down now. I just have to be careful when I put it back down that I meet up with all of the marks I have made to line it up again.
I do think the roof is still leaning down slightly as it goes forward but this will be corrected by the cabin sides as it is sitting flush to the bulkhead top. The bulkhead is still a tiny bit flexible and the top will still be able to be lifted or dropped at the front to meet the cabin sides once they go on so I am extremely happy with the fit of this massive single part. About the only slight issue I have is there appears to be a slight downturn of the roof line once it passes over the bulkhead, in other words the bulkhead marks the high point of the roof and it rises to it from the front then the cockpit overhang drops about 10mm over 2 metres once past it. I am not concerned by it as it means that water will run off the roof fast and it is hard to notice except with a straight edge. I also think the rear edge of the roof is at the exact height it should be. I want it neither higher nor lower, not that 10mm would make that much difference but the reason I believe it to be at the exact correct height is that any lower and I will start to hit my head as I step down under it into the cockpit (at this height I clear it as I step in without being conscious to miss it) and any higher and I wont be comfortable leaning on top of it with my elbows and hands under my chin when standing along the back seats to look over the cabin
So with that little job making me feel warm and fuzzy, well actually up on the boat I was feeling hot and bothered, I moved down to the relative coolness of ground level to mark the kerf lines into the massive cabin side wrap around panels. The method is to equally divide the shorter inside of the curve and the longer outside of the curve to mark the lines in a way that will mean the panel curves equally at top and bottom. The 2 panels port and starboard are identical mirror images and then there is a 2 meter square (2070mm x 2200mm) panel that joins them in the middle into one long wrap around.
I am probably going to need help to get these panels up onto the boat once I have kerfed them, they are difficult enough to man handle before I kerf them but after kerfing they will be fragile until glued onto the boat. The irony of these big panels is that the majority of them will later be cut out of them for the massive wrap around windows these boats have, leaving only the top and bottom 200mm and 4 mullions about 200mm each, but for now the panels need to stay full size in order to insure fairness.
That brief work done I headed home for another family get together, the pleasure of my company was requested home early in order to bring sauce for the bbq that we had run out of. It was unlikely I would have worked much longer, I need to procrastinate overnight before committing to gluing the roof down or cutting the kerfs! Old habits die hard. All in all a very satisfying start to 2009.