I am deliberately posting a lot of pictures and description of this section of the build because most new builders find it a daunting prospect, but I have found it should not be so worried about. It is a fairly easy job. Not physically or mentally challenging and can easily be done single handed. I am almost finished the first strip planked hull to deck curve. I have to take the now single panel off the boat, sand the inside and fill with thickened glue and then glass it whilst the glue is wet. I may peel ply the inside also.
The first task I had yesterday (Saturday) was to sand the bogged curved section back and try to shape it. In retrospect I probably could have done a more thorough job of that before I proceeded to glass and bog but I can fix it later. I could not see the imperfections as clearly before the glass and bog went on, it looked ok but after I bogged it I could see that I was still a bit high on the corner. Being low is easier to fix after the glass is on but being high may mean sanding through the glass to get to the correct height meaning I will have to glass a patch on, again not a big deal but more work nonetheless.
Once I decided the shape was good I cut the glass to size ready to wet it out, then starting at the bow (for no particular reason) and working back I wet it out. It is better to work from one end to the other rather than from the middle out to the ends unless you have 2 people glassing and even then I would recommend each starting at the ends and meeting in the middle, that way the meeting is of fresh wet resin not wet onto partially green resin, especially in hot weather. Some people use rollers, I prefer just a 60mm paint brush. You are wetting out on a horizontal surface so you are bound to have drips and spills, you simply cannot avoid it and I find it easier to control or clean drips with a brush. I also recommend you put something on the floor to drip onto. I put the mdf sheets down, its easier than cleaning the floor later.
The shape I wanted from the bogged section looked perfect with the glass on dry. The curves and lines in all directions looked fair. Regular readers will know that once the glass is wet it becomes opaque and the surface below becomes visible again. Once I had wet the glass I could see the imperfections in the panel and that more work and bog would be needed to get it fair.
Once the glass was wet out had gone a little green (tacky but effectively set) I scraped a thin layer of fairly sloppy bog on. This meant a long 2 hour lunch. It meant that the glass would not move under when I trowelled on the bog but I would still get a chemical (molecular) bond. Again I started at the bow and worked to the stern. I scraped up any runs that had run onto the hull panel below as I went and then once I had finished a thin layer all over I used the last of the mix I had to fill any obvious low spots. This layer of bog is basically to just fill in the grain of the glass as most of the panel should be pretty fair, and then more bog can be added to the low spots. A lot of people believe this is double handling and that it is just as easy to put a thicker layer of bog on, but I think sanding it off is harder so I prefer the thin layer method. I had it drummed into me (and you should take note of previous builders advise) that weight is the enemy so I put the minimum bog on I can get away with, and then if I need more then I add it, but more compelling is that I hate to sand the stuff back off again!
All in all I am pretty happy with the way the planking has gone and I like the way it looks and it is a satisfying part of the build. I am looking forward to planking the rest of the boat, and I don’t have trepidations about doing it.
I didn’t spend much time today actually working on the boat. The bog was not yet set enough to sand so I did a little more work preparing the forebeam for gluing together and the rest of the time cleaning up the mess I made making the strips down the port side of the boat. I will need the space clear to work on the inside of the planked panel but I include cleaning up in the work hours of building the boat as it is a necessary task to completion.
So tomorrow I will probably spend some more time cleaning up a little after sanding the bog and if I have time I will pull the panel off the boat and sand the inside but I doubt I will get enough time to glass it, which means not much progress on the boat for another week or so because next weekend, starting Thursday I am busy with one of the most important weekends on my calendar.
Next weekend is the Annual Schionning Muster and I have business in Melbourne on Tuesday and Wednesday, and on Thursday I am open to visitors that want to visit the build to see it in person. If you are interested in visiting please Email us, we will be there all day Thursday. If you are interested in great catamarans I thoroughly recommend you visit the Schionning Muster at Lemon Tree Passage, NSW next Friday for the boat show, you get the opportunity to see finished boats close up at the dock and then sail on them on the weekend, contact Schionning for more details.
Jo has been noticeably missing from writing and photos on the site and has finally decided to add to her page again, check it out here and find out why.