I had already glued in the first seat frames to the back of bh6 last weekend. Today I kerfed the curved seat front wrap around. It starts at the main cabin door and wraps around the cockpit to the rear bulkhead, I will then curve the rear seat to match the profile of the duckboard (and the cabin top will match this shape) and then start on the starboard set out, which is different for 2 reasons, the port side has a breakfast table the starboard side has the helm position. Even though it was raining today, it was hot and humid making work uncomfortable, but I am keen to get moving again so I just got stuck in, and finally I have something concrete to report on.

The plans also call for a layer of glass each side of the rear bulkhead, partly because the bulkhead was cut down to lay the uni rope inside, so the 2 pieces that were glued back together need to be glassed and partly because the rear bulkhead and the forward beam are the 2 most stressed members and hold the boat together square and the hulls parallel at each end. So before I can glue the seat panels in I had to glass the inside of this bulkhead, so I glassed the port hull and across the bulkhead to just before the starboard hull. I will glass the rest of it next week when I start on the helm position seating and around to the middle again to meet the port sides seating.

I started by measuring out where the turns will be and marking out the kerf lines. I had already cut kerfs into an offcut to test the number of kerfs I would need to make the radius bends I needed. Because the seat curves in both directions I need kerfs on both sides of the panel. I cut the first kerfs and then turned the panel over and cut the second and third set of kerfs. A tip when cutting closely spaced kerfs is to keep the peel ply on until after you have cut them, it minimises (it doesn’t completely stop it but does minimise) the tear up of glass fibres leaving a neater panel once it is curved and glued ready to be re glassed. For those that don’t recall, the kerfs are cut with a circular saw set to 3/4 of the depth of the panel. Basically you are making space on the inside of the curve for the panel to compress around the corner (the inside of a curve is shorter than the outside). I also cut mdf frames to the radius of the various curves (1 larger radius 2 smaller radius) to form the curves when it is glued and setting.

Once I had completed the kerfs I set about dry fitting the panel and mocking up the way the the area will look once I have completed the seats and fit the table. I also need to work out how the full rear seat will be, how I will shape it. The plans for an enclosed cockpit have the seat straight along the back bulkhead and no duck board, the plans for the walk throughs have the duckboard and a curved rear seat. I am having a combination of the 2, so I will have an enclosed cockpit, with the duckboard and a curved rear seat to match the curve of the duckboard.

I sanded the front of the rear bulkhead from the port hull (and down in it) across about 3/4 of the boat to the start of the starboard hull. I then glassed the panel using the off cuts off glass from the side panel glassing, about 500mm wide and from top to bottom overlapping them by about 50mm until I got to the top of the bridgedeck then I ran the 500mm glass along the panel in 1 strip.

During the week I will start to glue the seat front into position and glue the seat frames along the rear bulkhead ready to attach the curved seat front across the boat.

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Paul