I am managing some good hours each weeknight and my usual weekend hours, I still find 7 or 8 hours sees me done on the weekend, my back muscles start to hurt and the climbing up and down wears me out. But this is shaping as a very good month. The steps up into the starboard bed are now glassed in. Well the ones that are going to be glassed in. We have decided that under the step or steps up into the bed will go the starboard escape hatch. Its not unusual for cats to have removable steps and escape hatches under them. So now it is just a question of whether we have just one more step or 2. The bottom 2 steps are set at 300mm heights apart for the step up to the bunk in both the port and starboard hulls, but from there, up to the chamfer, then as the angle changes the steps become 200mm height and 3 more steps fit where 2 fit below. Jo tried the steps and she felt she would not use the top step and go from the step below the top straight to the mattress, so the top step is not so required. So if I keep to the 300mm spacing then I will only need to have one hinged step nearly at the top of the hatch underneath so that when hinged up (down when inverted but lets no ever think that will happen) it is conveniently against the existing vertical bed side wall and completely out of the way. So it seems better that way, and much easier to construct. I just have to figure out how to brace it so that it works well as a step (after all that will be its only function right?). And of course the secondary (primary really because we dont really think we will ever actually need an escape hatch) reason for fitting the escape hatch will be to have a feature window under the steps and the step conveniently folds out of the way for that too. But I will come back to this later. Now its back to the port stairwell.
Last week I cut the panel that is the forward wall of the stairwell (the other side will be the switchboard and inverter cabinet) well actually 2 panels, because there is a bend in it and it become easier and more economic use of material to join 2 smaller parts. And the aft stairwell wall is the bathroom wall had been cut for some time but I am yet to glass it in. Now both are glassed in.
With the forward wall glassed in I glassed a shelf over the chamfer panel to extend the fridge space by about 200mm so that I will have an outside dimension of 1300mm long x 600mm deep front to back x 900mm high (or deep top to bottom, but once insulation foam is applied the actual inside dimensions will only be 1000mm wide, 600 deep top to bottom and 400 deep front to back. The side wall insulation foam will be 150mm, the top insulation 100mm and the bottom insulation will be 200mm. Because cold air falls (hot air rises) most insulation is needed at the bottom and least at the top. This will result in a 240 liter cabinet of which 90 liters will be freezer and 150 liters will be refrigerator. So I needed that extension to give me the 1300mm needed for this formula. The height and depth (front to back) are already set by the standard cabinet sizes, so the length was the only variable in deciding what fridge size I wanted. The pipes glassed on are because the batteries are on one side of the fridge and the switchboard and inverter on the other side of it so power cables are able to cross from one side to the other. Next step will be to glass a wall into the space between the bulkhead and the new stairwell wall that will form the side of the fridge leaving just the front of the fridge open. Into that 3 sided space will go the insulation foam around the 3 sides, then the inner fridge skin then the front insulation before the front skin (cabinet face) goes on leaving the only the lid to finish the cold box. Then the eutectic plate will go in. More on that when I build it all.
With the walls both sides of the stairwell glassed in I can finish the steps. But this poses another problem. Because the bathroom wall is square to the centreline and not angled like the starboard hull, the doorway into the bathroom is on the centreline and closer to the inside hull edge than the starboard side so the steps cannot be as deep because the door is closer. And because of the need to have visible footfall, in other words each step below protrudes so that it not only provides the footfall but is visible, I may have to revert to my original idea, and that used on the beds, of having the bottom 2 steps 300mm apart and the top 3 steps 200mm apart. On the starboard hull all 6 steps are 200mm apart, but this may not work on the port hull. So far I am just experimenting with cardboard. Once a decision is made I transpose the final shapes to duflex to make the step, then the front edge de-core etc. I would prefer to maintain symmetry, so now that I have 6 steps (4 steps plus top and bottom) into the starboard hull I will try to get 6 steps into the port hull but in the end symmetry is nice but function is king.
I have run out of resin for a while (only a short while, I have ordered another drum and it should get here in a week) so I will be busy measuring and cutting panels ready to glass it all once the resin arrives. Another pressing job that needs to be done before the fairing can start is to make and attach the nose cones, but there are a number of things that need to be done before they can be attached. First I need to cut holes in bulkhead zero and get behind it to glass the inside of the hull to deck panel from the inside. I also need to glass ply pads against the inside face of bulkhead zero to take the load of the steel strap that will bolted in to take a foresail running stay if I ever decide to deploy a foresail. Then the hole cutout is glued back in, the front face of bulkhead zero is glassed then the nose cone can go on and be glassed on. But still before that can happen, the boat will need to be turned. The shed is 14 meters wide and the hull is currently 12 meters. If I add the nose cone it becomes too long to turn inside the shed, which makes it very hard to get out of the shed, so pretty important priority. But I can start to plan for the shape of the nose cone. So lots to keep busy on until the resin arrives.