The natural progression of fairing the flat hull sides is fairing the noses and around to the inboard sides of the hulls, which I intend to fair to the point where the bridgedeck meets the hulls, past that is next to invisible, so only needs a cursory fair, which I have pretty much already given it, both when the hulls were separated and upside down and when I taped it all together. I still have a little fairing around the escape hatches but other than that, under the boat is done, at least to the standard I want, with highbuild already on everywhere except the tapes joining the hulls to the bridgedeck. I have bogged the tapes and sanded most of that bog, so a little more sanding and some highbuild and we can call that done, ready for topcoat, with only the kerfed curve front face of the bridgedeck to be faired, which I will do after the inside bows are done.

A couple of months back I changed the bows by adding the pointy bits, longer term readers will recall I had run out of foam so had flat fronts, I got some more foam and added the pointy rounded fronts. I did an ok job of them. Shaping is by hand and by eye, I didnt use templates and tried to get them as close to the same as I could. I got pretty close and figured fairing would take care of the rest.

Fairing was not as straight forward as I thought it would be. The reason being the many different angles and shapes that converge at the bows. Lets start with the concave shape bow to stern of the outside of the hulls. Most boats have it to varying degrees, from a constant radius of some boats to a slight curve out at the bow then a flat in the middle and then back in at the stern, which is more like what I have.

Staying with the outboard side but deck to water, there is the highly curved deck to hull panel that changes shape and curve radius starting as a smaller radius at the bows, then large at the middle to near the stern then a slight taper off at the stern down to the steps. Then the large flat panel I have been fairing the last few weeks, then a chine about 300mm above the waterline (and another chine under the water) which disappears at the bows to a flatness from deck to water, the chine kicking in about a meter from the bow. This makes it pretty straight forward to shape the foam bows on the outboard side.

Its on the inboard side that things get interesting. Starting with bow to stern, the curve shape at the bows is very slightly concave as the hull flares out to full width where the bridgedeck meets the hull, that is from above the chine (a joint between 2 panels, a hull panel and the chamfer panel that angles to the under-bridgedeck). Below the chine the hull side is pretty flat but this flat panel meets the chamfer that has the concave curve in it and then the entire front meter or so becomes flat, at least that is how I am trying to shape and fair it. Above the chamfer panel (which twists around to become the angled panel that joins hull to bridgedeck) the curved deck attaches and the shape is a half ellipse above, apexing at the trampoline conduit to a then almost flat drop down to the water.

Almost flat. To complicate matters further the chamfer panel forward of when it angles to be the joiner between hull and bridgedeck, has a vertical convex curve in it from the tramp conduit to the chine that, to also complicate matters starts as a normal apexed chine to a trough join chine (from convex to concave if it were a curve, but its a < and then a > as the chamfer twists). Forward of where the chine starts I am trying to get a flat section top to bottom from the curve of the deck to hull down to the waterline and beyond, for about a meter where I let the natural curves of the chamfer take over.

With me so far? So to finish, because of the shapes would naturally occur if I wasnt trying to fill and fair them out I am trying to make the line where the bowlines converge, vertical and straight. If I wasnt filling those lines would be slightly curved like a banana and curving inward. Some flatten that curve but then have slightly angled lines, either in or out (imagine the sides of a V or an A but not as steep an angle. I am going for parallel vertical lines.

Then there is the rake of the bow and the volume of the prow. Newer designs have the reversed bows where the prow is set back from the waterline, some have a vertical stem and some very raked bows. Raked bows are considered somewhat old fashioned these days, with reversed being very much on trend. I wanted vertical to square, but couldnt quite achieve because of another taste requirement, I didnt want too much volume in the prow. As you will see from the pics below I wanted a pointy front end all the way up to the deck, to achieve a square bow I would need to have a point about the radius of a basketball, which to me does not look as good. As in all things, its a matter of opinion and compromise, achieving the best result in the various criteria.

And because the noses were shaped by hand through quite easy to remove, not so easy to replace material, and because no 2 things made by hand ever really turn out exact, especially when you have no reference (the bows are 25 feet apart and the only way to see both at the same time is to stand way back (which I cant do anyway inside a shed) at which point the boat is so far away as to make any discrepancy hard to see anyway, I had a bit of trouble making matching bows, which bogging was going to have to rectify. 3 different bog runs, most of which ended being powder on the floor!

Having said all of that, perhaps I will just place the photos in chronological groups to show the progress. Note the hook nose of the starboard bow. I did the port bow first, so this is one occasion where doing the second time was not better than the first, and partly because I was under the added pressure of having a comparison when I did the second, not so as I did the first, it was the template for the second, or I just nailed it first time and not so much second.

port nose first bog 1 port nose first bog

stb nose first bog 1 stb nose first bog

port nose first sand 1 port nose first sand

stb nose first sand 1 stb nose first sand

port bow WL taper first sand stb bow WL taper first sand

Maybe you can start to see the improvement. Its definitely there. But with improvement comes determination. Why get it looking ok when you can keep going and get it looking better. I have some really competing emotions happening. With each new job that takes on more than I originally intended comes the feeling of getting it looking good enough so as to press on and finish, but then I look at defects (remember this is purely cosmetic so not really a defect as a blemish) and think just a little more work and this will look so much better (to my taste at least).

port nose second bog 1 port nose second bog 2

port nose second bog 3 port nose second bog

stb nose second bog stb nose second bog 5

stb nose second bog 4 stb nose second bog 2

This next pic needs a section of its own, because it highlights one of the issues I am trying to fix, it was there on the port hull but not to the same extent and I have faired it out, but was quite obvious once I had sanded the second bog run. And next to it, the corrected view after the third bog run. I have built up over the highs so even though just a hint of the curve is still there, it will diminish or disappear once I sand the highs down again.

stb nose second sand stb nose third bog 6

So the third bog run has flattened out the inboard concave curve. I did wonder at times if I should have, given that from about a meter back the curve starts up and there is no way I am going to fill it in (on both hulls) because it is a function of the design to a degree and close to invisible anyway, it only becomes visible because of the flat side on the other side of the hull. I wanted the flat and perpendicular look at the very front, from there I am happy for the natural shapes to kick in. I am quite happy with the shape I have ended up with, the waterline is sharp with a fine entry, at about 10mm thick, the prow is only about 100mm (softball radius), the rake is not too severe and almost vertical, and the bows from front on are vertical and straight and parallel.

port nose third bog 1 port nose third bog

stb nose third bog 3 stb nose third bog 4 stb nose third bog 5

stb nose third bog 2 stb nose third bog 1 stb nose third bog

So I have a third sand, then I have a pin hole and scar fill, then a fourth sand and I might be able to move back to the hull sides and do the pin hole and scar fill before another sand at 120 grit. From there I may be able to get a coat of high build on.

Summer has all but arrived. 40 degree days are frequent now. So the pace may slow down a little soon.

I broke a bit of a rule with the bow fairing. I used 3 kinds of bog. First I used Qcell (yellow bog), but ran out of that, so I used the little West microlight I had left (brown bog) and finished with the small amount of Technifil (blue bog) I had. Each is a different density and hardness so sands differently so you really should stick to one kind, but every penny I have is tied up (so the Microsurfacer will have to wait a while) in trying to start a new business…..

And in further news…..we have a bought a house. Yeah its pretty big news, specially for Jo. Well, for me too when you consider it is a resort style village on a marina.

So this is not just where we will live, but where Yikes will live too, about 100 meters from our bedroom on a finger wharf. Lake Macquarie is open to the ocean of course, and is the biggest salt water lake in Australia being about 40km from north to south and about 5 km’s wide with many inlets and bays and a vibrant sailing community. It ticks all of my boxes. A 2 bedroom unit with a large open plan lounge/dining/kitchen. So it ticks a lot of Jo’s too, the main one being its ours! We have paid our deposit, exchange contracts next week and settle and move in in about 2 months. Jo is busy designing the interior and tracking down mid century modern furniture (google it!).

I will have a bit of a drive back to the shed to finish the boat, but that will provided added incentive to get on and finish, as well as mean that I will set aside full days to work on it rather than the few hours at a time I do now. I will have to up my fitness levels to get through a full day working on the boat, but I am hopefully going to be pulling back on the hours I work stacking shelves (currently 3 days a week), as I ramp up my new business venture. I have bought in a sample order of my first product and it sold out on eBay in 3 weeks (9 units 3 per week, but enough profit from that to replace one days pay) and the sample order of my second and more important product arrives next week, if that is the success I hope for, I might be able to make enough to quit all together. More on the actual products once I have secured my full orders and am ready to go live with my own website and sales. Ever the salesman, special discounts will apply to my loyal readers. More on that soon.

So as the boat progresses toward finished, the new home, and hopefully new business, life is pretty exciting right now. Life doesnt get much better does it? Well perhaps being on Yikes in the Whitsunday’s but that will come.

I should be able to get one more update in before Christmas, with any luck I might have a coat of high build on the sides. Thanks for reading and feel free to comment. Cheers. Paul

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1 Comment

  1. Steve A

    Just wanted to give you a bit of encouragement mate.
    Been following your progress since the start and I’m willing you to get to the finish line.
    Hang in there.


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