I have had a very frustrating week. I did not get to the shed all week until Friday afternoon, where I managed a couple of hours of prep work for glassing the foredeck to sidedeck that I had glued on Sunday. I ground down the glue smooth ready for glass tapes. I also still have a pinched nerve in my neck effecting my right arm and thumb, I have a loss of sensation and pins and needles in my thumb. I have had physio twice and a ct scan and it appears I have a bulging disc in my neck which is pressing the nerve. I am not sure what the long term holds with this. I am still able to work so it could be worse, but it is uncomfortable at times.

Today I got stuck into some very unpleasant work grinding inside of the section where the curved strip planked foredeck meets the curved strip planked inside bow top. The join where they meet has an overhanging section that needs to be cut or ground down and the join rounded so that it can be glassed. It will also require some filling to smooth the inside planking so that glass can smoothly apply. It is in a cramped section of the boat where I will need to work upside down so I will get covered in dust. And just on cue, today was the hottest day since January!

It got to 29 degrees today and guess how much hotter it was inside the cramped section I was working in. Once I had the excess of planking hacked away I started grinding it smooth. I started by cutting it using a diamond tipped blade on a grinder belonging to the builders, but what I didn’t know is that whilst the blade is capable of cutting glass, it cannot cut balsa! Apparently it makes the blade get hot and burns it, ruining it. Go figure! So after being told that I could only cut the top layer of glass with it I did that then hacked with a hammer and chisel to remove as much overhang as I could before attacking the rest with the grinder to get it as smooth as I could. I didn’t do too good a job but fortunately this side is a closet so will get a vinyl lining. The other side is the ensuite so the practice may mean I do a better job and I will need to as it is a wet area so will need to be faired and painted, I can however use bog to smooth out the job further.

Once I had it as smooth as I thought would be acceptable to get a clean glass layer I mixed up some glue with filler in it to spread over the join to fill all of the unevenness then wet out some tapes and glassed the join. While working in this area I have ground out all of the glue dags in the areas that need coving and taping and will do them next.

The guys working on Nine Lives had to go so before they left I got them to lift the hull to deck turn onto the boat so that I could finish the side deck work which needs this panel in place to set the levels near the cockpit as the boat curves down to the stern. I had cut the dagger case into this panel last weekend but I was not sure it was exactly right. When the boys lifted the panel up it was a little tight on the up-haul slots so a quick hit with the grinder and over she slid. A really nice fit too, with the only big gap being a 10mm gap at the back of it where I cut the hole just that amount too long. This is a really easy fix as I simply fill the gap with filler. This gap is small compared to some of the hull plank gaps! The dagger case is not glued in yet, I am yet to de-core the hull or make and fit the grey tank that is going in behind the case. I will have to remove this panel again but for now it was in my way so on the boat is the best place to store it out of the way.

With the glassing inside done I set about glassing the top of the deck joins where the foredeck meets the side deck that I had prepared for glassing by sanding smooth the night before. This was a pretty easy job, in fact so easy I wet the larger tape out then the smaller tape out over it which is my usual practice, this soaks up some resin into the dry tape so ensures you use a little less resin and as the join is flat I simply picked the 2 tapes up together without taking the second tape off first and repositioned them on the job (I wet out on a length of ply sitting just behind the join) and rolled out any air bubbles. I should have put some peel ply on but I was tired by this stage having worked a pretty hard day. I will sand them then bog the tapes.

During the day, Jo dropped by as I had planned a clean up under the bridgedeck to get started on the roof but the boys were spraying 9 Lives with primer which meant we had to wear masks, we stopped for a while to watch them and got this fashion shot while doing so. With the shed full of paint mist we decided against working for a while and Jo went home. I needed to wear a mask in what I am doing anyway so I just got back on with it. Tomorrow I will post some Nine Lives pics. It is only a few weeks (probably 6) from launch now.

Tomorrow is forecast to be cooler so I will hopefully get some more of the unpleasant work done but the warm weather is coming and we have a very hot shed so the pace will slow. Hopefully the work will be exciting as the boat gets closer to lock up and will keep me working hard.

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Paul