Attaching hull panels

Bilgeboards Attached

Posted by Paul

Another tough day. It is still stinking hot and it makes working extremely difficult. I started at 9am and by lunchtime it became apparent that I was not going to be able to keep the schedule we had set in order to have Brett come down and help attach the chamfer panel on Friday. By 1pm I had only managed to screw the next 2 panels in place but still hadn’t glued them. So the plan changed. I am now going to attach all of the panels with screws without gluing them so that we can attach the chamfer panel and glue it. I can then go around at my own pace and unscrew the panels and glue them. I have decided that I don’t want to build our boat to someone else’s schedule again. I want Brett’s help with the chamfer panel but he leaves for the US next week and before he returns we depart on a business trip so we will miss each other by 2 month if it isn’t this Friday and I have business meetings all day tomorrow, so I had to knock myself out in 35 degrees as I cant wait 2 months and I would rather not attempt this panel alone. So that is definitely the last time!

Anyway enough griping. With the change of plans, I set to work preparing all of the remaining hull panels for attaching to the hull. This involves marking where the bulkheads are and removing the peel ply and then measuring and cutting the glass, then finally wetting it out. It took me half an hours to lift the panels into my work places on 44 gallon drums alongside the hull. Jo helped me lift them and one (the chamfer panel) we had to walk out of the warehouse to turn it end for end. It then took me 3 more hours to remove the peel ply (to protect the panels from glue spills I am only removing it in sections and leaving it on where I don’t yet need it removed) and to measure and cut the glass. So at 5pm I set about the wetting out with what I thought was another 2 hours work but Jo pitched in and we got it knocked over in a little over an hour. Jo was fantastic. I am sure you will read all about it in her section of the website, if she ever gets around to writing it! She says someone has to keep working to pay for the boat!

So the plan now is that on Friday morning I will get started early (7am is early for me) and get to grinding the overhangs and if possible attach (screw on) a panel or 2 before Brett arrives. They should go on a little faster as I can reach the screws without climbing up and down ladders. Brett and I will then screw any other panels on and then get to attaching including gluing the chamfer panel. All the other panels are needed in place before the chamfer can go on but screwed on will be enough. Then next week I will glue the rest of them.


You can see from the pics that the ratchet straps are great for lifting panels into position on our own. I just attach one end to the strongback and throw the other end over the keel to the panel to be lifted and then ratchet them up adjusting each strap in turn to the height I need. You can also see that I have not screwed the panels down to the last bulkhead and temp bulkhead as there is some major twist in this section and the screws just pulled out. I will have to attach blocks of harder wood or use the straps to pull them down and hold them. You can also see that I have the next panels in place on 44 gallon drums and have wet out the glass. There are 2 more panels on the other side of the boat hidden from view.

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