I had an interesting day today. As I have mentioned once or twice before, every now and then I like to spend time with Jo, not building the boat, but I am also keen to keep working so today I managed to do both quite well. I normally do about 6 or 7 hours work in a day. Today I started early, 8am and worked until noon, then I went home, showered and Jo and I went out for lunch and sightseeing for a couple of hours and by 3pm I was back at the shed and worked until 6pm. We went to a local look out to try and see if we could see any whales migrating up the coast. No luck today but it was a beautiful day and we had a lot of fun.
In the morning I glued the other side of the foam molding onto the catwalk and left it to set and then I made a plywood mold to the exact size with the contour of the forebeam and foredeck cut into to it to transfer onto the catwalk and cut out before fitting so that the catwalk fits exactly into place. This is a 2 part process. I had the ply cut to size, 150mm x 2.4 meters. Then using cardboard as an initial template I cut the forebeam profile out of the front. Then with piece on the forebeam I placed it along the foredeck D bulkhead and traced the shape. I then cut that out and it sat exactly as the catwalk will sit with that cut out applied. I now can trace that shape using the template, onto the catwalk sides. Then to finish the morning I sanded the inside of the foredeck ready to glue and glass onto the boat, 200mm either side of each bulkhead and along all outside edges. The sanding ensures a smooth and keyed surface to glue and glass to inside the cramped deck hatches. I don’t want to have to do much extra work in there, upside down and inside that small space. I will paint the insides of these hatches white before I glue the deck on.
I have decided to glue the catwalk to the bulkheads first then glue the deck on around the catwalk (I will cut the shape of the catwalk out of the bottom of the panel and slide the panel down over the bulkheads and catwalk then glue the bottom panel cut-out on after that, in the same way that I did with the side decks over the forebeam. I put the foredeck panel onto the boat to check its fit and to mark out the cut out for the catwalk so that the foredeck can be slid down from over the catwalk down into place once the catwalk is glued and glassed on.
In the afternoon the foam side had dried sufficiently to remove the clamps and move the catwalk onto the bench so that I could start working on the other side. Then I cut some material ready to glue into the catwalk to finish it, internal walls for the ladder box and anchor chain trough and the stiffening frames.
Then I got the belt sander and using the drum on the front as my mold and the top plate as the depth guide (I pre tested this on some conduit offcuts) I sanded out scallops on the conduits already on the boat (the forebeam and bows). I marked out the scallops 150mm in from each corner then at 200mm centres. With the tramp eyes also at 200mm centres but offset by 100mm so that the laces would be at an angle (45 degrees?) back and forth.
You want a wide scallop so that the rope lace used to secure the trampolines does not touch the conduit as it enters or leaves after going over the stainless steel (8mm) rod inside so that it cannot chafe and eventually break and the front drum of a belt sander to cut a uniform size and shape scallop works well.
I have cut the scallops into the bow sides even though I have not yet finished fairing them. In an ideal world the scallops would be cut last but I need to insert the rods before I glue the foredeck in as I cant get the rods in once it is on, and I don’t want to try and cut the conduits with the rods already in them as I am bound to touch the rods with the sander and scuff them which in turn could damage the rope laces and cause them to break. Now the obvious next question is why not just fair the hulls first but the fairing should be done once the front panels are all glued in as the process of putting the foredeck on will move the hull top panels as they are screwed to each other under a little force as they glue, so you cant fair a surface that is going to move again. It just means I have to fair around the scallops which wont be too hard and in fact will mean that the scallops can be refilled wherever I have not cut them uniformly. The scallops in the forebeam are very uniform and clean but in the sides the shape is such that in order to cut straight and square the cut continues down into the bog shape below and here and there these are a little unevenly cut so bog will backfill them so that this can be addressed. I am not overly concerned as the differences are minimal and they are under the tramp and out of site but wherever I can clean them up I will.
With the last 15 minutes I got a start on the shaping of the catwalk sides using a long board and just sanding along it. I did not get much done, I just wanted to get a feel for how easily a torture board would take the foam off. It wont be too hard to do. I can even use a plane to get a start but I probably wont bother, I have cut nearly half of the overhang off in just 15 minutes.