Yesterday I sanded, glassed (filling gaps as I went) and bogged the foredeck panel. The bow of the boat is taking shape. I still have to take each panel off again and sand and glass them on the inside before I can glue them onto the boat. Also before I can glue them on I have to glue the keelsons in as well as cove and tape the inside of the front bulkheads. Then I have to glue the forebeam in but before I can do that I have to fair it! So I have a lot of work to do before the panels can be glued onto the boat. But it is great to see the shape of the boat emerging.
Today I started preparations for making the cabin top. This is a big panel and I planned to make it under the bridgedeck which is a large enough space to make it, however getting it out and turning it over to glass the inside is not so easy, doable but not easy, and if I wait 3 months Nine Lives could be out of the shed freeing up a lot of space, so as much as I would like to get the panel made, it may be much easier if I wait. In the meantime, I still have a lot of work to get on with. I could and probably will concentrate on finishing the front of the boat by doing all of the things mentioned in the previous paragraph and then getting on with the daggerboards so that I can glue the side panels on.
I also spent some time today thinking about another modification to the boat. I am going to raise the height of the ceiling in the forward bunks, which in turn raises the height of the dashboard in the saloon, this change is purely internal, and does not change the outside dimensions of the boat. I don’t like the tapered space behind the saloon seating above the dashboard as it is fairly useless space, you cant put anything on it as it will be in front of the wrap around the window. By raising the height by about 150mm I shorten the space by about 300mm. You make the space to see through the wrap around windows smaller by 150mm but it is at the bottom not the top and I don’t think this will effect the see through visibility much, I will probably raise the seat height by about 100mm which will cut the loss down to 50mm when seated which is negligible. I also don’t think the visibility loss from the helm will be noticeable either as the dash height should only effect the visibility of the foredeck from the helm not anything beyond the forebeam (to see beyond the front of the boat you have to lower your head to see along the deck, looking down from a standing position you can only see the tramps and the bows.
The added height in the forward bunks allows for a full size hatch to be fitted on the angled panel that is the wrap around saloon wall directly above the bunks. There is currently room for a portlight hatch about 120mm high but by raising the dash the angled space before the dash is about 600mm. I would like a full size hatch over the main bunks so that if there is any reason to go onto the deck in a hurry at night I can do so through the hatch, or if I am unsure if I need to get up to do something (say I am asleep and I hear a strange noise or I think the wind is shifting or the anchor dragging, etc) I can stand up in bed, take a look around, and if all is clear just lay down again, rather than having to get up out of bed and down into the hull, up the steps and out the saloon door all for a false alarm.
I will get stuck into the work on the boat over the next few days as work fires up again next week so I want to make the most of the slow time of year.