Bows, ensuite

Slow But Steady Going

Posted by Paul

I may have written this before but it bears repeating because it is a recurring theme. There are 2 kinds of work on any large project especially boats, there is what is know as HVI or High Visual Impact work and the opposite, LVI or Low Visual Impact work. Self explanatory. The frustrating thing about LVI is that they are often extremely mundane and time consuming tasks that must be done but have very low satisfaction levels. You just want them to be over so you can move on to the exciting stuff.

The sort of things I am talking about are sanding or fairing or grinding tape edges inside hatches. I have been doing that this weekend. Grinding that sends super fine glass into the air and covers you in itch dust. You have to wear a mask. Ideally full overalls to keep the dust off you but you get so hot in them that the temptation to work without them is too great. There is both good news and bad news in that. The bad news is no matter how small the task it will create heaps of dust and get you itchy even if you only have one 100mm tape to smooth. The good news is once you are itchy you wont get any itchier, or put another way, once you are covered in dust you cant get any more covered. So you may as well line up a heap of the work and do it all at once. So I ground out all of the forward hatches in the foredeck and the starboard hull ready for paint and then that hulls deck to go on next weekend followed by the foredeck lid. (I had already done this to the Port hull before painting the hatches before gluing the lid on).

My tip for this kind of annoying task is to try to get as much done as you can in one hit, but also to schedule some interesting work right after it or punctuate it with fun work so that your enthusiasm can be kept high. That is what I did today. All yesterday while I was doing the mindless grinding work I thought about the work I would do today.

After returning from the boat show I started thinking about a modification to the boat. The reason is I saw the masts that Sean has for his bi rig boat and that they will most likely sit forward of bulkhead 4 inside the walk in robe on the port side and inside the ensuite on the starboard side. The ensuite is small enough as it is without the mast bearing sockets intrusion so I decided to make a little more room in them by using some of the space forward of bulkhead 3. I started with the extra hanging space I created with the false floor in the port hull, then this weekend I started work on extending the ensuite in the starboard hull by putting the toilet on the other side of bulkhead 3 and having a curved canopy over it and a back on it to seal it from the rest of the reserve buoyancy in that hatch space that will be forever sealed.

After grinding for most of the day yesterday I stopped and measured up for the panels I would need to make this toilet space and once I had cut the pieces I would need I kerfed the curved roof and glued it so it would set over night. I also glued a conduit strip to the port hull for the tramp rod so it too would set overnight.

So first thing today, whilst the gluing from last night was still rubbery and green I removed the screws holding the conduit whilst it set and filled the hull to conduit coves ready to glass. I then left it for a while to set a little before glassing it. I went onto the toilet space to set that work up.

Yesterday using the inside panel of a doorway cut-out as my frame I cut a piece of 13mm duflex to size and cut kerfs in it and glued it into shape. I curved it around the frame but left it out at an angle as it approached 90 degrees either side as I want it to splay out into a triangular shape at the base. It starts out like the top of all of the doors then widens to angle out to the hull sides. This curved panel forms the roof of the toilet hutch, it will have 600mm side walls that will join the hulls at the hull chine on each side (so it will sit on these wall panels), that next panel down under the chine is the actual hull side and will form another of the walls down to the toilet base so it is angling back in with the narrowing hull. The hutch will be 500mm deep and start 400mm from the sole in the ensuite, the height of a normal toilet so it will be like sitting through the bulkhead to the head! It will be wider at the base, about 700mm across at the toilet height (it narrows down into the hull from there) and below the toilet top height will be where the toilet is attached and its plumbing, at the toilet top only the seat top will show through the panel that covers the space below to hide the plumbing.

toilet roof kerfstoilet roof curvedtoilet rooftoilet base

So first step on building this is the base on which the toilet will sit. I cut a piece of ply to make a level false floor for the toilet to sit on. I then made a base for it to sit on level (you can just see it below the floor in the pic above). I resin coated the underside of the panel then glued it down and using the glue as the cove I glassed it completely into the hull. Then with this base glassed I went back to the tramp conduit on the port hull and glassed it on.

So next will come the top of the toilet, kind of a lid panel. The bowl will protrude through this panel by just 10mm or so and have a seal around the hole that the toilet comes through to seal all of the plumbing in below it but will need to be removable to get to the plumbing for servicing. Then the walls and curved roof will be glassed onto the bulkhead and hull sides then finally the back panel (another semi bulkhead) will go on so that when I cut the hole in bulkhead 3 for the doorway (I haven’t decided yet although I think I will actually have doors so that when the ensuite is used as a shower the toilet is behind these doors and does not get wet) it opens into the completely sealed toilet cavity. Then the inside bow panel can be glued on.

I trimmed the excess of the port inside bow panel today and the end of it is interesting, it shows the difficult angles that flat panels have to fill to make a curve and how the glue and glass fill them out to form the curve from a series of flats. So after not much work during last week, I managed to make some progress this weekend and although Saturday was mostly grunt work it was a lot of fun to be making things again. As I have said, making a part not from the plans is always a little more challenging but also more rewarding.

strip planking core

Once the starboard inside bow panel is on and the tramp conduit goes on, the foredeck panel goes on, then another really interesting own design fabrication starts, the catwalk.

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