Let the construction begin!
We began by verifying the patterns that
plotted. This involved checking and rechecking the plans for correct
dimensions, types and size of lumber, and angles of templates. After a
few clarifications which we wrote more as reminders on the plan templates (and
revised for distribution), all
was ready. We began cutting out the paper patterns carefully to maintain the
flow lines. This process took over 90 minutes. Once the paper was
cut, we transferred the patterns to masonite for making multiple boats from
the templates, with a very thin line. To do this
effectively, we sprayed the masonite and the paper with 3M glue from a spray
can. This will eliminate any movement of the pattern and give a reference to
the original lines for sanding after the cuts. We also marked all the holes
where fasteners will attach and predrilled as many of these as
possible. Next, we cut the patterns. We used a Bosch variable speed jig
saw and fine toothed blade for this step. We are cutting SLIGHTLY to the large
side to maintain the lines. This process took about 3 hours! Total time
invested is 6 hours. The next step will be using a
random orbital sander with 120 grit paper to get the patterns exact to the
lines. I am going to build a temporary table to recess a stationary disc
sander to be 90 degrees to the surface. The idea behind this is to be able to
sand the critical pieces at an exact right angle. These masonite pieces will
become permanent templates for a later date. I would like to be able to use a
router to stack future pieces and use the template as a guide and produce
exact replicas of many pieces simultaneously.
With all the templates cut
and sanded, I started to cut the final pieces for the layout. I did this
by using a 3HP Bosch plunge router with a template bit. To achieve this step I
laid the pieces out on the stock and checked for grain direction. Since
I am building two at the same time, I stacked the plywood and clamped them together
with the templates. The next step involved routing the pieces from the
template. This process was better than cutting with a jigsaw for
exacting cuts from the sanded pieces. I used the router with a variable
speed controller and cut real slow. All the pieces came out
beautiful. A little final sanding on the hard corners and some file work
from where the radius of the router couldn't cut square and all was
done. This whole process took about 2 hours. Not bad for 2 layout
a curiosity factor I used a butt load of clamps and dry fitted the pieces
together to get a feel for the overall size and dimensions (and to see if it
all fit together!). All looks good with a few minor fitting pieces to be
completed during final assembly.
Everything is marked and checked so we decided
since we were going to get a fresh start the next morning, we would put the 4
pieces of the apron together with the epoxy and glass tape and let it cure over
night. The bow section, stern section and the apron sides were laid flat
on the floor and plastic placed underneath the 4 joints. Mixed up some
epoxy (West Systems 105 Resin and 205 Fast Cure Hardener) and coated the
joints. Applied 4" glass tape to the seams, wetted again.
Another layer of plastic over the seams and a bunch of weights to keep the ply
flat. We then got all the area ready for a good start in the morning:
sawhorses built and leveled, tools spread out, fasteners categorized, and tools
and more tools spread out. I am fortunate to be able to have a lot of
special tools and we spared nothing to make this easy. Compressor with
galvanized narrow crown staples, routers (off set bases, flush, etc.), cordless
drills (countersink bit), screw guns (drywall depth setting type), belt sanders,
palm sanders, and a bunch of hand tools. The ground looked like spaghetti
with all those power cords. We also set up the bandsaw, tablesaw,
stationary sander, and drum sander. We are set.
got an early start (6AM) and placed the apron from the night before up on the
sawhorses. Sanded the joints smooth that we epoxied, and placed the first
bulkhead into place for fit.
I had predrilled the holes into the apron previously, we set the bow and stern
bulkheads into place and fastened them with countersunk screws.
The plywood doublers at the bow and
stern were placed along with the centerline ribs. Countersunk and
screwed. Once the bow and stern bulkheads were fitted, we disassembled and epoxy
the pieces together. The stapler you see was for tacking things into place while one
guy screwed the next guy proceeded to the next step. Quite a time saver.
Here is another view. Then we placed the ribs, predrilled after fit,
and countersunk-screwed from the bottom. After fit, we disassembled, epoxy and
Fitting the ribs for placement. Quick-grip
clamps worked great for this.
Pre-drilling from the top, countersinking from
below. Ribs in place and one top rail set for alignment.
The box rails are also in place.
Another view from the bow. Bulkheads, ribs and
rails in place. Both rails secured. Also notice that the drop for the
box is installed.
Flipped over, box floor scribed and sanding the joints. We
used a flush router bit then a radius bit to help the glass cloth make the corners and not be
such a hard angle. The plans also include how to make a deeper box configuration and a modified
V planing hull.
Fitting the glass cloth to the inside (one piece) and started
the epoxy. West Systems 105 Resins with 206 Slow Cure Hardener.
Notice we applied the glass to within a few inches of the outside edge. After
the cloth was epoxied, we applied epoxy to all the wood surfaces. Again we
routed all hard corners with a rounding over bit in the router. In this picture the
chine is also installed, sanded to the angle of the ribs, and screwed.
Another view. Wetting out the glass with
epoxy. The clamps hold the fiberglass in position. In this picture
you can see the extra foot room at the stern.
This is what it looked like when done with the epoxy.
This was the end of the first day. A night to cure, us to relax, and then
back at it tomorrow. We ended the day at about 7PM. Time
invested 13 hours!
We were real pleased with the progress made the
day before. I arrived at 5:30 and started to deck the
The decking in progress. I
used Aspen underlayment for the bow and stern pieces. All decked out. We then sanded it at the chine flush and
rounded over the edge. Applied Bondo to the seams and sanded. 460 screws
in the decking alone! From here you can see the ample foot room in the bulkhead
Side View and profile from the waterline
Ready to glass the hull. 105 and 205 West Systems
Here we go! Pot life of 9-12 minutes meant working F-A-S-T! The finished hull all glassed
with epoxy resin..
Side view. Notice the taper and rounded box
at the stern. This has the squared off box for using with a tender.
This one has a towing hull. The plans
also offer a modified V hull instruction.
Here it is after paint and before the skirting
A different paint job and skirting for field
Completed and in use.
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