Thursday, March 5, 2009

The bottom is on

Here I've got the boat sitting on the two plywood sheets that will become the bottom of the hull. Just scoping it out for now. The two sheets will be joined by a fiberglass butt joint the same way the side panels were.

Here the two bottom sheets are being joined together. The epoxy needs 24 hours to fully cure. Since the plywood has curled up as most plywood will do, I've covered the joint with a couple boards and lots of weight to flatten things out. Yes, those are sand bags. The joint did come out fine.

Here I've drawn a line down the bottom to check the frame alignment. Things look good except the front frame and bow are off about a half inch.

The plans say to push the boat into shape or alignment with the center line. I can do that but the boat does not hold the alignment. It springs back.

So I decided to wedge the boat so it will stay in shape while I trace it's outline onto the bottom sheets. If you look on the right you'll see a darker piece of plywood that is actually pushing on the side of the front frame and positioning it on center.On the left I've got another brace on the center frame which helps hold the boat in place. It's hard to see the brace but it's there in the dark shadow.

Here I have moved the boat to a dry covered location as I had some rain. I decided I wasn't comfortable tracing the hull outline and cutting it and then attaching it to the chines as the plans say. Seemed like there could be room for a mistake and I didn't know if the bottom once attached would hold the front frame in alignment.

So I turned the boat upside down, wedged it into shape, and attached the bottom without cutting it. I figured if anything went wrong, I'd still have my full uncut bottom and could probably recover from whatever problem came up. Turned out that attaching the bottom did hold the frame in alignment and it doesn't seem very torqued or like there will be any problem.

Yes, the boat now boat now has a bottom! Here you see the bottom sheet attached and cut to the hull's shape. This the dry fit so I left the screws sitting high and will sink and fair them later. I cut the bottom by hand with a pull saw. Took me a while to get the hang of the pull saw. In a few spots I had trouble keeping the saw blade snug up against the chine so there is a little trimming to do. But I'm happy with it. It's on and it's all good.

Here's a pic of the boat turned right side up. Looking good.

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