Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fitting the Utility’s port side planking — and a little more progress on the Zip

Having previously used the starboard side planking as a template to draw and cut the port side, fitting the port side planking was relatively quick and simple. Busy days full of other obligations have meant that I’ve had to work on the boat incrementally... 20 minutes here, 45 minutes there... but, it's getting done.

Thanks to a little help from my daughter, I’m now most of the way through driving the screws to hold the planking down. The new DeWalt titanium drill bits I bought have been a real pleasure to work with, particularly since my older ones had become almost too dull to use.

Dry-fitting the forward port side planking.

February brought with it an unusual amount of snow this year. In addition to school cancellations, there were a few days when I got snowed-in at home. I took advantage of these days to draw out the construction drawings for my Zip on a big sheet of eucaboard.  I drew the frames out as they would overlap one another, based on their shared x,y axis & set-up level. This will be a great reference for checking  the frame parts for accurate shape & for assembling the frames. It is also a very useful tool for checking the relative dimensions of various aspects of the hull.

My Zip construction drawing on a big sheet of eucaboard.

Last Christmas, I received a copy of How to Fiberglass Boats, by Ken Hankinson, along with the accompanying DVD. I finished reading it recently, and I’ve enjoyed watching the DVD. It’s useful information for those, like me, with minimal experience at working with fiberglass. It takes a lot of the mystery out of the process, and it's very helpful to watch someone else actually doing it. 

Additionally, the book is very enlightening about precautions to take when working with epoxy.

With any luck, I'll be able to fiberglass the Utility’s hull before summer.

1 comment:

  1. Coming along nicely Mike. I think you will really appreciate the full size drawings of the frames in order to get them assembled correctly. I had originally trusted the patterns too much and found that I had to go back and make the parts slightly bigger in order to get them to match up to the dimension points.

    If your summers are as hot as mine are, I suspect you'll want to consider doing an all-nighter on the days you actually fiberglass. Epoxy sets up way too fast to do this correctly when it's 90 or 100 degrees outside. That is what I plan on doing. I'll probably also run the portable air conditioner in the garage most of the previous day to try and keep the wood from getting too warm.