Monday, June 16, 2014

Bottom port forward is dry-fit.

On Father's Day, I finally completed dry-fitting the bottom planking on the forward port side of the boat. I'm very happy about that.

Port bottom planking, dry-fit with screws and washers.
The fitting started off wonderfully at the aft end, where the planking joins along the centerline of the keel. By the time I finished at the bow, however, there were some spots where the fitting was not as good as I'd hoped. These spots can be filled with thickened epoxy, of course. Still, I wish the fitting had been better.

About midway along the keel, there is an open seam approximately 18 inches long, and about 5/32" at its widest point. There was also supposed to have been a transition joint just forward of the end of the keel. I did not pre-plan for this, and as a result, I kind of messed it up a little bit. 

5/32" gap along the centerline of the keel.

The missed transition joint.

In retrospect, I think both of these mistakes could have been avoided if I had overlapped the planking along the centerline of the keel, and trimmed the whole length to fit as I went.

There is another small gap between the bottom planking and the side planking at the stem. 

Another small gap up forward.
My plan is to use epoxy thickened with mahogany sawdust (ie: Wood Flour) when I glue this panel on. From what I've encountered so far, this mixture seems to absorb impact better than epoxy thickened with #2 silica (which seems more brittle). The thickened mixture will fill in these gaps, and I believe that in the end it will all be just fine.

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