Monday, February 29, 2016

Moving forward on the front bulkhead

It isn't often that I get the opportunity to write a blog post on February 29. I didn't want to waste the opportunity. Happy Leap Day.

So, we left off at the end of last December with my contemplating flotation foam. I've given it lots of thought. I've given it lots of over-thought. And, I have received some valuable input from other boatbuilders I've met both online and off.

One builder offered the great idea of building a removable forward bulkhead. Flotation foam could be positioned forward of the bulkhead, and all of it could be accessed or removed for maintenance or any other reason. On his own boat, he had fiberglassed the foam and attached it to the bulkhead itself. A pretty good idea, in my opinion.

The same builder successfully talked me out of pouring flotation foam directly into any hull cavities, because the foam WILL eventually get wet, waterlogged, and create further problems from there. It did not take many YouTube videos illustrating this point to convince me that he was right.

I also took to heart his comments about sealing the foam with epoxy and fiberglass, and arranging it so that plenty of air could circulate around it. 

Of course, all that was months ago, and I haven't touched the boat since.

Until today. 

Today, I finally cut the bulkhead from my biggest scrap piece of douglas fir plywood.

The bulkhead is a very simple shape, cut from plywood, with plenty of overlapping surface area for attaching it to the deck beam. I'm planning to use simple blocking as attachment points on the chine.