Apr 28, 2010

After You, underbelly of a project

A simple progress update during what I consider to be the most boring part of the build - the bottom. People are asking me if I'm building a trailer, as it looks a bit like a pickup truck camper when it's upside down like this:

That picture also demonstrates my system for attaching the strakes. Since they're meant to take a lot of abuse I have not screwed them on, just epoxy (and fillet on the edges). That way they can be replaced without dealing with a screwhole in the hull and whatnot. I intend to place a layer of aluminum on them as well. (Not even thinking about how hard it would be to remove those, as the epoxy is like rock.)

We have bees!

Our wonderful neighbors down the block have an auxiliary beehive in our yard. They do the work, we get a cut of the honey and some awesome garden pollinators. I was working, however, later in the evening and a few of them were attracted to the lights in the garage. After their first encounter with the light they usually fell bee-screaming on top of the boat. I have not yet had to sand one out of the epoxy yet, but I'm not holding my breath.

Epoxy and fiberglass has been going well. I'm getting better at it the more I do it, and while this isn't a "sloppy" job (ok, maybe it is) it's not the neatest in the world, either. Instead of full on fiberglass fabric I'm using fiberglass drafting tape. I used it on the tweedle-dum and it worked quite nicely while keeping the price down. Since the majority of Chugger builds have been done without fiberglass and in some cases without epoxy, I'm confident my system will be adequate. I'm using a ton of epoxy to ensure I have a good seal as well as some additional strength, but with the internal framing and the filleting I'm going to have a hearty vessel. My only concern is going too heavy, but it's all good.

Also, I'm getting pretty crafty with solutions:

Because sometimes you just have to encourage things to lay flat.

The last time I got to see the interior it was well framed and ready for the bunk topping, table building, and more importantly, corner sealing.

Lily and I had just installed the bulkhead and then proceeded to build ourselves into the boat. It was a stressful moment for Lily, but I had it all planned out. After egressing via the window Dukes of Hazzard style, I cut a hatch (picture flipped from upside down view) and finished out the framing.

The inside of the cabin will be covered with a light slatted wood that I managed to stain and seal last week. I can't wait to assemble and install it. Its going to look quite nice! And it's plenty light so I'm not concerned about the added weight. Next to all the 2x2 lumber in there it's a drop in the bucket. Speaking of weight, the boat can be lifted from one end, but it takes two people to life the whole thing from both ends. I can flip it on it's side quite easily, it's just a matter of making sure it has a soft landing. It does not feel topheavy, and after the layers of epoxy, glass, and strakes on the bottom it'll be even more bottom-heavy.

Still working on the last coats of epoxy on the bottom as well as paint, then will turn it on one side to epoxy, add a lower section of tape, fillets, etc. Then to flip it on the next side and do the same. After that the bottom will be hard as a rock, fully cured and dry, and I can flip her upright to finish off the cabin, painting and such. It's hard to see the final product when it's flipped, so I'm buying little boat bits (cleats, hinges, etc.) here and there to keep reminded..

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