1119Hrs- Closing In
After a final check and a few more minor adjustments I decided tonight that I was happy enough with the bulkheads and beam troughs to forget about them and move on to something else. That something else feels like another major milestone….. the upper hullsides! It’s another milestone because it’s going to change the visual appearance of the boat again dramatically, and there is a huge amount of work to do before they are finished. According to the building instructions this is a stage where I should revert right back to the beginning of the build i.e. create a flat clean lofting floor and draw out the panels full size, cut them, dry fit them and then make any adjustments to get a good fit. I’ve decided to do things a little differently. I well remember how difficult I found it to handle these big panels on my own and in fact the building instructions give two options 1) If you have help then the bow and stern sections made up of two sheets of ply can be pre-joined to make one big panel or, 2) working alone the sheets can be fitted singly and joined afterwards. Obviously I was already going for option 2 but I really can’t see any advantage in drawing the panels out first, what I intend to do is offer full sheets up to the hull, hold them in place with screws and then cut them in situ for a perfect fit. You may remember that I have a small circular saw which allows precise cutting to the exact thickness of the material being cut, this allows me to make cuts with the sheets in place that would be impossible with a jigsaw, hand saw or conventional circular saw. To prove the theory I decided to fit the first two central panels to the starboard hull. I used the saw horses and blocks to hold the sheet in position then clamped and screwed before cutting the bottom edge, it worked really well and I got both panels dry fitted. I know that as I move closer to the stem and stern it will be harder because of the bending needed but I’ll give it a go. If it works I figure I will have saved quite a bit of time. My intention is to dry fit all the panels before marking them, removing them and giving them their epoxy coatings. It was really cool to lay down in the double berth and feel enclosed, I closed my eyes and imagined I was sleeping in some tropical anchorage, then the wind blew through the barn, blowing rainwater out of the gutters to come splashing down on the barn floor! It feels like Autumn is approaching fast, the nights are drawing in already and I fear Summer has passed us by yet again.