Monday, February 05, 2007

Shaping the Stems

The stems are a very important visual aspect of the finished boat - that is at least the part that rises above the deck level. I didn't want to use the exact shape given in the plans, as the "handles" that are cut into the stem and stern posts are pretty useless on a hull that weighs over 400 pounds. These were useful on my Hitia 17, and to some extent on the Tiki 21, but they have been a source of problems as well, particularly as my 17 and 21 were built of Doug Fir marine ply. It's hard to glass around these handle openings, so on both of my other boats I had problems with checking of the surfaces. With the Okoume I'm using now this should be less of a problem, but I didn't want the handles anyway and decided to make these pieces solid, as on the Tik1 30, and with a bit of an upswept flare, as on the Tiki 38.
To get an exact match after glueing on the doublers, I clamped the two stems for each hull together on the workbench and used the ever-handy belt sander to shape them simultaneously so that they are an exact match. After getting them to a satisfying profile, I then radiused the edges with a roundover bit in my trim router. Now they are back in the house with the first coat of epoxy curing on one side, and hopefully I can flip them over later tonight or first thing in the morning to coat the other side. The screw holes made in the laminating process will be filled before the second sealing coat of epoxy, and of course after the hulls are built and the decks are installed, the protruding parts of the stems and sternposts will get a sheathing of glass cloth.

I'm working on a paying job all this week during the best hours of the day, but thanks to being able to do some of this epoxy work inside I'm still able to make progress.

No comments: