Thursday, February 15, 2007

Still Working on Bulkheads

Julio checking out the progress on the epoxy table

It's been unusually cold in Mississippi for the past two days, with strong north winds and a high here yesterday of only about 32F and just under 40F today. This is slowing down my epoxy work, of course, as I am running out of space inside the house and in the the garage to spread parts around after they are coated. The bulkheads are so big I don't have room for more than one at a time on the card tables in the house, and I can't spread them around on the floor to cure once they are coated, as this would be too much of a temptation for Julio, our cat. I can just see him walking across them and tracking wet epoxy all over the hardwood floors. So what I've been doing is bringing all the bulkheads in, mixing up big batches of epoxy, placing them one at a time on the table for coating with a foam roller and brush, and then moving them outside to various places such as across the rails of my utility trailer to let them cure. The problem is that with these daytime temperatures and nights down in the low 20sF, the curing takes a long time even with fast hardener. But any progress is better than none, and now at least I have all the bunk and floor bearers installed on all bulkheads and the first coat of epoxy on one side.


James Baldwin said...


Congratulations on getting started with your new boat. I wonder if you've considered making those bulkheads and the lockers within them watertight below the waterline. Should be easy to do and add very little weight in exchange for collision protection and more
dry stowage though there may be other considerations preventing doing this.
Looking forward to more updates on your progress.

James Baldwin
s/v Atom

Scott B. Williams said...

Hi James,

Yes, making those compartments below the bunks watertight would be possible, and probably a good idea, even though there are separate watertigh compartments in the bows and sterns of each hull, with solid collision bulkheads sealed from the keel to the sheer. The other bulkheads are all solid below the bunks, effectively dividing each hull into seven separate compartments. Holing one area would not fill the entire hull and I would think that to sink the boat you would have to hole every section and completely flood both hulls. Even then the buoyancy of the wood and lack of a ballast keel would probably keep the boat afloat, if barely awash.

I really like what you've done with Atom regarding creating positive buoyancy with watertight compartments. It really is surprising more monohulls are not built with this incorporate, as it would not be hard to do with new construction.