Tuesday, March 27, 2007

First Hull Aligned and Leveled

Today I installed all the bulkheads in the port hull after first working on the keel wires to straighten a twist in the keel strip. It took some effort to get all the bulkheads seated properly and lined up on their position marks, then I pulled the upper sides of the hullsides together with a Spanish windlass near each bulkhead position, as shown below. This simple method worked well, and holds the tension well since the line I used was some old Dacron Sta-Set that has low stretch.

The hullsides at the stern are under more tension than any other part of the hull when bent into place against the sternpost. Rather than fighting wires in this difficult area, I used screws through the sides and directly into the sternpost after first making sure it was vertical.

Final alignment was achieved through the use of various levels and taut lines, one from near the top of the stem and sternpost and one from the bunk bearers from bulkheads 1 to 5. The hull was nearly self-aligning, thanks to the accurate design of the parts by the Wharram team, but some minor tweaking was easily done after the V-supports were blocked up under the keel and the tension was released on the ropes I had suspended it from yesterday.

When I was satisfied that everything was level and straight, I did an intial epoxy pour with a slightly thickened mix that filled the narrow gaps between the keel strip and hullsides. This will hold things in place while I'm away for a few days working. It will likely be sometime this weekend before I can continue work on the hull, but it feels great to see it taking shape and at last it feels like this really is going to be a boat.

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