Monday, March 26, 2007

Port Hull Assembly

I had a productive day beginning early this morning with finishing the epoxy coating on the other hull panel. This was cured by noon and this afternoon I began assembly of the port hull, first by drilling the wire stitch holes in the stem and sternpost and then in the bottom edges of the hullsides. Putting in the wire stitches took some time, but went smoothly. Below is the finished wiring job, with the hull panels flat on the workbench.

Since I used screws to hold the top edges of the hullsides together at the stringers, as Thomas Nielsen suggested in his blog about building his Tiki 26, the whole affair was quite stable to move once the wire stitches were in place. I needed to get it off the bench, which is located on one side of my work shed, and move it out into the yard where I could then back it into the other half of the shed where I have the space to build it. (Moving it out into the yard to do this was necessary because of the center support posts that are in the way in the shed.) Moving the assembly was easy with the use of one of my hull dollies I built for my Tiki 21, Element.

After rolling the hull back into the shed on the other side of the posts, I then made two slings from some old jib sheets and hoisted the hull from the rafters, lifting it clear of the dolly and high enough off the ground so the skeg would not touch. I couldn't wait to see how the hull was going to look so I got some bulkheads and tried to open the hullsides. As it turned out, the wire stitches were a bit too tight, so I had to first loosen all of them before I could fit any bulkheads. With the stitches loose, I was able to spread the sides apart with no problem. This is much easier to do with the hull suspended in slings, rather than resting in cradles. (Another great idea from Thomas.) I still had some prep work to do on the bulkheads, such as sanding the cured epoxy near the edges where the bulkhead to hull panel fillets will be, and making some temporary stiffeners to screw onto the top edges above the sheer line. Since I'm making a slight modification in this area, my bulkheads are cut off a few inches above the sheer and I won't be adding permanent deck beams or the cabin parts of the bulkheads until the hulls are built to this level. Getting to this point is inspiring, and I decided to take another day off from my paying work so that I can finish the bulkhead installation tomorrow and try to get things aligned and leveled so that I can begin joining these parts together permanently with epoxy.


tsunamichaser said...

Hi Scott,
It's really exciting to see another Tiki 26 being born. I love the instant effect that the assembled hull has; it looks like a boat.

Scott B. Williams said...

Hi Thomas,

It looks even more like a boat after a full day's work today. All the bulkheads are wired in, after I had to straighten a twist in the keel. I then leveled and chocked it up, and did the initial epoxy pour along the keel joints. It took more hours than your second hull, mainly getting things lined up correctly.