Monday, May 14, 2007

Preparing the Topside Panels

All the bunk panels are now installed and the fillets made. I still have some sanding and final passes to make to tidy up the fillets and prepare them for a clear coat of epoxy, but I decided today that I should start glueing up the topside panels, which have to be joined with butt blocks like the lower hull panels. I will also have to scarf the solid Doug fir stringers that go on the upper outside surface of the topside panels and glue these on, so while waiting on epoxy to cure on each of these steps I can be finishing up the bunk and inside hull coatings below the topside level. I've decided to go ahead and continue work on the port hull before starting the starboard one. At this point, I plan to continue through installing the topsides, then turn it over and fair and glass the outside. It will then be a solid and protected unit that I won't have to worry about while building the second hull.

The photo below shows the first of the two topside panels in assembly. I'm short on workspace right now because of the green boat you can see in the background at the end of my workbench. This is a stitch and glue ply epoxy John boat I designed and built for my father several years ago for fishing in local lakes and streams. It's twelve feet long, and has its own trailer, but I've been storing it in the shed to keep it out of the weather until I have time to do some badly needed maintenance. It has bright finished rubrails and deck pieces of mahogany and ash, and these have suffered water intrusion after the sun broke down the epoxy and varnish coatings, and will need a quite a bit of work. Another reason why I don't intend to have any exterior brightwork on my Tiki 26.

I'm hoping my father will use it again for fishing after I've repaired it. Before starting the second hull of the Tiki I will move it to the other workshop in my girlfriend's garage, where I also plan to work on the crossbeams, rudders and other small parts.

Another big item in my way is the Honda 9.9 hp outboard that you can see clamped to another workbench. This is the outboard I salvaged off Intensity, my Grampian 26 monohull that was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. The engine was not submerged, but it does have a broken tiller handle. I need to sell it to clear it out of my way. I think it's too big and heavy for a Tiki 26 and plan to use either a 5, 6 or 8hp 4-stroke. Anybody need a repairable Honda engine for cheap?

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