Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bunks Ready to Go In

A couple of days of good weather allowed me to finish up all the details that were holding up the installation of the starboard bunks. The final frames for the access hatches were fitted and laminated in place, and two coats of epoxy applied to all the bottom surfaces. Here you can see these parts curing in the sun curing outside the shed.

The structural and cosmetic fillets were also finished in the storage compartments below the bunks. A final clear coat of epoxy will go on over all this before the bunks are glued in place.

Here the finished bunk panels are in place, but not yet glued in. I had to be away for a couple of days and will glue them in when I return after the weekend. On Saturday I'm going to New Orleans to pick up what I hope will be all the plywood to finish the rest of the boat. This includes material for the cabin sides and decks, and the cockpit. Everything else requiring plywood is done.

Other details besides the under bunk areas included finishing up the fillets in the bow and stern buoyancy compartments and installing the plywood web brace, shown below, in the bow. In these areas that will be sealed off and out of sight, I'm using a filleting mix consisting of wood flour, silica, and phenolic microballoons. That's why you see the reddish tint. These fillets are easier to sand and smooth than the wood and silica blend I'm using in the parts of the boat that will be left unfinished or varnished. I'll also use this phenolic/silica mix for exerior fillets and fairing where everything will be painted, as it is much easier to sand to a feather edge.

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