Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Keel and Skeg Reinforcements

The first task I'm facing this morning is a dusty one - sanding the entire starboard hull that is now almost ready for fiberglass sheathing. Yesterday I completed the keel, stem and skeg reinforcements. I did this by taping off a few inches above the keel on either side and laminating 2 layers of fiberglass cloth over it. This was carried out to the aft edge of the skeg as well to strengthen the joint where the skeg exits the hull panels.

The keel reinforcements were done in two steps, with the second layer over lapping the first by a good 2 inches.

After the epoxy cured enough for the edges of the fiberglass to be cut and the masking tape removed, I applied a layer of filling compound made by mixing epoxy with silica and phenolic microballoons.

This first filling layer is now ready to sand this morning. I've also used the same mix to make small fillets at the topside chine joint and the bottom edge of the topside stringer. After sanding completely, there will likely be additional filling needed in places to get a smooth enough surface for wetting out the fiberglass on the entire hull.

Here's a view from the bow showing the filling around the stem. If the sanding goes well and the second layer of epoxy cures fast enough, I may get one side of the hull sheathed today.

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