Sunday, January 11, 2009

Glassing Stern Decks, Fitting Inner Cabin Sides

The stern decks have been neglected for awhile as I've been working on fitting cabin interior parts in both hulls. I had planned to put this off for later, but an usually warm day for January yesterday gave me the idea that I should go ahead and get the protective sheathing on the decks. Condensation in the shed caused by changing temperatures has been giving me problems with discoloration of unprotected wood, so getting these decks glassed sooner rather than later was a good thing.

I taped off the perimeters and did the big, main sections of the decks first. The edges overlapping the sheer stringers can be done at a later time. Below is a view of both decks with epoxy-saturated fiberglass extending out to the tape lines. I used fast hardener and spread it quickly with a squee-gee so that I could get the second filler coat on the same day.

Here is a another view of the stern decks a couple hours later. The tape has been cut away and the second coat of epoxy, thickened with silica and phenolic microballoons, has been applied to fill the weave of the fiberglass. This was left alone to fully cure until another day, when it will be sanded fair before applying the edge sheathing.

Today I fitted both of the inner cabin side panels. Since they are straight at the top edge, it is a simple matter to offer them up with temporary screws holding them in line with the top corners of the bulkheads. The curving bottom edge is then scribed from the inside so the panel can be cut to fit when it is removed.

Here is a view of both inner cabin sides temporarily fitted. The gap at the bottom front corners is caused by the panels being cut slightly over sized and resting on the outside of the sheer stringer, rather than fitting on the top edge of it as they should. For final fitting I will belt sand the bottom edges to a matching bevel until the panels slide in place nicely against the bulkheads. After this test fitting, the panels will get epoxy coated on the inside, but will not be permanently installed until the few remaining cabin interior details are completed.

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