I had another productive weekend working on the boat. Also, Russell from Storm Bay Sails in Tasmania contacted me to say my sail was ready to be shipped, so that will be arriving this week. That is exciting, even though I am still a couple of weeks away from a trial fit of the rigging.
The first pic shows the mast partner (top) and mast step. The mast step is a somewhat substantial construction when compared to the lightweight design of Storer’s other components. This is understandable given the load it carries for the unstayed Goat Island Skiff’s rig. The step is comprised of a 3 layer composite of 6mm ply and two layers of 20mm Hoop pine, so the whole thing is 46mm thick and very strong. The middle layer has a slot cut in it for drainage which you can just see as a dark shadow in the picture.
These next two pics show the rear buoyancy tank with the Paulownia 19x19mm framework all supported by little ply gusset thingies. I deviated from the plans slightly (which have a fore/aft centre strut) as I want to put a hatch in the middle near the rear of the tank for access to the transom gudgeon bolts, and as the Paulownia is super light stuff anyway, it won’t have much of an impact on weight. The structure is super strong and seems to have already contributed stiffness to the hull. I also did the same for the bow structure. The rear seat is fitted, but not glued.
The centre seat is also fitted, but not glued on. However the frame for it is complete and all epoxied in place. Yesterday morning when I fitted the seat on the frame, I could see a glaring error. The side cleats for the seat were too high at the front which caused the seat to dish somewhat, so I was not happy at all. It is only when the seat top was made that this error became obvious. I had followed Mick’s instructions, for measuring the cleat line, but it didn’t work for me and they did not align to the same level as the centre case.
Removing the Paulownia side cleats to correct my error was relatively easy. It involved splitting the cleats with a chisel and then planing and sanding off the remaining timber and epoxy glue. You can see all the epoxy dust lying on the chine log from the exercise. The mechanical epoxy-on-epoxy bond is extremely strong, which is good to know! The cleats were glued onto the sides which had been washed and then sanded with 120grit. I was rather hoping they would just pop off along the glue line with pressure from the chisel point, but NO WAY, it was well and truly bonded, and they simply would not split along the glue line.
After I had made new cleats, I re-fitted them using a different method to achieve alignment with the centre case. This I did by clamping the centre seat beam cleats to the seat top and after setting the seat in position, placed a straight edge/level across the seat top and marked the new position of the side cleats where the seat touched the sides. This worked very well, was dead easy, and all is hunky dory and level now!
This seat is 25mm wider than the plans show and now covers the end grain of the spacers in the aft section of the centre case. More bum room for the crew!
At the moment, I’m halfway through shaping and fitting the top of the front buoyancy tank, which has also been framed up. Then the insides of the tanks will be coated and the tops glued in place.
The next major task will be to fit the gunwales and inwales. I’m really looking forward to this part of the build.
Still no screws in the hull!