Final Construction

Finishing the coaming, the external stems, and rigging. (page 1 of 2 pages)

Finishing the coaming. To pre-bend the lamination strips to the angle at the front of the coaming. I made a template from some scrap1/2-inch plywood. This is an easy thing to lay out; just hold the scrap stock within the front of the coaming and trace the shape of the outline onto the stock with a pencil or marker, then cut out the shape with a badnsaw or hand-held jig saw. I made the one that I used about 2-inches in width. The lamination strips were tossed into really hot water in the bathtub for five minutes or so to soften them (a simple alternative to steam bending), then clamped to the template. After they dried, they were removed and laminated to the front of the coaming with resin in the same manner as the ones used for the rear of the coaming lip. After this dried and was trimmed to match the profile of the rear coaming lip, a layer of scrap glass was lainated over the top, inside and underside of the coaming upright and lip, as an added reinforcement to the structure. The weave was then filled-out with more reisn.

Seat supports and aft cargo hold bulkhead. I attached a couple of blocks, in the style of the deck tie-down fittings, to the underside of the deck at the rear of the cockpit. These will be the two attachment points for the suspension bungie of the Rapid-Pulse Backband suspended backrest system. The main suspension straps of this backrest will mount to the cheek plates. The bulkhead was made from a scrap of 1-inch "blue foam" closed-cell construction insulation foam liberated from a dumpster. The outline of the plywood hull form at the rear of the cockpit was traced onto the foam and the bulkhead cut from it with a shop knife. A little whittling got a nice tight fit around the internal shear strips. The bulkhead will be glued-in-place and any gaps filled with a bead of silicone sealant after the boat is sanded and varnished.

Outside stem (bow). Although not really necessary, the ouside stems at the bow and stern help to protect the structure of the deck and hull from fore and aft impacts. I ripped 1/8-inch cherry strips for the bow, soaked them in non-thickened resin (so it would soak through the laminations) and temporarily screwed them in place with a couple of drywall screws (after drilling a pilot hole) until the resin cured. The holes were then filled with thickened resin and the structure shaped with the Sure-Form plane and random-orbit sander to match the hull.

Outside stem (stern). I cut a single piece of cherry for the stern stem and glued it in place with thickened resin. I "clamped" this piece in place on the boat with a few strips of adhesive tape. Once cured, this structure too is filleted with thickened resin (this is the point at which the photo was taken), then shaped to match the profile of the boat. The entire keel is then taped with glass tape (not pictured). This is done for abrasion resistance and to protect the bow and stern stems. For the taping operation it is necessary to lay the boat bottom-side-up. The procedure is quite simple: sand the area to be taped for good adhesion; then lay out a single strip of 3-inch or 4-inch glass tape from stem to stern, with a little to overlap onto the deck; use some adhesive tape to hold the ends in place; then paint on resin, smooth the glass tape and emove any air bubbles, then recoat with some more resin to help fill-out the weave. Cut from the edges into the tape, where necessary, to get the tape to flow up the curves of the bow and stern, yet lay flat against the sides of the hull.



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