Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Back To Work With Skinning

As mentioned in my previous posting, I had a delay in construction due to a variety of circumstances. However, that is behind me now and I have been able to make more progress with skinning. Two panels are now installed with one of them still needing trimming.

The first panel's installation was a bit stressful trying to get everything done before the epoxy got to hard to work with. This was primarily due to two things. First, I neglected to transfer the screw holes into the structure and more importantly I didn't pre-install the screws into the temporary plywood washers before installing the panel. Both of these slowed me down the first time, so I made sure to accomplish both before installing the second panel.



However, before installing the port panel, I wanted to complete work on the starboard panel. First up, I needed to replace the temporary screws and plywood washers with silicon bronze screws. This was a matter of removing and replacing. Then there was completing the trim work on the panel. That involved a bit of sanding, trimming off the excess plywood at the transom and above the chine. Finally, I sanded the plywood down to the transom and chine. The excess on the bottom (by the sheer) will be rough trimmed later when I feel like laying under the boat and doing this task. However, I will leave final trimming of that area until after the boat is flipped as it will be much easier to accomplish. Also, there is some fairing required on the sheer after the boat is turned over..




The port panel was basically a repeat of the process used on the starboard side.

  1. Install the panel temporarily
  2. Trim off approximately 12 to 18 inches off the bottom where it overlaps the sheer (leaving about an inch extra)
  3. Re-install the panel and determine positive location points
  4. Trace the hull structure on the inside of the panel. 
  5. Remove the panel and mark all the screw holes (using the structure tracings as guides)
  6. Drill the screw holes into the panel
  7. Re-install the panel and transfer the screw holes into the hull structure
  8. Remove the panel again and wipe everything down
  9. Pre-wet the panel and structure with thinned epoxy in the mating areas 
  10. Apply thickened epoxy to the structure mating surfaces
  11. Install the panel with a few screws (just enough threads to hold in position
  12. Clamp the panel down
  13. Install the temporary screws and plywood washers with wax paper under the washers
  14. The next day, remove the temporary screws and install the permanent screws.


The end result, 1/6th of the boat has been skinned now!




The next panel will be on the starboard side forward of the first panel. They will be connected together with a butt joint with a plywood panel backing up the butt joint on the inside of the skin. I'll be covering that process more in the next posting, but one of the challenges I face with this next panel is determining where to cut it to length so that the next butt joint is in a relatively flat area.

I've looked over a few other builds of the same boat and I have a fairly good idea where I can place the second butt joint, but I will need to determine this location on my own boat. The challenge comes from the fact that whatever forward boat structure remains, after installing this second panel, will need to be small enough to fit under a third 8 foot piece of plywood. Since the forward section of the boat is quite curved, I cannot simply lay the third plywood in position to see how big to make the second piece. And if I make the second piece the full 8 foot length, then the second butt joint will be too far forward (into the curved area of the boat).

I'm thinking the second piece will be 5 or 6 feet long, but still need to verify this before making any cuts. Anyway, as mentioned, I will cover this more in the next blog posting.

The other thing I did was to purchase the transom drain plugs. These are a two piece part that need to be installed before installing the bottom battens and the bottom skins. It will be a while before I actually do this, but I wanted to make sure I had the parts beforehand.


The tubes will require a 1 inch hole to be cut in the transom frame on each side of the keel as close to the eventual skin as possible. This will be the low point of the boat when it is turned over and these will allow draining of any water that accumulates in the boat. Since I am planing on covering the transom exterior with a mahogany veneer, I will drill these holes first before skinning, and the go back through the veneer at a later date. At that time I will install the actual parts.

So for now, that is it. I still have some time left in this weekend and will be finishing the port side panel and starting the process of fitting the second starboard panel.

Take care.

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