Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Sunday, December 21, 2014

More Side Panel Skinning

Well, I had hoped to get more work done since the last posting two weeks ago. Things being what they are, I was only able to complete the second front panel and start on the port center panel.

The port front panel presented a few more difficulties than the starboard panel. This had mostly to do with the lack of space on that side of the boat. I also had some difficulty getting the panel into position because of the curvature required. The front of the panel kept getting hung up on the back wall of the garage.

However, eventually I did get it into position and glued down. The only real difference between this panel and the starboard side is that this panel lays over the end of the starboard panel in the nose. That means that the starboard side panel had to be sanded down flush with the stem first.





Another area I had more difficulty with on this panel was getting the forward most screws in. Like the starboard panel, I had to use air powered angle tools (drill and wrench). But for some reason, the wrench would run out of power before completion of driving the screw so I was forced to get in there and complete that by hand. Needless to say, that was difficult in that I had to drive it down while keeping the driving bit firmly planted in the screw (so that the head wouldn't strip).  Afterwards, my arms felt like they had been in a boxing match.

When fitting the panel, I noticed that it did not lay quite flat on the stem. The amount of curvature on the panel in this area is a bit more than is easily handled by the panel. You can see in the next photo the small gap in the center.



After I removed the panel I worked the fairing on the stem a little and this improved the  fit, but I was still forced to use some levering action by placing a board against the wall and pulling down on it while driving the screws in. Of course, I couldn't do this by myself and had to enlist the aid of my son.

As mentioned, I eventually succeeded in getting the panel glued into correct position. It gives the boat a new character when both front panels are on.




At this point, the only remaining work on the side panels was to fill in the center section. These were going to require six feet of plywood as well as two backing plates per side. This is the work that I didn't get much done on.

I did get a couple of preliminary fit pictures. The first one illustrates the butt join on the forward end of the center panel. Eventually, there will be a 12 inch wide backing plate (also made from 9mm plywood) glued and screwed to the inside of this joint (as well as the other joint on the aft end). The backing plate needs to extend six inches on each side of the joint (hence the 12 inch width). It will also extend the full length of the join between the sheer and the chine. (approximately 32 inches).


One other aspect of this backing plate is that it needs to conform to the curve of the skin panel. The curve is not excessive but the shortness of the backing plate means that it will be difficult to force into a curve. My concern here is that that stiffness will tend to flatten out the curvature of the skin at the joint. A flat spot would be aesthetically undesirable and might affect the performance of the boat.

I am going to experiment with pre-curving the backing plates before gluing them into position. I have yet to perform this pre-curving and I do not have any photos of them yet.

In the the final photo, you can see that the center panel is trimmed to length and in position but still needs trimming on the chine edge. What I particularly like about this photo, however, is that it shows off the lines of the boat quite nicely.



So as you can see, I don't have a lot to discuss this time around. I will have some more free time after Christmas as well the New Year weekend so I will be trying to get the center sections completed. After they are done, skinning will be on hold for awhile while I complete work on the bottom of the boat.

Several tasks needs to be accomplished on the bottom before I can start adding the skin panels. First, I need to install the battens into the notches in the frames. These notches will need to have limbers added before the battens are installed. The limbers are an area cut out on the outboard side of each notch that will allow water to drain to the aft end of the boat.

In addition to the battens, I need to do a bit more fairing work on the frame bottom edges. And I also need to pre-drill the two drain plug holes in the transom.

All in all, quite a bit of work to accomplish, before the skins can be added. I am still hoping to complete all of this (including the skinning)  by the end of February but with the onset of winter and colder weather, I am not sure this will be possible. We'll see.

So, that is it for now. I will continue to work the boat and in a couple of weeks, I should be able to show more progress. Until then, take care.

Click Here To Comment:

  1. Congratulations on the progress, Carl. It's looking great!

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  2. Thanks Mike. And I have to say that your Utility build is also looking great. Soon you'll be painting and then flipping. Good chance that you'll be able to take her out on the water this coming year.

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