Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Yet Another Forward Bow Compartment Post

One of the more nerve wracking tasks remaining for the bow compartment was re-drilling the bow eye holes. Readers will probably remember that I did this once before several years ago, before fairing the hull structure for planking. And then after planking, I drilled the hole back through the skins.

Unfortunately, at the time, I placed the hole too far down on the stem (the bow eye would have been underwater most of the time). Also at that time, I filled in the hole and repaired the bow.

Well, the new location of the bow eye placed the holes in the lower storage area of the bow compartment. Access to these holes will be difficult when the bow compartment is assembled, so I wanted to drill them before beginning assembly.

To make sure that I got them centered, I needed a drilling jig. So I first mocked up one using poster board.

Then assembled the real thing from plywood. I only have this one shot of the jig in process.

In order to have enough room to mount the jog and drill the holes, it was going to be necessary to move the boat part of the way out of the garage.

Then I masked off the area where the bow eye would be installed and flattened the mounting surface.

I had to figure out a way to hold the jig in place.

After drilling the holes, I saw that although they were centered on the bow (yay!), they were slightly rotated (not so yay). But reasoning that trying to correct this would cause more damage than living with it, I elected to leave it alone.

This particular bow eye isn't going to work because the threaded rods are too short to protrude out the other side of the stem on the inside of the boat. I could counter bore the stem to make room for nuts and washers, but would prefer not to. So I am going to see about getting one custom made with longer threaded rods.

The next major task was to encapsulate the various bow compartment pieces with epoxy. This took some time because three coats were needed and some sanding between coats was necessary. The plan was to encapsulate everything and then paint the entire compartment white. The encapsulation will protect the wood against water, and the white bilge paint will make it easier to clean the areas. It also provides an extra protective coat for the epoxy.

The two inner compartment walls, being made from 1/8" plywood, were a bit flexible, so I elected to cover them with fiberglass.

Encapsulation was performed on the surfaces that will be hidden after assembly.

There is a "V" spacer that needed to be installed.

And finally, masking off and painting the bilge paint on the hidden surfaces.

I still need to apply a second coat of bilge paint. I also need to purchase and install some insulation foam for behind the inner compartment walls. Then assembly can begin. During assembly, there will be several times when I have to apply epoxy and fiberglass. So assembly will be a gradual process of put something together, apply epoxy and paint, then put something else into place and more epoxy and paint. The anchor well, will get a layer of protective fiberglass cloth. I'll cover all this in a future post.

One final thing though. Yesterday, two good boat builder friends came by to see my progress and we discussed various details of the build. In preparation for their visit, I temporarily assembled the various parts I have been working on. This was partially to show some evidence of work accomplished, but also to give them a better idea of my plans. This way I could get some constructive feedback.

Here are a few photos showing the compartment with the parts temporarily installed. Most parts are in various states of completion and will need additional work,

So that's the state of the build as of today. I am anxious to complete this phase of the build. It has taken far longer than I imagined it would. I suspect this is par for the course for interior work, but it does try my patience. Anyway, take care.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Continuing Work On The Forward Bulkhead And Hatch

Another week of working on the forward bulkhead hatch and opening. But I am getting close to the point where I can assemble this compartment. The opening was cut into the bulkhead and then I started making all the parts for the opening framework.

The original plan was to hinge the door on the left side, and careful measurements were made to insure the opening was big enough to allow for the hinge and door framework. However, during discussions of this on the Glen L Builder's Forum, it was suggested that I do the hatch without hinges. The advantage of this approach is that it gets the hatch completely out of the way when it's opening and it eliminates the difficult joinery work trying to get the door and hinge in the correct position. It also eliminates the need for the hinge hardware, which I wasn't too happy with appearance wise anyways. I decided to go with this approach instead.

The way the hinge less approach works is the hatch has a tab on it's forward bottom edge that "hooks" over the door framework. The hatch is then rotated up into position and held in place with some sort of latch.

Because I had already cut the opening slightly wider on the left (to allow clearance for the hinge), I would have to make some sort of filler to take this space up. Fortunately, there will be trim surrounding the door opening and the filler will be hidden.

The framework around the opening consists of four reinforcement strips on the forward side of the bulkhead along with three backup plates to give the hatch something to rest against, and four covering plates to hide the edge of the plywood.

Here is that framework being made and assembled. You can see the various parts before gluing into place.

First the reinforcement strips were glued into place and then cleaned up.

Then the three backing plates were glued in. No pictures of that operation. Finally, the covering plates were glued in place. I wanted to clamp these during the cure, but the sides of the bulkhead, being angled, made it necessary to create a clamping jig for the two side covering plates.

The top and bottom covering plates were clamped directly.

The hooking tab was added to the hatch.

Everything was cleaned up and sanded. I will still have to stain and varnish all of this down the road. I just had to see how this was going to look in the boat.  Here are a series of photos showing different aspects of this.

In this first photo, you can see how the hatch top frame member will serve as the aft support for the anchor well floor above the storage compartment.

These next series show how the hatch fits up into the bulkhead

I plan on surrounding the hatch with trim pieces to hide the glue seams of the opening framework. These and the other trim work, (making the light pads, the decorative artwork above the opening, and making a vinyl covered trim board) will all be accomplished in the future.

And here you can see the relationship of the anchor well to the storage compartment. The anchor well floor is visible at the top of the first photo.

All of this took most of the week. I am trying to get all the remaining small tasks accomplished so that I can do final assembly on the forward compartment.  One of those tasks was to round over the edges of the drain slots for the anchor well. This was accomplished with a router and and a round over bit followed by light sanding.

Tasks remaining include fiberglassing the storage compartment walls, drilling the holes for the bow eye (this one has me quite nervous),  and encapsulating and painting the areas that will be covered by panels. All of that is is coming up. So until next time, take care.