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Thistle 1040 - Bow tank sandwich top

By Thistle1040 - Posted on 24 March 2012

bow tank topI made the sandwiched bow tank top today. The photo at left shows it as the top layer is glued on and pulled down using "buttons" -- small blocks of wood with screws that assure the two halves are pulled tight together. The tank top is crowned so that the sides drop about one inch from the center line. This makes it easier to make the sandwiched top as the top layer presses against the bottom layer as the two pieces are glued into place.

The other way to make this kind of top would be to build an external jig and vacuum bag the deck-sandwich construction and then glue it in place on the boat.

There is a layer of 3/8" foam between the top and bottom which are made from 1/8" door skins. After the epoxy cures, I'll remove the buttons, fill the holes and glass the top layer. After this photo was taken, I filleted and glassed the seams along the sides of the hull. Once everything is cured, the aft edge will be ground flat, rounded and taped. There are wood blocks in the layup above the inspection holes where hardware is likely to be mounted. There is also a sheet of ply on the centerline of the vertical bulkhead for mounting hardware when needed. Though it looks big, the whole assembly weights less than 10 pounds.

In the photo below, you'll see that there are a few small blocks of closed-cell foam glued in place on the hull. The tank will be filled with long foam blocks. These small blocks will keep the larger foam strips from laying against the hull skin and will promote air circulation. There is nothing worse for the inside of a floatation tank than soggy, wet foam. Thistle rules require the foam because some tanks leak and if the tank is full of foam, it provides positivitve floatation even with a leaky tank. The inside of the tank and bottom of the tank deck are sealed with epoxy.

tank inside

Best Marine Epoxy

My favorite epoxy? Progressive Basic No-Blush Epoxy

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