Day 98 - Cuddy Side IV

Tonight I glued in 1.75in. wide strips of wood along the pilot house lower side walls. These will receive the upper pilot house wall bottom edge when I put those on. The line/curve of the cuddy top edge looks good. I spent some time tonight fairing that in preperation for gluing on the cuddy top. It's tempting to just glue on a single layer of 1/4 in. as this would be plenty strong and fast but I want to layup an insulated roof with 1/2 in. foam inbetween two sheets of 1/8 in. ply. It's going to take more time but I think it will be worth it. When it's cold out the roof will sweat with condensation with a warm cabin. This can get real bad when two people are sleeping in the cuddy. An insulated roof should be a lot nicer.

Day 97 - Cuddy Side III

Today I worked on the boat just for some therapy. It was good to get a bunch of stuff done. I glued on the second side of the cuddy and I taped up the top edges of the transom.

There is a right way to put on the cuddy sides. I think it's even more important when they are long like mine are. I ahve a full-size cuddy and a 6 foot pilot house. That means that my sides are about 13 long before being trimmed at the ends. Because of the curve of the boat along the gunwale and the 5 degree tilt, the panel has to bend in just the right way. If you attache the ends first and then try to attach the rest of the panel, you can end up with a "bubble" a section that is not laying flat.

Trailer Bummer

After three emails to the seller of this trailer specifically asking the measurement of the bow stop to the end of bunk, I was assured it was 21ft. I drove 500 miles and measured 17ft. Duh... 20 hours of wasted time... Driving the old clunker van so $200 wasted gas... Nice trailer other wise, just too short. I turned around and drove home without the trailer.

I don't know how to be any clearer... "How far is it from the bow stop to the end of the bunks?" And people wonder why I am controling sometimes... It's because you really can't trust other people to do it right. Is this why we build our own boats?

Day 96 - Cuddy Sides & Trailer

I spent a couple of hours tonight gluing on one of the cuddy sides. It's looking good. I'll try to get the next side tomorrow.

Day 95 - Cuddy Sides

I've been gone for one week to Brazil and then for another to Nashville. I've lost 2 weeks and 3 weekends of boat time and now I feel behind. But the good side is I earned enough to pay for my trailer and I got to see my son graduate from college. Cool... er... I mean about college and all.

Now back to to the boat. There are some things on a boat that have to be right and one is the curves. The beauty of a boat is in its curves. There are several places on the Tolman Skiff where you have to pay attention to details to get the curves right. 1) the chine shelves 2) the upper shelves as they lay in the jig with the boat upside down 3) the chine/side joint 4) the upper shelf capping and last, the cuddy top edges. These are VERY visible. Everyone will look at them. If there are dips and bumps you have an ugly boat. When I looked at some Tolman photos the cuddy cabin roof looked boxy and like it was missing some curves. I asked Renn how he got his curves in all the right places (smile when you say that...) and he said he put up a middle jig between the forward bulkhead and the aft cuddy bulkhead to help get the line right.
Here's a photo of the jig I made. I used the same jig that I had used to mark the bunk tops and cut out a rough template that matched the curve on the top of the bulkheads. This template is mounted at 48 inches, the same as the forward and aft cuddy bulkhead. To make sure it's the right height, lay a streight edge along the centerline and see if it touches in 3 places. The curve template is then squared off and braced.

Then I cut out some notches for a small batten (1 x 3/4) that will lay along the upper cuddy side. These notches put the batten right at the correct position. I cut one spreader and put that 1/2 way between the jig and the forward bulkhead to get that curve looking good.

In the book, Renn talks about putting in a couple of nails and laying a batten along the cuddy side to get the line to cut. If you just lay the batten flat you'll end up with a side that is too high in the middle. Renn says to stand the batten up. This drops the middle section. This photo shows what this looks like. Using the jig, a long batten on the outside and the one on the inside I can draw the line that will be the top of the cuddy side. The side will have a fair curve up and down and side to side with this method.

Day 94 - More Sanding

I spent a couple of hours fairing, routing and sanding the starboard side gunwale. It looks good now. Both sides are now ready for tape.

Just for fun I drilled out the epoxy filled motor mount holes and mounted the jackplate. Yes, it fits and looks cool! ;-)

Day 93 - Sanding

Not really a day of work but a couple of hours of sanding... It's going to be a long haul, getting the boat ready for primer. Tonight I faired, routed and sanded the port side shelf deck. It looks good. I still have a few spots that need filler and then I'll tape the seam. I also started prepping the spray rail for a piece of cloth. You never catch them all but it is SO MUCH faster to clean the epoxy runs before they cure... The boat is looking nicer and nicer every day. ;-)

Day 92 - Shelf Decking II

Today I finished up all of the shelf decking including the front piece which is backed up with solid blocking to support cleats and an anchor roller. I also feathered the 24oz tape in the anchor well, laid in some low-density filler and then covered it all with a large piece of cloth that comes up the inside of the well and front face of the forward bulkhead. I just have a few screw holes to fill, some edges to clean up and then I'll route the edge and the gunwale will be ready for taping.

Renn sent me an e-mail about a good way to get the sheer right on when doing the cuddy sides. It's important that it follow the curve of the cuddy top which will allow it to dip some and follow the sheer of the deck.

Day 91 - Shelf Decking

I only have an hour or so to work on weeknights but I'm trying to do a job or two every night. Tonight I ground down the motor mount holes and then glued on the first of the three shelf decking sections on the port side. I had to make some 1 1/8" filler blocks on for the transom corners so things took a little longer than I expected. The rest should go quickly. The shelf is pretty fair and the 7/16" SuperPly helps as it goes on pretty straight. I'm anxious to get these pieces on as the next step is the cabin sides. It always seems like progress is faster with the bigger pieces but it's often the small stuff that takes the time.

Day 90 Motor Mount

Tonight I marked out where the motor mount bolts would go and I drilled out the holes 1/4" oversize and filled them with epoxy and West System High-Density filler. After it cures I'll drill them out again to the 1/2" required. This way there is no wood exposed and if the bolts ever start leaking the transom should be protected. The CMC jackplate I have mounts using the same bolt pattern as most outboards. I plan on building up a fiberglass/epoxy layer under the jackplate to help distribute the load.

Best Marine Epoxy

My favorite epoxy? Progressive Basic No-Blush Epoxy

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