Day 50 - Fairing/Sanding

I spent a good 4 hours feathering the tape on the sides of the keel strake and then used my PC 6" DA on the whole bottom. At the end of the day I laid down some fairing putty along the keel strake and along the area where the side glass laps onto the bottom. I'm VERY happy with how the keel strake came out and with how smooth the bottom is. After one more final sanding, the bottom will be ready for its final layer of epoxy and graphite.

Day 49 - Keel Strake III

Tonight I started glassing the keel strake. After doing the chine seams which were very easy to glass I had visions of a simple job in my mind, something I could do before dinner time. Wrong... Jeanette came out to see what had happened to me and she ended up putting on the latex gloves, hopping up on the boat and helping me spread tape.

Why was it hard? I was putting a layer of 6" wide, 20oz mat right on the strake and then covering that with 3" 10oz and then 6" 10oz tape on each side, overlapping the center of the keel strake. In theory this would make for a nice smooth transition from hull-fillet-strake and in fact after looking at it the next day I have to say it does look great and that it was worth the effort. But that mat is springy stuff and getting it to lay down inside the curve by the keel strake was a royal pain. After the 10oz cloth was on top I could squeegee out more of the resin but I still used more than I wanted to. With Jeanette helping me hold down the stuff and getting it covered with the woven tape, things started going better. The only other job building my Jumbo where I needed 4 hands was when hanging the side panels. I just did not expect taping a little piece of wood to be another. Hey, we had fun and it looks good and it should be REALLY strong and protected.

Day 48 - Keel Strake II

Today I just spent a couple of hours cleaning up the keel strake. I sanded off excess glue, cleaned up the scarf joints and rounded off the corners so the glass will lay down nice and easy. Later this week I'll put on several layers of glass over the strake.

Day 47 - Keel Strake

Today I spent about 4 hours putting on the keel strake. Renn's instructions call for simply attaching a 1.5" square strip of UHMW directly to the hull with screws and sealant. That would have been easier so of course I did something different. This is the first time I've altered the boat from the standard Jumbo description in Renn's books. I just didn't like the idea of having any fasteners into the hull bottom, especially on the keel strake that would see constant wear on the trailer and whenever the boat was grounded. All it takes is one or two screws to start leaking and then you have water directly into the plywood hull. I don't plan on having any fasteners or holes in the bottom of the boat at all. No holes = No leaks.
Instead of using 1.5" UHMW I used a 1"x1.5" keel strip that I epoxied to the hull with large fillets. It will aslo get several layers of glass to keep it in place and protect it from grounding. On top of all that will go a 1/2" strip of UHMW. It will be screwed. At least this way if/when it leaks, the water will never actually get to the hull.
Renn's advice on this was to not glass the strip but just paint it and attach the UHMW. His thinking is that once water gets inside some wood that is covered with epoxy it has no place to go and the wood will rot. We'll that's probably right but that's excatly why I didn't want screws every 6" into the hull bottom. In a way my keel strip is sacrifical in that I don't mind having to replace sections of it after years of use. I can do that. I can't replace hull sections. Having this section glassed to the keel of the boat should make it stiffer to boot. It will aslo provide a nice, long flat run for supporting the hull when it's sitting on a trailer. In the end you build a boat the way you think it should be done based on your experience and how you expect to use the boat. Perhaps it would have been fine to have just screwed on the UHMW but I think my solution will make the boat stronger and still provide good abraision resistance with a smaller chance of leaks.
To make the keel strake I laminated the stem section in place from (4) 1/4" strips of fir over some wax paper and then pulled it off. Then I shaped a "V" into the inside of the piece so it would nestle down over the bow. I cut a "V" shape into the rest of the stem and keel pieces that were straight and scarfed them together and glued them up on the hull. After screwing them down with temporary screws I put in a nice fillet. After the glue started hardening up I removed the screws.
Next Steps:
1. Clean up the fillet and round the strip to prepare it for glassing to the hull.
2. Glass the keel strip.
3. Feather and fair the glass line to prep for final bottom epoxy.

Day 46 - Panel 5 Glassed

Today after work I glassed the one remaining side of my jumbo. That means it's all glassed and ready for some serious finish work. I still have to put on the keel strake and add more epoxy to fill the weave of the cloth. Each step takes me closer to being ready to roll the boat.

Fuel Tanks

I got 2 fuel tanks from e-bay for less than $100 each including shipping.
The tanks hold 45 gallons of gas each. They are 72" long by 18.5" wide by 10.5" high (including fittings.) I decided to go with plastic fuel tanks because they will never corrode and you can't beat the price I paid. A lot of builders are putting a large single tank between the two stringers under the deck. I'm putting mine on the sides of the boat at station #6. This means that my cockpit floor between the stringers will be about 7 inches lower. This also means that I can lower the roof and/or have 7" more headroom. Putting the fuel on the sides of the boat will slow down the rocking motion as well. Ninety gallons should give me a 400 mile cruising range. That should be more than enough for my needs. I still have to work out excatly how I'll mount them but they will fit between the stringer and the chine with no problem. I'll build a shelf to hold them in place and to stiffen that part of the hull. More later...

Day 45 - Panel 4 Glassed

Today I glassed one of the side panels. Using 50" cloth I had plenty of width to come up over the chine shelf a good 8 inches. This means that each shelf has 3 layers of glass under an additional 2 layers provided by the bottom cloth and the side cloth. I'm very happy with how fair the hull is and with the quality of the sheathing. The Basic No Blush epoxy is doing a fine job. I will cover the last side then apply epoxy to fill the weave on all the exterior surfaces of the boat.

Day 44 - Panel 3 Glassed

I covered the other side of the bottom with glass tonight which means I just have the two sides of the boat to do. I'll have to add additional layers of epoxy to all sides of the boat as well as the transom to fill the weave of the cloth. Before I do that though I'll have to get the keel strake bed on. I'm going to put on a piece of wood from stem to just a couple feet shy of the stern to use as a bed for the keel strake. I'll have to post some photos of that when it's done.

Day 43 - Panel 2 Glassed

There are 5 basic panels I have to cover with epoxy and fiberglass cloth,
1) transom
2 & 3) both sides of the bottom
4 & 5) both sides of the boat

I've got the transom done and tonight I did one half of the bottom. I'm using 50" cloth so it overlaps both the center seam and the chine shelf seam. I really like the way it's going on and the boat looks great. I'll need to fill the weave of the cloth on each side after it first goes on. If I can do it in less than 24 hours I won't have to sand. I've already missed the window for the transom. I'll try to get the section I did today filled tomorrow.

Day 42 Sanding

Just an hour of sanding tonight. I got the keel seam and most of one of the chine shelves sanded. There was not enough light to do more. I know this is no racing sailboat but I just can't help but make it smoooooooooth. ;-) With just a little bit more sanding tomorrow I'll be ready to glass one of the bottom panels. The west system 407 filler I'm using with the Progressive Epoxy Basic no-blush II sands very well. I've been real happy with this epoxy.

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EpoxyUSA.com Progressive Basic No-Blush Epoxy

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