Day 41 - Bottom Cloth I

Yesterday's fairing was hard enough for me to do a bit of sanding on the transom and put cloth on back there. I came over the sides and bottom about 2 inches. It looks real good. Next I'll do the bottom, one side at at time. If I do one section a day I'll be able to keep applying epoxy every 24 hours to avoid extra sanding. Each section will then need a fill layer as well. I have about 3 gallons of epoxy left. I'm thinking I better order some more just in case...

Day 40 - Fairing Taped Seams

I spent a couple of hours today fairing all the taped seams prior to glassing the hull. I first hit all the edges with my Makita grinder/sander/polisher and then went back with epoxy mixed with fairing filler. The trick is to not put on too much because you'll have to sand it all off again. You need just enough to hide the tape seams under the final layer of glass. I did the keel seam, chine shelf seams, every scarf, the bow and the transom seams. Now I just have to wait a couple of days for the epoxy to get hard enougy to sand well. That means that next weekend I should be able to get the final layer of glass on.

Day 39 Taping Transom & Chine Shelves

Today I taped the transom and the chine shelves. I also laid in a section of 24oz cloth on the aft end of the hull right at the transom. Renn says this area takes quite a beating so it's beefed up now. I laid down a sheet of 24oz roving, 6 oz matt and finished it off with a layer of 6oz cloth. I squeezed out as much of the epoxy as I could and all three layers are stepped so that the whole thing is pretty smooth. I'll have to do some grinding on the bottom edge of the transom to get it sharp again but the whole thing will be pretty strong and should take a lot of punishment before allowing any real damage to the wood back there.

I got 30 yards of 50" cloth for the bottom and sides. This way I can overlap the bottom panels by several inches on the center line and still bring the cloth down to overlap the chine shelves as well. I just have some fairing to do around the tape seams and the scarf joints and then the boat will be ready for the final layer of glass.

Day 38 Taping Seams

I spent some time today taping the center of the boat forward of the scarf and the last couple of feet up to the transom. Next, I'll tape the chine shelves and transom, then spend some time faring the tape before the bottom cloth. I'll also need to make sure I have enough cloth to do the job. That's 9 yards x 4 sheets of 40", 6oz.

I've noticed that I get builder's block sometimes. This is like writer's block only you just stare at the boat and can't seem to take the next step. I've seen this before with other projects. I wonder if others experience the same feelings. The solution is to jus

Day 37 - Laminated Keel Strake

We've been away camping and sailing for most of August. I can't believe it's been over three weeks since I've worked on the boat. Last night and today I spent some time thinking about what I'm going to do for a keel strake. Most Tolmans are built with UHMW strakes, a tough plastic like material that is nice and slippery. But it expands and contracts with temperature changes and has to be secured with lots of screws in the bottom of the boat. I really don't want any exposed screws on my Tolman bottom at all and I don't spend any time in shallow creeks or on rocks where I would need the same kind of slippery strake.

I decided to make a wooden keel strake and glass it in. It will go on top of the other glass on the hull so if it is damaged, there will still be a good water barrier between the strake and the hull. Rather than bend a single long batten as some others have done I decided to laminate a section for the bow and scarf it to two straight sections for the stem and the bottom, aft. So Friday night I ripped up a 2x4 into (4) 3/8" strips and screwed and glued them to the hull over some wax paper. That gave me a nice laminated stem piece and today I hollowed out the underside of all the pieces (so they will nestle down on the taped seam on the bottom) and cut the scarf joints. I'll put it on after the hull is glassed. It will have fillets on the sides and be glassed over with some 24oz roving with 3 layers of 6 oz on top of that. The strake will end 6' shy of the transom. The overall size is 1 1/2" square.

This method should keep any damage localized and make the boat stronger at the same time. It will give the boat a good strong section for trailer rollers and bunks too. I'll post a photo as soon as I have it on the boat.

Day 36 - It's a boat...

Just a photo update. I spent some time sanding the chine corners and then filling in again where there were low spots. I also cut off the overlap at the bow. It's time to do some thinking again about the next project - Keel Strake, although I have quite a bit of glassing and fairing to do as well.
I'm thinking of laminating up a 1 1/2" x 3 inch keel strake that would be deepest where the fairbody turns and taper to nothing about 6' forward of the transom leaving the aft section of the hull nice and flat. I don't want any screws exposed on the bottom so it would all be glassed in and filleted. It should add strength to the hull and help the Jumbo punch thrugh the waves a bit. Leaving the aft section of the hull clean should help the jumbo turn. My next projects in order are:
1. Taping the bottom, chines, transom and fairbody
2. Fairing tape and screw holes.
3. Glassing the whole hull.
4. Keel Strake
5. Spray rail on side of hull
6. Spray rail at chine shelf
7. Call friends and roll boat! ;-)

Day 33-35 Side Panel All over again...

OK, it's time for the starboard side panel. Things always go faster the second time. I'm not sure exactly how others are scarfing up these long panels but here's what seemed to work well for me. What I did was fit the three 4x8 plywood panels on the boat and scribed them for the scarf lines. The aft scarf would be a normal scarf line perpendicular to the factory edge of the plywood. The forward scarf would be scribed on the hanging panels and be perpendicular to the sloping chine. Once the scarf locations were scribed, the plywood panels were removed, scarfed while off the boat, covered with epoxy and cloth (inside surface) and then the now single, long panel was fitted to the boat.

1. Put a full 4'x8' sheet tacked to the bow at the lower corner, at the upper rear corner on the chine shelf and at the rear shelf. With three sides attached you have enough of the shape to scribe your line to make a rough cut to trim off the excess. You'll fit the panel later anyway.

2. Tack on a full 4x8 panel to the stern and to a tab on the chine. The straight edge of the panel here where it meets the chine shelf means no fitting or fairing.

3. Tack up the middle panel keeping the top edge inline with the back panel to keep that straight edge as far forward as you can. The chine starts to curve down (as boat is upside down...) but for a couple of feet forward of where the scarf will be it's still straight. Keep the pieces lined up nice and straight when you scarf and you'll have a straight chine with no fairing required.

4. Mark off a line on the forward panel along the forward edge of the middle panel where it overlaps. After you take the forward panel down for scarfing you'll draw a line 2 5/8" aft of this one to mark the end of the scarf in the forward panel. Cut off the excess aft of this line. Mark lines on the forward panel along the shelf and chine so you can trim that off.

5. Make a rough cut to trim all but about 1" off of the rest of the forward panel. Before you take the other panels down, scribe a rough line along the shelf and then take them down and cut off that excess.

6. Make your stern scarf first. I does not matter where this one is as you'll have several inches of panel left at the stern anyway. Just do as usual, scribe a line on the end of each panel, 2 5/8" in, line them up and scarf. Keep that factory edge straight!

7. Make one more line 2 5/8" on the end of the middle panel and flip it to scarf to the front panel. I like to dry fit each scarf first and screw the panels down to a flat sheet of ply before applying glue. This way I can mark their positions and make sure they don't move around when they are glued and clamped.

8. Glue and clamp both scarfs as usual. Now you have one, long panel with both scarfs done. I think this is easier than trying to do the actual gluing on the boat. It does mean an extra step in fitting, scribing then taking the panels off for scarfing and refitting for the final gluing. But... you get perfect scarfs.

9. Clean up your scarfs and if necessary blade on some microspheres and then cover what will be the inside of the panel with 6oz. cloth and epoxy.

10. After the epoxy has setup good but before it cures completely, mount your panel and scribe a line along the forward chine for the final fitting. I went inside the boat and drew the line right along the chine for starters and needed only a little fairing on the shelves after making that cut. Remember the aft sections of the panel are already nice and straight.

11. I started on the aft corner and attached it to the bottom (as you're standing the top corner while the boat is upside down...) of the transom. Then I used wire ties and some 1/2" dowels to bring the chine and side panel along the aft sections right together. Get these nice and straight, inside corner to inside corner just like the book says.

dowels tip
West System's tips on dowels...

12. Put in several wooden blocks or tabs along the forward section of the chine where the panel starts to curve down. These are cut at a 25 degree angle. Position the panel carefully and attach to the bow stem. You should have a good fit now all along the chine. I did all this before putting any glue on.

13. With the panel only attached along the top chine you can pull it out and prop it out with a 2x4 between the panel and the shelf. Now that you have the fit right, you can even unscrew the front section from the stem and let that fly out while you apply glue.

14. You've got to slather on plenty of glue along the shelf, transom, bow stem and along the inside of the panel where it meets all those parts. If you're doing this soon enough, before the epoxy on the side panel has cured you won't even need to sand. If you've watited more than 24 hours though, sand. I did the glassing at the end of the day and glued it on the next morning. It's always better to glue things together before the epoxy cures and requires sanding again if you can.

15. Put plenty of epoxy on the shelf where the subfloor ply will really soak it up. I went over it twice and then mix up a batch of epoxy with filler and put a good layer on all surfaces to be glued.

16. Remove your 2x4 holding the bottom of the panel away from the shelf and start attaching it. I used #10 2" stainless screws. Start at the middle of the panel and attach it to the shelf. I then atched the rest of the panel at the bow stem and worked my way from the middle along the shelf forward and then aft from the middle to the stern. The idea is to not have any bubbles in the fit. Finish up with the transom edge.

17. Don't stop yet! Get back inside the boat and take good advantage of all the squeeze out and make a nice fillet along the top (at least while the boat's upside down, it's the top...) of the shelf, the transom and along the sides of the bow stem. If you spend time making it look nice now, you won't have to sand it a lot later!

18. Next coat the end grain of the bottom and side panels along the chine shelf with lots of epoxy. Then you'll mix up some epoxy with gap filling filler and fill the corner along the chine leaving a rounded edge to sand smooth later.

19. No you're not through yet. Get back in the boat with a brush or rag and clean up the dripping epoxy coming down from the chine shelf. You don't want to have to sand that later do you? Clean it up now and you won't have those unsightly runs. ;-)

That's a lot of steps but it lets you do a single side in three work sessions. One to scarf. One to cover with epoxy and glass and one to final fit and glue. When you're done, you've really got a boat. It looks ugly because the sheer line has not been trimmed yet. We'll leave that for when the boat is right side up. I hate working upside down anyway. While you're waiting for one side to dry you can work on smoothing and fairing the chine shelf. You can also fair the scarfs on the outside of the panels a bit.

If you're working with fir ply, remember to not do much sanding or you'll just make it lumpy. NEVER sand fir ply. You just sand out the soft wood and leave an ugly surface. Wait until it's coated with epoxy. You can put on a real smooth layer of microspheres though under the glass and your scarf will never be seen again.

Day 32 Side Panel III

This morning I glued the starboard side panel on. It went on just perfectly with just enough squeeze-out to make nice fillets inside the boat and on the inside of the transom. I also had a good amount along the stem so that has a fillet now to. Everything looks good. After the top rounded fillet on the chine cures I'll work at fairing it to get a nice straight chine. This was a big job and I've got to go do it all over again for the port side. But at least after that I can say for sure that this boat would at least float!

Day 31 - Side Panel II

After cleaning up the scarf joints I put the panel back on the boat and marked the shape for the bow section that needed to be trimmed. If you keep the factory edge straight while scarfing you'll get a nice strait run on the aft section of the chine. It only took a few minutes to crawl inside the boat and mark the area to be trimmed forwad by running a pencil along the chine shelf. I put several tabs forward and a few wire ties wth dowels along the aft half of the panel to line things up. Then it all came down again to get glassed. Spreading epoxy on (3) 8' sheets of plywood with 4oz cloth takes awhile and uses up a lot of epoxy.

Day 30 - Side Panel #1

Today I tacked up three sheets of 3/8" on the boat and marked off the lines for the scarfs. On my Jumbo, three 8' sheets gives you several inches of extra material. (Using a minimum overlap of 2 5/8" on each panel...) I was surprised at the amount of bend the forward sheet has to make so I made the first scarf as far back as possible. The panels are now curing in my driveway as I type. I'm off to a sailboat regatta tomorrow so the other side will have to wait until Monday.
Notes on the process: I now understand why Renn has you match the panels inside corner to inside corner. With the side panels at the stern, you have a good 10' of length on the chine that you want nice and straight. Using the factory edge of the panel you get that. With the corner filled in with epoxy and putty, you just have to be able to round it over and you have a straight chine regardless of how wiggly the chine shelf is. It's fair up and down and left and right. It will be a piece of work to mark and fair the forward half of the panel to match the chine shelf. I'm not looking forward to that but if I can get the right shape on the side panel, the chine shelf will look fine. I have to mark shape and fit and then take the whole thing off to coat the inside surface with glass and cloth, then do it all over again. My driveway is going to be full of boat for awhile.

Best Marine Epoxy

My favorite epoxy? Progressive Basic No-Blush Epoxy

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