Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stitching the hulls

We have been working on the boat since last June and today we are finally done with Sheet 1 of the plans! The hulls are now stitched together and ready for the bulkheads just in time for the warmer weather. We are pretty far along with other bits and pieces but we still haven't seen anything that looks like a boat, until today.

But before starting to stitch, we found mistake #3 with the bow panels. We made the top side too long which means the stem wouldn't fit. Something about the measurements on the plans didn't add up because the measurement from the edge of the ply was right, but the measurement from the bulkhead was wrong. You can see that we have to take off a small triangle from the front which was pretty easy with the pull saw, then used a chisel to bevel the edge of the butt block.

We also drilled the rudder lashing holes on the drill press before attaching the aft stems. These were a bit messy for our taste and so the next ones were done with a piece of wood clamped to the drill press table as a fence to keep the holes more neatly aligned.

And then it was time to start putting in stitches of copper wire! Here are the stitches along the bow. You can see how narrow the filler piece is now that we cut it down. The stitches in that area go through the main hull panel so we don't rip open that seam when the hulls are opened out.

We then stitched the aft stem and keel.

We couldn't help but open it up with one bulkhead and see what it will look like.

Check it out, it's a boat!

The bulkheads are just fit loose for now to see how they fit and if the stitches are the right tension. We will probably need to loosen the stitches along the keel to make sure it isn't twisted. Each additional bulkhead makes the shape prettier and prettier.

Unfortunately we will probably put the stitched hulls aside and go back to the beams and other small pieces while we wait for the fiberglass tape to be delivered and for a warm weekend day. Our plan is to do all the epoxy, fillets and fiberglass tape in one continuous process. It won't be this weekend and it won't be next weekend so perhaps the weekend after we'll have some glued up hulls.

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