Sunday, 31 August 2008

August Update

I've just a few hours of the month left to squeeze in an update for August.

As usual every time you think you're ready for the next stage, you find a hundred little things that need doing! I'm still working towards getting the decks fitted, and in fact they are all cut and internally coated with epoxy, but I want to make sure that as much of the internals as possible are finished before I proceed.

Two jobs that needed completing were the installation of the steering lines and the tiller port transom opening. The steering lines are fairly straight forward and quickly sorted out.

Steering lines trial fit.

Next job was the tiller port opening in the transom. This was a bigger job as it means hanging the rudder first to accurately measure the port opening. Of course this couldn't be done without manufacturing the lower gudgeon. To do this I made a mould (or form) out of scrap Styrofoam left over from the hull insulation.

Create gudgeon mould

Cut out shape of gudgeon and discard!

The resulting mould was firstly coated with thickened epoxy/cabosil mixture. I then added six layers of wetted out glass cloth and pressed firmly to walls. A large plastic bag was then placed in the mould and filled with hot water. This helped hold the glass in position whilst curing, squeezing out excess resin through a slot in the bottom of the mould - a poor mans vacuum bag system. Once cured enough I continued to fill the mould with chopped glass, with occasional layers of biax cloth. It was as this process came to a finish that the smoke started to rise as the moulding became red hot. I ended up ripping the foam mould off so that I could immerse the smoking gudgeon in a bucket of water. I therefore have no pictures of the moulding in progress!

Fresh from the mould

The gudgeon has now been drilled for fitting and also given a light coating of microballons which will be sanded to a smooth finish. All in all I'm very pleased with the result.