Monday, 26 October 2009


Just like in "LOST", everyone needs a hatch cover! This was quite straight forward and enjoyable to build. I've opted for a small skylight in the top, which was cut out after the hatch was fabricated and glassed on the inside. Fine tuning the fit of the hatch is still in progress, but it really needs the internal closed cell foam for it to run smoothly on the rails. I'll get round to glassing and fairing shortly. At the moment I'm working on the washboard and it's mountings, a problem I wouldn't have had if I'd not departed from the plans!

I have douglas fir on order for all the spars and yuloh, so I'll have plenty to keep myself busy with over the next few months. More progress reports as they happen.

Hatch rail components

Installed rails

Glassed internally

Runners and rails installed

Hatch Installed

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Cabin top construction.

Well almost a month since the last update. I've been pretty busy beavering away with the cabin top construction. A dose of the flu, last weekend, means my schedule has slipped again! Who cares? It'll be done when it's done.

I learnt a few things about Lexan this week.

  1. It's not cheap!
  2. It's very heavy.
  3. It's really tough.

Shaping the front window opening was a bit of a challenge. In the end I came up with the idea of clamping a piece of Lexan onto the framework on top of a layer of thickened epoxy. By doing so it would form a perfect fit. Next problem was cutting the front windscreen. There is just no way to clamp in in position to accurately mark it out, so I ended up screwing it in place and using a block plane to trim it to size. I'm not 100% happy because a couple of my screws did not line up. I may cut another piece of Lexan and redo it. I can use the existing piece in the aft washboard so it won't be wasted.

The side windows were much easier; again I trimmed using the block plane after rough cutting with a jig saw. This is how I know about (3) above!

With all that done it was just a question of mixing lots of epoxy, clamps at the ready and fixing the cabin top over the frame work. The epoxy had started to gell at 1800 this evening, but the temperature has fallen down into single figures tonight so I expect it'll be pretty soft still in the morning.

Once set up hard I can unclamp, trim the sides and start installing the hatch rails etc., which I have already ripped and milled (on my new jointer!).

More to follow.

Front window shaping

Lexan Windows

The top goes on....