Friday, July 29, 2011

Forward deck and gearbox mount

The chronology is getting a little fuzzy, but since the last boat post, I have spread on two fill coats of epoxy to the outside main hull.  It looks like I managed to avoid making a big mess of anything on the outside.  I can definitely see improvement with each of my last boats.  The next general step is to complete the remainder of the forward deck.  This includes the footwell panels, the gearbox mount and the seat bottom.  I can then work my way from the gearbox along the driveshaft and complete remaining panels as I go.  
I tried to minimize the number of panels, but this does mean that there are some aggressive curves to form transitions.  

It has taken a significant amount of time to glass each of the individual remaining panels separately.  It also creates a lot of waste as there will be cloth trimmings and left over epoxy.  If I try this again, I will hopefully negotiate to pre-laminate a full sheet of plywood and have the CNC shop cut the small panels all out of this sheet.  
I am making a slight change from previous designs and mounting the gearbox inside the boat.  I will need to allow for leg length adjustment, so these panels have slots for the crank arm axle.  I will extend it all of the way to the front edge once the rest is put together.  However, having big slot in the boat means it will take on a lot of water if it is to capsize, so I have added a partitions to seal this area (except for the gap around the shaft and bushing) and to add some strength.

I used the same stitch and glue steps for the footwell panels.  I started in the middle where there is no curve and waited for it to cure.  I need to create a lot of leverage to bend the strips into place, so I wanted a portion of the length to be secure.  I used some clamps to provide the leverage in one area.  Once the clamps created the bend, I tightened the stitches to hold the gap closed.  For the transition to the seat bottom, I cut some scrap wood into bending forms and prebent the panels before attempting to stitch.

I added 2" tape to the inside seams.  On the outside internal corners (such as between the footwell and gearbox housing) I used the System Three gel epoxy to make a small fillet.  I thought I would avoid visible filler there, and the gel is supposed to waterproof and structural for this type of application.

Total time up to this point (not including gearbox): 56 hours

1 comment:

  1. Cory
    It is coming along nicely. I will be interested in the weight when you get the main hull closed.