The devil is in the details with boats as much as with anything else. I have made quite a bit of progress on the front end, where it turns out there are lots of small details. I have finished off the hand holds. I have made the little covers for the gearbox. One covers the opening to slide in the gearbox into the slots, and another covers a small access to the first shaft bushing and the shaft collar to make leg length adjustments in the shaft coupling. I suppose if I had used a top mounted gearbox, these would not be necessary, but I still like the look. I imagine once I have forgotten about the extra few hours it took, I will be happy I did it this way.
I've also added threaded inserts to two places for standard bicycle water bottle cages. One set is on the front panel adjacent the forward hatch opening. The other is on the top between the gearbox and seat. For these bottle bosses and small access panels, I used small brass thread inserts. It turns out I had to modify them to make them secure in wood without spinning free in moderate torque. I think my modifications have worked and now that I chased the threads with a tap, the fasteners fit in easily and shouldn't create much torque.
I have also nearly completed the hatch coaming for the forward hatch. It has 10 small magnets seated into the material. There will be matching pairs in the cover and a thin gasket. I'm hoping it will seal reasonably well, but the fact that the cover is curved is not in my favor to achieve anything watertight. It's something to consider for a future refinement, but I think the only time water will reach this high on the deck in any amount will be in a capsize, and then the inside might get wet, but shouldn't get swamped. However, I'm not sure I can realistically get the actual hatch cover done in the next week, which is my unofficial deadline. We have a trip next weekend I would like to use as a maiden voyage, and if all goes well I would like to go to the Rockford Hydrobowl the weekend after and "compete" against other boats. It is a race, but with equal parts informal fun. I can tape up the opening if I am worried about flipping. As long as I can enjoy a few runs before winter, I can get it 100% finished later.
Once the last few coaming gluing steps are complete, the remaining forward deck and seat will be ready for final epoxy fill coats, and then finishing. As far as the rest goes, I have the stabilizers painted and complete and the brackets and beams painted and only waiting for the seat post clamps I decided to go ahead and use to eliminate all slop from the moving parts. This post should come soon.
I have also spent a considerable amount of time reworking the back of the seat. I was originally hoping to use this space as a large cargo space with a hatch in the seat back behind the cushion, but I would say in the rare case that the front cargo space won't fit what I need, I can easily bungee a dry bag to the back of the seat. Also, this arrangement added significant windage, and lastly, the panels fit together with a lot of twisting to accommodate the multiple angles of the seat back. This proved very challenging to fixture during gluing and it is not something I would like to repeat. Since I hadn't fit the rear fairing to the hull and was dreading this as well, I decided I would just try what I wish I had done. So far so good, but it isn't done yet.
Because of my reworking, the time tracking is more complicated. I'm up to about 110 hours, but 10-15 of those have been repeating steps or making changes that could now be done up front at the CNC shop. I'm getting close, but I had hoped the whole process would be about 100 hours. I imagine I am in good company of those who underestimate the time it takes to make a new design of a wooden boat.