Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rear Bulkhead Version 3.0

Sunday morning was taken up with a trip to the library and Kings Plant Barn. I returned my copies of John Welsford's Backyard Boatbuilder and John Gardner's Dory Book and got some books on sea kayaking to make sure I 'll be prepared by the time launch date arrives. Since my partner, Bridgit, has suddenly decided to go all Earth Mother on us, we were at the garden centre to buy some olive trees and tomato plants, and Sam got some strawberry plants which no doubt he'll fail to look after.

When I finally got around to looking at the kayak, I decided it was time to address the rear bulkhead, the second version of which I failed to make fit while i was tweaking the lines of the hull on Saturday. It seems that as drawn, the transition between the steep vee of the transom and the relatively slack vee of the bulkhead less than 3 feet further forward is just too much for the 4mm plywood to take. In attempting to make the piece fit I was forcing the seams of the boat apart.

The solution, I decided after much pondering, was to make my own bulkhead according to the shape of my hull. I used the top profile of the existing part and carefully measured the width across the inwales, the width at the chines and the depth from a line between the chines and the centreline of the boat. These details were transferred onto a piece of cardboard, and when that fitted snugly, the shape was transferred onto 9mm ply and cut and planed to shape.

To finish for the day I took of the inwales and laid them out on a plastic covered board to scarf joint them with epoxy. I nailed the epoxy joint tight while it cured, and then used up the rest of the mix putting little dabs on all the hull panel joins, so that when I come to fillet and tape the seams I can take out all the cable ties first. The first mix was a bit too thin and worked OK on the centreline but it tended to run down from the chine joints. A second batch was made much thicker with extra microfibres and it all looked good when I closed the garage door on it for the night.

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