Sheeting completed … for now

Last Tuesday was a milestone day, as we completed sheeting the starboard hull. We are now moving on to the next stage, which is preparing to fiberglass the hull. Before that however are a few jobs to complete. The hull had to be shaped to accept the keel. Prior to sheeting I shot a laser line onto the keelson to fix the position of the base of the keel. I then planed the keelson to create a flat for the keel to sit on.  A lot of time was spent, ensuring it was level and flat. We then glued the bottom sheets, and I planed them down to fit. This will give Selah a draft of 750mm from the waterline.

Its been a tough couple week on a personal level. Deb’s brother Russell was diagnosed with a cancerous kidney tumour, and on the day after this photo was taken had surgery to remove the affected organ. This at the same time my father was recovering from a stroke from just a few days prior. Fortunately, at the time of writing (a week later) both are doing well, and are in recovery.

Starboard hull sheeting completed. A satisfying moment.
Gluing the last sheet.
Keel planned down to accept the keel.

We made the decision to fully fibreglass the keel prior to placing in position on the hull. The plans call for four layers of 200 gsm fiberglass and an optional “boot” of dynell, a tough, abrasion resistant fibre. This toughens the keel for when she is sitting on the bottom. We will also give it a coat of Qcell fairing compound, so the keel will not need any additional work until final sand and top-coat. The thought is to do as much as possible on the workshop bench. Much harder once it is fixed 2.2 metres in the air on the hull.

Edging the keel. I used a 20mm rounding bit. Fibreglass does not like sharp corners.
Keel bogged and sanded, ready for fiberglass.

I also completed fixing the rudder assembly. Gluing the two laminated halves together, and encapsulating the SS rudder post within. 3/8″ 316 SS bolts were used to bolt the post to the rudder blade. The key with rudder foils is to ensure there are no voids, within the assembly. Voids will inevitably fill with water, no matter how carefully the fibreglass sheeving is done, and eventually lead to rotting. To that end, copious amounts of epoxy was used to fill all the gaps. Also all laminations and surfaces were thoroughly saturated with resin.

Preparing to join the rudder halves. Clamps, notched applicator, SS bolts, washers and nuts ready to go.
Rudder halves and post mated, glued, bolted and ready for fiberglass. The bolt heads were countersunk and epoxied in place. Voids were filled with epoxy glue.
Final sanding prior to fibreglassing. Its easy to underestimate how many hours goes into building rudders.
Laying fibre on the keel. This is the first of four layers.
Two layers of 200 gsm fiberglass wetted out. Another layer followed by the Dynel layer yet to go. We were glad we decided to do the fibreglass work on the bench, prior to affixing to the hull.

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