The big top is back on.

Its been a few weeks since we have posted an update. We took a week off the build for a trip to Kettering to spend time with Pete’s mum and dad. Being around to help our parents was one of the reasons we chose to build in Tasmania. Both sets of parents are based here.Two days after celebrating his 90th birthday dad suffered a mild stroke while visiting family in Melbourne. Fortunately he has recovered well, but as his mobility was restricted we were able to help mum, getting him home and settled.

The whole crew at Dad’s 90th birthday.
The view from the family home. Mum and dad have just sold it after 30 years.

Back at the build site, we have been busy with a number of fiddly, but (mostly) enjoyable jobs.

The rudder tube has been fitted and glued in place. This involved drilling a 63mm hole through the keelson and hull bottom. A rather nerve-racking job, as there is no easy recovery if a mistake is made. The tube had previously been fiberglassed with five layers of 200gsm biaxial cloth. It was braced from below: set plumb and glued into position with the donut shaped mounting plate specified in the plans. An acetone soaked cloth wrapped around a tube was used to clean up excess resin and glue. The tube must be clean toreceive the rudder bearing which is machined from high density plastic.

Rudder tube hole drilled.
The view from below
Checking the rudder tube for fit
Dry fit of rudder assembly before gluing.
Rudder tube glued into position. The donut was later rounded and faired to the hull with Qcell.
Cleaning excess resin from the rudder tube.

The plans call for a timber stem cap to be laminated onto the stem. This is then shaped and rounded with hand planes, a throughly enjoyable job.

Bow cap laminations glued.
Version 2
Bow laminations shaped.

We then stared work on the motor mount step. This assembly has a dual purpose. It serves as a fairing for the outboard transom plus a step down into the hulls from the upper bridge-deck.

Cutout for motor mount and hull access step which is built onto the inner side of the hulls.
Checking motor mount formwork for level. The scrap plywood was used to draw the template.
Motor mount and step bulkheads fitted.
Step stringers fitted.
Cutting the outboard transom assembly. Six laminations were glued together resulting in 45mm thickness.

A job we had been putting off for a while was re-erecting the big tarp. This was taken down prior to a major storm, but needed to be replaced before the big fiberglassing job. Pete was never happy with how the tarp lay on the steel framework, and spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to improve the structure. We purchased a number of 6m lengths of 90mm PVC storm pipe, and secured them longitudinally along the framework with copious amounts of duct tape. Wonderful stuff. 220 meters of 12mm silver-rope was purchased and cut into 40m lengths. These were tied under and around the big tarp at four stations, effectively turning the whole affair into a giant “roman blind”. In the case of extreme winds, we can roll the two sides up to the top, a bit like roller reefing around a mainsail. After the build, the silver rope will go onto the boat as general purpose mooring rope. The new arrangement has also allowed us the sweat the sides down tight, so its now as tight as a drum. Pete is much happier now.

Tarp layed out for repair work.
90mm PVC pipe threaded
Transporting the big tarp back to the site.
The view from above. We secured 90mm PVC pipework along the frames to provide longitudinal support for the tarp.
Deb driving the forklift
Installing the “reefing lines” for the tarp.
Shelter back up and stretched tight. The sides can be rolled up for extreme Tassy storms.

1 thought on “The big top is back on.

  1. Pingback: Internal fitout continues – Building Selah

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