Another milestone has been ticked off the list, with the completion of fiberglassing the Port hull. We were pleased to finish most of it in one long day, with the additional layups on the keel, chines and bridge deck joins completed the next day.
Boat building is not dissimilar to building a house, in the sense that it’s a process of continuous decision-making. Although the plans give suggested building methods, every circumstance is different. Fiberglassing is a classic example of that. The fiberglass cloth comes on a 100 meter roll. Its heavy and clumsy to manage. When dry, with it’s loose weave, it needs to be handled with care lest it be pulled and stretched out of shape. Other builders advised me to roll it out along the full length of the hull, and use tape or drawing pins to hold it on place. This may work in an enclosed shed, but we are in a semi open shelter and are subject to wind gusts. I had visions of 12 meters of expensive cloth ending up in the dirt. I rang the designer, Peter Snell who suggested cutting into 4.2 metre lengths, with a 100mm overlap to make it easier to manage. We also found that mucking around with tape and pins in the wind just didn’t work in our situation, so we developed our own method of laying out the dry cloth. First we rolled the 4.2 metre lengths onto a length of 90mm PVC pipe. Then we saturated a 115mm mohair roller, and ran a quick lay of resin directly onto the hull, where the upper edge of the sheet was to lay. Then we rolled the sheet onto the hull, using the resin to stick the upper edge to the hull, and hold it in place. It worked a treat, especially as we were contending with 25k easterlies whistling through the shelter, on fiberglassing day. Sometimes I even needed to use clamps to hold the lower edges down as well.
We took a long weekend to catch up with a few commitments in the south of the state. We were due to visit Pete’s parents, and do a few odd jobs around the house. We also took the opportunity to visit the Australian Wooden Boat Festival. From humble beginnings in 1994 its is now the largest marine festival in the southern hemisphere with up to 220 thousand visitors over four days.
Pete’s brother is a marine artist. Our trip south coincided with his annual exhibition at the Lady Franklin Art Gallery. Roger is an experienced yachty with thousands of sea-miles under his belt. There are four brothers in the Imms clan. As kids, Roger, the oldest, was always instigating some mad boating adventure that Pete says, “almost killed us on numerous occasions.” but somehow they all managed to survive. Tasmanians living in the home of traditional boatbuilding, still view multihulls with some suspicion. Roger has forgiven his little brother for going over to the dark side, and building a cat!
You can see more of Roger’s work at http://www.rogerimms.com.au