Its been a big few weeks, but it good to able to report that the turret is now mostly complete. Some tricky woodworking is yet to be done, rounding the top edges. To do that we will need to roll-up the tent so that we have enough room to use the tools. For now, that can wait, while we look for a suitable weather window. In the meantime, we will begin fitting the cockpit furniture.
In our last blog, we were just about to fit the top skin, but before we could do that, we needed to install the opening for the helm station hatch, and the electrical cables for the saloon and cockpit lighting, as well as the stern navigation light.
Laying the top sheets of ply was definitely a two person job. These are seriously large lay-ups when using epoxy glue, with its time restrictions. We developed a system that enabled us to lay three sheets in a day. For the interest of the fellow Sarah builders who read this blog, here’s how we did it;
- We drew all the stringer, noggins and but-boards positions onto the top surface of the sheets, making note of the electrical cables.
- We then drilled and pre-loaded the stainless screws onto the sheet. We placed them every 150mm in the flatter areas and 100mm on the tighter curves.
- We mixed two large pots of epoxy, and while Pete resined the underside of the sheet, Deb began laying up the glue mix on the turret. This enabled us to glue the sheets down “wet” for maximum strength.
- After resining the sheet, Pete switched to mixing additional resin for Deb as she worked as quickly as possible to finish laying up.
- We used lots of temporary chipboard screws with washers, around the edges that will later be shaped. Also, we used temporary screws in the areas that will later have hardware fitted, such as genoa tracks and winches.
It was all rather hectic as the weather was warm by Tassy standards, and we had to stay ahead of the resin curing rates.
After the top was done, we started work on the forward windows. These windows are an important aspect of Peter Snell’s designs. The two outer windows are fully opening. Combined with the large cockpit windows they provide excellent ventilation for the turret in warmer climes. The side window openings were then cut out. Tricky, because they are done in-situ, not on the bench.
The plans call for the turret sides and front to be re-enforced by double laminating with 9mm ply. This was done after cutting out the side windows, using the cutt-offs. The second skin was laminated slightly oversize, and a trimmer fitted with a bearing guided router bit used to flush up.
The designer suggested we use the re-enforcement beams to create rain catchment guttering.