January 18, 2015 Hours spent building to date: 562
Ray and I installed two forward topside planks. The chine will still need some epoxy sculpting, but it still looks okay.
Filled and faired the fore-and-aft bow planking and began fastening it on. I decided to use diagonal planking for strength and because it tends to fill in any little valleys that you can’t even see in the fore-and-aft planking and creates a very fair surface. Planks are 7 inches wide, which was just a guess, but seem to be laying down fine. I use a notched trowel to spread out the epoxy, so it’s a little like laying tile.
The process is time consuming, but easier than I thought. The #6 3/4-inch Sharx screws I’m using really bite and don’t need pre-drilling. They will come out once the epoxy has cured. I thought I might have to spile the planks to get the shape right, since the boat is very curvaceous in this area. But I have an oscillating spindle sander and about 6-8 passes in the middle of the plank achieves the slight hourglass shape required. Only one gap so far, where I simply wasn’t paying attention when I installed the first screws.
Also took a trip to Wood Heaven this week, J. Gibson McIlvain Co. in Danielson, CT. I was one sheet short of 12mm plywood, so decided to order the topsides plywood and start assembling the exterior (mahogany) trim and cabinhouse beams (cherry). Beautiful products all the way around and one-day delivery. $9.30 a board foot for true, certified mahogany, which sounds outrageous, but is really quite competitive. The cherry was less expensive than the local lumberyards. Charley their delivery man (a boatbuilder himself) says they supply all the hardwoods to Sabre and Hunt, and those guys aren’t going to put seconds on $1 million boats. Chris and crew are also very helpful to an amateur builder of a $50,000 boat.