Sept 7, 2015 Hours spent building to date: 1,398
Getting the forecabin beam shelf to take the proper bend was an interesting project. As I mentioned before, there is a nice open area at the aft end of the berth area, but that means there is no frame there to take the curve of the forecabin sides. The easy solution would have been to simply shim out the beam shelf a bit on the outer face and bend the sides around.
But I thought to myself, “I will be looking up at that beam night after night with the voice of my first boatbuilding teacher, John Brooks, whispering like Marley’s Ghost: ‘That curve’s not fair, that curve’s not fair.'” Since John has lived in Maine a long time, I’m sure “fair” would come out “fay-yuh.” John is a brilliant teacher, designer and boatbuilder whose long-ago lessons loom large in my thoughts these days. He probably doesn’t realize it, but John has been my moral compass as to fair curves for almost 20 years.
It looked like the curve was flat by a little more than a half inch on each side — about an inch and an eighth total. I could have eyeballed in a temporary brace, but decided to be more scientific and set up the forecabin side patterns so I could measure exactly. That took about three tries each side back and forth between the workbench and boat (and a day’s work) but finally I was ready to measure for the temporary beam: the curve was off a little more than a half inch on each side — about an inch and an eighth total.
Anyway, I laminated the beam in permanently, put the side patterns back on and marked the locations for the forecabin portholes. That was interesting, too, since the vertical measurement on the plans is from the designed water line, which has been buried down in the boat for month’s now. So this time I eyeballed the plans and split the difference between two pieces of trim that will be on the sides, and they look just right.
I have to wait for Ray to help me with the permanent side pieces, since they will be awkward to install from a ladder. In the meantime, I went up to Defender and picked up the fuel tanks. Good-looking tanks from Moeller, 35 gallons each.