October 18, 2015 Hours spent building to date: 1,565
With a string of Indian Summer days forecast that would flood the shop with low sunlight, I kept a promise I made six months ago and opened up the overhead door for three days of fairing and sanding — not my favorite job. Rollover day was one of the best days on the build so far, but I was disappointed with the hull finish when the boat was out in the sun and I could see waves and blemishes that I could not pick up with overhead fluorescent lighting.
The culprit was the poor job I did on butting the sheets of xynole cloth together that left the selvages proud of the surface when they should have been cut off altogether. Since xynole can’t be sanded, this left some long vertical bumps on the surface. But after six months of curing, I could sand down the surface right to the cloth in the high spots and disguise the adjacent low spots with fairing compound. I have switched over from QuikFair to AwlFair, and it is much easier to use. AwlFair is not as creamy, so it’s easier to control the amount being laid on. In areas where I was just trying to work out minor blemishes and pinholes, it was faster to just trowel on a skim coat of AwlFair instead of working the bad spots individually. I have sanded down to 120 grit now, and the surface is very smooth, but we’ll have to check the wavy areas after more primer goes on.
Then onto the foredeck beams. I was a bit apprehensive about this since the ends flair up to the shear and inwards to the bow, and the beams themselves are curved and beveled to accept the decking — four simultaneous angles. So I established a curve I liked at the bulkhead at station 2 based on the camber provided by Mark and made a light plywood pattern to pick up both the curve and the angle at the ends. After this my reasoning was that if I used exactly the same technique and batten to make all the subsequent patterns, they should come out the same. It worked pretty well except on one side of the third pattern, which was a little low and had to be recut. This is real boatbuilder minutiae, but I know exactly why: Instead of centering my favorite long batten on the pattern, I got lazy and used just one end. This created a flat spot where the batten wanted to reassume it’s natural straight shape. The curves on boats are just segments of great big circles, so you have to create an overly large circle to properly pick up the segment you need, since the ends of patterning battens are hard to bend to a good curve.
I was ready to install the beams when it dawned on my that I’d better do some finish work in the berth area while I can still stand up without interference from the beams or deck.