Week 14 – More sanding & priming

We seemed to have worked on a lot of different aspects of the boat this week mainly because we’ve had a lot of downtime between applying coats of primer and anti-foul. We’ve now put on four coats of primer on the whole boat and a fifth on the topsides. It’s been somewhat frustrating because the rollers we’ve been using create a stipple effect. This then means you have to sand off most of the primer to get back to a smooth finish. However, we’ve changed the rollers and the fifth coat went on much better last night. Fingers crossed this will be the last coat.

We put on all three layers of anti-foul using a product called Coppershield. This should last several years and is re-activated each year by giving it a light sand. Again it was frustrating because this time the rollers shed quite a lot of material on the finish, but this should come out when we sand it next week.

Here’s Wilbur marking out the waterline using a self-levelling laser (on a tripod just behind him) in preparation for applying the anti-foul.


And here is the boat with the anti-foul applied.


In the meantime we have also been making the cradle in which the boat will sit when we turn her over. We made the templates last week, to obtain the rough shape of the hull. This week Wilbur has cut out the shapes in OSB (orientated strand board), and we have stuck carpet to these using fibre glass and polyester resin, allowing this all to dry overnight on the boat.


The three “stands” have also now been cut to the right height so the boat will be level, again using a laser. Next week we will use more OSB and lengths of wood to join the stands and create a strong cradle. Bearing in mind that the boat will weigh close to a metric tonne when fitted out and will also have me and Wilbur and possibly others working in it this will need to be pretty sturdy!

Adam and Wilbur have also started to work on the spars – we have eight to make! Here is Adam working on the bowsprit while making a scary face and wearing a naughty teeshirt!


Wilbur has also been working on one of the two spars needed for the topsail. Here you can see it on the right of the bowsprit and the centreboard. It’s only 25mm in diameter as per the plans.


Adam has started on the main mast as well which will be 7.3m high and the second topsail spar. All these spars will be made out of spruce (strong and bendy) and are created from square lengths of wood. These lengths are cut in half and then turned around and the opposite sides are glued together. This builds more strength into the spar and helps keep it straight. The larger ones are hollowed out to reduce weight. In the case of the mast Adam has had to join each of the two lengths (using a scarf joint) because we didn’t have wood long enough to do it in one piece. So this is quite complicated work!

In the meantime I have been working on the centreboard case. Here you can see the posts sitting on top of the plywood which will be used for the sides of the case. I made a template for the case using the lofting a little while ago, so was able to shape the posts from sapele using this.


The sides need to be 28mm in thickness so we are using three sheets of 9mm ply for each side (those of you good at maths will realise that this adds up to 27mm but whats 1mm between friends!) I worked on a “master” sheet first to get the overall shape right again using the template, cut this out with the bandsaw and finished it off with a plane. I then cut out the other five pieces roughly using the bandsaw, clamped them to the master piece, and used a router with a top bearing to finish off the other five pieces. Each side, consisting of three pieces each, was then glued and vacuum bagged to get a good fixing.

The next step was to cut out formica for the insides of the case and you’ll see one sheet here.


This will then be glued to the inside of each side again using a vacuum bag to get a good fix. This time I’ll try and remember to take a picture! The formica is used to help prevent the centreboard getting stuck.

Next week we have two exams but we should get the top coat on (International royal blue) and may even turn her over at the end of the week.

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