Thursday, September 20, 2012

55 person-hours... 48 yogurt pots... 14 disposable brushes... several old t-shirts... 20 pieces of plywood...

 ... and the second hull is planked! 

First came the fairing of the stringers, and dry-fitting of the planks...

... then the sweeping up ...

... that was Monday. We had expected it to be two days, so there was definite jubilation.

Then came the labelling, all in appropriate nautical terminology of course.

Then came Tuesday. Cousin John Hodgkins came to assist... little did he know that he would spend nine hours wiping up epoxy inside the hull -- oh, and scraping it too, sometimes. He has definitely earned the little umbrella in the drink on deck once we're launched.

Robbie and Trevor applying glue for the first piece. Note relaxed cousin and stylish gloves. This was I think the last time I actually saw him until lunch when he emerged from beneath the hull having rather spoiled the gloves' pristine appearance.
The procedure -- both piece and frame wetted out with epoxy, then a thick buttering of epoxy with wood fibre on the frame. Frame held in place with a couple of screws, then nailed on with bronze ringnails. Trevor hammering from outside... Robbie holding a metal bar against the hammering spot inside, and watching to be sure glue squeezed out all the edges. Inside crew had hearing protection. 
Nine hours later, the last piece goes on and Side One is complete.

Procedures changed a bit for Wednesday. John was working on a project of his own, so the three of us took on the second side. In some places on the first side, Trevor used 1" steel screws rather than nails. Screws are removed once the glue has set somewhat. Nails are not. Both the screws and the nails have the same function, though -- they are not structural, they are just used to pull the plywood in to the stringers. Neither Trevor nor Robbie were entirely happy with the nails we had (for supplier reasons, they weren't the length we had for the first hull). So for side two, we decided to use only screws. This turned out to be quite a bit quicker than the nailing procedure. Robbie was able to take up John's fallen wiping rag while Trevor put the screws in from the outside. 

I continued mixing. This may be becoming a habit. But dreadlocks and epoxy really should not mix.

We finished the second side more quickly than the first -- the screws were definitely quicker, and pulled the plywood in more completely. The second day was a lot calmer than the first, too -- minimal hammering.

Trevor's family came to cheer down the home stretch -- here's Naomi supervising.
And after appropriate cheers, rum, wine and congratulations all round, a bit of cleanup to be done.

Today? On with the keel (two more planks added), and underway with the stem, shown below bristling with clamps at the end of the day.

Still lots to be done, but planking in two days seems amazing.

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