28. Hull covered

Well, the good news of the week is that the hull is finally covered with sapele. The last bit took 24 clamps and a lot of patience to get right.

I am really pleased with it, a big psychological breakthrough.  Now I have the unenviable task of fairing and ‘longboarding’ the whole hull for fibreglassing. It is also time to drill the prop shaft and rudder holes.

So, firstly the long boarding. Well, I am not doing that in the conventional way. I don’t have the strength or the patience so I have worked out a better quickder way to do it. I spoke to the Festool rep called Bob Vine. He said to put a hard sanding pad on the 150/3 random orbital sander and gradually work that over the hull in all directions, initially with 80 grit ‘Granat’ discs. They are the longest lasting and to my mind the best discs. The good news is they work brilliantly. I have done about 20% of the whole boat in a day and today I also tried the finishing sanding in 220 grit. The wood is shining!  Where the curves get too acute I am using the 125mm sander with a medium pad and even the 90mm sander with the soft pad as well.  I have booked Mark Bestford from Boatworks to help me fibreglass the hull in the middle of August and he is going to come and have a look before that and let me know if is ok. Fingers crossed, I feel like a school kid before exam time!


Last week Shelley and I went to the Hamble where I had spoken to Hamble Propellors, Dave Thomas. He is going to make me a propellor and shaft as well as a rudder and shaft. He has told me to go to Tides Marine and buy a Sureseal prop shaft water cooled seal. I am hoping that they can also get me a strut. The strut is what I am waiting for as I need that before I can drill the prop shaft hole. More on that next week.

Martin the engineer rebuilt my gearbox but when we put it back on the engine it threw the oil seal at the engine end, so I have got a new one from America with teh help of my good friend David Miller (thank you David) and we fitted it on Monday. Sadly it still makes a dreadful noise, so today I called Lancing Marine who supply the bits for these Velvet Drive gearboxes and I was told that it may be because the box is not under drive pressure. So tomorrow I will try it again, pressured!

Just a final note just in case anyone is reading this who is also building a boat, but the most used toold I have in the studio are the three sanders, all Festool. The 150 random orbital (note the blue ‘hard’ pad), the 125 Rotax and the 90 Rotax. Those together with the Festool vacuum are an absolute necessity. The other tool that I could not do without is the Fein multimaster. I know Festool make a similar one now but they did not when I bought this one and it has taken quite a beating  …  invaluable.

That’s all for now folks. More next week.

Comments anyone?  Forgot to say  NZ won the Americas Cup  brilliant  !!!!!!!!!!  (sorry David)



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