Gravity Is My Friend


Am I EVER glad I e-mailed Chuck Leinweber to ask a few questions about how to proceed with epoxying the hull the day before yesterday. In his explanation I realized that he turned the hull upside down to put the bottom and bilge panels on. I swear that the plan instructions tell you the opposite. I asked Chuck a few more questions and decided that doing it his way made more sense as gravity would help fitting the bottom and bilge panels.

Unfortunately, I had just epoxied the rear bulkheads and transom to the sides. I was concerned that I might crack one or more of these joints turning the boat as it was pretty wobbly. Chuck gave me some suggestions and tonight I went out to try and turn it over. I had been thinking I would screw some plywood to the bottom to lock things in place but soon realized that wouldn’t work due to the fact I’d be trying to screw into the edge of 1/4′ plywood on all the bulkheads.

So, I screwed the plywood to the top of the bulkheads and it worked like a charm! I rolled it over and then lifted it up to put the front on a sawhorse. I eventually got it on three sawhorses.

I screwed a piece of scrap plywood to the top of the temporary form, making a “T”. I then screwed the arms of the T to the top of a sawhorse. I screwed blocks to the other two sawhorses to keep the boat from sliding off the sawhorses. It is pretty secure and I can move the bulkheads sideways if need be to align things.

After that was done, I had to lay the bilge panels and bottom on the hull to see what it looked like.

As you can see from the photos, gravity is definitely my friend….I can’t imagine what a hassle it would be to try and attach the bottom and bilge panels with the hull upright.

I am going to have some work to do removing some material from a couple of bulkheads and the bilge panels are too large in a lot of places…but that’s ok…it’s easier to remove plywood than add it.

So, next step is to screw the bottom to the temporary form and stem, make sure all the bulkheads are lined up how I want them and then wire the bottom to the transom and bulkheads…I’m actually going to use plastic ties but the idea is the same. Then, if all is well, it is time to fit the bilge panels and tie them to the transom, bulkheads, bottom and side panels. When that looks good, it is time to mix up some really thick epoxy and glue everything together!


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