Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Mast 7

Building a Paradox micro-sailboat requires many applications of epoxy, because almost everything that needs joining is welded together with it. This medium takes a minimum of 24 hours to cure, and longer if loads are to be placed upon it.

While building the mast there been four occasions when I’ve used epoxy; initially when making the mast itself, and yesterday and today when I encapsulated the upper end of the spar with fibreglass. After I’ve tidied up today’s work I’ll need to apply one or two more coats of epoxy to make sure everything is well sealed against the elements.

Because of the nature of Paradox’s structure, many small items have to be fashioned, then joined together with epoxy, which means short periods of time can be utilized; therefore she’s an ideal boat building project for those who can only spare an hour or so, one or two days a week. On the other hand, the person who is fortunate enough to be able to spend longer periods working on her can break each day into sessions for building different parts of the boat; for example, he could make a bulkhead complete with cleats and floors in the morning, and while the epoxy is setting he could work on the boom or the rudder in the afternoon. By keeping several items on the go, the full-time builder can be fully occupied.

Rain is forecast for tomorrow, but I’ll try tidying the fibreglass I did today by smoothing any irregularities and applying epoxy. In a couple of days, when it has hardened, I’ll fit the sheave; meanwhile I’ll be able to start building the boom, complete with its reefing system comprising a drum and support rods.

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