Parts ready for assembly
Testing the fit
Keel box interior
Before concentrating on making parts for the keel box I filed and sanded the undersides of the keel weights.
The most important parts of the keel box are the forward and aft vertical pieces. These will take the strain if the keel comes into contact with an underwater object. They are also the parts that will receive most wear and tear because of the keel being repeatedly moved up or down. As the keel will be lifted by the Bowden cable from a position 10 inches from the bottom of the leading edge, its aft edge at the top and the forward edge at the bottom will rub against the vertical end pieces of the box.
Because of limited access to the slot within the keel box I shall make sure the inside parts are well epoxied. To that end I made a start with the first layer of epoxy. I also glued and nailed the upper and lower horizontal strengthening pieces to the plywood panels. I joined the vertical pieces to the port panel with epoxy and brass screws. I felt screws were necessary because of the side loading that will be imparted to the keel box by the keel when the boat is going to windward. The forward end of the keel box will be attached to a vertical wooden support for the keel pulley and its bracket which will be at the forward end of the coaming.
I really feel I am making progress. Much of the hard work has been done. I guess I’m about halfway through the build. Fixing the bottom panels and deck panels should go quite rapidly, but before I can attach the decks I shall need to work on interior bits and pieces, things like the mast support, seat brackets and plastic piping that will convey the steering ropes and mainsheet.