Fitting aft deck beam
This afternoon I started working on the hull again.
Before I can attach the bottom panels I must first fit the deck support beams – two of them, one for the foredeck and another for the aft deck. To that end I made a start at fitting the aft beam. Prior to that, I turned the kitchen into an epoxy workshop so that I could apply a third coat of epoxy to the insides of the keel box and secure the clevis pin that is a spindle for the sheave in the rudder stock. I secured the end of the clevis pin with a small quantity of epoxy putty where it passed through the starboard side of the stock.
You might wonder why I shall attach the deck beams before fitting the bottom panels. The reason for doing it is to stiffen the framework because there will be a tendency for the bottom panels to reduce rocker, of which there is precious little. I need to measure the amount of rocker to check that it is according the plan, but if it isn’t, there’s not a lot I can do to remedy the situation. If the boat has less rocker than she should, she will not be as manoeuvrable as she should be. Derek Munnion, the designer, says his prototype ‘Sharpy’ never fails a tack which would imply that his boat is able to turn while carrying her way.
Building the boat has once again become exciting, because I can see the prospect of rapid transition as the bottom panels are shaped and fixed into place. The stern panel, a full 8’ long, will be attached first. That will determine the position of the butt joint between it and the forward panel. The centre of the butt joint will be about 4.5 inches forward of the keel box.
All I am hoping is that the weather will be warm and dry so that I can shape and attach the bottom panels. The forecast is not exactly encouraging, but I’ll have to wait and see how things turn out.