Saturday, June 18, 2011

Building ‘Sharpy’ Part 119

Preparing for taping the chines

At the moment I can only cope with doing small jobs on the boat. This afternoon I found enough patience for applying the first layer of GRP tape to the chines. I made a hash of the starboard one, because the epoxy went off rather quicker than it should. Maybe I added too much hardener.

Tapes in place. It's just as well that you can't see the starboard one!

As I have done before with previous boats, I first applied two generous coats of epoxy to the plywood; then I stippled the tape with a stiff brush loaded with epoxy to make a cohesive bond between the two. However, I ran into difficulties because of the rapid setting of the epoxy. At my second attempt, this time on the port side, things went well. I made sure I had not put too much hardener with the epoxy, and instead of stippling with a brush, I went hands on, smoothing and stretching the tape with my fingers while wearing disposable gloves. That was the first time I’d done it directly with my fingers, and I was amazed with the excellent result – so much easier than stippling with a brush.

I was so sickened with the starboard tape that I felt I couldn’t face doing any more on the boat today. I know that I shall have a hard job rectifying the appalling mess, but by the time I’ve finished, I’m confident it will look satisfactory. That will be an unwanted task I would rather not have to do.

The waterproof cushion

On a happier note, my wheelchair seat cushion, bought from Ebay, arrived this morning. I tried it out, and it felt quite comfortable. While I was buying the cushion, I should have ordered two, one for my bottom, and the other for my back. Well, I’ll give the cushion a trial when the boat is first launched; then I’ll make a decision about getting another for my back. The advantage of a ‘stiff’ cushion is that I shall be able to lean it against the backrest when I’m boarding the boat. There it will not get wet, and when I have sponged off drips left by my feet, I shall be able to lay it down on the seat. Thus my shorts will be kept dry. Wet bottoms do not make for comfortable boating!

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