Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Building ‘Sharpy’ Part 52

There are days when progress is negligible, but what I achieved this morning was worth doing. I sanded the second piece of wood that I added to the keel yesterday, and I prepared both pieces for a little bit of shaping and filling with epoxy resin putty. A small amount of fairing at the edges of the aluminium will bring benefits by lessening drag when the boat is sailing.

I took pains to clean the metal surfaces thoroughly by removing as much Sellotape from the edges of the aluminium as I could with my fingernails and fingertips. Then I further cleaned the surfaces with Acetone soaked in absorbent paper. I discovered that Acetone was an effective solvent for dissolving gunge left on the aluminium after I peeled off the Sellotape which I had placed there to protect the metal when attaching the wooden pieces with epoxy. I also discovered that Acetone could dissolve patches of Evo-stik that I had unintentionally allowed to adhere to the surfaces.

After visiting a friend in hospital this afternoon, I went to Boatacs, a chandler’s at Thorpe Bay, but I found the shop was no longer in business. People at the nearby TCS chandlery told me that Boatacs at Westcliffe-on-Sea were trading as usual. Parking there was difficult, which meant I had to carry the keel some distance. I wanted to have a length of Bowden cable made with eye splices at both ends to fit the keel. As I explained in yesterday’s post, this piece of flexible stainless steel wire will be attached to the bottom of the keel, and it will travel upwards in a groove along the leading edge before passing over a pulley at the front of the coaming where it will be clipped onto a block purchase for raising of lowering the keel. If it is correctly made to length, the cable will snugly fit into the groove on the forward edge of the keel, so that the top eye splice will hook around a retaining screw on the aft side a few inches from the top. A small chock will be placed between the wire and the upper surface of the keel to tension the wire, so that it will not get in the way when the keel is inserted into or removed from the keel box.

Such jobs, although small in themselves, can take time and effort, but that’s part and parcel of building a boat.


Boatacs Chandlers

TCS Chandlery

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