Thursday, October 8, 2009

V-berth Panels

Tonight I got the panels trimmed so that they all fit nice and snug. I also built an access hatch into the center so that I can get to the storage area under the v-berth. Next step is to paint the bottoms of the panels with epoxy and then glue them into position.


When I made this bulkhead, I decided to make a couple lightening holes to save weight. Well, it turns out I was a bit premature. When I gave it more thought, I decided I don't want holes because I want as many air/water tight compartments as possible. That way if the hull is ever compromised, or we get knocked down and get water coming inside, we have more flotation to give us time to take care of things. So I ended up making a couple plug pieces to fill the holes once again. Now when the v-berth is finished, the forward part will be a seperate airtight compartment.

Floor Panels!

Here's some of the rough cut panels that will be installed in the v-berth. I did this yesterday so this means my blog is now caught up. I promise I'll never get behind on my blog again..yeah right!! I will however try to stay more up to date on it since I was surprised how many people actually check it. Hopefully the progress will be more steady now too since the kids are back in school, and sailing season is slowed down. Plus I was inspired to get going on it again since David (the original builder/concept guy) came by and gave lots of compliments on the project--seems I thrive on the whole flattery thing!

Installing the Beams

Some pics of the I-beams installed in the v-berth area. I also glued in some ply strips along the bulkheads to give me more area for gluing on the floor panels.


To give strength to the v-berth area without adding weight, I have built three I-beams. These things are so cool. I used 5mm luan for the webbing and then used 1/4" ply for the caps. I glued these, and then laminated the web on both sides with 6 oz cloth. They turned out super strong, and weigh less than a pound each. Now I should be able to use 1/4 inch ply for the v-berth "floor"

First Interior Section Complete!

I completed the my first section of the boat's interior. Its the area in front of the crash bulkhead. I painted the interior with epoxy so it's water proof. Then I made a "floor" out of 5mm luan which I glued and taped in. So now I have a nice little cubby area in the bow with a water tight "crash" section below.

Making it Stiffer!

In addition to the carbon fiber stringers running along the bottom, I've also added a couple of plywood stringers running lengthwise along the keel joint. This is to stiffen the hull panels but it also creates a sort of backbone for the boat making the whole boat stronger and stiffer along the longitudinal. I also got the transom re-installed and glued into postition. The transom is tied into the plywood stringers with a couple triangle shaped gussets for added strength.


Finally, the carbon fiber! So the stringers on the bottom that will take the most pressure and beating I have decided to use carbon on for extra stiffness. To start with, I have gone with 2 layers of 6 oz cloth. The carbon actually wets out and lays down really nice. With the carbon on the stringers, they become really stiff. It like having a couple steel bars running the length of the boat!

Finally Using the Stringers!

So after seeing the stringers on my blog for the past few months (sorry), you can now see that I have them in place. I had to pull the transom off the boat, and was then able to slide then into postition. They curved nicely and fit right into the curve of the hull. I then glued them in using fillets and set about glassing over them. Once covered with two layers of glass cloth, they seem to be quite rigid and have stiffened up the hull panels considerably.

Gluing and Taping

After cutting out all the bulkheads, it was time to glue them into position. Once again, I used epoxy thickened with the shreded plastic fiber. This makes an incredibly strong gap filling glue that can be shaped into a smooth fillet. After forming the fillets, I used the glass tape to reinforce all the joints. After the fillets and glass cured, I was amazed and pleased with how strong and rigid everything has become. Note the notches in the edges of the bulkheads. These would later be cut out to slide the stringers through.

Summer Break is OVER!!

Back to work on the boat. Summer was busy. Besides the whole working to provide for the family, we also did lots of family activities during the summer. There was also lots of sailing on the San Juan 24. So not a lot happened on the boat. But now the kids are back in school so its time to get back to work on Vertigo! Even with summer, I did manage to get out in the shop a few times and made some progress which I will show in the nex few blog entries.