Thursday, December 9, 2010
Building The Keel Box
Finally, the keel fin is faired and I'm very happy with how it turned out. So next I built a keel box. This will mount inside the boat on the floor and will, along with a grid structure, provide the support for the keel.
Basically I just used the keel fin as a mold to make the keel box. I did add some duct tape to make the finished box a bit bigger around the leading and trailing edge areas. This will allow a bit of wiggle room to allow the keel to slide up and down more easily. Next I wrapped the keel in plastic sheeting so that the keel box didn't become a permanent part of the keel. Then I began wrapping the keel in Biaxial glass. After 6 layers, I decided to let it set up so I could make sure this thing would slide off.
It didn't. As I mentioned before, I wrapped the keel with multiple layers of plastic sheeting before I began the glass layup. Unfortunately, as I began sliding the keel box off, it slid a few inches and then layers of plastic began to bind up. For over an hour, I tried all sorts of tricks and nothing worked. Not even yelling at it. Finally, I used a razor knife and sit it along the trailing edge. It had enough flex that I was able to pop it free and slide it off. I then pulled off the offending plastic and tape and slid it back on. Perfect fit! Snug but slides easily along the length of the keel fin. I then left it on and added another 4 layers of uni-glass. So I ended up with a nice fitting keel box that is about an 1/8" thick solid glass.