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.

No comments: