I have been apprehensive about cutting the 125 mm wide by 6 mm deep keel floor laminations and fitting them to the hull because of the dimensions. The longest laminates are over three metres and curve around the hull from the upper tangent on one side to the upper tangent on the opposite side. Because of my concerns I decided to tackle this first and discover the issues along the way..
The saw cutting went quite well cutting 70 mm deep into the 125 mm wide plank and turning the plank over and doing a second cut. The roughly 8 mm planks were then thicknessed down to 6 mm.
The day’s task was going slowly with the old saw bench occasionally going out on overload until the motor died. That called for a quick trip to the tool store and an hour later I was home assembling a new more powerful unit.
Taking up from where I left off the cutting proceeded much faster and with greater accuracy.

Cutting 6 mm by 125 mm planks before the saw bench died

Late in the day Elaine and I spent hours cleaning up the sawdust and shavings but had enough planks cut for the first large floor and a bit to spare.
That had been a big day sorting and restacking my lumber supplies, cutting the timber and cleaning up so Wednesday was a quieter day glassing one side of a plywood splice and doing a tiny fillet but somehow I was satisfied with that as we had an early finish to leave for our Wednesday twilight race.
Last week had been a sailing disaster as on leaving our mooring the raw water pump on the engine seized and we could not compete.
In one moment we went from leading the series to runner up as there was no drop available.
The pump failure was disappointing on two fronts. Firstly the shaft seal on the pump failed after five years and secondly that I did not replace the bearings when I changed the seal.
The remedy was simple. Buy a new pump on the way to the Laser Masters Regatta at Port Stephens and then after a grueling weekend sailing in over 25 knots rise early Monday morning and change the pump.
Monday was a pretty miserable day with lots of showers but the swap was achieved in the morning and the engine run for an hour to be sure.
On return home it was still raining so I overhauled the failed pump to ensure I had a spare on board. It is not practical to change bearings at sea so a spare pump seems to be a must for any serious ocean sailing. The bearings in the raw water pump had failed spectacularly. The ball cages were mangled, balls were missing and the seals had failed. It does raise the question as to how we had not heard the progressive failure so perhaps the sound insulation in the motor compartment is too good.
This Wednesday was much more satisfying as we had ideal twilight racing conditions and courtesy of a generous handicap scored a third place and maintained our lead in the series. All the crew stayed for the post race BBQ in the best conditions so far this season and we scored a bottle of wine.

Utopia won from Fireball but it was close at the front on handicap. We had a good start but were run over in Humbug by Ausreo and Fireball while Sweet Chariot did a bolter to leeward and deserved a better result on the night as it took us a third of the race to catch them. We made up a bot of ground on the free leg from Goat Island back to Cockatoo and for a few moments had Joli in view but once around the island she was off and away. Meridian also pulled away on this leg as we did not enjoy sailing in her dirty air.

Thursday became D day for starting the keel floors and thanks to some prompt work by Dudley Dix we resolved all the angles and settled on a procedure for laminating the 13 layers of 6 mm timber to form these massive keel floors. As of this evening the first 5 layers are glued up inside the hull and the epoxy has cured hard in the 30 degrees Celsius weather. Tomorrow the aim is to clean up the first lamination and do a second batch of four layers each 3.1 metres long.

Trial fit of first 6 mm layer of the keel floor
Another trial floor, this time all the short lengths

In the meantime the chainplate frames have been installed and glued to the stringers. The 36 mm wide frames are held rigidly by glue on the stringers and have already been planed down ready to affix the external plywood skin.

Massive chainplate frame waiting for structure to be built around it.

Everything has to be done sometime so I have a long list of small tasks to complete as well as big ones but I would like to get these 3.1 metre keel floors finished as this opens up my choices of tasks depending on the conditions.

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