Since the timber for mounting the bulkheads to the building frame arrived on Tuesday I have mounted on average 1.2 bulkheads a day. Allowing for a day of rest that works out to exactly one bulkhead a day. This might not seem stellar performance but I have also been completing two coats of epoxy primer on each side of the bulkheads prior to mounting. During the week I did a couple of 9 hour days of painting and sanding as well as mounting a bulkhead.

The procedure seems to have settled down to one of mounting a bulkhead with clamps and checking with the laser level before screwing it to the building stock for the duration of the build. Inevitably after the laser level check there is a small adjustment to do the following morning before starting on fitting the next one.

I have fitted all the light bulkheads and from now on it is a two man lift.

Today I would normally go to Gosford to sail the Laser but with a forecast of 5 knots and a very wet Sunday on the way I decided that the priority was to get a tarpaulin over the frames that extend out in front of the awning where I am doing the boatbuilding. That meant finishing the bow instead of installing one of the largest frames. As a bonus I used the front section of the strong back to hold the frames together so that from the bow it is starting to look like a yacht.

Everything has to be done sometime so I like to do tasks when they will add the most value to the progress. Todays tasks included taking the masking tape off the three frames painted last night and shuffling the bulkheads around so that “F” could go on the garage floor for the final reinforcing piece for the engine bed. This is an important frame as it is at the aft end of the keel and takes the grounding loads from the keel. The top of the strongback goes through a 192 mm wide 21 mm deep slot to form a very solid I beam with the 30 mm deep 300 mm wide strongback. When I say it takes the grounding loads I should explain that the I beam ties together the rear three keel floors and the combined three floors take the grounding loads but the keel floor attached to bulkhead F is in the middle.
The next task was to prepare the forward part of the strongback where it bends sharply down to the stem. On the previous yacht I cut half of the keel off and scarfed in a replacement piece as it is easier to bend two 15 mm thick planks than one 30 mm plank. This time because the strongback is narrower at the bow I used the bench saw to cut halfway through the plank sideways and then turn it over and cut the other half. As the plank became wider I did each side in two passes so as not to overload the motor. Once cut from station Zero all the way back to bulkhead A I cleaned up the cut with the hand saw. The whole process was remarkably quick and the slot is clean and ready for gluing back together once bent into the final shape.

The strongback was cut into two halves to facilitate the bend at the bow.

Somewhere in this exercise I used the laser level to do a final check in bulkhead E and moved it 2 mm sideways and 2 mm down to its final building position.
With all the preparation out of the way I became a carpenter for the afternoon making up a temporary frame off the front of the building frame to hold the bow. At the same time I could chat to the neighbour who was watering his garden despite the forecast of a downpour tomorrow.

Station zero mounted off a temporary frame with the strongback tied down into the approximate final shape

There is a deal of satisfaction when all the elements line up as they should and by 6 pm Elaine was giving me a hand to pull a tarpaulin over the front frames in time for tomorrow’s rain.

The front bulkheads covered in tarpaulins against the rain forecast for tomorrow.

Despite the wet weather forecast it is a Club Championship at Middle Harbour Amateur’s tomorrow so it will be a day of boat building.

A view from the stern looking past bulkhead E to the mast step at bulkhead D

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