Project Logs

November 22, 2011

I applied my first layer of fairing on the majority of the cockpit last weekend.  This meant the mattress supports, cockpit sole, hatch opening and traveler were all partly faired.  I only partly faired them, because I still have more auxiliary cockpit construction to do before I can ready the entire area for paint.  At this point though, major cockpit construction is complete and I’ll leave you with an image of the fairing as it looks today:

Cockpit sole, mattress supports, traveler and hatch opening all receive their initial fairing.

October 25, 2011

This past weekend I’ve completed construction of the cockpit sole.  My process was as follows:

  1. Ground back the remaining bits of paint on the sides of the cockpit foot well to ready for final fiberglassing.
  2. Cut the final opening for the hatch and test fit the new Bomar aluminum hatch.  I found that getting in and out of this hatch to access the area below the cockpit will be a tight fit (and perhaps not even possible).  So I followed-up by cutting the access to the engine room which I will need to access the gear box once the engine is installed.
  3. Fiberglassed in the cockpit sole, as well as the sides of the hatch opening.
  4. Fiberglasses the backside of a bulkhead that supports the cockpit sole and forms the port sea locker.  This bulkhead was installed months ago, however once I installed both the port and starboard bulkheads, I didn’t have access to this area and had to wait to cut a new opening below the cockpit to complete this final tabbing.  As usual, I used 4″ and 6″ 1708 biaxial.
October 18, 2011

I’ve begun construction of the new cockpit.  The reason I am modifying the cockpit sole so much is because I am modifying the drainage angle of the original cockpit sole so that water drains aft.  The water will drain via the lazarette locker, through an aft chain locker and will exit via two drainage holes placed above the waterline in the transom of the boat.  Here’s what I’ve completed so far:

  1. To begin this project, I first determined the location of the aluminum access hatch that I would be installing in the cockpit sole.  Once I understood the location of the hatch, I cut through the cockpit sole to make room for the new access hatch.  I was happy to see the thick fiberglass layup sandwiching a very dry balsa core.  Once in place, the aluminum access hatch will allow me to enter the area below the cockpit which houses the prop shaft stuffing box as well as the rudder stuffing box.
  2. With the hatch location understood, I began to frame out the new cockpit sole using oak frames. I built the sides of the hatch opening out of 1/2″ marine plywood and then epoxied and fiberglassed the oak frames in place.  Though this was likely overkill to fiberglass them in place as well, that’s been the story for the entire boat so far – build things very strong!
  3. Once the frames were in place, I used pour foam to fill the voids between the supports.  I could have first installed the sole, drilled holes in the sole, and poured the foam into these holes, however I was a little concerned that that might result in voids below the sole that I wouldn’t be able to account for due to the low temperatures of the night of installation, I decided to pour the foam first, then carve the foam to shape using one of my favorite tools – a sawzall.  I like using pour foam not only for filling inaccessible voids, but I also appreciate the benefit of adding extra flotation.
  4. I then templated, cut and fit the new cockpit sole from 1/2″ Meranti marine plywood.  I also cut and prepared Baltek fiberglass strips which would be placed on top of the oak frames and would bond the Meranti cockpit sole to the frames.

Before long, I will grind back more paint from the sides of the cockpit sole and fiberglass the sole in place permanently.



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