Project Logs

July 25, 2011

The final coats of epoxy on the icebox lid have been applied.  I hope this is the last coats the lid needs, but likely after I paint the icebox I will need to do some more fine tuning of the lid as which will likely result in some more coats of epoxy here and there.  Here’s an image of the last coat of white-tinted epoxy I applied to the lid:

This image shows the second to last coat of white-pigmented epoxy that has been applied on the icebox lid. Nice to see something look somewhat “finished”.

 July 14, 2011

The icebox lid fitting has been on hold while I finished worked on the diesel tanks.  After I painted the lid with 4 coats of white pigmented epoxy, it’s hasn’t been quite fitting properly.  It’s a bummer to build the lid, making sure it fits the whole way along, then once the epoxy is added it doesn’t quite fit right.  While it’s a bit of a let down – no worries! – I’ll just use my trusty sanding skills to make it fit just right.

I’ve been trying to think of a way I could have planned ahead to make sure that once the icebox was painted and ready, the lid would have fit.  I suppose I could have calculated the thickness of what 4 coats of epoxy equals, then subtract that from all sides of the icebox lid, but I really have no idea how I could have really measured this thickness on both the icebox lid and the icebox itself.  As I find myself doing with a lot of things, I’ll just work on it until it fits to my liking.  Typically this means a lot more hours invested in a project than a professional boat builder would spend, but I’m still learning and learning takes more time.

June 17, 2011

The icebox lid has taken shape gradually.  The layers of the lid are as follows (from top to bottom):

Here’s an image showing the lid prior to any fiberglassing that shows the layers I mentioned above:

This image shows the various layers that make up the lid.


My construction steps were probably a little different than how other folks do things, but I first molded the opening to the icebox itself with foam. Then I templated and cut a piece of wood that would fill the icebox opening for the counter and used this to build a matching 1/4″ luan lid.  To the luan, I attached 3″ of insulation and then shaped shaped this insulation until it fit snugly in this opening.  Once the luan and foam lid fit well, I laid down some spray foam on top of the luan and molded the foam so it would support the icebox lid even with the counter.  I then thickened everything together, put a layer of glass over everything and began fairing.

I’m at the final fairing stage still and probably have 1 – 2 more fairing coats before it will be smooth enough to paint.

 July 14, 2011

I’ve completed the installation of the cleats for the shelf that will be placed in the icebox.  My plan is to install plexiglass shelves which (hopefully) can slide.  If not slide, I hope they will be very easy to lift out.

The cleats had to be parallel with the centerline, so that an icebox would fit into the lower area of the icebox.  Here’s an image of those cleats:

You can see the cleats installed with biaxial fiberglass. Later, I will glass over the entire box and fair the fiberglass as well. You can also notice the demolition work I had to do after the drain was plugged with epoxy.

 June 17, 2011

I’ve completed the basic construction of the icebox and have been working very gradually to get the box ready for paint.  Since I built the icebox in place, it’s been very awkward to get the icebox faired just right and so I’ve had to do rinse-repeat sanding and fairing a number of times.  I just prepped the icebox for a final fair last night so hopefully this will set the stage for painting the entire interior of the box with white pigmented epoxy.

For my icebox drain, I used 3/4″ PVC that runs through the insulation, through a bulkhead and will eventually connect to the galley foot pump so I can use icebox water for rinsing dishes while at sea.  Originally, the drain I installed became filled with fairing compound while I did my first round of fairing in the box.  I should have considered that fairing isn’t usually a clean operation and plugged the drain while I was doing the fairing, but I didn’t and I ended up having to cut the drain out and start over again.  Here’s an image of how much thickner actually ran down into the drain:

A simple oversight caused a lot of problems. I should have plugged the drain I first installed with foil. I didn’t, and when I went to fair the icebox interior, the fairing compound made it’s way into the drain. I wasn’t able to get good access to the drain to remove the stoppage, so I was forced to do some minor demolition on the icebox and rebuild the drain.

The good news is that while I had to cut out the bottom of the icebox and grind back the newly laid fiberglass I did, it also meant that I increased the volume of my icebox a bit.  In the end, I just counted this as a “win” for fridge storage and will make sure to better protect my drains in the future.

 August, 2009

Originally, the icebox was accessible from the cockpit.  I didn’t like this as it would mean a lot of air loss into the environment.  I fiberglassed this hole from the deck, and will later glass the patch from below during salon construction.  I will likely be moving the location of the icebox as well, but I’ll have to do some more thinking about how the interior will come together before I decide the icebox’s location.  For reference, here’s what the icebox originally looked like:

Original icebox location of Bristol 27 cruising model.


Here’s how the cockpit access patch repair was completed:

  1. Demolition– My dad assisted me in trimming the icebox flanges down.  Later, I ground the area around the icebox opening in preparation for future fiberglassing.  Here’s my dad working with a boat builders key demolition tool – a SawzAll:

    My Dad, Paul, using a Sawzall to remove the icebox lid flanges in the cockpit.

  2. Wood Patch – With the hole ready for fiberglass, I needed a way to lay the fiberglass over the hole itself.  This required thickening in place a wood patch.  The patch filled the majority of the hole, however there were still some openings around the wood patch that I couldn’t get to, so I used spray foam to fill these voids.
  3. Fiberglass– With the area prepared for fiberglass, I cut the fiberglass and epoxied on a few layers of fiberglass.  I also fiberglassed the inside of the icebox and each area will receive some fairing in the future.  Here’s what the patch looks like from in the cockpit:

    The original repair to cockpit seat that fills the hole created for cockpit access to the icebox.



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