Πέμπτη, 20 Μαρτίου 2008

Spring...again!?

During the last two weeks the temperatures in Greece rose back to an epoxy friendly level. For two months I wasn't able to do any sheathing, gluing, fairing or filleting because of the unstable weather and the low temperatures that didn't let the epoxy cure. I tried to find some low temperature hardener for the brand of epoxy I am using, but the Greek dealer didn't even import that kind of hardener, obviously because there was no demand for it. Heating the building shed was not an option, as I finally decided, as there was no insullation and it's one side was partly open to the elements. Even if there was some kind of heating the temperature would quickly fall bellow 15c , as soon as the heater was turned off, not a good thing for the epoxy that needs more than twelve hours to reach a tack free state in low temperatures and more than twentyfour hours to reach it's final solid state.
Anyway, warmer days that came with the begining of spring reminded me that I am already on the building process for a year and a half and that I should work faster, if I want to see this boat sailing before my enthusiasm wears out!
The larger Tikis like the 31 need a second reinforcing keel, screwed and glued to the original vertical keel between the bulkheads so as to form a "T" in cross section. Then the whole keel is beded in thickened epoxy as soon as everything is in place and lined up. The photos bellow show the construction of the reinforcing keel and the first keel fillets. To thicken the epoxy for the keel fillets I used "Low Density Filler" which is a ready mixture of Colloidal Silica and Microballoons with a light brown color. I was impressed with the amounds of epoxy needed just to fill the gaps around the keel. Now I know where all that epoxy, the designer claimed that is needed, will be used!





Everything is straight on line!


The pieces for the reinforcing keel are cut and ready to be glued and screwed in place.




The first keel and stem fillets that transform a few pieces of plywood into a rigid boat!