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The Bellystone

Posted by Sandy 
The Bellystone
July 28, 2017 06:17PM
Am I repeating myself? I think so. I said all of the before.

I'm 69. Or will be in a month. I'm retired and I lost a whole year to retina surgery. Last year. I'm just getting back to where I can see the screw heads.

It took me a whole year, because of that, to do ten year routine maintenance on my last boat.

Now I'm sort of getting started on one last start-to-finish boat project. This is a male plug. A form made from cheap AC construction plywood and scrap this and that. I'll build a new boat on top of it.

I started this form two years ago and then the health trouble started. This boat will have a Plascore bottom chine and more Plascore 8" inches up the sides.

Then it will transition to 3/8" inch Meranti Hydrotech, oiled but not glassed, were all subsequent parts are Torx screwed together with marine caulk, screwed onto and into laminated in place Ash glue-lams (made with epoxy resin, lots of clamps and 14" inch Ash strips) so all parts can be taken off and replaced. Sort of an erector set boat.

18' foot long gunwale which makes a boat some would call a 17' footer. We had a big fight about terminology a half a year ago. I tried to argue words are just words and it doesn't matter what you call it. It is what it is.

This is a wide son of a gun. 66" inches wide across the bottom, with minimal rocker in the middle 4' feet of the bottom and sharper rocker out toward the ends.

I'm trying to get the shop floor clean enough today, so I can laminate the 66" inch wide bottom panel next week.

Re: The Bellystone
July 28, 2017 08:19PM
Got the shop as clean as it's been in several years. Sanded the plywood floor so I have a flat bump-free surface to laminate the bottom panel.............on top of Visqueen.

Tomorrow or Sunday. This will be a big step forward. Boat building is hard on 69 year old lower backs.
Re: The Bellystone
July 30, 2017 02:22PM
First steps for a 66" inch wide bottom panel, made with 3/4" Plascore instead of plywood. The construction steps aren't much different.

Tape Visqueen to the shop floor. This shop has a wood floor but it works this way over concrete too. Duct tape doesn't stick to concrete so with concrete it's better to rely on boards and weight to hold down the Visqueen edges.

Laydown the Plascore pieces.

Next step. Lightly putty the edges. You don't want much if any squeezeout. However a small amount of putty at the joining edges does form a mechanical lock that helps keep the panels together.

Use blocks and shims at the ends and edges to clamp the panels together.

Now glass it. Either today while the putty is wet. Or tomorrow, when the putty is hard. If you do wait you have to carefully deal with any putty squeezeouts. Which is ...... less than ideal.

Re: The Bellystone
July 30, 2017 05:46PM
Visqueen on the floor.
Putty edges a little but not much
Press it together. Use shims to jam the panels tight together.

Pour resin in a rough pattern. Trowel it out with a 12" inch drywall trowel (kept in acetone or lacquer thinner).

Lay down the glass. Trowel out any wrinkles.

Add more resin.

Trowel it out flat.

Put more Visqueen on top. Now put plywood scraps over top the Visqueen, over top the joints. Weight it down.

Walk away.

Re: The Bellystone
August 01, 2017 02:45PM
OK I tried something on this last Plascore layup and paid the price in labor.

When working with plywood it's standard procedure to scarf the plywood pieces together one day, then sand any minor squeezeouts as needed and then layup the next.

That's the way to do Plascore too. Lay Visqueen on the floor. Tape the Visqueen edges tight so it can't fold accidentally into the joint between two Plascore pieces. That's important. Thicker Visqueen is less likely to cause trouble than thin.

Putty the edges slightly. You don't need much and you do not want squeezeouts. The purpose of the putty is to make a weak mechanical lock that holds the edge joints flat and flush for and during subsequent layup steps. This putty should be minimal. It's not for strength it's just a way to lock the edges together temporarily, flush and flat.

Place more Visqueen over the joints. Plywood on top of the Visqueen. Now add some weight on top of the plywood--paint cans etc. The weight holds everything down flat and flush.

The next day CAREFULLY sand any squeezeouts. Then proceed with the layup. For bottom panels you can do one or two layers in place, as you like it. What you do layup should be the inside surface.


I tried to skip a step and do it all in one day. It worked, sort of, but I gained nothing. I did have Visqueen wrinkles in the finish surface that had to be sanded out manually before proceeding.

Do plywood and Plascore in multiple steps. Glue the panels together first day. Layup the inside surface the next.
Re: The Bellystone
August 06, 2017 02:17PM
So progress is temporarily stymied. I bought a $40 sack of loop backed 8" 80 grit sanding discs for my slow rotation Makita sander/polisher, for touching up hand layup surfaces prior to next step. I got the bargain ones on Amazon and they were a $40 loss.

The loop back is phony. Doesn't grep the velcro-like polisher foot so the discs fly out from underneath the polisher after 3 seconds.

Ordered some more expensive ones. That Makita polisher came with 8" Varathane brand discs. Almost twice the price. But they work.

Should arrive tomorrow. 'Cept I'll be gone fishing for a week. I'll update the project as soon as something happens.
Re: The Bellystone
August 09, 2017 02:56AM
BAck to the salt mines

Jeremy Christensen
Re: The Bellystone
August 09, 2017 01:14PM
Got my new sanding discs but I'm smallmouth bass up North, next few daze
Re: The Bellystone
August 09, 2017 10:54PM
Watching for more updates, Sandy. Very interested in this build.
Re: The Bellystone
August 17, 2017 02:27PM
I seem to remember you saying something like you were done working with glass and going back to oil? What changed?
Re: The Bellystone
August 18, 2017 11:42PM
I'm doing the bottom, round the chine and 8" inches up the sides glass. Then a transition back to 3/8" inch Meranti Hydrotech.

But I might do the deck in end grain balsa wood, which is glass again. I never know what I'm going to do tomorrow until tomorrow moroning. You should know that by now Larry.
Re: The Bellystone
August 19, 2017 07:02PM
That things huge!! Very cool build.
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