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Almost ready for side panels

Posted by Sandy 
Almost ready for side panels
September 24, 2019 11:58AM
I started this boat two years ago. I used to wonder why it took so long for many of my customers to build a boat. But now I'm an apprentice geezer and I'm rapidly slowing down. Way down.

I have a limited energy range every day. I can still row all day but I can't work and think at the same time for more than a few hours every day. There are some medical reasons for this I won't go into. This boat is so different than anything I've built before it takes considerable thought at every step. And then some more. The last two weeks have been me rolling around upside down on an oil-change cart while working underneath the form assembly. And then I remember "Oh shit I forgot the impact driver."

I'm pretty close to putting the 3/8" Meranti Hydrotech side panels onto the form, and attaching them to the fiberglass bottom. Will those panels bend without wetting first? I'll find out. Wetting side panels isn't all that hard. You do need a boat load of throw-away rags, old towels are best. And water.

I'm fishing today. Work is mostly for young people.

At the bottom edge of the form you can see a 3/4" or so strip that shims the gunwale edge of the form out flush with the edges of the fiberglass bottom panel. I'm not sure I needed it. A few strategically placed blocks might have worked just as well. Either way it needed to be 7/8" thick. I tried to bend a single piece of fir but it wouldn't bend that much without breaking. Steam? Too much trouble. I ripped three strips and bent them on one by one. I then pried the strips apart and brushed in some Titebond III glue. And then clamped it all up.

I like to build gunwales the same way, except for finished glue-lam gunwales I use ash or white oak instead of fir.
Re: Almost ready for side panels
September 26, 2019 01:21PM
Sure is takin forever!, lol.

We're all watching!

Looks like a strong set-up.
Re: Almost ready for side panels
September 26, 2019 02:21PM
I work hard on this. 3 - 4 hours a week. Our Fall fishing season has officially started. Foot of snow in the mountains this weekend. The browns are on the move.
Re: Almost ready for side panels
September 26, 2019 04:15PM
I saw what appeared to be a thirty inch Brown yesterday in a deep secluded hole. I never knew there were trout that big in PA.

Bass Have just begun hitting the surface again. Turtles of every size thumping around in shallow and deep water. Shad minnow by the millions.

I am still wading the Delaware in sneakers and shorts in 80 Degree weather?

No Bites here . The stocked trout in the creeks are greatly thinned out and like the natives are allot smarter now. The stocked creeks are warm yet.
Re: Almost ready for side panels
September 28, 2019 08:09PM
So. Good news for me. I got a finish 18' 4" inch long 3/8" (9mm?) thick Meranti Hydrotech side panel bent onto my male mold today. Without having to wet it first.

I'm about a week away from the hump on this boat. In a week from now, if both side panels are mounted on the form.......it's all downhill from there on out. It's not fastened on. I need to carve it to shape and then meticulously attach it. But it did bend on, with a few clamps here and there.
Re: Almost ready for side panels
September 29, 2019 08:37PM
Have to dish out the chine edge 3" inches or so, and then cut the front end angle in. It takes some muscle but it will bend onto the form.

Re: Almost ready for side panels
September 30, 2019 12:47PM
I had this whole thing wrong. I thought The fiberglass was an exterior piece, a shoe, so to speak.
Re: Almost ready for side panels
September 30, 2019 01:23PM
This is a wild-eyed experiment. That's been my career. Take chances. Usually F^%k up. But not always. Two mistakes and one creative success is a good ratio. We'll see. I think it's already failed, in a way. Building this way is too complex and too much work. But it will eventually be a boat. And it might be a good one. We'll see.

Yes the side panels bolt onto the outside of the fiberglass shoe, overlapping 3 to 4" inches or so. With lots of hot rod marine silicone (but not 5200) so it can all come apart at any time.

On the inside of the fiberglass is an end-to-end 1-1/2" inch by 1/8" inch aluminum strip. Same on the outside of the plywood too. I think. Stainless bolts on 4" inch centers front to back, so the sides bolt on with evenly distributed pressure. It all comes apart. Break something? Take it off and replace it. I see guys have fits trying to patch the side panel of a traditional framed boat when it gets splintered by a log jam. But that's ONLY because the side panel was glued to the ribs. Don't glue nothing. Bolt or screw everything. Make it plug-and-play, from top to bottom.

I like everything about this boat (so far) except the fiberglass bottom. It's a cool idea but a lot of work. PUNCHINE: if all parts can come apart and be replaced why do I need a fiberglass bottom? Just use 1/2" plywood and replace it when it gets splintered or in any way worn out.
Re: Almost ready for side panels
September 30, 2019 05:12PM
Ah, keep goin. We get to see all the mistakes you make so we can share your successes.
How were you planning to stiffen the fiberglass bottom cross-wise? One of the reasons I like the 3/8 inch bottom by 48wide is that I technically don’t have floor framing to trip over. I sometimes wish I had used 1/2” on the bottom but what do I know.

I got spun around the other day. Hit a whistleblower rock. It was there all along but I wasn’t allowed to adddress it face-to-face. Bonk, spin 360, back on track. Didn’t skip a beat. Buffalo dun good.
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