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The hull starts to take shape.

By Dermot Tynan, over 8 years ago.

On Henry's advice, the round hull of earlier designs has been discarded in favour of a hard-chined hull. We were originally planning a fibreglass hull from a round mould. The complexities of first producing a "plug" and preparing a mould from the plug, not to mention having to then fibreglass the hull itself, are quite involved. Henry suggested hard chines an 6mm marine ply for the construction, and a light bulb lit up.

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The keel is attached.

By Dermot Tynan, over 8 years ago.

After much sanding and polishing of the keelson, and the frames for the hatches and top deck, the hull is starting to take shape.

The bulkheads are cut from 6mm exterior grade plywood. The wood which resembles a picture frame is pine, and it is used to hold the bulkheads and transom into a square position, and to provide additional strength to the hull. Eventually those frames will be covered over by 6mm ply on the deck.

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Hull 001 is almost ready for fibreglass

By Dermot Tynan, over 8 years ago.

After applying 3/32" balsa wood to the bulkheads and transom, the hull is starting to look like a real boat!

You can clearly see the deck support frames now. They are 6mm below the sheer line, to allow for 6mm exterior (or marine) ply deck pieces. But first, the balsa needs to be sanded and patched a bit. Also, the 3 or 4 layers of chopped strand matt need to be applied. When it is finished, the balsa wood will be completely enclosed in fibreglass. This is a standard "sandwich" construction. The balsa adds a layer of strength (believe it or not!) to the two layers of glass either side. It is similar to the central section of an I-beam or girder in that it separates the two outer layers and means that the bend radius is increased. Or at least, that's my understanding of it...

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Almost There...

By Dermot Tynan, over 8 years ago.

After a lot of sanding, fibreglassing and applying resin, the hull is looking like it is ready for salt water. As you can see from an earlier post (Hull 001 is almost ready for fibreglass), the hull is formed by gluing thin balsa strips to the plywood bulkheads. These strips give the hull its shape, and also provide a modicum of structural integrity. On the outside of this balsa, are 3 layers of 300g chopped-strand matt, finished with a layer of fibreglass tissue. Each layer is impregnated with polyester resin. Likewise, the inside of the hull is coated with two layers of 300g CSM. Ultimately, all of the balsa wood is covered with at least two layers of fibreglass, which is a good idea because fibreglass on its own isn't that strong, and is susceptible to rotting, particularly in warm, humid waters.

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Work continues, slowly but surely.

By Dermot Tynan, about 8 years ago.

It's been pretty quiet here on the blog front for a couple of months due to work and life pressures, but efforts on the hull and keel have continued unabated.

Much to report since the last post, including two transatlantic attempts (neither of which have succeeded, yet).