Cutting in to a perfectly good boat hull

Putting holes in the boat way above the waterline doesn’t seem too crazy. The beam bolts need 1-1/16″ holes perfectly positioned in the beam recess area – these are big holes to drill, going slowly and using a lot of lube oil to keep the bit cool enough heading through the very thick aluminum plates inside the boat. Dug out the big drill for this job.









But slicing a couple of 19″ shark-gills down low is spooky!  By the time the beam brackets are bonded in here, and many layers of filling and fairing take place, these big holes in the boat will be long forgotten – but right now it looks awful to see the light coming through at the waterline.

forward of the two cuts that go down here















The bulkhead where these brackets attach was prepared tonight with more laminations for structural strength, and we’re ready for a Memorial Day install of the final beam brackets so we can get to trial fitting the beams perhaps next weekend. Getting excited to see how big it all looks mounted together. It’ll take a lot of pushing the hulls around, as the full beam of the boat is a few feet wider than the workshop. Darn.



What’s inside the beams

This month is all about doing work hopefully no one will ever see. There’s a lot of intricate structure inside the box beams, and once the tops go on next month, the “innards” will be sealed in forever. First up are the beam bolt connection brackets that got attached to the webs shown in the last post. Here are the assembled pieces, with their ‘wings’ on top. Those make a wider grab space for affixing the beam tops. I installed these four inside the beams today, then went on to finishing the last big aluminum bracket plates that bolt to a forward bulkhead and stick out of the hull to receive the beam struts.

final pair of bracket plates – other 3 sets are already installed