Changing the sight lines

The windshield base is now complete, and it’s a little scary to be changing the look of the boat this much. We REALLY want a nice protective wind and wave screen, and it seems to make a lot of sense to have this with a removable top. Kind of like a little roadster car, where the winter hard top can be left home in the garage during the sunny weather.

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But how do you design the side windows for a windshield that stays put and hard top that can be removed? I’d rather not have soft plastic side curtains, so maybe part of the windows will attach to the top?  As Drew quickly figured out, the Hallberg-Rassy boats got me thinking; one with windshield style…

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and theirs with the permanent hardtop…

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If anyone has ideas on how to combine these two, let’s hear them!  (maybe split the side windows in to stacked triangles, the lower being part of the windshield, and the upper a part of the hardtop. And a hand-hold running along the joining seam?)

Back in fairing land, the first two beams are getting close. This thing actually looks like the right overall shape now. A skim-coat went on last night, so tomorrow’s sanding should be all about ‘finding final level’.

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With the other two beams down at floor level, I figured it was a good time to add the final two glass layers that tie the fairings to the inner end piece. After having just read Henny’s account of a very frustrating vacuum bag leak chasing on his major hull infusion job, I was feeling happy and smug about our ‘bagging’ success so far. Pride can be a nasty thing, as I was treated to a horrid Saturday evening of leak chasing! This little bag isn’t pretty, but the ridiculous part is all the blue tape… that’s operator error thinking he was hearing leaks along the yellow sticky tape line, and then the vacuum plug joint.

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There were actually two of these bags, set up with a t-fitting over to the pump. The pictured one would not get past -8 mercury inches, and the other one only -4 (-20 to -25 is my preference). After about an hour and a half of cursing and messing with tape, I came to the realization that air was probably being sucked thru the unfaired portion of the glass weave where the wave deflecting fairing joins the main square beam – if I had waited to do this operation until all the weave had been filled in, this would have likely been a 10 minute, ‘just fine’ operation. Argh. And of course after rolling around on the floor all that time, it was time to check the vacuum pump. Big problem there as many ounces of pump oil had blown out the exhaust hole. This new $400 pump has blown some oil on each of its first five runs, but it gets worse each time. Really hoping Fiberglass Supply will come thru with warranty support tomorrow. Time to take a Sunday break and go watch the Super Bowl commercials (and lick wounds over no 49ers).

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3 thoughts on “Changing the sight lines

  1. Is it my imagination, or is this entire boatbuilding project becoming more complex with time, not less??? Regarding the windshield/hardtop, I should think the best way to go is with a fixed windshield, plus a removable hard or soft top. If you look at enuf photos of boats build in Northern Europe, I bet you;ll see a consensus. We hope Colin is doing OK, and hopefully getting somewhere. Best, Dad and V.

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    • I would say now that the beams are nearly done we’re just getting exposed to the hundreds of details I knew were lurking! At least it’s all interesting, and working full time helps :)

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