Above the deck

This week we’re driving towards completion of big exterior pieces. First up is the windshield, which after much fussy fairing work is looking pretty good. Time was well spent making accurate patterns for the Tap Plastics people to cut the smoked acrylic windows.

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They are rebated in the frames so as to come out flush-mounted. We’ll try just bonding them in, but little blots could be added if needed later. The panes are stored now, awaiting the boat’s final painting.

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Next up is the hard dodger roof which is in cardboard mockup now. Trying to find the right balance of minimal windage, being able to see over it standing at the tiller, not whacking one’s head going in/out of the cabin companionway, and not being an ugly blob. Oh, and not blocking the cabin top winches!

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That last photo also shows the new stern tower leg stubs getting faired in before the remove-able legs can be sleeved on. Here are the steps so far:

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PVC pipe at the center for a wiring conduit and foam core strips shaped to give it all some faux-wing contour. The two stubs were built whole, but I should have done one 30″ and cut it in half. Then we transfered a half-model of the shape and made a plug mold for the 48″ legs. I was pretty darned happy with this first molding project, but…

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In the photo you can see dimples in the panel; the vacuum was strong enough to collapse some unsupported wood in the mold. Argh – good learning that a plug must be SOLID.

So the mold got repaired and four leg-halves made just fine without bagging.

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Now we’ll join the two sides around some internal rib spacers.

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These parts are set aside awaiting 24″ threaded rods that will get embedded in the legs, pass through the stubs and be bolted from inside the aft cabin.

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Ok, the box from McMaster Carr just arrived, so those long bolts can go in this afternoon. Then it’s time to design the top part of the tower for all the various gear.

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