While the actual crossbeams are complex, 100+ pound structures, they make up only 10 inches (looking down on them) across what will be finished 2 ft wide beams. The rest of the width comes a 5 pound ‘fairing’ made of foam core with one layer of glass inside and out. I showed them being built in their frames early this year. Here’s one of them with the access holes cut – that’s how we reach inside to glass them to the solid structure. Now that they’re installed, those holes will get filled back in this weekend.
The silver and white panel in the background is the final panel of the refrigerator cabinet, the side where the cold plate mounts.
After the fairings go on, the completed beams get flanges formed. This is where bolts will go to hold the beam to the float. In the photo you might be able to see the plastic non-stick that’s on the float deck. The Fiberglas flanges are formed in place, adhered to the beam but will pop right off the deck when we lower the float back to the floor.
Today’s steps were the final primary construction of the four beams. That build spanned almost two years, so it’s a very satisfying milestone. There are plenty of hours left to skin and fair them, and add the net lashing points, but it’s a huge relief knowing the ‘danger parts’ work is done and the whole boat fits together as intended :)
Here’s the first fairing planked in the mold. The bottom side of the fairing was done in one piece up to the sixth frame – that should make for a nice smooth underside. From there the foam planks were cut to the width of my big 3″ straightedge to make things fast and easy.
After the inside is glassed and the fairing comes out of the mold, the foam core should take to the shaping tool quite well – I’m using a 12″ shurform and this foam files off easily. Will cut fabric and laminate tomorrow night.
While Dad was in the shop last week we started mocking up options for the boat’s stern section. I’m leaning towards external steering linkage connected to the aft-cabin-top mounted tiller, so the tie rod would run just above a rear deck, shown here in yellow foam core. We need a step (box at left on the deck, and another one cut in to the aft cabin sloped rear wall. I like how the F39 Alice’s Restaurant (up in Puget Sound) handled the cut-in step. There would be a small lower deck for boarding, and mounting the swim ladder, surrounding the rudder mounting “post” structure in the middle of the photo. Engine exhaust would probably exit the hull near the stern, but outside the sloping hull lip on the starboard side. I want the exhaust far back, but I think not actually inside the transom scoop area. Hope to get some pros/cons advice on that…