"Not all those who wander are lost."

J R R Tolkien

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15 June 2013

Building the boat: raising the sides and starting on the bottom

Since my last post, I have raised the sides and made a start on the bottom. It is now looking like a boat! A huge boat at that. Raising the sides was relatively painless, I had helpfrom my daughter, her boyfriend and a body builder, weight lifter friend of theirs! With the additional help from  a 1 1/2 tons trolley jack, the sides were vertical in about  3 hours! My biggest concern was to ensure that both sides were alligned and square to each other. After all, a square boat has to be square, not sort of diamond shape! When I checked with a sheet of ply, the two sides were within 6mm (1/4") of each other. Yay! Very pleased with myself there.

It is difficult to get good pictures of the whole structure as I can't go back  far to take the photos, so here are the best I could get.

View from forward. The boat is 10' (3metres wide)
Another view looking towards the back of the tent.

Next comes the building of the bottom of the boat. I spent 3 days trying to ecide and work out the "best" way to go about it. The easiest I could come up with  is to build the bottom in sections 1 sheet of ply wide by the width ot the boat which is 10feet. The bottom is going to be two sheets thick, 1 1/2" . The sheets are ofset by 4" so that I can join them to the next sections. The layers are going to be glued with polyuretane, gorila glue. The surface area is great and the gorila glue will be plenty strong enough. The ply sheets will be screwed together as well, to help ensure a good glue joint. Polyurethane expands and that will ensure all the little gaps between the sheets will be filled up (Well, I hope!) and the screws will hold the ply sheets tightly together whilst the glue goes off. I will leave them there to get some extra mechanical strength. I am never comfortable with relying solely on glue, however good the glue is supposed to be.

The first bottom section, 10' long (3m) by 4' (1.22m)
When each section is glue and screwed together, I will paint the top ( the side inside the boat) then the section will be turned upside down and I'll epoxy/fibreglasss the bottom side. Once that's done, the section will be turned right way up again and the process of fixing it in it's final place will begin.

I am estimating that, all being well, the bottom of the boat should be done in about a month. But you know what they say about the best laid plans....