Saturday, 16 February 2019

Keel Blocking | First Cock Up

We next moved on to making and fitting the blocking for the keel. That's the royal 'we' - there's only me.

The rear keel tapers gently from the thickness of the centre board trunk to 3/4" at the aft end of the keel. A pattern is provided in the kit to mark this chord onto the timber for the horizontal bottom blocking.

There are two pieces of vertical blocking inside the keel - one which forms the aft vertical trailing edge of the keel, and one which joins the front and rear halves of the keel sides. You have to measure and cut the tapers on these yourself. It's not hard.


Here I have transferred the chord to the bottom blocking and planed it to shape. The pattern is on the bench behind the finished blocking. You can see the taper from the right hand end where it butts up against the centre board case to the end of the keel on the left.



And here we have dry fitted the blocking to the two halves of the port keel panel to check the fit. The vertical block in the middle joins the two halves.



And it was during this test fit that the first real cock up of the build came to light! The steel rule marks the line where the centre board case will reside, glued to the sides of the keel. As you can see the bottom keel blocking is too short. That's because I cut a piece off to conform with the length of the pattern. In other words, the pattern is too short! Much profanity was issued at this point.

The obvious solution would be to glue to glue the piece I had cut off back on to the keel, to fill the gap. No big deal, but very annoying. You know what they say … "Measure it twice, cut it once". Yeah, but you expect a pattern to be true, don't you?!



Here I have glued all the blocking in place, joining the port rear and front keel sides. The collapsible picnic tables are an ideal work surface for such activities.



And here is the missing piece of timber glued back in place. You can just see the pencil line marking the rear edge of the centre board case.

The next step is the assembly of the centre board case with the port and starboard keel sides and the nose block. I thought at the time that this could be challenging, and I was not wrong.


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