Sunday 15 December 2019

Floorboards | Final Fitting

The inside of the hull had been painted and allowed to dry for several days for the paint to harden.

It was now time to permanently reinstall the finished floorboards which had been languishing in the house for several weeks. Hooray!

First I drilled out the pilot holes in the cleats. The floorboards are fastened with 1 1/2" silicon bronze, slot headed, countersunk wood screws. They are 8 gauge and fractionally fatter and longer than the temporary drywall screws used when making the boards, so the pilot holes needed to be very slightly enlarged.

Then I fitted the first four boards on the port side. Here they are.

The next four boards followed. One side of the cabin sole was complete!

Note that there is insufficient material in the cleats to use 1 1/2" screws to fasten the ends of the outermost two boards. I tried 1" screws but they are not long enough - 1 1/4" is just right.

The following day I installed all the starboard floorboards. Here is the result.

And here are the boards in the front of the cabin.

She is looking good!

Cabin & Storage Compartments | Painting The Interior

As explained in the previous post, resolving problems with bilge paint led me to realise that the interior of the hull needed a better finish to be ready for paint than I had previously achieved.

I sanded the hull and the bulkheads to a very smooth and evenly matt surface, going through the grits to P220. It didn't take that long using the excellent Festool Rotex 90 sander in random orbital mode.

I purchased plenty of a good quality, oil based interior paint and undercoat. I selected brilliant white with a satin sheen finish, which is my preference for large surface areas. It is easier on the eye than a gloss finish.

As with the bilge paint I used a good quality felt sleeve on a 4" roller, and painted the storage compartment and the cabin area.

Here is the cabin after one coat of undercoat.

You can see that it is quite patchy, so a second coat was applied.

This covered the surface pretty well.

I then applied three coats of the topcoat to achieve a nice, smooth, even, fully covered  surface.

This is the final coat in the cabin.

And this is the finished storage compartment.

It is looking pretty nice!

There is one issue, however. You will see in the cabin that we stop painting the hull half way up the sides.

This is done on purpose because the topside panel will be joined to the side panel sometime soon, and will require a stitch'n'glue join covered with glassfibre tape reinforcement and a fillet.

So we can't paint it yet. The rest of the sides will be painted when the boat is upside down and I can get inside to paint the cabin and storage compartment roof.

That's all very well but as any painter knows, the golden rule of painting is 'always keep a wet edge'. In other words, always paint your piece or section in one go so you don't leave a dried and hardened edge to the paint which would be unsightly and difficult to remove.

Here we have deliberately abandoned our wet edge.

I will have to see what I can do to feather it out and conceal it when I finish painting the interior.

I just hope that I don't end up with an ugly VPL (Visible Paint Line).

Stern & Bow Compartments | Bilge Paint Dramas

I bought the PocketShip paint package and was a bit bemused to find it contained a quantity of bilge and locker paint.

The build manual says to use oil based household paint inside the boat, above and below the waterline.

I asked the vendor about this, and they said that bilge paint should be used in sealed spaces and below the waterline. In PocketShip this means the bow and stern compartments and underneath the floorboards.

Fair enough, I thought. Bilge paint is protection against water, chemicals, fuel and alcohol. Some if not all of those substances will doubtless find their way into this boat!

The bilge paint in the package was grey, but I decided that white would be better in the stern compartment where a deck hatch on either side of the cockpit would provide access for storage and sight of the inside of the locker.

I also thought that if it was attractive enough I could use bilge paint for the whole of the cabin interior.

So I purchased some white paint from the supplier and applied two coats with a 4" foam roller in the stern and bow.

It did not turn out well.

First, it has a very high gloss finish. I expected it to be matt or semi-matt, so that rules it out for use in the cabin where I want a satin finish.

Second, it settles to a very thin coating which does not fill any surface blemishes. It just forms an extremely thin skin, and the high gloss finish highlights any surface imperfections. So what I thought was a good enough surface finish for paint, wasn't. I had sanded by hand to a P150 finish but it really wasn't good enough.

Third, the paint did not dry smooth and flat. It resembled orange peel, apparently caused by microscopic air bubbles introduced into the paint during application and not dissipating as they should do.

This is not a very good pic, but you can see the high gloss and the orange peel.

I asked the paint manufacturer what I had done wrong. They tested the batch in question and as expected there was nothing wrong with it. They suggested it was probably caused by me not degreasing the surface with a solvent before painting.

So I sanded the stern compartment back to a bare surface. I left the bow as it was, given that it would soon be sealed forever and no one would see it again.

Then I sanded the stern compartment to a smooth and evenly matt surface, going through P80, P120, P180 and lastly P220 grits. The finish was so good that it put the rest of the hull to shame, so I resanded the whole interior to the same high standard.

I then degreased the stern compartment with white spirit and left it to dry, and then applied four coats of white bilge paint over consecutive days. The bow received the same number of coats. I again used a roller but swapped from a foam to a felt sleeve on the recommendation of my preferred professional decorator's merchant.

This is what the stern looks like now.

You are not supposed to use a primer for this paint on epoxy or fibreglass, which means that several coats are needed to cover the surface fully.

The finish is now very good - certainly good enough for the interior of a locker!

Forward Deck | Making & Test Fit

I decided to prepare the forward deck for installation before I painted the interior of the hull, just in case I dropped anything hard or sharp into the boat in the process!

First I placed the deck panel in place and weighted it down so that it could not move, like this.

Then, laying on my back and reaching into the storage compartment, I scribed a pencil line on the underside of the deck so that I would know where to drill holes for temporary screws to hold it in place when glued up.

It was not possible to gain any access to the bow compartment, so I removed the deck panel and extrapolated the line around the sides of the hull, and measured where the lower breast hook and the cleat on bulkhead 1 would be.

Then I marked out and drilled holes for the temporary screws. I refitted the panel with a few screws, and marked out the required pilot holes in the sheerclamps and cleats and the lower breast hook before again removing the panel and drilling the pilot holes in the boat.

The cleat on bulkhead 2 is too narrow for an ordinary drill to be used there, but the Dremel with its flexible extension and a twist drill bit fitted worked extremely well.

I refitted the deck, fastened in place with drywall screws and plywood pads. This is what it looks like.

Lastly, the deck panel was removed and set aside to await installation.

Footwell Sides & Sole | Making & Test Fit

I made and fitted the cleats to the footwell sides some time previously, when I was making and fitting the deck support cleats to the hull and bulkheads.

Here are they are glued up and clamped, back in the late summer.

The cleats and the footwell sides and sole all received their three clear coats of resin and were finished ready for a test fit.

The sole needed a very slight trim with the block plane, but otherwise everything fitted nicely into place for the test fit, as here.

The footwell parts were then set aside ready for installation, which will now hopefully be quite soon!

Centreboard Case Cleats Fitted

Happy that the centreboard case cleats had received their mandatory three coats of clear resin and were finished, I then glued them in place.

Here they are glued and clamped up.

And here they are after curing and being cleaned up.

I am pleased they are done, at last.

Centreboard Sheave | Test Fit

As mentioned in the previous post I obtained all the hardware fittings for the hull, mainly so I could check that the parts for the centreboard case fitted correctly.

The centreboard pendant sheave was slightly narrower than expected, and the support bolt was slightly thicker.

Not a big deal. I enlarged the bolt hole through the centreboard case and made a new pair of shims for the sheave, to prevent the pendant from slipping off.

Here are the various bits, test fitted.

I will glue the shims in place later.

Centreboard Case Cleats & Deck Frames | Making & Test Fitting

When I made the deck support cleats to attach to the hull and bulkheads I also made the cleats to attach to the top of the centreboard case.

I made the deck frames at the same time.

All were rounded over as required with a 3/8" bit on the router table.

I didn't fit the centreboard case cleats at the same time as the others because I could see in the build instructions that the bolt that goes through the case to support the centreboard pendant sheave is perilously close to the cleat.

The manual recommends not fitting washers to the bolt for this reason, which in my opinion is heresy.

It also states that I might have to shave the top off the inspection hatch flange for the same reason.

So, I ordered the hull hardware package in order to test fit the sheave and the hatches and modify parts accordingly.

There was something of a delay obtaining all the fittings, but eventually they arrived and I carried out a test fit.

Here are the cleats and frames, temporarily fitted.

As expected, the bolt and acorn nut were immediately adjacent to the cleat, as here.

There is just about room for the washers in a dry fit, but there won't be when the cleat is glued in place and the case is painted.

I decided to make a small indent on the inner face of the cleat to provide room for the washers, as here.

The inspection hatch was a good fit, with no need to trim the top of the flange. Like this.

That's good, I thought. Then I looked down into the case and saw that the fitting protrudes inside, and as fitted here would obstruct the centreboard. Here you can see a lip of about 1/8" or so sticking out inside the case.

That's no good! I will need to either fit a shim between the flange and the case, or trim the flange to remove the lip. No need to worry about that now ... it will be quite some time before I install the hull hardware!