On The Right Track

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Saturday 8 August 2015

This week Janine and I have been busy sticking various bits of hardwood onto the sides of the hull. I perhaps spend a morning shaping wood and then spend the afternoon setting up a production line of applying neat epoxy with a brush, then smearing said piece with peanut butter consistency thickened epoxy, screwing it to the hull, scraping off the excess with a doctor’s tongue depressor to leave a small fillet, and finally a clean up with paper soaked in methylated spirit.

I have also turned my attention to ways of securing the hatches. The plans show a sliding assembly running on tracks, with shock cord securing a watertight seal. Other builders have disregarded this design and opted for a hinge that allows the hatch to be slid out of the way across an aluminium pole; a neat solution, and a solution I was going to adopt until a last minute change of mind. I am going to stick to the plans

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My main reason for the change is that a hinged hatch is either fully closed or fully open; a sliding hatch can be partially opened to control ventilation better. You can also slide it shut from inside without having to get onto the deck. I am, however, going to use a hinge for the two aft deck hatches as the tracks will probably foul the self steering paraphernalia, and they quite neatly hinge back and rest on the coach roof.

The other problem is that my tracking (dinghy mainsheet traveller) is unbendable extruded aluminium and the coach roof and decks are curved. It was fun to make the tracking supports from scrap oak. They look so nice it will be a shame to paint them, perhaps I will just oil them.

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