Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The boat's first trip and the advent of real progress

While ill advised in it's exceptionally unsupported boat-like shape, the moth made the thirty mile trip to it's new womb.  I wish I had some video or pictures.  I should have rented a moving van to do this, but feeling cheap (expensive attorneys will do that to you) I selected to move the 11' boat and fixture in my truck bed that is only 5'-6.  I took only back roads, I did it at night, and I couldn't go more than 30 mph to ensure the hull doesn't flutter it's way to some sort of failure mode.  It took me a little over an hour to make the trip. 

After finishing up the house remodel enough to live in the house, I was ready to start working on the boat again.  It's getting cold in most of the country, but not here.  It's still a lovely 87 degrees as my neighbors start putting their Christmas decorations up in this post Thanksgiving weekend. 

At this point the boat needs some real structure.  I built a couple forms for the holding fixture and secured the hull to these.  I also leveled the fixture in location.  It won't move again until the inside of the boat is complete.  The first step on the inside of the boat would be to put the rails on the gunwales.  Bring on the bucket-o-clamps - you will be busy for the next month.

  Rails cured, I put two temporary bulkheads in and screwed them to the holding fixture.  Next step was to start cutting and gluing in some real bulkheads.  If you're comparing this image to what you think a Mistral looks like, spoiler alert, they aren't the same, and yes, the bow is swept aft.   I spent some time working on a bow that removed a portion of that massive amount of volume.  Since the Mistral design is near impossible to pitchpole, I think I have some wiggle room in this aspect of the design. 
The other massive deviation from the Mistral design is the transom.  I am moving away from the parabolic or elliptical shape that had been previously employed.  It kinda looks like the old Rogers Wedge transom.  I built a fixture to help ensure symmetry and help ensure that there's a fair transition into the rest of the hull.  It worked well.
More bulkheads please...

Here's the dry fit.
And then glued and glassed in place..
The transom was next...
Finally, I intentionally hacked off the bow where the stem and keel meet.  I really was looking for a shape right at the bow entry that was a bit fuller and didn't have the concavity.  The Mistral design has the bow just barely kissing the water while sailing.  Hell, on the Mousetrap, you had to work to make the boat sail with the stem in the water.  I don't think I'm going to have a problem piercing the water with this design so I think this area of the boat required additional attention.  So after cutting off a diagonal section of the hull, I went back and filled it in with some pre-shaped plywood pieces.  Here's the first one going into place. 

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