Deck complete, the boat was structurally very stable and finally ready to be removed from the framing fixture. I put the beginnings of this boat in the fixture back in December 2016! After removing the screws, the first exciting task was to get an accurate weight. Up to this point I had an estimate based on the weight of what I was putting into the boat. It came out to 52.3 lbs. This is about what I think is expected for a Mistral at this stage in the game. Lots of hardware and work to do still so I am not too concerned about how to get to the 75 lb. class weight minimum. Before getting started on the bottom, I took some progress pictures:
Back in the garage, it was time to fair and finish the bottom with glass cloth. The first step was to add material and fair the bow. I intentionally cut the bow off and added a skeleton piece of plywood to build up the volume of the bow at the waterline.
After putty application
Port side after fairing
The next step was to glass the hull. I put a layer of 8 oz. cloth on each side with a 4 inch overlap along the keel.
dry fit and trimming of glass cloth
view from the aft end of the boat
After wetting out the cloth
After glassing the boat bottom, I faired the hull along the glass cloth overlap edges and put a couple more coats of epoxy over that to build up and smooth out the bottom. Taking advantage of a warm, sunny day, I put the boat outside to finish curing. I intentionally didn't put the UV stain on the front of the boat. The assumption was that it was going to get a bunch of fairing compound added and would require paint. Maybe not the best decision in hindsight, but it is what it is. I will paint the front when I'm done adding epoxy and fairing the bottom. The mahogany stain is a really deep red. Looks like a glass of cabernet. Thankfully I still had some of the alcohol based stain and was able to touch up in places where sanding was needed.
The next area of focus is on the blades. I picked up a piece of alder wood for this task. This species is strong and light. I laminated 1" strips of the wood with each adjacent piece rotated and flipped 180 degrees to ensure the boards don't bow later down the road. The daggerboard is 5'-6 at the moment, but this will probably get trimmed down.
With a slight drop in temperature and a little time for garage projects, I got back to working on the boat in November 2021. The interior structure of the boat was previously completed so it was time to put the deck on. I made templates with poster board for all the pieces and then cut the wood equivalents in 3mm ply. Thinking ahead, I also made a carbon fiber/plywood tiller that is curved at the forward end to get over the deck tapers at the aft end of the hull. The last boat had serious tiller issues since it was a rushed afterthought. Not making that mistake again.
The bow was completed first and glued down. After that I worked on the tank closeouts at the back of the boat.
With the bow and aft tank pieces cut, the tanks were fitted and prepped for gluing. Also seen below is the first shot at making hiking straps. I made a second pair in black since these are wee bit too flashy for my taste. When you use up what's lying around this is what you get. The boat is slightly narrower at the beam than a mistral. I am going with a two strap configuration for two reasons. 1: I have short legs. 2: to compensate for the reduced leverage from a smaller girth. I am looking to comfortably get my mass farther from the hulls center of buoyancy.
After lots of sanding and fairing at the deck joints, the top side was ready for glass. At this point the boat was less than 50 lbs so I could afford to completely glass the topside.
Prepping glass cloth for lamination
Some cold nights required tenting and heaters to get my slow cure epoxy to kick
Deck after glassing
Deck after 2 additional epoxy coats. It's starting to look finished!