2023.02.18 - Stem & Keel Reinforcement Part III

Whilst the weather today was overcast with drizzle at times, the temperature started off at 10 Celsius at 06:00 and got slowly warmer during the day The main focus for the day was the stem reinforcement, a lot of the time was spent waiting for the epoxy to partially cure before working on the next phase. During these times I decided that I would work on the AIS mast mount.

The mast was lowered from where it had been hung in the hay barn onto two saw horses such that the side to which the mount will be fitted was uppermost.

The mount will be placed just above the hounds for the shrouds.

I used calipers to measure off the diameter of the mast at the required height and then went around the place trying to find something of equivalent diameter. Eventually I found this mug was just about right.

The mount will need a pad to convert the straight back of the mount to the curved surface of the mast.

I chose a mahogany offcut and cut it to the required shape using the bandsaw for the rough cut and then the belt sander to finish it.

As you can see, the pad is a good fit for the mount.

Now I need to make one side of the mount fit the curve.

 I used the bandsaw carefully to cut a series of slots into the pad not quite as far as the pencilled line I drew from the mug.

The shards were then removed.

The belt sander has a convenient curved section at one end and I used that to remove most of the remaining wood

Finally, some coarse grit sand paper was wrapped around the mug and the pad rubbed vigorously against the curved sandpaper to complete the curved side of the pad.

The isn't quite perfect but it will be mounted with sealant and screws which will take care of any gaps.

I'll take the pad inside for a few days and give it a few coats of varnish.

The first coat of epoxy on the stem went on quite well although the high humidity did cause parts of the epoxy to go milky.

The is not much of a problem and I removed most of this by careful use of moderate heat from a heat gun as per the West Systems website.

Once this layer of epoxy was tacky I laid the glass fibre in place and smoothed it down by hand.

The mat stayed in position well but I did use a roller to press it down firmly into the epoxy.

 Another coat of epoxy was applied to the glass making sure that no air bubbles remained.

The roller was used again to make sure that the epoxy was spread evenly and that it covered the glass fibre completely.

It's not easy to see with the bright lights in the workshop, but the hull was pretty much visible through the glass fibre all along its length.

So far, so good.

Once the epoxy was tackly again I applied another coat of epoxy and once that was tacky peel ply was laid on the epoxy and yet another coat of epoxy applied.

There was some spare epoxy left so I used it to coat the trailer keel shoe so as not to waste it.

Time for a cup of tea.