Saturday, November 24, 2012

Optimist Pram Project - Starting Back

After an exciting summer of sailing and sailboat racing, we are returning to the Optimist project. In the effort to make these boats as inexpensive as possible we have purchased luan plywood to sheath the hull of our boats.

Our decision to use luan was based on information given to us by John Bridges who has been building Optimists since the 1960s. He has built Optimists of luan and they have been in service for over 5 years. That is longer than we will probably need the boats.

We will also be stacking these hulls after sailing them - leaving no water in them to cause problems. Additionally, we will be priming our hulls with CPES (clear penetrating epoxy sealer) as a way to be sure that the absorption of water is slow.

Today, we worked on the hull sides.
  1. Working on three boats requires 5 sheets of plywood to complete all the hull skins. 
  2. We ripped two full sheets on 16 inches the long way. This gave us 6 strips to use as hull sides.
  3. Temporarily attaching one side to trace the contour, we removed the piece and cut a bit proud of the pencil line. 
  4. We checked to see if the template piece fit all three hulls - it did.
  5. Using Locktite PL Construction adhesive, we laid a bead of glue along the chine and bow/transom about half way down the hull.
  6. Starting at the transom we worked forward placing screws about 5 inches apart.
  7. We worked in a zig-zag pattern of top then bottom as we worked forward to be sure not to pucker or buckle the plywood.
Starting aft and working the plank forward.

One side of the hull secured and curing.

Three hulls with starboard sides attached.