The next part I decided to work on was the outboard motor well. In a previous stage I had already epoxy coated the four bulkheads (two longitudinal and two lateral), so I could start working on the fitting; as they are glued to the hull and the transom, these parts needed bevelling to get a good fit. After I got them in place, all the corners needed fillets so to make the whole structure tolerant for vibrations from the outboarder. And besides that, Vivier advises to apply some glass fibre sheeting as well.
I decided to apply glass fibre in the three largest boxes of the structure; the middle box to make it more tolerant for mechanical wear as the outboard motor will be moved through a lot, and both boxes left and right of the middle to get more stiffness in the structure. First I did the latter; I made rather large fillets (radius 10mm approximately) and applied two sheets per box so as to make sure one sheet only covers two corners. I imagine it would be difficult to work in such a small area and make sure there are no air pockets below the sheet when it has to cover the whole inside of the box. Nevertheless, after the epoxy cured I discovered that even though the sheets only covered two corners, still some air pockets formed in the corners.
I guess the reason for the air pockets is a combination of too small fillets, and the fact that if you try to remove air pockets in one corner, the sheet is shifted a bit and another air pocket forms in the other corner. So in the middle box, I made even larger fillets (radius 20mm). I’ve not yet applied the sheeting here, but I’ll keep you posted.
The next step was to fill the front middle box with foam as it is closed with a small lid.
I made two battens to support the lid at both sides.
Here you see the closed middle front box, with large fillets as well. I will apply one piece of glass fibre sheeting on the lid and forward side of the box, and another piece of sheeting running from one side of the box via the aft side to the other side of the box.
Also visible on both pictures above and below are some extra battens to cover the sheeted corners of the left and right boxes. I didn’t like the idea of having air pockets under the sheeting in the corners of a box that is to be permanently closed, so I decided to install battens over these corners and fill the space up with epoxy so as to protect the weak spots in the sheeting and get even more stiffness as well.
On the picture below, the doublers for the motor support are also glued in place.
The ballast tank proved to be water tight! I left the water in for one night and I didn’t find any sign of leakage. I then transformed the vacuum cleaner back into a water proof vacuum cleaner by removing the dust bag and sucked out the water.
After that final preparations were done to fix the tank top; predrilled all holes, sanded the surface that is to be glued and fitted the top in place once more to check for a nice fit. As it proved to fit nicely, Roel and I applied a lot of epoxy to the frame as to make sure the water tightness would be perfect. Then the top was put in place and screwed down with some 60 screws (every 12cm).
And afterwards I obviously made a “tank inspection picture” 😃
After my Ebihen was turned over, a lot of greater and smaller jobs presented themselves. Scraping off the spoiled or surplus epoxy, installing the ballast tank, installing the outboard casing, applying several coats of epoxy, etc, etc…. It took me some time to figure out the right sequence as I wanted to avoid extra work. Applying three layers of epoxy when all parts needing this are installed, for instance. No installation of parts that do not need painting (p.e. rub rails, floor boards, seats) before actually painting the inside of the hull.
I started with scraping of the surplus epoxy. Following an advice from a woodenboatforum-guy I got the job done quite easily using a paint stripper and a scraper with rounded corners.
After that I decided to work on the ballast tank. The side walls were prepared and installed and after that, the framework around the top side of the tank was epoxied in place.
The inside of the tank needs to be very robust, so I applied rather large fillets along all corners.
Here’s some pics of the work on the lid; I applied a layer of glass fibre sheeting on the inside (below the fibre some very small gas bubbles appeared as outside temperatures soared during epoxy curing 😕 I’m going to leave it that way as the bubbles seem to be sealed by epoxy) and milled out the holes for the inspection hatches.
And tonight I decided to put my ballast tank work to the test and filled them with water to see if they would leak. The good news is that they’re not leaking, the bad news is that the siphon I planned to use for draining lacks height difference, so I’ll have to figure out another way to get the water out. But that’s for tomorrow 😉
Keep you posted!
This morning some friends came over to turn the Ebihen over in a joint effort. I’ve been thinking about the way how to do this a lot, and decided a few weeks ago to go with this method; heave the bow with a four pulleys and rope system mounted on the tent’s top pole, lift the transom by hand and turn the hull.
Last weekend I prepared for the turning action by creating some space in the tent and gather some foam sheets to have about in case things go wrong and cushioning would be needed. Also the beam on which the Ebihen is standing now was prepared and four supporting poles that go under the bilge keels.
Here’s some pics;
Thanks a lot, everybody! Very, very nice one!
In the past weeks I’ve done quite a lot of painting. By carefully planning the appliance of various layers of paint, I’ve been able to reduce the amount of sanding that was needed to a minimum. As a result, my Ebihen now has 3 layers of ivory white paint, and 4 layers of a special underwater coating in black.
The sheerstrake (upper strake) is left blank as it still needs work. Two rubbing strakes will be mounted before it will receive it’s final painting, also black.
Also, one of the brass strips along the backbone is already mounted. In the coming days the other three, along the centreboard case and aft, will be mounted as well. Below you can see a picture of the device that was used to quickly drill holes in the middle of the brass strip, and my youngest daughter giving me a hand applying glue in the screw holes 😃
I’ve also invested some time in finding a sewing machine for making sails. After some internet research I decided to by a used Pfaff 138 and tried it out on a seam of the staysail. It turned out that the mounted motor was way to fast for my needs (and abilities 😜) so I bought a servo motor capable of delivering enough power at very low speed and mounted it.
After applying a first layer of paint, a lot of sanding was done. A single layer of paint unforgivingly shows every imperfection of the surface….
Then a second and third layer were applied. With that the Ebihen looks quite nice! I’ll sand the painted surface once more in preparation of the final layer of paint, wich will be applied after everything else is finished.
Last week I’ve applied a first layer of paint. The idea was to do a single layer, let it cure a few days and then see whether or not the surface needed sanding or filling.
It turned out to be quite nice. Only two spots needed some filler.
So I’ll sand the whole thing with fine sandpaper and apply at least one other layer of paint this week. In total she’ll get either three or four layers of paint, depending on how she looks after the second layer. But in any case the last layer will be applied after turning her over and all other jobs are finished.