The Keel Goes On

The outbone of the boat is comprised of the keel, the skeg, and the outer stem (and then, the rails).  I elected to glue the outer stem and the keel before final fitting and fastening to the hull.  I think this was a mistake.  It would have been easier to fit had I attached the keel, then fit the stem.  Having them as a single piece made it fussier to handle and fit, but it worked out.

I glued the pieces together in a lap joint about 5 inches long, did a preliminary fitting to mark the width of the stem where it meets the gains at the bow, and marked the outer edge so that i could plane it to just wider than a piece of half oval that I will fit to the finished stem.  I did the planing at the bench, with a couple of fittings in between.

I pre-drilled three screw holes in the complete keel assembly to fasten the keel and cut some sky-clamps to wedge the aft section to the hull (springy 6-footers that exert a downward pressure on the keel when wedged against the ceiling).  I mixed up a couple of pumps of epoxy to pre-wet the keel and its landing on the hull, added a couple more pumps and thickened with microfibers and wood flower to the consistency of peanut butter and set about positioning the whole assembly.  It looks true.  Next, I'll shape the two pieces that will be sistered to the keel on either side of the daggerboard trunk, and I'll glue them in place.


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