Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Keel roughed out and hull panels stitched

Finally got to dedicate some time to the 550. I spent about another 3 hours finishing the roughing of the keel, the worst places are within 1/16th of the foil templates and with a little more fiddling I should be ready to start glassing. My plan is to do two layers of cloth then fair to the final shape being very careful towards the top end to make sure it will retract.

The keel bulb is the next keel related project. I haven't completely decided what shape I am going to use nor have I determined the attachment method.

I discovered it is possible to stitch the three major hull panels together single handed. I don't recommend it but as long as I went slowly it worked fine.

After stitching panel #1 (the bottom panel) every 6 inches I pre-drilled the holes along the chine of panel 1 and placed the zip ties. It was then a matter of aligning the sides and starting from the bow. I did both sides at once alternating port and starboard doing two holes at a time. With a couple of straps wrapped around the hull to take some of the load it went pretty well.

Once the bow and transom frames were in place I went back and replaced every other tie with a new tie and a piece of 1" PVC cut to about 1-2 inches. This really helped keep the panels butted edge to edge. With the holes drilled 3/4" from the chine edges the ties and PVC help center the joint.

My plan is to start the filleting in a day or so, I'm hoping that as the hull sets in the final shape the panels relax a bit.

I'm also considering re-cutting the bow frame. It is 1 1/2 inch hardwood per the plans but I think I will tapper the aft edge to more closely match the hull panels.

There are photos but they are on my phone, I'll post them when I get the chance.


  1. Sounds like you are making some great progress. I'd recommend you fair your keel before you glass it. Otherwise you will be sanding through your compound and glass in the high spots. It doesn't have to be perfect, but close. Then glass it and do a post cure on the foil. Black back in the sun will probably do the trick for the post cure. Then final fairing and finishing.

    Good luck, Kevin.

  2. That's two updates promising pics, and yet none posted. Come on man, this is important stuff!

    The boat SOUNDS good anyway, I suppose.