Monday, 9 November 2015

Transom on (and I am still working on the cabin!)

I now have a complete hull shape.  Bit of a milestone I suppose and I can tell you it looks different.  Not finished because I still have to glass the transom and finish the quarter deck/side decks.  But I can see it floating on the water when I look at it.  It's a nice feeling......

In our last instalment I had trimmed the excess hull edges and sanded the transom frame ready for assembly.  With the quarter deck beams epoxied in place previously I could no longer climb easily into the cockpit, may as well close it up then!

While I was thinking about it I was still working in the main cabin.  I put latches and handles on the storage doors, put hinges on the desk top and fit out the head and sliding door into the forward cabin.

I mounted the gimbals for the alcohol stove, had to put a hardwood blocking on the forward side but is very strong.

Then it was a simple matter of screwing the stove into place.  There is enough space for it to swing freely, and it can be lifted and moved forward onto the top of the sink to open for filling of the burner reservoirs.  I've yet to connect up the sink water, but the cassette toilet is all connected and ready for use.

Then it was back to the transom.  I have been stalking on Mr Charlie Wipple's old blog as I go along checking and had made allowance for an 18mm thick transom (same thickness as the sides).  After reading the building guide not sure if it was only supposed to be 12mm.  Too late I had built the keel to suit 18mm, and I like the idea of even thickness all round.

There was also a cunning benefit to having two layers.  Imagine you had to stand on a stool and try to hold up a piece of ply with one hand while simultaneously clamping it to the transom.  Would you rather it was: (a) 12mm thick and heavy; or (b) 6mm thick and light?  I was surprised yet again how much more 12mm ply weighs, it was almost a full sheet for the transom.  6mm first then!

First I screwed the full sheet to the outside of the transom and traced around the outside edge of the hull sides, climbed inside and marked all the solid wood supports:

Then I took it off, cut the outside extra off, put it back and marked the holes for the cockpit drains. Took it off again and cut out the holes, put it back and adjusted them with a wood rasp.  Below shows the PVC tube exiting the transom:  

I had two screws at the top and three across the horizontal support just below the drain exit to hold it in place at this stage.  Then I dusted off the tiller, which was one of the first things I made a lifetime ago!  Stood it up on some scrap, forgot that I left the keel slightly deeper but after checking Mr Whipple's photos it looks not much different.  Then I marked out the centre of the tiller on the transom, took it off again (I told you 6mm was the thickness to use!).

Googled a nice oval shape I could print out and cut it.  This is what I was left with, you are looking at the inside of the transom and note the markings for the solid wood.  

After taking the above photo I realised I had not cut out the hole for the water exhaust, back on it went for marking, off again for cutting.  Then I epoxied all the areas that would be under the seat beam, leaving the ply raw where it would later be glued and screwed to the frame.  

Then I had the first layer done.  I lay it on the 12mm ply, used the two screw holes at the top and the three horizontal ones to hold it and marked out the edges and cut outs.  Quick attack with the jigsaw and it was ready to epoxy together.  I used the screws I mentioned earlier and the cut outs to ensure the two layers were in the right place.  Clamps around the edges, left over lead ingots to hold the 6mm down on two saw horses.  I put a prop underneath and checked with a level to make sure I wasn't causing a bend in the 12mm with the weight.

This is the exhaust exit and stb side drain:

And looking over to the port side, note the pre epoxy coated areas I mentioned earlier: 

This is what it looked like after, 12mm sheet on the left and 6mm on the right:

I had previously marked the screw hole locations on the inside of the 6mm layer, and drilled them through:

Flipped it over, nearly giving myself a hernia, and counter sunk all the holes.  This is going to have a heavy rudder partly supported off it, lots of screws but I don't mind!

Then it really got interesting.  Applied epoxy with glue powder onto the transom and the frame, then managed to lift it up onto a small platform and into place using the top screws to locate it.  Applied a couple of clamps, checked positioning with the bottom screws and the PVC pipe and fully clamped the top.  Then it was 1 1/4" screws all round 1" into the cross pieces and uprights followed by fillets of epoxy/glue on the inside edges except the top of the curve frame, there is a top to go on first.

Outside looking across, with the screw holes filled:

And looking straight onto the transom, I couldn't get any further back because the shed was there:

Next up will be sanding the excess epoxy off the screws, trimming the edges ready for taping and then glassing the transom.  I will fit the missing section of the cockpit seat that covers the smelly locker/drains as well.  Then I will have seats all round!


  1. Be interested to know the URL you're using to access my old blog. Can't do it myself.


  2. Hello Mr Whipple. I've been using this address which still lets me view all the details . Thank you for taking the time to document it, it has been of great assistance.

  3. Make sure the gimballed stove can never come out of its hinges during rough weather.
    Looks realy cool mal.

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  5. Thanks Rik. Just catching up on your sailing posts!