It’s been a month since I provided an update on construction of my latest driftboat. Well, during the past thirty plus days, I have made some progress and suffered a few minor setbacks. The first post detailed the process of stitching the panels together to form the basic skeleton of a boat. After that ordeal was complete the next task involved securing the joints between the side and the bottom panels of the boat. After forming a smooth joint with the thickened epoxy (a fillet), a layer of fiberglass tape is placed over the fillet to strengthen the joint. I am happy to report that all of the joints (the so-called chine of the boat) between the side panels and the bottom of the boat are completed. Next, the boat needed to be flipped so I could prepare the bottom for a layer of fiberglass cloth saturated with epoxy. After removing the rough edges, the goal is to form a rounded junction between the side and bottom panels. Within an hour, the block plane’s work is complete. It’s followed by the laborious task of sanding. This mindless task takes hours and is best tackled while listening to my favorite podcasts. Are you looking for an interesting podcast? Try Hidden Brain.
With the outside glassing job complete, the boat is once more ready to be righted. This time, rather than “inviting” my neighbors over for a brief visit, with my wife’s assistance we accomplished the task without a hitch. With the boat righted, the next detail involves leveling the boat. This essentially means making the best estimate about how the boat will ride with clients aboard. The boat plans provide some general guidance based on seat placement but ultimately it is up to the boat builder/guide to make this determination. Once I leveled the boat, I began making adjustments to the client seat pedestals and the guide seat so they will be roughly level when the boat is underway. It also permitted me to begin construction of the port side shelf, rod holder and weather proof storage unit. I am enjoying nearly every aspect of the build but admittedly, there are times I find myself a little overwhelmed with all the steps required to complete the boat. When I decided to stray from the boat builder’s design and finish the interior layout of the boat with pedestal seats rather than thwart seats, the project suddenly became a little more challenging. The personal design aspect of the build adds considerable time while making it a more satisfying project.
All in all the project is progressing at a reasonable satisfying rate. Fortunately I have no deadline for completion as my existing driftboat is waiting patiently for spring.