Monday, September 28, 2009

Footwell progress

What's that, you say? A footwell? Boring? Never! The footwell is where you put your feet when sitting in the boat.

It's where sunblock gets tossed, where a sponge (on a cord, always on a line) swipes the painted wood so your feet stay dry, where you stash a wine bottle or a cold beer at the end of a long trick to windward. Where you check the compass course and hope you've accounted enough for the powerful tide sweeping out of the vast Potomac. Where you kick up your feet and daydream on a long downwind run.

It's the boat's cockpit. Where the magic happens.

With the frames in, "all" I have to do is add in the sides. These are the fronts of the seats, where -- if you were a small doll with very short legs -- you'd drum your heels when sitting and draw the ire of the captain.

The tricky (and best) part is: the boat's bottom is gently curved up. The front and back edges of the seat fronts is at a strange angle due to the angled frames. And the top is also curved, almost but not quite at the same arc as the bottom. Solution? A pattern! Here are two views of the pattern, clamped in place on the starboard side of the cockpit.

The thick frame on the aft edge -- the Legendarily Difficult Frame 7 -- is different to starboard because it's where the outboard motor clamps. In fact, the alignment of that F7 onto the bottom was so precise I snapped a picture. Freakish accuracy like this is all too rare:

This is the centerline of the frame (labeled "AFT" so I don't install it backwards) and the centerline of the bottom. The pencil line is about 0.5mm thick. Yeah!

Lastly, the view I treat myself to at the end of each boatbuilding session: the frames up, the shape of the boat beginning to take shape. Inspiration....

The front of the boat is out of the frame to the right, but you can see the centerboard well, the frames, and the bottom, as well as all the holes for ventilation.

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