Smooth­ing the pan­els

Practical Boat Owner - - Practical -

Be­yond gen­eral fair­ing, there were three main ar­eas on the boat which needed special at­ten­tion. The first is the tran­si­tion from the mid­ships bot­tom pan­els, which are 6mm ply, to the 4mm ply bow pan­els. This re­sults in a 2mm step.

We re­moved the ma­jor­ity of the dif­fer­ence by us­ing a long plane to ta­per the 6mm ply over a dis­tance of around 40cm, be­fore fill­ing any hol­lows with fair­ing filler. The 4mm ply tends to scal­lop slightly around the fix­ings, so filler is in­evitable.

Fur­ther aft, we had used two small 6mm pan­els to fill the gap be­tween the mid­ships pan­els and the aft bot­tom panel. As they were small it had proved im­pos­si­ble to make them con­tinue the gen­tle bend of the bot­tom pan­els, so we glued them in place and used a plane to re­move any high spots. As they were mostly too high at the edges, we didn’t need much filler.

The third and fi­nal area was at the bow, where the bow pan­els meet the stem. The ply had scal­loped quite badly here where we had used screws to pull it into shape, so we cau­tiously planed the top of the bumps, tak­ing care not to go through more than one lam­i­nate of ply­wood, and filled the hol­lows.

A long­board (some­times known as a tor­ture board!) was painful but ef­fec­tive

A long­board showed up ar­eas that needed ex­tra fill­ing

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