Smoothing the panels
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