Topside

The boat is finally coming together – I spent all afternoon working on epoxy and bulkheads and rub rails on the topside. I also started gluing the cleats on for the pontoon seats – there will be one seat on each side. I have also finished up the top deck in the middle, where a solo sailer can sit. It is very sturdy, I must say.

There is much left to do with epoxy and tape – days and days of that, I fear, but I hope to be closing in on paint in another 10 days to 2 weeks. Pics below:

This photo shows the rub rail being glued on the port side of the boat. This will add stability to the side panels. Below that you can see the seat cleats.

This shows a better shot of the cleats that will support a seat. The cross piece is just a brace while the glue dries. I plan to make a seat pattern from cardboard and cut out the plywood one when I get it right. There is a cleat on each side of the pontoon and there will be one along the back wall also. I may put one across near the front of the seat, too.

Final image looks across the stern of the boat, showing two bulkhead braces. The board under the clamp will give me a solid backing for mounting the rudder bracket – known as a gudgeon. Onward!

As always, the PuddleCat can be seen here
Mine is the 8/9 foot model.


Epoxy is my Life

Time for an update on the sailboat project! The boat is definitely 3D now, and becoming heavier all the time. My latest accomplishments involve large quantities of epoxy, both straight mixed and thickened with wood flour. This is all new to me, but it is going quite well. I have read that all novice boat builders use far too much epoxy, so I am probably in that group for sure.

The pictures below show how joints between plywood pieces are filled with thickened epoxy which takes care of gaps between joined panels. I am using wood flour, which is very, very, very fine sawdust. It is stirred into the epoxy. I use a small plastic bag. I fill it with the mixture, twist it tight, cut off a small corner and apply it like a cake decorator. This is actually very efficient and makes a nice seam with a little practice. Later, fiberglass tape is applied to the joint and regular epoxy applied to seal it. The tape adds strength. Thank goodness for gloves!

The other picture shows how I routed out an inlay in the rudder to allow for lead weight. This is needed to keep the rudder from just floating up in the water. I bought 6 pounds of lead on ebay. The rudder now has 2.5 pounds epoxied into it. Some people melt lead and pour it into the opening, but that procedure is fairly dangerous. I opted for this approach.

Thanks for following this project! Watch for more updates!