Meant to post this on Monday but work was a freakin' bear this week.
Okay, I took my very last vacation day this past Friday to devote to glassing the keelson in. Pam took a day off too to help me. She is becoming quite the boat restorer, my mom is. :D
We knew going into it that glassing in the keelson would be one of the toughest projects we will probably ever have to do on the boat. Besides the fact that we're inexperienced and it's a structural repair, the real thing that makes it hard is it's location. My boat is tiny (18 feet long). So you can imagine that all the spaces in a tiny boat are also tiny. And you would be right if you guessed that the space underneath the cockpit floor is minimal. It's so minimal in fact, that I'm not sure anyone larger than me could even scrunch up in there enough to get to the repair, much less work in such a small area.
This is how I spent my weekend.
See what I mean? There is like NO room in there. Fer real.
So, we have this keelson we need to glass into the bottom of the hull. The keelson is flat and very stiff since we coated the whole thing in fiberglass to protect it. And the hull is rounded and stiff. So these two pieces aren't going to join properly without some help. So the idea was to build up the area underneath where the keelson will go in so that when we glass it in there are no gaps in between it and the hull.
So I started by laying the keelson in place and then going down every few inches and measuring the gap between the bottom of the keelson and the hull. I then drew a line representing the shape of the gap, so we would know about how much to build up the area.
Here's the keelson area after the first few layers of glass:
And here it is again after a bunch more layers of glass:
While I was stuck in such a small area I decided to go ahead and repair the transom. It was just in need of a little reinforcement and some cleaning.
Here is the transom repair:
Nice fillet, if I do say so myself. :P
We basically glassed all weekend long. It was fun, if a little scrunched. :D And now it's already Friday. I plan to go home in 45 minutes, get some beer (a requirement for boat work), and then put a layer of glass in the keelson area to get a jump on the weekend.