The Kit Arrives

This Is Your 20' Boat.

Woo hoo! It’s hard to believe there is a 20′ boat in those boxes.Once you get it unpacked and inspected, the first task is join all the individual pieces into the full length panels.

There will be 12 finished panels, each with two joints, front and back. If you’re interested in finishing quickly you must have at least two 16’x2′ workspaces. One of them should be a strongback–nice and flat–but the other can be pretty flimsy. I made the second one out of a single 16′ 2×4 that I ripped into two 2x2s and a sigle sheet of 1/4″ rough plywood, about $17 total cost. Yes, the double is 20′ long and the panels will hang over the ends of your work surfaces.

I used two ceramic heaters to speed up the curing of some of the joints, using appropriate baffles or “tents.” Be careful not to overheat the joints. This is not much of a danger for a joint that is lying flat on a work surface, but when you put the heater inside the hull or when you let it blow on a suspended panel that doesn’t have a heat sink behind it, you do run a risk of bubbles or even damage.

Two Work Surfaces are Useful the First Three Days

After the panels are assembled, I chamfered the inside edges of all the panels. You need to do something to “break” the inside edge–if you don’t, you really will have a hard time later wiring the edges together and keeping those sharp edges exactly aligned. You could sand the inside edge a bit  round, or chamfer them so they are approximately a 17-22° bevel (~22° will make for a slightly open joint on the inside, which you want–you need to get the resin in the joint to temporarily hold it together). However, if you make the bevel sharp to the outer edge, you won’t be able to get any resin into the joint from outside. In addition, a very aggressive bevel will make the total length (from the keel up to the sheer, not bow to stern) along the inside surface almost 3/8″ shorter than the design. This will cause you a bit of havoc later when you’re trying to get the deck and hull to mate up, since the temporary frames inside are sized for the longer dimension.

Bevel the inner edge of the panels.

That being said, I consistently trim too much and then later have to deal with the problem I’ve for caused myself. So chamfer the edge modestly.