You can install after....

Posted by Greg G. on Dec 22, 2004

I am building my first boat, a CH LT17 – so I am not sure of the results yet but here is what I did….

1. I took a 2’X 2’ sheet of 58” plywood and created a set of four cradles. Two that are the exact dimensions of the bulkheads, and two that fit the outside shape of the boat at the bulkhead to allow it to sit upright on my bench. The forms can be interchanged, depending on if I need the boat upright or upside down, by simply inserting them in a fixture that has a 5/8” dado cut in it, those forms are clamped to my bench. 2. I wired the panels together over the forms in an upside down configuration, similar to a strongback, the forms were positioned at the bulkhead locations and the wires were tuned until I was happy with the shape. 3. I then turned the boat upright and clamped the hull to four supports (as in the instructions to perform the “winding” step) to check to make sure the boat was still straight – it was. I placed mini-fillets between the wires to fix the shape. 4. Later, I cut and removed the wires and placed 5/8” wide fillets on the keel and chines, the length of the boat. I then placed the glass tape over the fillets the full length and in a separate step laid the cockpit glass. The cockpit glass now extends about 8” past the bulkhead position fore and aft. I consider this an advantage as little weight was added, and the bulkhead will sit completely atop glass. 5. Last night I double checked the fit of the bulkheads and then gave them a coat of epoxy, prior to installing them tonight.

So far I am happy with the process I went through, it’s a few more steps and epoxy cure cycles, but I am not sure that it really added significantly to the man-hours spent on the boat. The boat is exceptionally “fair” and true as far as I can tell. The only issue is that the aft bulkhead fits snugly 2” back from design spec. At this point I can either install it at design spec (by wedging and filleting), or I can leave it 2” back, which is what I am going to do, seems like the ability to move the seat position slightly farther back in some cases may help trim the boat and reduce weathercocking. So far so good!

In Response to: Re: bulkheads -NO!!!!! by Rick on Dec 21, 2004