Monday, February 27, 2012

Keel Assembly

At some point during the blazing summer, the main keel timber twisted so much that if you looked aft down the timber, the left edge was about an inch off the cradle. I was in a sorry state of affairs for a couple of days after coming back from vacation and noticing this, but then just planed down the top surface of the timber so it was level again and proceeded with life as normal. This was the first in what I imagine will be a long line of oy vey occurrences in which I will need to remember that this is a boat, not a rocket ship.

After epoxying some of the deadwood and a fore knee to the main timber, I started looking around for ballast and floor bolts. I got really excited when I found a company selling galvanized timber bolts for cheap in Virginia and ordered a bunch from them. As an afterthought, I called back five minutes later and asked if the threads were cut or rolled. This is kind of a big deal because rolled threads would mean that I'd have to drill a hole larger than the shaft of the bolt to get the thing through which means I would have little springs of water gurgling up through the keel into the hull. The very nice man who answered said that indeed they were rolled and cancelled my order for me. I ended up getting the bolts custom made by a company in Houston called Madden Bolt, and they did a fantastic job.

Here some of the keel chunks are glued together and I have the keel laid on its side to plane it down. I don't think I'd drilled for the ballast and floor bolts yet. Note the curved thing in the foreground with all the clamps-- that's the deck beam mold.

Here the keel has been painted with copper naphthenate as a preservative, the ballast and floor bolts have been driven in, and some rebar is being zip-tied/wired to the ballast bolts to support the scrap metal that will be suspended in the concrete ballast.

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