In Maine, Water and Electricity Do Mix
After flipping it over I fiberglassed the insides and then cut out the floorboards. They got glassed too. Gunwales (the strips of wood at the tops of the sides, inside and out) were next installed. I was looking for ash but found instead a pair of amazing fir boards, twenty feet long.
Next came decisions about where I would install the dashboard, which would also define the size of the foredeck.
Remember, I’m making this up as I go along.
I positioned a lawn chair on the boat’s floor and tried various spots for where I would sit behind the steering wheel. For some unknown reason, the steering is always on the right in power boats–like England, Japan, and India do with cars.
After deciding where to put the dash I cut out a piece of glued-up ash and glued and screwed it into position. Then I built a framework in front of it to support the foredeck. I wanted to curve the foredeck so it would shed water (rather than dumping water in the captain’s lap). This could not be done with anything thicker than 1/4″ plywood. Now, 1/4″ plywood is pretty thin stuff and not likely to support a middle aged guy with a little extra padding, so I had to use two layers. Amazingly, when you epoxy two layers of curved 1/4″ plywood together you end up with something so stiff it feels like concrete. Getting it to curve in the first place was very difficult, involving lots of clamps and screws, stainless steel of course. Next up: floatation foam in under the floor. Then I’ll start dealing with the daunting mechanical and electrical systems. Stay tuned.