I wish the progress was on the boat itself, but I have been swamped lately and could not work on reinforcing the jig as planned. Good progress was made on the CAD files though with the cabin top, stern, windows and hatch. I just wanted to share this picture:
New Fafnir CAD view
Hamilton Marine had a great deal on a Baier cast aluminum watertight hatch so I jumped on it. You can see it on the image above. The reason I decided to use a hatch is because most of the stories I read about small boats being lost at sea involve a flooded cabin. So I am replacing the original companionway with a commercial grade hatch. The opening is 24″x15″, and yes, most small life-rafts do fit nicely through the opening. I’ll just have to watch my diet!
The windows will come from New Found Metals. I will be using rectangular and round bronze ports. The only problem with using a heavy-duty hatch and windows is the weight above the waterline. Something will have to be done to counter that moment to make sure the boat has no trouble righting itself after a knock-down.
Now I need to build a scarfing jig to scarf the keelson and bottom plate. I must have the keelson and bottom plate on before the end of the month!
I got a slow start on the Fafnir build, though preparation work is quite important. The boat rests on a jig during construction, and that is what I put up yesterday.
I decided to have the boat plans digitized into CAD files. The first step was the jig verticals you can see above. The work is being done by my friend Erin Hood. The panels were cut by my friend Marc at Elite Woodwork in Sarasota. The advantage of having CAD files is that small errors on the plans can be fixed in the 3D model before any wood is cut. The precision of CNC cutting machines is amazing and everything should fit down to the millimeter. Erin and Marc did a great job and if Erin wasn’t familiar with boat building techniques, he certainly is now. I can’t wait to see the first bulkheads cut this way.
Fafnir 3D View
Those files will be made available to Fafnir builders who can prove that they paid for an original set of plans, assuming John Welsford has no objections.
The top of the jig verticals needed to be beveled. I used a file for the bottom of the notches and an electric orbital sander for the top edges. Filing by hand took some time but the sander was really fast, almost too fast for comfort.
My next step is to laminate the keelson in place, then the bottom plate. Making scarf joints will be a pain. I need to build some kind of a jig for my router to cut those planks at an angle. I’ll probably make a video of that, so stay tuned..