The forward bulkhead removed on our B&B Yacht Designs Lapwing 16. Removing this bulkhead was one of the major changes to the supplied plans.This month seems to have slipped away, with only minimal progress on my boat, but looking back, there has still been quite a bit achieved.

I’ve extended the buoyancy chambers further forward, to meet the hull, cleaned up some of the inside of the hull, and I’ve also installed the inwales and dry fitted the gunwales.

Firstly, the spacer blocks were cut and glued in place using spring clamps made from a couple of pieces of PVC tubing I had tucked away against the day when it would come in handy.

Once the blocks had been cleaned up and the epoxy had cured, the Hoop Pine inwales had to be fitted. Each inwale was made of two thinner pieces of timber, which made it easier to follow the curve of the bow into the stem. After a few days clamped in place I took them off again, applied epoxy to each block, and glued the first of the strips onto the blocks, clamping them in place until they had dried. Then, a series of screw were added, to further hold the inwales to the blocks. Finally, epoxy was applied along the length of the first strip, and the second strip of the inwales were clamped in place and cleaned up.

Whilst the inwales were drying, I was able to start adding the framing timbers to the aft bulkhead.

The gunwale is made of a Eucalypt species, which should look great once treated with Deks Olje. Again, the timbers were cut to form two thin laminates and shaped to meet the false stem and the transom. To make the strips long enough, I made a jig that the strips could be clamped to and then run through my table saw, to cut a 10:1 scarf joint. There was a fair bit of experimenting, and some false starts before getting this right, but the results are great!

It took a couple of weekends to fit the gunwales to my satisfaction, and after a few days of clamping I drilled and countersunk, and screwed the gunwales into place. Later this month I’ll take them off again, and glue the strips together, with a strip of plastic stopping any excess glue securing the strips to the boat. I’m planning on bedding the gunwales in a caulking compound, so that by removing the screws I will be able to take the gunwales off to repair or replace them at some point in the future.

With temperatures dropping, it was time to make a box to keep my epoxy warm. A large plastic container, and some core flute board worked well, and a 7 watt light bulb seems to be enough to keep the epoxy at around 15C.

My work’s been keeping me rather busy at present, so I didn’t get as far this month as I would have liked, but at least this does give me plenty of time to think through problems and come up with potential solutions, and I have to say that I am really enjoying the challenges that this boat keeps throwing at me…