July 25, 2010.
We spent the weekend working on the hard dodger. On Saturday we spent some time sanding the seam overlaps on the fiberglass covering. The outside is ready to have the fairing compound applied while the inside is ready for final paint.
It was at this point that we decided to cut the holes for the windows. While I held each piece of glass in its assigned spot Christy traced the outline onto the dodger. Then I used the circular saw when possible and the jigsaw when necessary to cut the panels out. After a bit of sanding, Christy mixed up a small amount of resin and painted it
on the exposed edges of the openings in an effort to seal the wood.
While we waited for the resin to dry we set about whittling up a few frames for the windows. After a little trial and error about exactly what tools and techniques we should be using things started to come together for us. By the time we went home on Saturday afternoon we had the 2 largest windows mocked up and resting in place. We got home just in time to head out for a bite with the crew of the Fine Lion, Kim & Steve.
On Sunday I headed out early while Christy did boat chores before heading over to a nearby pool. I refined my manufacturing technique and was pleased to find that I could fabricate and fit an entire frame in less than an hour a piece.
All the windows now have frames. All of the openings are sized correctly so I wrapped the windows up and put them away until we’re ready for final assembly on the boat.
It was time for me to start experimenting with the fairing compound and its application. I’ve used the West System Epoxy System enough that I’m comfortable with it. The fairing compound is new to me though. I consulted with a few self proclaimed experts with answers coming from every point of the compass. The official directions are semi vague and use phrases like “Do not use in areas subject to high heat”. What exactly does “high heat” mean? The engine room? The top of my dodger under the broiling Caribbean sun? The actual surface of the sun? They also use terms like “peanut butter consistency”. Which peanut butter, Skippy or Sears? How about giving me something radical like MEASUREMENTS….. On the bright side, I figured that if they could be so random with their instructions, it must not be too difficult. So I mixed up a batch of Skippy and smeared it as evenly as I could across a small section of the dodger. Tomorrow after its dry I’ll whack it with the sander and see how it goes.