Friday, July 18, 2008

Progress of sorts

The larger the boat, the larger the infrastructure required to work on it.

I've been splitting my time between actual boat work and improving the working conditions... and sometimes these two dovetail nicely. Today I tore off part of the deck that covered the chainplates (chainplates are heavily built stainless plates used to anchor the wires that hold up the mast). These are bolted to bulkheads using eight 1/2 inch steel bolts (each) through two plates about 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick (each) with the bulkhead sandwiched in the middle (2 inches of marine plywood). They're really strong, 'cause they have to be.

So I took some structural steel I bought at the local scrapyard and bolted through the chainplates. They are the vertical beams in this photo. These will hold up the shadecloth and provide attachment points for cranes used to A) lift materials onto the boat B) move stuff around once it's up on the boat and C) maybe support a corrugated steel roof if the shadecloth doesn't give me enough protection from the sun. I should mention the top edge of the hull is about 12 feet off the ground. It requires 2 shadecloths to cover it- each one is 16 feet wide by 24 feet long. The blue tarp over the workbench area is 20x10 feet. I still have another steel scaffold to build, and will split my time up on that project too.

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