As the weather turns hot, I put away my travel stories and return to the garage. Temperatures rise to the high 80’s just in time to mix another batch of plastic resin glue, open another box of stainless steel screws, and attach the four bottom panels to the keel. I begin mid morning and, by the mid afternoon, I finally have a three dimensional assembly—and some growing confidence as a boat builder.
The process is best shown in photos. The goal, simply put, is to glue and screw a one by three “capboard” along the top edge of the keel, from stem to stern. On this, the four bottom panels are then attached—first the port side, then the starboard side. Again, liberal use of glue and screws assures a strong and watertight bond (or so I hope).
The work presented a few new challenges. Manipulating four large sheets of plywood onto the keel so that they fit together securely was a bit tricky; I spent a long time positioning the boards on the capboard and rummaging around the garage for paint cans and boxes to hold the outer edges of the panels level with the keel. Finally, I needed to cut a short notch in the stem, into which the front panels are secured. This was worrisome in anticipation, but fast and easy in practice; the plywood fit like a glove. As all woodworkers know, this is a very satisfying feeling.