There is a finality to the epoxy stage of construction. On the one hand the sticky stuff can cover of a multitude of sins (mostly of error but also of omission). On the other hand it can’t be reversed. Working with wood one can always unscrew, plane down, splice in, cut the ties, re-cut and generally start over from the point where the mistake was made. Once the epoxy is introduced things are set, if not in stone, at least in plastic. This is the last real chance to make adjustments to the fit and leveling and squaring up.
A few last-minute tweaks were necessary. I was very pleased with myself yesterday for forcing the floor up to meet the centre thwart by using brute strength. However it ruined the flat run of the keel and introduced a hogging effect to the boat. I had to release the cable ties and live with a gap between the floor and the thwart which will be filled using skillfully inserted popsicle sticks and tongue depressors which will be buried in epoxy and invisible. There are also a couple of mis-alignments between the planks which had to be forced into place by screwing into bridging blocks. By using washers on the wood screws the offending planks were pulled into position. Once the epoxy has set then the blocks can be removed, the hole filled and the fibreglass tape laid along the seam.
Step one is to tab in the panels by epoxying the seams between the cable ties. I like to work with small batches and a half yogurt container is good for about one seam, especially if thickened to the consistency of peanut butter. With glop this thick the drip through the seams and drill holes is eliminated although I did use duct tape on a couple of the more gaping joins. For once I ended up with more epoxy on the boat than on myself.
This is just the beginning and to some extent is the easy part. The bulkheads and bow and stern have to be tabbed in. The cable ties snipped and the tabbing completed. Then the fibreglass has to be laid along the seams to give full strength. After that – turn the boat over and do it all again.