2 January 2008

Here are a few progress photos from my Francis Drake (C-flex) project, specifically the beginnings of the cabin structure.

Because the engine in this design is amidships, I felt the engine needed to be installed prior to beginning work on the cabin structure.

I chose to vary from the plans a little by deciding to build the cabin structure from C-flex, a material that I grew fond of during the hull construction. Here you see the temporary structure covered with plastic sheeting (to keep the C-flex from sticking) and the beginning of the C-flex installation.

Here the C-flex is being wet-out with resin. The ‘void’ in the foreground is where the hatch will be, so I wasn’t particular about making this “pretty” since it will be cut out at a later date.

The C-flex was covered with a layer of 10 oz cloth, a layer of 5 oz Kevlar, then a second layer of 10 oz cloth. Clearly Kevlar wasn’t specified in the plans, but I got a ‘steal’ from ebay and decided to use a portion of my stock in this application. From here, I’ll fit / attach the end-grain balsa core (one sheet shown), strategically place solid wood ‘pads’ in areas where attachments will be, layer several 18 0z woven roving (or similar) over this, then fair and paint.

Using the patterns from the full-size plans, I cut the (temporary) ‘frames’ from cheap chip-board, notched to accept the longitudinal stringers. Over this I stapled thin ‘rib-band’ battens such that each ‘grid’ measured about 12” x 12”.