I'm smiling as I read your post. With your attention to minutia/detail my first guess was that you are an engineer of some sort. A good friend of mine is a retired mechanical engineer and he helps me set up art displays at our local village center. Just hanging a picture is a challenge to be undertaken. Sounds like you have your punch list all laid out. We'll be following your progress. In all my restorations the thought of weight never entered my mind. I like the aesthetics, and designs of the older classic boats. To incorporate your structural ideas along with the uniqueness of the boat itself is a combination hard to beat. Now you have me thinking if the designers in 50's and early 60's really knew that there was enough volume in the sealed chambers under seats and bow areas to keep not only the boat afloat but the boat and motor. Then again, that's what life jackets are for:)
Keep on truckin'
I'm pragmatic, see a problem, fix it so it works and then come back later to clean up the mess.
The anal part...Funny you should use that expression. We'd make a good combo. I spent 38 years of my career as a master tech in a paper mill, I ran the huge building size machines that make toilet paper. Now that's something you cannot do without unless you grow corn.
Continuing the removal of the flanges at the deck to hull joint, short sections were ground away and bonding strips were epoxied in place. Then the remaining flanges were cut away and bonding strips were added to form a continuous, watertight seal on the outside of the joint. Then the edges of the strips were ground flat and filler material was added to create a smooth, fair surface between the deck and hull. At the bow, the hull form did not extend as far forward as the deck form so filler material was added to shape the front of the hull to match the deck, resulting in a better surface to mount the rub rail. The white filler material is a mix of epoxy resin and microballoons. This mix produces a density that is less than water, so, even though it adds weight, it aids the overall flotation.
Epoxy/microballoon filler used to fair the deck/hull joint after bonding with fiberglass strips.
Filler material used to match the bow hull profile to that of the deck.
While working on the deck/hull joint, fairing of the foredeck was also started. The factory surface was very wavy. With the underdeck reinforcement and flotation material, the foredeck was now very stable and any fairing work should result in a smooth surface. While working on the foredeck three bulges were discovered where the reinforcing strips and foam had not produced a good bond to the underside of the fiberglass deck. These were ground out, filled with fiberglass cloth, and epoxied over.
Filler material used to fair the foredeck surfaces.
While working on fairing the foredeck, work was also started on fairing the tonneau covers. Again, the foam flotation under the covers helps to stiffen the fiberglass surface, resulting in a stable base for the filler.
It was noted that the radii between the deck surfaces and the side surfaces aft of the windshield had some variation in their sizes. To make all the radii uniform, a pair of simple templates was created that were typical of the more prevalent largest radii. Then any that were smaller were sanded to match the templates and any that were even larger were filled to the size required to match the templates. On some of the radii that were sanded, the sanding broke through the original fiberglass skin. These areas will be filled with a layer of fiberglass cloth, resined in place, under the outer skin.
Deck radii templates with the deck to outer hull closest.
Deck radii templates with the deck to inner wall closest.
Some areas that required filler material were either quite thick or were on vertical surfaces. The mixture of resin and microballoons worked well on thinner fill areas but it was felt that thicker areas needed some extra strength. Also, the resin microballoon mixture tended to run downhill on sloped or vertical surfaces, even when it was mixed to a high viscosity.
A new recipe was created to address these issues. It consisted of the resin with microballoons added to keep it less dense. Then chopped fiberglass cloth was added to the mixture to give it additional strength and keep it from moving down sloped or vertical surfaces. This new recipe worked very well on the deck and transom areas that needed additional filler.
The ingredients of the new recipe with the microballoon pile on the left, the fiberglass strands in the center and the completed mix on the right. The mix is light and strong.