At the Boatsmith shop we work 6 days a week, so today we made lots of progress on finishing the fillets in the keel and at the bulkhead to hullside joints and laminated most of the fiberglass reinforcement that is required inside the keel. At this stage of the construction of a stitch and glue composite boat you can't see much difference despite the amount of work being done, but it is critical to get this part right because the structural integrity of the hulls depend on it.
In the photos below a second layer of filleting blend is being applied after the intial fillets of yesterday have been sanded and cleaned with denatured alcohol. Here Tomas is finishing a bulkhead fillet below the main cabin bunk.
In the bow and stern compartments large fillets are necessary to fill and fair the deep recesses on either side of the stem and sternpost.
The fabric we use for reinforcing the keel interior is a biaxial double bias fiberglass that lends great strength to critical joints such as this.
End of the day on Saturday afternoon. We are now ten days into the build. Scott Williams will be heading back to Mississippi tomorrow after spending four days with us doing the work he loves best - building a Wharram catamaran. But he's got a Tiki 26 to complete for himself and with new inspiration, can't wait to get back to work on it. For the last four days we've had eight guys on the project, including Scott and myself. In the upcoming weeks a crew of at least four will continue on the project, with assistance from the others when they are not tied up on other projects.