Keel Pre Stitching Uncategorized

Keel – Aft Cap / Keelson

The manual illustrates placing a piece of wood on top of the aft section of the keel and then tracing the shape from the underside. I guess you would then make a bunch of 1/4″ marks to the inside of those lines and join those marks up to make your cut lines. All this to create a cap piece that fits snug and flush into that 1/2″ space at the top of the aft cavity.

I was worried about building the cap this way because my keel sides had some bow in them after glueup. If I used the tracing method, all I would do is retain that bow all the way down the back of the keel. My understanding is that this cap piece should also serve to help the keel sides conform to a smooth taper from the back of the centerboard trunk to aft end of the keel.

I know the beginning and end dimensions of the taper, so I could have simply made those marks and used a long straightedge to draw the pattern. But since I’m a kit builder I already have a template for that taper. I used it to trim the bottom blocking for the keel. The template is an inch or so short but it’s nothing to simply extend the lines. I used this method.

I didn’t have any 1/2″ thick scrap so I laminated two 1/4″ pieces. I have kept all of the plywood scrap left over from cutting out my kit and all of that has come in very handy from time to time. After curing, I simply traced my taper pattern and cut out with a circle saw. After cutting I did need to take a plane and shave down some places along the length in order to make a good fit. And before installing I brushed a couple coats of unthickened epoxy on the underside of the cap.

Since the cap wasn’t traced to my imperfect keel it took a little banging with a mallet to get the cap set, but it did serve to take out what little bow I was seeing in my keel sides.

Next I glued down the keelson. Uneventful.


The wilderness…

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