Keel Pre Stitching

Laying the Keel

After just over a year of building, the keel will finally get laid. My spars are completely finished and many smaller steps are complete much earlier than in the manual sequence. So I’m hoping all of that will pay off in less crawling around in cramped spaces, etc.

My oldest daughter helped me place the keel in the cradle. The keel was too wide to fit in either the bow or the stern cradle slots and so those slots had to be opened up a bit with a rasp. The stern slot was the most stubborn. This process was a trial and error kind of thing as we had to keep lifting the keel out, rasp a little, and try again until we got it right.

At this point, the trunk is already fully varnished. You can see the top of the trunk masked off for gluing cleats, which I will do before I stitch in the hull bottoms.

Picking up a tip from another blog, I’ve stapled plastic onto the cradle arms in case epoxy were to somehow find its way there and glue the hull sides to the arms. I can’t imagine much chance of this but maybe squeeze out at the hull panel joints?

The casters mounted to the bottom of the cradle have already proven worth the extra cost.

Trunk Cleats

Before gluing on the trunk cleats I stained them to match the upper cleat and doubler on Bulkhead #2 and slapped on two coats of epoxy. I also cut notches where the sheave bolt will go in order to accommodate a washer and a socket wrench.


I need to varnish the trunk cleats and start stitching up hull bottoms, floors, and bulkheads.

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