The above shot was taken on March 19, 2003 and shows the clear spruce fantail grating and the aluminum sub-deck awaiting wooden planking. I am planning to use Chinese White Birch planks, 7" x 7/32" and 3/64" thick. The next time you are sitting back, stirring a Starbuck's coffee with one of those long wooden sticks, think of my deck!
Below the first coats of paint have been applied to the hull. I was very pleased to see a hint of the plating showing through, looking not unlike the exposed underbellies of freighters and tankers that I see after they have unloaded their cargoes here on this island. The four-inch propeller is made from stainless steel and has been coated to eliminate the unatural bright metal appearance more than likely unknown to a vessel of this type and vintage.
Nearly fifty aluminum plates comprise the hull, flush-rivitted to each other without internal frames. Each plate was annealed by flame heating to allow forming into the shapes required by my hull design. Most of the longitudinal joints are overlapped, except in the tricky area forward of the prop and below the shaft, where backplates are employed. A stopwater made of old-fashioned cloth friction tape is used between all lap joints. A non-drying gray putty and Polyurethane caulking completes the job.
The next two shots show lots of the bare .051" thick aluminum which makes up most of the boat.
This revealing image above shows the vessel in its birthday suit prior to the addition of the rubrail, cap rails, bulwark supports, caulking and several coatings of water-based silicone enamel.
The total displacement will be sixty pounds. At this point, the deck and deckhouse structure weigh about seven pounds while the hull tips the scales at ten. The steam plant has a dry weight of twenty-three pounds. The water and fuel capacity amount to about five additional pounds. My arithmetic suggests that leaves fifteen pounds for keel ballast, condensate tank, battery and radio control components.
I am really glad I took a few minutes to set the following shot up, for at the time all I wanted to do was get that last empty space filled in! (little did I know it would become a month's work) To fully comprehend the picture you may need to see the steam plant separately. It appears elswhere on the site, but I will include it again below this shot for reference.
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