The construction of the interior started as soon as the hull was rolled over and the bilges painted. It was intertwined with the completion of the shell as some of the external paintwork could not be undertaken in winter due to low ambient temperatures and, in all cases, it is good to have more than one front open on such jobs. Sourcing materials required in one area can be done while effectively working elsewhere.
Building the companionway area was a welcome priority. The engine had just been installed, but could have waited until very late in the build with benefit: a near straight vertical lift through the sliding hatch is possible at any time.
Starting the galley area. The cut-out for the gimballed stove will be finalised in place. The most effective way of cutting neatly through foam-core panels is using a jigsaw with a fine-toothed metal blade. The glass laminate takes its edge off immediately, but a single blade lasted through the entire build.
Sandwich panels that were to be tied into the framing were manufactured and bonded into place.
The starboard saloon side started. Note the painted hull plating in the bottom.
Construction of additional items not in contact with the hull plating was also undertaken.
Conduit was installed to carry some of the wiring into hard to reach locations.
Spraying two-part expanding closed-cell urethane foam to cover the hull plating and framing from the waterline up made a horrific mess of the tidy interior, turning the place into a snow cave.
Digging a way out of there was the appropriate way of looking at it. The foam was progressively trimmed, faired and lightly fibreglassed throughout to form a lining. The best way to attack the foam is using a twist-knot cup wire brush on an angle grinder.
The evil task of shaping and glassing the foam did allow obtaining any shape very easily.
Steady progress was made assembling the interior from composite panels. The use of PVC foam core/E-Glass results in a very light and strong fit-out, but is more costly and labour intensive. The gains in vessel displacement are significant however.
Each piece was produced in the workshop on a flat table. Warped composite panels do stay warped.
The chart table area with a fuel tank in place. Fuel can also be carried in the keel foil, but gravity-feeding the engine makes for a more reliable and dependable installation.
Building up into the hull sides. An accurate construction plan for everything means no time was spent wondering about the layout and hull volume was utilised efficiently.
The port side taking shape.
Aft cabin with bunk base. The aft panel seals the lazarette.
The gimballed stove being fitted in the galley. One shall preferably refrain from cooking the thinners.
Builder standing at the sink late one night – now looking older. Note the inside of the lockers now flow-coated white. At this point, even without deck hatches, the 500-watt floodlight was able to heat the interior noticeably in winter.
Galley with stove and sink. The sink was custom-made out of fibreglass on a mould to obtain a shape that always drains fully, even heeled.
Fairing of the glasswork inside was not too onerous.
A little filling and sanding, basically.
Just a little more…
And some more again, but with the locker doors in place now. All the cut-out pieces were marked and saved. Fitting piano hinges to composite panels is one of my favourite tasks. There were forty-seven of them throughout.
Only a little more in the forepeak. Having a workbench in an ocean-cruising yacht is great and the forepeak is no place for sleeping quarters.
Epoxy undercoat… sprayed and then finely sanded. A good ducted extraction fan is essential for spraying inside.
And two-pack semi-matt polyurethane topcoat: one 18-hour shift with the spray gun, forepeak excluded. It is a matter of strategy to progress from the far surfaces towards the centre, apply two coats everywhere and leave the scene unnoticed: without dragging the air hose onto anything freshly painted.
Plumbing work started. One foot pump for fresh water and one for sea water at the galley: simplicity, dependability and effectiveness.
Doors and catches were fitted. The stove is there to stay this time and now I could even make a cup of tea on board.
Table tops were covered with veneers and varnished with two-pack polyurethane. A false panel at the chart table will provide space for wiring behind.
Change of trade: hardwood trims were machined, epoxy-glued into place and later varnished.
The saloon table top under construction. The base panel is foam core and fiberglass for lightness, but will look like solid timber once finished. The corner pieces were all turned on a lathe.
Extensive use was made of a powerful router and jigs for the woodwork. I like wood dust just slightly less than filler dust: very little. I find hardwood dust – in particular – to be a more effective irritant.
Grab rail along the saloon table.
More wooden handrails… those were curved and marked in place.
Finished saloon table. The composite floorboards also made a welcome difference inside.
Finished handrail and window trim. All roof windows were double-glazed. The hard, washable, textured finish on the deck head was achieved using a thick industrial epoxy coating and a simple roller.
Finished composite floorboards: a synthetic non-slip flooring material rated for use in hospital showers was used. Note the cabin diesel heater under construction, the outer heatshield is still missing.
The cabin heater, finished here, was specially conceived to operate in the insulated volume of the boat. It features a smaller burner and higher efficiency than commercial models, leading to lower consumption. Most of the heat generated flows out of the gap between the fire box and the heatshield as hot air, rather than radiating from dangerously hot surfaces.
The aft cabins lining was doubled with thick EVA foam sheet glued in and later covered with a synthetic carpet.