Centerboard Case

While I was building the hull, I also fiberglassed the centerboard trunk. It’s a good idea to try and keep smaller projects going that can use up leftover epoxy from bigger jobs.

Next I epoxied on the case logs to the side pieces.

And finally I epoxied the two sides together to make the centerboard case. I made a long spatula with a nice radius at the top so I could put a fillet of epoxy at the edges. Should make the joints stronger, but more importantly watertight. This is an area on the boat that I don’t want to have to try and repair.

Cutting the hole for the centerboard case was the most nerve wracking step so far. My chalk line was still visible from when I made the bottom panel, so I used that as the centerline of the boat. I marked out two squares along the centerline that will accept the protruding head ledges of the centerboard case.

Then I cut the holes out with an oscillating saw. I had to use a grinding attachment to clean up the holes and bring them to size.

Success! The centerboard case fits in and appears to be parallel with the centerline as best I could measure.

Next I epoxied in the centerboard case and half bulkhead with thickened epoxy and 4″ 12oz tape. This really locks it in position and stiffens the bottom panel.

I flipped the boat over and then used a straight edge to connect the two head ledges. This gives me the size of the slot to cut out.

I drilled a hole at either end and jig sawed out most of the waste. I made sure to stay well within the lines so the blade wouldn’t damage the layer of fiberglass inside the case.

Then I followed it up with a trim router and a flush cut bit to make a nice neat slot for the centerboard.

Skipping ahead a bit, I started cutting out the pieces for the cap.

I simply glued these together with thickened epoxy. I put a trash bag underneath so any drips wouldn’t glue it to the boat.

Finally I drilled and countersunk a bunch of holes to screw it down. The glue joints don’t need to be particularly strong since this piece will rarely be taken off and there’s no load on it.

 

Later I welded up a catch and protective pad from 316 stainless steel to hold the board in the up position. Previously I looped the line on the handle around the centerboard pivot bolt which was awkward at best.

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