Still topping.

Epoxy screed

Epoxy screed

It is funny how I cannot give up being anxious over this hull bottom. If I were to sit with a psychiatrist I am sure they would diagnose some sort of obsession mixed with fear of completion. I am rationalising it by arguing the boat will never be upside down again…


I expect the last thing you want to be going is working on it lying on your back, cursing the past when it was all at an arms length, waist level.

The other thing I am wrestling with is those little wicked creatures that sit on your shoulder and whisper in your ear, suggesting this or that.

My particular creatures come from the sail boat racing world, where speed is everything. The creatures are echoing my old racing friends criticising my choice of boat, questioning the rig….will it go to wind…blah blah blah.

I distinctly remember how impressed my friends were at a crew spending the morning before a race, wet sanding the boat for that extra speed. How dull. I recall discussions of re-fairing a hull for the next season (further cringing). I do not know why this bothers me.

So it is fair-ish. As you can see in the photo, I have screeded it. I used a builders trowel and epoxy thickened with micro-baloons to a fluffy-sloppy consistency. You will notice the wood showing in places, suggesting I have done some degree of levelling.
It still looks lumpy to my eye.

I asked Sensai Ayliffe for his opinion, and he gave me the “…but grass hopper, are you happy?” line. Exasperating.

He did suggest I lob off the forefoot and replace it with an epoxy-made sacrificial one. Which to my reasoning seems much easier than studying the fairness issue. So I bolted after this distraction.

Mould for sacrificial forefoot

Mould for sacrificial forefoot

Bow details

Bow details – how cool!

About paulatkins

I own a 3rd generation family businss printing for lovers of photography. My favourite hobby is building and sailing wooden boats.
This entry was posted in Epoxy, NIS, norwalk island sharpie, Robert Ayliffe. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Still topping.

  1. Peter says:

    nice work, Paul. I’m curious about Sensei Ayliffe’s explanation about the need for the “sacrificial’ epoxy forefoot as I haven’t seen it before. Is it similar to the idea of having one on the bottom corner of the centreboard to prevent water ingress over time? Peter (Nispete)

  2. paulatkins says:

    I believe so Peter, I will be adding some chopped up fibreglass to beef up the stew. Essentially it is to prevent the ingress from a blow. Which I expect to make.

  3. Looks pretty fair to me. Beware the dreaded perfectionism! Of course, I am a catboat sailor. The hull could be made of hand blown glass and polished with Crisco grease and I’m still only going 4-5kts. The mold for the forefoot looks like fun although I probably would have just thrown some Dynel with graphite epoxy on the forefoot. Seems to me that replacing a sacrificial epoxy forefoot will not be any easier than replacing the wood one.

    • paulatkins says:

      Good points there!

      I am with you when questioning my potential OCD over the hull…I am hoping to push past it shortly.

      As far as the forefoot, I think it is more about water ingress if it is damaged and I don’t notice it, the wicking into the ends of the ply can be insidious.

      Thanks for your thoughts Jed.

  4. I think its a nice work, anybody can understand, to see the self experience of paulatkins works.

  5. Devilcorp says:

    Great blog! Well done.

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