Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wingnet tubing rails

I chose to use actual fiberglass tubing for my wingnet rails, instead of PVC.   Partly this is because I am worried about the weight of the boat (PVC tubing requires an extra layer of glass), and partly because the rails built from PVC-tube have always struck me as slightly "fat" looking - I was able to use 5/8" ID glass tubing with 1/16" wall thickness.    Ian had previously approved the joining together of smaller (4' long) glass tubing for this application; so I built a small jig to align the tubes and made the joins with 6oz cloth tape (since it was thinner and I was worried about bulges....but one join broke during installation and had to be redone):

I did not obsess on precise placement of the tubing; I used screws to hold the tubing against the boat (thought this would be hard, it wasn't), eyeballed it a bit and made some minor adjustments, and then called it good:

Initial bogging to allow removal of the screws:

Fillet buildup of one of the rails:

Poor-man's vacuum bagging was done on all four rails: 

With two-three layers of glass in spots (due to overlaps, etc) the laminate wanted to lift quite a bit - I suggest being conservative with the fillet radius.   Real vacuum bagging would have been useful here if I felt like taking the time to do it, but instead I just baby-sat the laminate keeping the glass in position until the fillet material started to take hold.   I still had some bubbles that required injecting with thickened epoxy, but nothing too bad.  End result after cleaning up excess tubing looks pretty good:

Glad to have this behind me... :-)

Happy to report that all beam mount exteriors are completely glassed as well.   I have started fairing the cabin sides to prepare for window cutouts, using the notched-trowel method.   Finally, I am also working on an outboard engine mount.   More details soon...

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