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Hitia 17 Update

Quick update on the Hitia 17 build:

On Saturday I started the cross beams by cutting out the plywood for the “webbing”, the butt blocks and the compression blocks. I glued it all together and used a pnuematic finishing nailer to nail the pieces together. I continued the beams on Sunday by glueing on the top piece (3/4 X 3 1/4″ lumber) and clamping and nailing this on. The plans call for a lot more copper stitches and I’m sure I’ll pay for my laziness later, but the nailer is so much faster. I have a cheap Craftsman nailer/compressor kit, and I finally upgraded the air hose to a 50′ hose so now I can work much more easily. I don’t have to drag the compressor around due to the 3 foot hose it came with. I think I can probably have the ¬† beams finished next weekend.

For the hulls, I finished the bulk head/ keel fillets, then put in the fiber glass tape. Another builder pressed the fiberglass cloth into the fillets before they dried and that might have worked pretty well. Mine were hard and it was a bit harder to press the fabric in. I ended up just dipping the fabric into epoxy and draping that into the hulls. Worked pretty well. Won’t work with the big pieces of cloth though. Something to watch out for is that the fillet mixture can end up like thorns in places. Once such place was in the handles!

I fit the decks. Doing so required me to clean up the fillets in the post areas and handles, which ¬†wasn’t too hard with the belt sander. I had to use a file to get inside the handles. For faster progress, I used a chisel to remove some of the material. This is an area that more care during the application might have resulted in less cleanup, but it is what it is.

I had to loft and cut the front decks out as I somehow cut them wrong before. Thankfully I had purchased an extra sheet of plywood so this wasn’t too big a problem. The front decks were fit. I trimmed the cockpit floors.

One problem I have is that I”m running low on epoxy! I thought that a C size should have lasted but it did not. So I had to order more. I hope a gallon is enough. To save money I’ve decided not to epoxy seal the insides of the decks and floors. I’m going to use a fence and deck stain on it. Ive read a bit online and feel that this should be ok. It is 1/5 the price of epoxy, less mess and faster so I’ll coat the rest of the interior parts, since everything is above the waterline and unlikely to get too wet.

Next weekend, I will try to finish the crossbeams, attach the decks and floors, and possibly start on mast assembly. I would like to start on the coamings and hatches as well but we will see how long it takes. No photo this weekend, but maybe I’ll put one up this week.

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