Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cooler Phase 3: Glass

After I finished glassing all the panels I installed them in the boat again, foamed, caulked, filleted, and taped the seams. The seams were taped first with 1 layer of 6" 1708 biaxial tape, then with 6" 6 Oz cloth tape. I also added rails (made of fir chamfered to allow the glass to lay over and attached to the panels with thickened resin and overglassed with 6" cloth) to support 2 shelves and stops to support one longitudinal divider (longitudinal relative to the boat). The shelves and divider will be removable and will provide for air circulation in the cooler. They will greatly increase its utility by providing more 'usable' space. Here are some shots with the panels installed, seams taped, shelves and divider. I know they look kind of bad but don't worry this will all clean up and look nice in the end.
Looking outboard. You can see the shelf racks and divider stops on the fore and aft transverse bulkheads.
Looking down. Here you can see both shelf rails and both sets of longitudinal divider stops. Hopefully everything will line up right (if my measurements were good...)
Looking inboard. Again, you can see the shelf racks. You can also see the drain hole in the lower left. Drain fitting won't get installed until I'm done with the sanding, fairing, and gelcoat.
Looking forward. Here you get a pretty good view of the rails and divider stops.
Looking aft. Here again you get a reasonably good view of the shelf rails and divider stops.

I did all this work in the AM before going to work. Then I left work early to apply a coat of gelcoat to the interior with the goal of sanding and re-gelcoating before dark tonight. Here are some shots after application of the gelcoat:
Looking down. Drain in the lower left.
Looking outboard.

Also, I have been working on the cooler top which I insulated with 1.5" thick material. This I attached to the top using thickened resin and I also applied structural glass to the top surface of the insulation to increase its stiffness because the cooler lid will rest directly on the insulation. The cooler lid is the door from the old system which I am planning to re-use (why not?). I cut out the wood cutout so that the hatch will just fit inside the hole in the wood and rests on the top surface of the fiberglass. I applied unidirectional glass cloth to the top surface in the interest of maximally increasing stiffness of that side. Over the uni I will apply cloth. To the bottom I applied woven roving (I have run out of 1708 cloth and don't want to wait to get more) which is pretty burly. Over the roving I applied 10 Oz cloth and 6 Oz tape. the glass is run over the edges and onto the bottom surface of the top. Here are some pix:
The top side of the top. You can see the line on the left corner is where the electrical panel lines up and the studs there are for securing the panel to the cooler top. They are actually bolts which are tightened with nuts on the top side. Butterfly nuts are used for easy installation and removal of the panel.
This is what the bottom side of the cooler top looks like. Here you can see the insulation and on the right you can see the heads of the bolts that form the studs for the panel attachment.
A close up of the bottom of the cooler top after gelcoating. I left the inside edges of the insulation un-gelcoated because I am going to apply more glass cloth there (had trouble getting it to adhere before...hopefully I can fix that tonight...).
Another shot of the bottom side of the cooler top after gelcoating. This is the first of at least 2 coats of gelcoat.


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