Rail (ing) against the Hull

After the shell is filleted and glassed (interior), rails are added to the exterior. Two strips of hardwood are glued against the shear line of the hull (upper edge, when she is sitting in the water). The hardwood goes on in two strips so it can be bent without breaking which is a good thing because the strips are both bent and twisted. There’s a lot a tension stored up in this railing, tension that it transferred to my nerves later in the project. Applying a saw to wood under tension can be a very musical event.

Rail Per Instructions

Second strip, starboard rail, clamped
Second strip, starboard rail, clamped

The instructions suggest that it is a two person job, and that you should you lather up both rails at the same time and glue them in place. They also suggest that you use spring clamps only (In fairness this is a suggestion). I found that in the case of the starboard (right) rail that I needed to use C-clamps near the bow to handle the twist .

Starboard Rail, unclamped
Starboard Rail, unclamped

Also, since my helper wasn’t available at the time (he was in the middle of debugging some code … something I never like being interrupted in the middle of), I tackled this job alone. Like all things of this sort, I did a trial assembly. What a challenge (the case of two strips at one time) even when there was no slippery slimy epoxy in the mix. It might have been easier if the space wasn’t so restricted and needs must.

Instructional Deviation

Starboard Rail, Trimmed with corner reinforcement
Starboard Rail, Trimmed with corner reinforcement

So here I deviated from instruction and laid up each rail in turn, waited for it to cure, then glued up it’s partner. A much longer process but much less stressful.

After the rails are glued in place, corner reinforcements (that double as hand grips) are added.

The final stage is to trim, round corners and scrap away the epoxy drips that hid behind the clamps. The instructions suggest that you go overboard keeping the drips under control after you clamp. Very good advice, with cabinet scraper, block plane, and sander the cleanup was straightforward.