Saturday, December 3, 2016

Pulling the Argie 15 Hull Together

Our new Argie 15 is coming along nicely. Kevin Agee is building it in his garage, shared with the Inlet Runner prototype that he built two years ago.

The hull has a bottom panel and two side panels each side. Assembly starts by joining the lower side panels to the bottom panel and to each other at the bow. This is a stitch-&-glue boat, so the panels are joined with plastic electrical ties threaded through paired holes.
The port lower side panel has been joined to the bottom panel. The ties are left a little loose at this stage, to allow fine-tuning when all panels are together.
Both lower side panels have been fitted and the port upper side panel is going on..
Bottom and sides all connected with electrical ties. The lines that are visible along the upper side panels mark where the stringer will be that supports the side seats. At this stage the hull panels are setting the shape of the hull. When the transom and bulkheads are installed they will reshape the hull to the intended shape. The grey patches on the panels are where the panels have been joined into single lengths with jigsaw joints.
Next step is to fit the transom. There may be a bit of excess length on the side panels, some projecting aft of others. Dry-fit the transom with the bottom edge aligned with the end of the bottom panel and the sides aligned for a "best fit" situation. You will need to press the transom down into the hull so that it presses the aft end of the bottom panel into a slight V-shape locally and the corners of the transom fit into the chines (joints between the panels). The hull panels are then marked along the outer face of the transom to show where they must be trimmed to fit flush with the transom.
Dry-fitting the transom into the hull panels, tied in place for marking the panels for trimming to an exact fit, if needed.
Next the transom is removed from the hull and the panels trimmed along the lines that were drawn. Then the transom is fitted back into position and permanently tied with electrical ties. Now is a good time to check the hull, to make sure that it is straight, not twisted out of shape, comparing the two sides of the hull by sighting over the top of the transom. If out-of-true it can be adjusted now, before tightening the ties.
Panels all tied together and tightened once the hull is straight. Some of these ties are copper wire, where it was found that a bit more tension was needed than electrical ties could provide without breaking.
Installing the bulkheads is next, in positions described in the building instructions.
Bulkheads (seat fronts) secured in position. The planks are temporary stiffeners to keep the plywood straight. 
Our Argie 15 is now starting to look like a nice boat. My next update will be bonding the various panels together permanently.

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