Kemosabe, a 21′ Bristol Harbor, was pinned under a dock during hurricane Sandy, hungup by her t-top that stood no chance of escape once the tides came up with a vengeance. The soft top and the frame pipes were totaled when all was said and done. The hull was spared. The engine never went under. And that is cool. That is where this story begins.
Kemosabe Hardtop, part 1:
We first made a mold- and then a paper template. We measured everything a hundred times and plotted our materials exactly to minimize added material costs or product waste wherever we could help it. Once our mold and paper templates were complete, we plotted our three sheets of core material. Filling the final corner as you will see in the pictures was a jigsaw puzzle for a jigsaw puzzle genius as we had minimum supply in various cut shapes to work with by the time we got to this last section.
With core material in place and edges cut to clean radius, we taped up the seems to hold everything in place and went on to complete two layers of glass/epoxy before flipping the project over for the first time. Note on taping the core seems. In the pictures above wherever you see dark strips of tape holding the core seems in place, know you are looking at temporary tape solution that we replaced with clear drywall tape solution before we laid glass and epoxy directly on top of the core with drywall tape without any problems. The drywall tape solution worked very well.
On to the underside: The underside prep required structural cuts and added reinforcement blocks as first order of business. We cut the channel you see down the middle first. This is for electrical wires we will snake through later on. We added structural blocks of wood to wherever we knew we would be drilling into down the road to securely attached the top to the pipework. With the electrical channel hallowed out and the wood blocks secured in place (Thixo!) we were ready to glass our underside with two layers of glass and totalboat epoxy, two layers of epoxy on underside just like we did on the top.
Will be lots of fairing compound and sanding to come… sand, baby, sand.