HMS Beagle Model Ship Project
Week 36: Ballast, panels, decking (June 13-26, 2011)
Two weeks later... the final push to get the Beagle ready for her maiden voyage. Looks like my "spring or summer" timeline might be Fourth of July weekend if everything works out.
First off, lots of headaches trying to figure out how to attach the fin and seven pound torpedo to the bottom of my keel without increasing its permanent height. So before screwing something into the side of the keel and making some kind of traveling and mounting stand... I decided to give my original idea of using a steel bar for the Beagle's ballast a shot.
I sanded off the six pound steel bar and painted the exposed sides black. Glued it to the bottom of my three inch deep oak keel with marine epoxy. So on my Beagle the top of the bulwarks are 3 1/2 inches above the waterline, the deck and scuppers are 1 1/2 inches above, while the ballast bar is six 1/2 inches below the waterline.
Did a water test and the bow is slightly higher than the stern, which I intended. Maybe it'll work... but no royals or studding sails for me.
Next I cut new access panel covers for the deck. Planked the deck and panels (my third time at it now!) with basswood strips. The panels fit very tight so I put a screweye into each panel to use as a handle for getting them off, which required gluing a small oak piece to the bottom of the panels to sink the screws in properly. Filled up any gaps in the planking with wood glue and then applied a layer of waterproofing varnish over everything. Not the best looking deck in the world, but it'll have to do.
Cut a T-shaped slit in a Rubbermaid container to use for my waterproof box for the receiver and battery. Might regret this later, but for now I'll try using marine epoxy to seal the wires through the hole.
Cut several pieces of Styrofoam that I'll lightly glued inside the hull wherever there is room. Hopefully she can't sink, since my diving skills are marginal at best.
Screwed two screweyes into the jib-boom for the fore-stays and attached it to the bowsprit. The four additional inches of a flying jib-boom will make her too long for the car, so just the jib-boom for now.
Still to be done: Figuring out what kind of stand I'll need for transport. Memorizing the steps for tacking, wearing and what-not... OMG has it really been eight months working on this?!