turning the hull

It sure has been awhile since my last update on the VG23 build. Putting a positive spin on my neglect, that should mean this won’t just be a “more sanding” report…

After installing the cockpit gunwales I began the process of dismantling the basket mold that had support the hull during the assembly process. As I was doing so I recycled a number of the 2×4’s to build a supporting frame ‘box’ in which I planned to roll the hull. By adding a number of supporting members I hoped to prevent any shifting during the turning process.

I’m fortunate enough to have plenty of space in the hayloft so rather than turning the hull in place I was able to ’simply’ roll in on to the starboard side. To do the heavy lifting we ran a line from the newly constructed frame through a pulley hung in the peak of the roof of the hayloft and out the window to a tractor on the ground. For safe measure I strategically placed a few haybales to act as cushions in case we set things down to quickly (or worse yet, something let go). After a few false starts the hull was eventually sitting on her side and I was grinning from ear to ear. I’ll tell you, with a beam of 8 1/2 feet the VG23 was looking mighty imposing resting there.

At this point I had a decision to make. Installing the centerboard trunk would be easiest with the hull on it’s side but first I needed to laminate a second layer of ply to the hull’s bottom. In the end I decided to go ahead and complete the roll – it would need to be keel up to complete the fibreglassing of the hull anyhow.

I’d attached a set of coasters to the starboard side of the frame box prior to turning the hull so we were able to ‘wheel’ it back over to the side of the hayloft. Again we attached the line that ran out the hayloft window to the tractor. I dragged the haybale cushions back into place and slowly we rotated the hull. Slowly that is until after the hull crossed the tipping point. As it was being lowered the line gave way and the hull dropped to the hayloft floor. My grin did too.

Fearing the worst, I inspected for damage and was relieved to find the VG23 uninjured. It was resting crookedly on the haybales and one corner of the 2×4 frame box had given way but there wasn’t so much as a scratch on the hull. I’d built the frame box with some extra length to the vertical members so the hull would be sitting a foot or so off the floor. As near as I can figure, the haybales beneath helped the hull to roll onto these ‘feet’ which had hit, causing the frame to fail and absorbing the impact. My grin returned. Things hadn’t exactly gone according to plan but the hull was intact and in the position it needed to be. With the hull resting on the haybales I dismantled the framing and built some supports on which to rest it while I completed the build.

2 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    July 26, 2006 at 10:29 am

    What? No pictures?

  2. andrew says:

    July 26, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    Steve, while we were mid turn I actually said, “damn, I should be taking photos”. I grabbed some after the fact though. Just have to get ‘em off the camera…

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