An open goal here – surely there is some ‘bottom’ joke to put in to liven up the blog? However, I think I’m too wrapped up in boat-building to think of one.
The bottom went on in two layers but, as with the sides, each layer was scarphed into a single piece before fitting. Probably not strictly necessary with the type of joints I am doing, but I offset them between the layers.
All glued up. Again, mostly done with temporary screws, but with some clamping assistance. I had planned to vacuum bag it on, but I would have been using a sheet of polythene on the top only, relying on the first layer of ply to complete the vacuum. Unfortunately, a test showed that the ply is too porous to establish a decent vacuum, so to make it work I would have needed to seal the first layer from underneath – either with epoxy or polythene. The prospect of grovelling under the hull to do either did not appeal.
The second layer seemed to take gallons of glue. We coated both surfaces with unthickened epoxy first, then applied a generous amount of thickened to the installed layer. I thought it looked like too much glue at one point, but it proved to be just right – we had just enough squeeze-out (at the edges and the predrilled screwholes) to give confidence of a good join, but no more.
There was an article on the BBC website the other day about whether a bottom can constitute a work of art – well, I think I have proved the point! (Sorry – couldn’t resist it in the end.)