Putting on the goop: Building Meerkat, a very small catboat, cont'd

by John MacBeath Watkins

Well, I did my first pour of the epoxy and milled fiberglass that is supposed to hold the boat together. I really don't look forward to sanding this stuff and putting a bunch of tiny glass daggers in the air, so I put waxed paper over it in hopes that that might make it cure a bit smoother.

It looks a bit sloppy with the waxed paper on it, like a fellow who shaved his face with a dull blade and had to put tissue on all the wounds, but if this works, it's going to be a real gift to the folks who build stitch & glue boats. This is the face mask and respirator a friend bought for sanding the milled fiberglass fillets on his boat:

And in his build thread, someone suggested that the itching that comes from sanding the stuff could be ameliorated by taking a bath in water with a good portion of vinegar added to it, though he reported smelling like a salad afterward.

So you can see why I've been casting about for a way to avoid this part of the build. After all, wooden boat building is supposed to be a craft, and how crafty do you feel in a space suit and helmet?

Getting the boat to assume its proper shape involved not having it sitting on the table I've been building on, and having it sort of suspended in the air tends to reveal its deep-chested shape, so reminiscent of Uffa Fox's revolutionary International 14s.

Here's his design for a frostbite class 11 1/2 footer, which it's a shame no one thought to put into fiberglass construction. In wood it would be challenging, but someone more skilled than I ought to do it.

Anyone inclined to build that boat, by the way, can get the plans from his estate here, and the more Uffa Fox designs that get built, the better.

And here's what Meerkat currently looks like:

And again, for comparison, the design I'm building:

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