Stitch and Glue 101 - Hull Assembly
Assembling the sides:
With the main panels and the frames ready, we can start the hull assembly except for one detail: we should first drill holes for the stitches along the edges of our panels.
We use plastic tie wraps as stitches. Drill a hole large enough to take your plastic tie wraps.
The exact size and location of those holes is not very important but they must line up.
We like to locate the holes at 3/8? from the edge every 10?.
We drill too many holes, they will be filled with epoxy anyway.
Let's start the assembly by stiching the two side panels together at the bow.
Do not tighten the stitches all the way at this point, leave them a little bit loose.
The side panels are now stitched together at the bow. Turn them on edge and insert the transom between them.
Transom and Frames Assembly:
Stitch the side to the transom. Note that the stitches are loose. We do not try to align panels perfectly at this stage.
Insert one of the mid seat frames between the sides.
Note that the battens are inside of the future seat box and that we push the frame against the butt block. The butt block is a locater.
Insert the second mid seat frame, push it against the butt block.
The frames are held in position by the pressure of the side panels but we will secure each frame by driving two screws each side through the side panel in the framing. Do not drive the screws all the way through, that would create a flat spot in the side. Those screws are temporary, we will remove them later.
No epoxy glue is used at this point, all parts are fitted dry first.
Two more frames must be installed: the front and rear seat frames.
To position those frames in the boat, we will use the seat tops.
Let's cut the seat tops first.
Aligning With The Seat Tops:
In most of our boats, we recommend to assemble the hull before cutting the seat tops. The reason is that small mistakes may creep in and it is safer to check measurements against an assembled hull but the FL12 is so simple that we can make an exception.
The dimensions for the seat tops are shown on the plans.
Except for the bow seat top, we show those parts with four straight sides. The curvature of the sides along the hull is so small that it doesn?t make sense to ry to cut a curve. The edge will be covered by fiberglass tape anyway and a gap is good with our building materials.
This is not wooden boat building. We do not want tight fitting parts. We need a small gap between parts for the epoxy to bond.
The seat tops are simple rectangles or trapezes easy to cut from the dimensions given on the plans.
The bow seat top is an exception. It is a triangle with curved sides. The sides have a good amount of camber and we show it on the plans.
Those sides are simple arcs.
In other words, we mark the three corners of the triangle first. Then, to draw a curved side, we first draw a straight line between two points. From the middle of that line we offset a point by the distance show on the plans then draw a smooth curve between 3 points: the ends of our straight line and that offset point.
Cut all seat tops.
Drop the rear seat top in the hull, push the rear seat frame against it and draw a line on the hull along the edge. You will use that line to verify the alignment of the rear seat frame.
(The picture shows the bottom in place but all this is done without the bottom panel).
Remove the frame and seat top, put them aside.
Proceed the same way with the bow seat: align, mark and remove parts.