I marked the 3″ fiberglass tape (used for the plank #2/3 joint) with a Sharpie before cutting and glueing in place. After all was cured, I noticed the Sharpie marks sticking out like a sore thumb. So, I decided to paint that section instead of sanding to remove the markings. I guess I’m getting a little lazy at this point in the build. However, I actually like the contrast between the brightwork and painted panels. This paint line is actually straight, but it looks bent due to the top line being curved and the hull flaring outward. At this point, I have finished painting all interior compartments up to their top line. It feels good to see some of the finish work being completed as I progress through the build.After trimming the seats to fit around the bulkheads (impossible to keep the BH’s perfectly vertical), I cut out for an access hatch between bulkhead 5-6. This is the only dry access hatch I am planning in the seat area. I will open up a wet access area between bulkhead 7-8 on both sides of Shackleton. I used some 3/8″ scrap ply to strengthen this area. I wrapped the plywood around the corner to better pick up the corner screws of the hatch. The opposite side of the cut-out will screw into the existing seat longitudinal cleating material. The forward and aft edges of the hatch areas have just over a 1″ span to the bulkhead cleating, hence I felt no need to reinforce these areas. I purchased these awesome seat hatches from Duckworks Magazine. They measures 24″ x 9″ and fit perfectly between bulkhead 5-6. I was happy to find a hatch that fit so well in this rather confined area. I’m hoping to have the seats installed by week end.
I’m not getting much cycling in these days. I’m up to 188 lb. instead of my 174 lb. cycling weight. But, I’m having a great time building this little micro cruiser. I have drooled over larger boats, even during this build. My first choice would be a Com Pac Eclipse. This would allow for convenient overnighters with the family. I may well buy one some time in the future, but Shackleton will be a great day sailor and a great trainer for me.