Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Achieving a Perfect Fit

The complete interior with all cabinetry and furniture components fastened to the sole was taken to Liberty Yachts, for preliminary fitting to the empty hull. We do the fitting at this stage so that we can take the interior back to the shop for all the finish work and details, knowing that when that is done it will drop perfectly into place in the hull when it is brought back for final installation.

In the photo below, you can see the interior suspended over the empty hull by chainfalls attached to the central strongback. The rough fitting has been completed. We begin this process by slowly lowering the interior in from above and cutting away obvious corners and other areas that would prevent it from going further in. The rough cutting is done quickly with such tools as sawsalls and aggressive grinders. As the fit gets closer, we block the sole up a set distance from the hull bottom and begin scribing lines so that we know how much more needs to be cut away.

The view below is from inside the hull, looking from the companionway area into the interior from beneath the sole. Note the plumb bob suspended on centerline from the sole. This and another plumb bob not seen here at the other end insures alignment with the hull centerline as the interior is lowered into place. The contact surfaces, where the interior components such as edges of the cabin sole, bulkheads, and backs of shelves meet the hullsides are marked with a black Sharpie. The crew here is covering all these marked contact areas with clear Mylar packing tape.

Here is a closer view showing the marks and the Mylar tape.

Next we have a view of the interior looking aft from the bow. You can see the ragged edges of the rough cuts we made to get an approximate fit. At this stage is where the Mylar tape comes in. The interior will now be lowered all the way in and all contact edges, including the edges of the cabin sole, bulkheads, and shelf backs will be filled in with a mixture of thickened epoxy, right up to the taped contact points on the hullsides. The Mylar will prevent adhesion to the actual hull while this thickened epoxy cures. When cured, this epoxy filling at the contact edges will be a mold that fits exactly to the inner hullside. The interior will then be lifted out, and the excess epoxy on the sides of the contact surfaces will be sanded flush with each perpendicular plywood part that meets the hull. Since all plywood surfaces will be covered in veneer or paint, the thickened epoxy at the mating surfaces will not show in the finished interior.

We have found this method to work perfectly and by pre-fitting the interior this way, we can be certain that when we return with the finished product that it will drop right into the hull with no further modification.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Taking it to the Hull

At this stage, with all the major components of the interior built and assembled in their relative locations in our shop, we now have to take the entire unit to the Liberty Yachts facility where we will fit each component precisely to the interior curvature of the hull. This can only be done on site, and after the proper fit is achieved the entire interior will be brought back to the shop for finishing.

The first photo below shows the interior with a strongback fitted inside to allow moving it with damaging or distorting anything. The interior is rigged for lifting with chainfall hoists attached to the strongback and the overhead beams of our shop.

Here the trailer is backed into position for loading the interior. Before we could do this we had to move the hulls of the Tiki 30 catamaran we are building outside of the shop to allow access to the rear where the Liberty 42 interior was built.

We've done this a few times, so the trailer is set up for the move and the crew knows exactly what to do.

It's an oversized load, but we've got the truck to pull it and the distance is not too far. The fitting process will take a few days working on site at Liberty Yachts, then we expect to be moving the interior back into the shop within a week's time.

V-berth and Galley Details

Below is a view of the V-berth, which occupies the forward cabin. There are steps up to the berth on either side, where the hull slopes upwards toward the bow.

More galley details can be seen here, where we have built the shelf for the microwave that goes under the middle counter. The opening to the left of this shelf will house a bank of drawers.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cabinet and Dinette Assembly Details

This first photo shows the bridge trunk panel described in the previous post and how it fits in the head compartment unit. The narrow box-shaped unit to the left is an electrical trunk, and to the right is the shower unit with curved door sections in place.

This is a view looking straight on into the galley. The square holes are access opening into compartments under the side decks. The galley counter to the right has a cut-out in the facing under it where the refrigerator and freezer will be fitted. The sink will be fitted into the counter to the left, and in the middle section there will be drawers and a microwave unit.

Below is a view of another custom shop form, this one used to make the curved panels of the dinette seat risers. You can see where these are fitted in the last photo of this post.

This is one of the panels after removal from the form. It has been filled and faired and is ready to be fitted.

The outer ends of the dinette unit begin with straight panels that meet the large inside curves shown above. The transition from the straight to curved panels requires yet another small outside radius corner. On the table below, you can see this outside radius corner in the form we use to glue it into the edge of the straight panel. By pre-assembling this on the work bench, we can insure that the corner will be formed at the right angle to meet the large inside curve.

Below is view of the dinette before the curved parts of the seat risers were installed. The sloping plywood edges in the immediate foreground here are the edges of the bulkhead separating the main salon from the V-berth. This is a view of the dinette as it appears from the forward cabin.

Below is partial view of the assembled dinette. Here you can clearly see one of the curved seat riser panels and how it transitions by way of the outside radius corner to the straight panel.

Galley and Head Compartment Assembly

As described in a previous post, all the exposed corners of the interior cabinetry and furniture are fitted with custom-made radius curves resulting in a contemporary look with no sharp edges to be damaged or injure the crew in a seaway. We use several different radius sizes, depending on the corner, and have jigs set up in the shop for each size needed. Below is a 3-inch radius corner in one of the jigs. This one is 8-feet long, and goes on the corner of the unit housing the head and the electric panel trunk.

In the same unit, there is a curved shower door. The photo below shows the form we use to laminate the top and bottom panels of the door. (The panel pieces are on the back side in this photo.)

This is the back of the galley cabinet unit that is fitted just forward of the head compartment. We build the cabinet to full depth with squared off corners on the backside, but much of this back half will be cut away to fit the unit to the inside curvature of the hull. The fitting is done on site, by lowering the unit into the hull with a chain hoist and cutting and grinding away the back until the fit is close. Final fitting is done in a process we will describe in more detail when we get to that stage, but when it is done the back of this unit will match up exactly with the curve of the hull, then it will be brought back to the shop for fitting drawers and other components.

On the table in the photo below you can see the bridge trunk frame that goes into the forward end of the head compartment. Here, we have glued in corners of solid juniper wood so that the edges can be routed to a finish profile. A mirror will be fitted on the interior side of this panel, which is removable for access to the steering cables, bridge wiring and plumbing.

This photo shows the head compartment and the galley cabinet unit from the front side. We assemble big cabinets like the head unit with square corners to keep everything straight, then the corner is cut away and the formed radius piece like the one in the top photo is fitted in its place.