I arrived home on Chinese New Year's day. After some brief visiting I decided to do the difficult part of the cuddy. One of my brother in law's worker, Fauzi is around. Sensing that he had no work during this festive season, I roped him in to help with my boat building. I had known him for some time...he is ever willing to learn and is a good worker.I had tried to make the roof of the cuddy before. Trying to be smart, I did it all wrong. In future I will following strictly to what is written in the plans. Plan called for "Cut oversized wood". I did not. I cut almost exactly the size required and by the time the wood was "bent" it was an inch under sized!. For future Gypsy builders, this was the amount of "oversize" that I made. Try not to be stingy for eventually it will cost you more when it does not suit after fitting!Now the over sized panels had to be trimmed off. Another time consuming affair . I began to fear the word "bevel" in the plans. It means hard work trying to shape pieces of 2" by wood at angles to accept the next piece. It takes time and patience to get it right. The two small upper side panels looks easy to build but in realty it took us about 2 daysto get it right.All the gaps are filled with an epxoy filler so that it looks even. Sort of like hiding small imperfections. At this stage the curvatures can be seen and I get a great sense of satisfaction.It looks nice....Looking from the rear,,,,,,Fitting the top took me another day. Again the time consuming process was to trim off the oversized wood panel. The cuddy had to be sanded and more fillers applied. those pesky epoxy gum that had flowed down had to be removed with a grinder and then finally sanded.
Next I had to glass the cuddy with 300 gram cloth. Epoxy is used to bond and fuse the 300 gram cloth to the marine ply. I got hold of one of my shop workers Azmi to help out. This job calls for an extra pair of hands. A day after the glassing the extra bits of cloth are triimed off. The joints between each sheet of glass cloth must be "hidden"..sanded down and "levelled" so that it looks like one big piece of cloth covering the wood
By the next day the surface is lightly sanded and another thin layer of epoxy gum applied. This is to smoothen the surfaces so that less sanding is required before painting. By now it looks and feels nice. I had put in more than 100 hours of work to get that small portion done.
I am writing this from Dili, East Timor. In 3weeks' time I will be back home again and I look forward to more work on my boat.