Wow, looks like I have to do a lot of filling-in from the past few days, which have consisted of some really late nights. The results from the practice layup were very good. The only element of concern was a bunch of shiny spots that indicated patches of dry fabric–easy to fix the amount of epoxy you add!
The first attempts at draping the carbon fiber over the sponson molds were nightmares. The shape is very complex, and the fibers would not stay put on the mold itself, resulting in some ugly air pockets. So, here is one solution to the problem:
As you can see, each small piece of carbon fiber is wrapped in its own nylon shell. When this came out of the bag, it was very difficult to take the nylon off because some of it worked its way under other sections’ carbon fiber. Also, there were many imperfections from the nylon bunching and the vacuum epoxying carbon fiber to itself. For the next two layups, it was much easier to let the epoxy cure a bit on the mold and the carbon fiber. Unfortunately, the second sponson layup resulted in a blown circuit and the Shop-Vac turned off early in the process. Some of the carbon fiber did not even stick to the mold, and much of it had to be cut off.
*insert sanding interim here*
The sanding process took quite a long time. This left some unsightly exposed foam sections, so some Bondo (a body filler) ended up doing the trick. Here are the sponsons after being Bondo-ed and sanded:
With the body and sponsons done, it was just painting and construction left, which I’ll write a post on later (as soon as I get some sleep!). Construction should be done quite soon (i.e. later today, Sunday). A little bit behind schedule, but there is still plenty of time left to finish and test the boat.