The keel fin is drilled with a bolt nut and shaft epoxied in place. It went easier than expected with no real hiccups.
I also drilled a hole in the rudder for the shaft and epoxied that in. It was difficult to minimize the slot between the rudder and the hull, and I ended up with a bit of a gap. I’m interested in 3D printing a rudder mold where I can mold the shaft in, so I’m content with a gap now and a potential project to replace it later.
I was nervous about using the Z-Poxy on the rudder, as I’m not confident that it’s waterproof. The rudder doesn’t have a nut holding the shaft in place like the keel does, so any epoxy failure would lose the rudder. I recently fixed a shower scrubby handle with Z-Poxy, and it peeled off rubbery, which makes me worry about all the places I’ve used it on the boat. My favorite part of the Z-Poxy was how easy it is to mix small batches with the squeeze bottles, so I went to the art store and bought some $1 squeeze bottles for my West System epoxy. Much more trustworthy, and handily labeled by Carole!
I just pulled the masking tape off after painting the deck with Rustoleum Gloss Protective Enamel. My surface preparation on the deck definitely wasn’t as good as the hull, but the blemishes aren’t showing through as bad as I’d expected. The most noticeable spot is the transom. I’m okay with that.
The keel box poking through looks a little silly in white. I may hand paint it something else later.
Yesterday’s eye bolts look good!
Next up I need to cut into my keel to install the mounting bolt. It sounds tricky and I’ve been putting it off until now, but it’s blocking finishing the hull. The keel box needs the hole drilled for the mounting bolt.
Before painting the deck it seems like the right time to install eye bolts. These will hold the backstay, shrouds, and jib pivot down to the deck. West Marine doesn’t sell eye bolts this small, and I haven’t had to order IOM-specific parts online yet, so I didn’t want to start now.
I ended up buying 2.4mmx19mm stainless steel cotter pins from West Marine. I stuck them in my vice and grooved up the shafts of each using my dremel. The groovy shaft will be submerged in an epoxy hole, which I hope will prevent them from slipping out under load.
I used the 30-minute Zap Z-Poxy that I’ve been using for everything else. It dries a little rubbery, but I’m hoping that will be okay. Worse case they slip out, and I can use West Systems 206 or 205 if it comes to that. They have a bubble of epoxy around them on top, which crosses through the hole which should be good for strength and waterproofing.
Here’s a view from below of the starboard and port shroud bolts. I was nervous drilling these holes from the top, hoping they’d go into the basswood reinforcement I’d put in place before joining the deck. The alignment was correct, and it worked! You can see some epoxy running out the bottom of the hole, which should be a good sign for strength.
Here’s the jib attachment points on the foredeck, and the first time I’ve seen how badly the deck join looks! It looks strong to me, just messy. This picture was hard to get right since there’s no access point forward of the keel box. They look shiny from epoxy which is good. They also lined up with the reinforcements. I’m hoping these reinforcements will be enough. I think I’ll install a bulkhead here in future boats to stiffen it up.
Here’s the backstay bolt. I believe this is illegal on an IOM since the fitting protrudes beyond the hull. The boat is illegal in other ways, so I’m knowingly letting this one slip. In the future I’ll put a sloped transom on, so the bolt will be inside the 1m limit.