Fitting the Floats

22 Sep 2014


Boat (27) 
Not the Boat (12) 


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We finally fitted the floats over the weekend - I have a whole boat, rather than three parts! The process was relatively easy - I'd built a couple of trolleys from timber to wheel them out and hoist them into place, which meant we could do the whole thing with four people.

After hoisting into place and making sure they fitted, I mixed up about 16 pumps (~ 360ml) of West System epoxy per float, added a load of high density filler, slathered it all over the beam ends and the float sockets then hoisted into place and bolted to hold tightly in place. We plugged the drain holes in the floats with a bolt wrapped in plastic so it won't bond, and I'll put some drainage tubes in there later.
Before fitting the floats - note the mickey-mouse trolleys Floats glued in place, preparing to fold Folded on the trailer
Top tips:

  • if you're folding it on the trailer, make sure you fold both sides at once or it can get a little ugly.
  • The carbon tubes for the net support need to be fitted after the floats are fitted to the beam, not before. Despite appearances they're not symmetric - there is a left and a right one, so if it doesn't fit, try the other one.
  • I'd fitted all the hardware to the floats before fitting to the boat. This is essential for some parts (eg the u-bolts for the diagonal brace wires) and was probably unnecessary for most of the rest, as they're pretty easy to access while folded on the boat
  • I'd also done all the through-hulls below the gunwale line on the main hull, and that was a good move as this is now inaccessible with the floats folded. This includes the through-hulls for the head & sinks, and the u-bolts for the diagonal brace wires.
  • Folded on this particular trailer with half-flat tyres, the boat is 3.61m high. I know this because my door is 3.65m high...

The final job was adjusting the bunks on the trailer to support the floats, which (like anything to do with the trailer) was unpleasant and took longer than expected. Still, I did get a nice photo at the end of the process.

Please hum the theme from Top Gun while viewing. I feel the need, the need for speed!

The F-33 in its hanger