Today is a big day, one that we have been anticipating since the beginning of our project. It is the first day in building the boat. If it were in olden times, it would be considered the “laying of the keel”. Today we infused the hull.
In previous postings you have seen the mold with the dry stack of materials being installed. Over this past weekend, the infusion lines were laid into the mold on top of the glass mat. Then the “bag” was placed in the mold. It is more like covering the mold with a huge piece of Saran wrap. The bag is sealed all the way around the top of the mold and infusion “ports” are placed at strategic places in the mold.
Hoses are connected to the ports and a vacuum is placed on the bag. Through other ports resin is drawn into the mold and under vacuum it climbs up the mold, being infused into the glass mat and coring material. The whole process takes about 2-3 hours to complete the infusion process. The progress is carefully monitored to insure that the resin is infused equally and that there are no voids in the layup. You can see all of the hoses in the picture at the right and above.
You can see the maze of lines. If you look carefully in the pictures, you can see the resin line as it has moved up the mold. These pictures were taken about 2/3 through the infusion process. Tomorrow they will remove the bag material and all of the hoses. Then the first bulkheads will be bonded into the hull. This gives the hull rigidity and are necessary before removing the hull from the mold.