From Blueprints to Water
Building Our Diablo
by Ted Rulfs
We started out by transferring the dimensions from the blueprints to the AC plywood, placing nails at each intersection. We then secured a baton to the nails using finger clamps. This provided us with an easy way to scribe a curved line.
(click images for larger views)
(Above right) The voids on the bad side of the AC plywood are then filled, and sanded smooth.
(Below Left & Right) It is at this point when we join both ends of the side panels, Bilge panels, and bottoms. We epoxy the butt joint in place, then use fiberglass tape on the other side for extra strength.
(Below Left) Laying the transom and side panel upside down we attach them using nails. (Below Right) We then attach the side panels to the mid and aft supports.
(Below Left) A Spanish windlass is used to draw the side panel into the stem. (Below Right) After side panel is nailed and glued into the stem we start fitting the bilge panels into place.
(Below Right) At this stage a two inch wide coating of epoxy is applied to all the seams. (Below Left) Afterwards wood flower is mixed with epoxy to fill any gaps.
(Below center) Fiberglass tape covers all the seams, and our boat is ready to be turned over to start the inside.
Now that the Diablo is turned over we can start working on the inside. (Below Left) All seams are epoxied before tape and filler are used. This is to prevent the wood from drawing epoxy out of the wood filler and weakening the joint. (Below Right) This picture shows the seam after the filler and glass tape are applied.
We then cut down all frames to proper height. (Below Left) We then install the transom support, and knee. (Below Right) We then installed the mid thwart, with a little extra support added to the sides.
In the above right picture, you will notice that we have decided to eliminated the front seating. Instead we opted for storage space.
(Below Right and Left) In these pictures you will notice that we installed aft seating supports, as well as the inwales.
We now can start fiber glassing the hull. Using 36" cloth, we covered the transom then the stem. In the (Below left) picture you can see that we are now laying out the cloth for the side and bilge panels. Making sure to overlap each seam by at least four inches. (Below right) After the cloth is applied, it has a rough texture. This will have to be sanded and additional coats of epoxy will be applied to get a smooth finish. The picture marked as finish has the first coat of epoxy.
(Above Left) This photo shows how the second coat of epoxy has created a smother finish. (Above Right) With a lot of sanding we are ready for the final coat of epoxy. (Below Center) After the final sanding, the last coat of epoxy is applied. We end up with a very smooth finish that we can apply paint too.
(Below Left) With the Diablo right side up, using several clamps we install the gunwales. (Below Right) Using several long neck C. clamps, we are able to install the spray rails.
(Below Left) We then gave the inside two good coats of resin. John and Ted chouse to use resin on the inside of the boat as apposed to epoxy for several reasons. The first being that resin is a third of the price of epoxy. The other reason is nether had used resin before and thought this would be a good place to experiment. (Below Right) A couple of coats of paint on the outside and she is ready to be put in the water to see how sea worthy she is.
Well as you can see from this photo, we did get our Diablo in the water at the end of the 2004 season. Although she is not completed, we did want to see how she would handle before we finished the inside. We could not ask for more! Diablo handles like a dream, and with a 25hp Johnson. She has more power then you could ever want. With two adults she planed out at half throttle, and reached a top speed of between 30 and 35mph. In the winter of 2005 we plan on designing and building a center console, and completing the inside of our Diablo.