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By Mike Russon - Salt Lake City, Utah - USA

Chuck,
I wanted to send you a few photos with some updates about my AF4. Progress is speeding up a bit since summer is in full swing. I have finished the entire hull assembly and coamings are now in place. My wife raised a question about seating, and I was quick to respond that "AF4's don't have fixed seating". She gave me a puzzled look, and without another word being spoken, I realized that "MY" AF4 will have fixed seating. I brought up the fact that it would eat up too much interior space, but after a few measurements and a few more cardboard templates, I realized that it would "work".

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She gave me a puzzled look, and without another word being spoken, I realized that "MY" AF4 will have fixed seating.

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I have included a few images of the seats that I built. I made them simple and easy. They consist of a 2x4 on it's side for the front edge of the seat for strength, and a 1x2 along the hull to support the seat top. I used ply for the seats themselves and continued the seat in a "wrap around" style and attached it to the rear bulkhead. It is overbuilt and will have all the seams taped and set in epoxy for smooth seams when it's done. I was not too precise when cutting the ply around the butt blocks and framing due to the fact that it will be hidden after taping. After building the seats and sitting down at the rear bulkhead, I realized that I liked the arrangement since it made the process of tiller steering easier for me.

I used ply for the seats themselves and continued the seat in a "wrap around" style and attached it to the rear bulkhead.

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I also included an image of the bottom after I cut and attached the stiffeners/skegs into place. They are glued into place and have screws into the bulkheads and butt plates as well. I will fillet these with epoxy, and tape them into place. Since I am going to glass the entire bottom, they will be there forever after glassing. I elected to use 3 skegs, with the center skeg extending a bit further forward than planned. I have the tendency to beach a bit more than some, and I liked the idea of having a wood skeg there. I did stop them just aft of the rear bulkhead as Jim suggests.

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I elected to use 3 skegs, with the center skeg extending a bit further forward than planned. I have the tendency to beach a bit more than some, and I liked the idea of having a wood skeg there.

Next I attached and generously glued and screwed a stem board on the front of the boat. I didn't really like the flat nose look, so I will belt sand this to a radius and finish it for a more smooth nose look. I will also smooth out the coamings a bit to make a better transition into that stem board. I am waiting for the next batch of epoxy and tape to arrive since I realized that what I had on hand was about gone. I ordered it from my favorite site "Duckworks" and received a nice note from Sandra that the wheels were in motion.

I attached and generously glued and screwed a stem board on the front of the boat. I didn't really like the flat nose look, so I will belt sand this to a radius and finish it for a more smooth nose look.

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I am struggling a bit with weather here, not so much with poor weather as I am with HEAT. The garage gets up too over 100f in the day, and rarely cools to below 85f by midnight. That heat makes a terrible mess of epoxy if it tries to kick too quickly as you can imagine. The current batch of epoxy was ordered with slow hardner, and I have to make small batches for working because I can't slow it much more.

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I am struggling a bit with weather here, not so much with poor weather as I am with HEAT. The garage gets up too over 100f in the day, and rarely cools to below 85f by midnight.

Well, that's the update for now. I have enjoyed the project very much to this point, and I'm getting closer to dunking her in the drink. I threw in a picture of my to greatest helpers, Allyson and Jordan. I think it's fitting to have my little Allyson working on another Allyson. (see Jim's naming of the AF4).

I threw in a picture of my to greatest helpers, Allyson and Jordan.

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I also want to mention one side note. I have also enjoyed very much reading all the great articles and advice on Duckworks. I never would have attempted a project like this if it wasn't for the great help from this site and the people who visit and share their stories. Thanks Chuck and Sandra, and thanks to those who have sent me encouraging words to keep me going.

Mike Russon
mrusson@gmail.com

Click here for Mike's first post