Stern extensions - Phase I

Discussions between Karen the yard manager/translator and Noé the foreman with Mark and I resulted in a detailed quote for materials and labor for which we were very satisfied.  Hoping that we've communicated our stern extension goals adequately, it was now up to the marina foreman to make the calls for project execution.  Noé is very confident in his experience and ability to do structural work and seems excited for the challenge.  

Mark could do and has done structural and glasswork on this scale before, but there are times when it pays to have the local workforce working for you and with you.  Noé and Mark have confidence in each other as partners in this work as they begin to understand each others' priorities.  

For example, Noé at first leaned towards a hefty build to ensure strength, yet soon realized that we want a lightweight but strong construction based on known layup schedules.  He wants to keep the same nice curves of the boat and will do so on the sides, yet doesn't think our idea to make the new back step perpendicular will be "pretty".  However, he is starting to see the practicality.

On the other hand Mark has had the benefit of thinking about this design for years and although Noé can see our drawings, he is the one who has to translate the design into execution.  He is the boss who makes sure the right people show up at our boat every day, and makes the final call on their processes and measurements when materials are being worked up.

In cultural situations like this, you don't discuss project execution phases in detail or have regular meetings.  

You mainly need to get your goals out there and trust that this person can get you from A to Z.  

That is why our choice to do the work here is so dependent upon our assessment of the people involved.

Working side-by-side on respective projects, everyone demonstrates their knowledge and skills through their actions such that mutual respect is the result... along with mutual itchiness from all the glass.  As an added bonus, Mark's Spanish is getting better every day along with Noé's English!

That said, this is what we've gathered about the first phase of the project:

It starts with a fiberglass mold of the side hulls to capture the curves and shape to include in the final extensions.  

Mark & I removed the hardware bolted into some tight spaces and holes were filled.  

The port side mold was laid-up one sunny day by Saul & Dony.  

After about 2 hours, the hardened fiberglass could be popped off the pre-waxed surface.  Now we had the pleasure of envisioning our new lines, which measured in at a 27" extension for the final length with an 8" stern rise.  

To tidy things up, the rough edges were trimmed and the inner mold smoothed out.

The next step was to cutout plywood sides that conform around the old steps to template the insides of the stern hulls.  

The overall result of this first phase will be two scale "models" for each side of the new port stern, which will then be used as a female mold to layup the final fiberglass/nidacore side structures.  For those interested, the overall layup will use polyester on stitched biaxial glass and structural tabbing with epoxy.

Since each stern side has a width component, small perpendicular bulk-heads will be placed internally every few feet for added strength.  

In between the two sides and running down the middle of the old steps, there will be a new nidacore bulkhead that will serve as the base strength beneath the new steps.  Here is where the model helps with visualization!  

We're not sure how long it will take to go from mold to actual stern-build.  For now we're just wishing that the rain would hold off! 

© M&M 2019