Sand It !!
If I'm not sawing, drilling, filing or sanding, then i'm not making my boat any lighter. Depending how quickly you can turn the pages of the catalogue, it only takes MINUTES to add KILOGRAMS, but it takes HOURS to remove GRAMS.
Filing and sanding has become an obsession. It's a flaw in my personality. I need a reality check.
Below is a picture of the 1974 construction detail for the keel trunk of my micro-cruiser. The boat's liner was distorted by slabs of teak jammed between the keel trunk and the liner. I milled the teak, cut some blocks of foam for the corners and glassed it all. Although not particularly strong by itself, the liner is now part of the keel structure matrix.
But i got carried away and faired the whole works of it on the port side. I removed GRAMS of weight. It is pretty, but the cover will hide it so appearance doesn't really matter.
Here is the question:
Is fair stronger than the 3-dimensional blisters and runs and raw fibres from the original construction? I was rationalizing that a fair structure may be stronger for it's weight for the same reason that port-holes are round.
Yes? Crazy? Worthwhile?
Your obsession is a noble one. A faired and smoothed structure may or may not be stronger. That is a function of the shape of the structure and the direction of the dominant loads. Smooth structures have no place or at least fewer places for stress risers to propagate. SImply put, failure, if it occurs, will almost always begin at a surface crack, gouge, or scratch.
You do not need to justify your obsession for sanding, filing, and fairing, to real craftsmen. We do things like that because it feels right and it allows us to have pride in our work. That is reward enough unless it is a practice carried to extreme. SO what if your work is out of sight of others. You know that you have done a nice job and that is enough to make you smile inwardly.
When I bought my boat I spent weeks rebedding all the deck hardware just so I knew it was done right. Without finding a single spot of rotten core.
After that was done I spent two days trimming all of the bolts to save weight. Though in this case I had more than a pound of stainless bolt cut-offs I removed.
Salesman - Allied Titanium
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