IV. Leveling and Truing

Building the Core Sound 20

With the panels securely stitched together with wires, and after installing the inwales along the upper edges of the sides, the next step is to level the boat so that the bulkheads can be properly aligned and installed. When leveling the boat, a laser-level would undoubtedly come in very handy, but I didn't want to spend the money on a tool I would only use once or twice, so I went low-tech instead.

I bought a 25-foot length of 1/2" diameter clear vinyl aquarium tubing ($5.49), then I duct-taped one end to the transom and one end to the bow, letting the rest sag in the middle. Next, I poured water into the tube slowly until the water level came up even with the transom. Thanks to the effects of gravity, I knew the waterline at the other end of the tube would be exactly the same height. Since the designer specifies that the bow should be 10 5/8" higher than the corner of the transom, all I had to do was adjust the boat (and occasionally add or remove small amounts of water from the tubing) until the waterline was dead even with the transom and 10 5/8" lower than the tip of the bow. Simple, cheap, and effective!

Below is a picture of the boat after we lowered the bow about six inches to make it level. This is exactly how she will sit in the water. I really like the long, sweeping lines, which are partly what first made me fall in love with this design.

Once the boat was leveled fore-and-aft (front to back) as well as athwartships (side to side), we positioned the bulkheads in the specified locations, using an assortment of measuring and leveling tools to ensure they were positioned correctly. When we were satisfied with the results, we stitched them into place with more wires. The stitches are temporary, of course. They simply hold the panels in shape until a mixture of thickened epoxy (called a "fillet") can be spread along each seam to bond the panels together permanently.

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