Strong and stable: PBO’s Secret 20 is strengthened before being turned in the next step of her construction. David Pugh reports The time has come at last – nothing now stands between us and turning the boat upside down, prior to panelling the bottom to complete the hull. Ben Meakins and I have clear memories that, not so long ago, we were almost tiptoeing around the boat to avoid destroying our painstaking alignment of the frames with the keel; now we expect the epoxy fillet joints which locked that alignment in place to hold the keel as gravity tries to wrench it from the frames during the rotation. At the same time, the edge of the hull will be subject to significant force while the boat briefly rests on her side. With that in mind then, this month a lot of our work has been concentrated on ensuring that the boat’s structure is as strong as possible, given its half-built nature. An obvious point of maximum stress is the joints between the frames and keel, so we started our stiffening operations there. We initially filleted the frame to keel joints with plain fillets of WEST SYSTEM epoxy, thickened with filleting blend from the same brand. Although fillets are strong, in this ...