Recruiting Female Agents Has Its Benefits

Top 3 Reasons to Recruit Women:

1. Successful Interactions: Females are able to relate to other female clients and prospects, making it easier to understand their unique needs.

2. Strong Contacts: Women typically have a base of contacts, either within their former professions or within their communities. This can assist them in building solid practices.

3. Popular Demand: With so many agencies – small and large – targeting female agents, woman investors now have a choice to do business with an insurance company who meets their needs. If you’re not meeting the need, you’re losing business to a competitor that is.

Danica Patrick did it. Hilary Clinton did it. And now droves of females in the financial services industry are doing it – succeeding in what was once a man’s world. As this male-dominated industry continues to change, so do those who represent it.

Recruit: Magnetic Attraction
Despite female representation dwarfing in comparison to its male counterpart, the number of female insurance agents continues to grow year after year. In fact, several large financial firms are creating recruiting campaigns and initiatives based around attracting women .

The approach to recruit, support and retain female agents is evolving. More financial institutions are recognizing females as prime candidates. So much so that companies are competing for female talent. In order to stay competitive with its forward-thinking counterparts, companies must recruit and advance women. “Not only is it the right thing to do, but it’s the smart thing to do, given the continuing emergence of women as a powerful economic force,” said Heidi Spilotros, Director of Women’s Recruiting for MassMutual. “It’s also increasingly important for financial services companies to better understand women as prospects and clients, in order to serve this important market segment well.”

MassMutual has been a pioneer in recruiting, retaining and helping females to succeed. But in order to help these individuals do well, you must first understand their needs and motivations. Perhaps no one is more familiar with what female agents desire than Spilotros, as she appreciates the innate need to achieve the ever-illusive work and family life balancing act. She traveled the nation – during her eighth month of pregnancy – to gain a better understanding of what women want.

MassMutual has been able to effectively attract female agents by emphasizing the positive attributes of a career as a financial services professional, specifically the challenge, entrepreneurial spirit, financial and personal rewards and flexibility. This top insurance company is so in tune with these needs that MassMutual was named a Working Mother’s 100 Best Company by Working Mother Magazine in 2007.

While the financial services industry has made several strides in recent years as it relates to female candidates, progress has not penetrated throughout all organizations. According to Geoff Kaltenbach, Associate Managing Partner for Signature Resources in Irvine, CA, the insurance industry has not been successful in these arenas compared to other trades, such as pharmaceutical sales.

Kaltenbach’s approach to recruiting talented females begins at the university level. His firm works with three sororities at two local universities to engage potential candidates for its internship program. This highly effective strategy has resulted in a tremendous source of referrals to the firm. In fact, many of its advisors and staff emerge from the internship program. “Start there (university level) because they know other people who have the same work ethic and that creates a nice center of talent,” said Kaltenbach.

While Signature Resources recruits females, the firm actively seeks good candidates in general, regardless of their gender. There are, however, several benefits to hiring women. “Women can succeed in this business,” insists Kaltenbach.

Typically, females in their mid to late twenties are more mature and empathetic, possess a stronger work ethic, and boast a better sense of fashion than their male counterparts, according to Kaltenbach. Additionally, many human resources directors are female and feel more comfortable dealing with the same sex. Therefore, female representation becomes even more valuable in building the business.

Often times, it is not a company that actively recruits an agent, but rather an individual recruiting her new place of employment. When a devastating car accident left the Wilkerson family in medical and financial distress, Julie Wilkerson left a successful career in sales and marketing to pursue new horizons. Surprised to learn that she had inadequate coverage, Wilkerson felt a personal obligation to educate others in areas where she had not been well-informed and decided that the best way to make a difference was in the insurance industry.

In the end, it was Colonial Life that was able to woo Wilkerson with its strong reputation in customer service satisfaction and vow to educate agents. However, Wilkerson did not commit to Colonial Life without first doing her homework on the supplemental insurance company. “What impressed me was the longevity of the agents who worked for Colonial Life,” said Wilkerson. “I was looking for a company that nurtured its people.”

Wilkerson’s research paid off. Colonial Life offered the ethical element Wilkerson was looking for. “The ladies room buzz is pretty telling,” said Wilkerson. “If you’re pushing up your lipstick and hear agents discussing how wonderful their year was – not just financially, but from a people standpoint – it’s rewarding. I feel honored to be in their company.”

Support: Commitment
For some agents, support refers to technology-based solutions and for others it is defined by emotional support.

Signature Resources supports its 100+ agents, 20 percent of which are female, with the proper tools to succeed. The company relies heavily on echoWealth, a web-based needs analysis program equipped with illustrated financial reports, motivating calculators and intelligent content. “It is our Wikipedia and it supports everything we do,” said Kaltenbach. “Having something at your fingertips immediately for you and your client is the single most important thing we do.”

Likewise, Wilkerson has been able to take advantage of the resources Colonial Life offers, such as a comprehensive website that answers questions ranging from the competition to specific policies; newsletters chalked full of sales techniques, product education and field agent-related anecdotes; and workshops and conferences.

While having the appropriate resources to advance your career and educate clients are necessary, other factors come into play when it comes to supporting the female agent, including integrity and the ability to balance a career and family life.

In order to build your business, you need a level of support. Additionally, you want to be sure that that level of support is coming from a reputable company. “I was not going to go snorkeling in a polluted pool,” said Wilkerson who places a very high importance on company reputation. “I can speak with passion and sincerity about the company.”

The suite of support services allows Wilkerson to be in business for herself but not by herself. From a flexibility standpoint, this career allows her to maintain a rewarding livelihood and family life. “I choose where I go, when I go and how I go,” said Wilkerson.

Like Signature Resources and Colonial Life, MassMutual is supportive of all of its agents, regardless of gender. However, the company recognizes there are certain accommodations that are attractive to female associates. “Success begets success, so one of the best ways we can attract female agents is to show them how women who come to MassMutual can establish and grow great careers,” said Spilotros. “Part of our success as an organization is attributable to the fact that we highlight and celebrate the achievements of our women advisors so that newer recruits can envision themselves in that position.”

One of the ways in which the company demonstrates this is via its recruiting website where a female agent discusses her role in her words. Additionally, the company arranges for mentor programs; hosts an annual female agent conference focusing on challenges that are unique to women; and is actively involved in groups such as Women in Insurance and Financial Services (WIFS), an organization whose mission is to support, encourage and advance the success of women in the insurance and financial services industry.

In the end, the pay off of providing strong support manifests itself in stronger retention rates.

Retain: Keep the fire burning
It’s no secret that retention is an issue for many agencies. However, by ensuring proper support is in place, retention comes more easily. For example, one retention method comes in the form of rewards. Like policies, rewards come in all different flavors. Whether commission based, bonus plan driven, verbal recognition, or offering flexible schedules, the rules of the game have changed.

For Wilkerson, rewards can be measured qualitatively. “Hard working women don’t always get recognition and we all need a little encouragement,” said Wilkerson. “I receive such good feedback from this company and the clients I serve.”

However, others may view success quantitatively. Based on projected numbers, Signature Resources intends to retain its existing female agent base while expanding it to 30 to 40 percent in the coming years, as compared to roughly two percent a few years back.

Like Signature Resources, MassMutual has seen its female agents grow steady over the last eight years to 16%. In fact in 2007, women comprised 21% of the company’s recruiting classes, a leading indicator of future growth of female agents within MassMutual. The company anticipates additional growth as it begins new initiatives to more effectively target women of all ethnicities and successfully transition them into a career. “To compete as a company in the future, we need to be able to serve the fast-growing market of women consumers, and need talented people – both men and women – to accomplish that,” said Spilotros. “The more we can attract, retain and help succeed, the better off our company will be.”

Like any relationship, females require excessive courting and attentive support. If not, divorce court could be right around the corner.

Relationships – Balancing the Male and Female Within Ourselves

Which of us hasn’t dreamed of finally finding and keeping our perfect relationship? What if we are in a partnership that is confusing and always changing? How do we cope with the loss and heartache relationships can sometimes bring? What if we don’t seem to be attracting any kind of intimate interactions at all?

The working dynamics of good relationships are for many of us one of the greatest mysteries of life. It is a secret each of us seeks to unravel from the day we are aware there is more than one of us around. Why do interpersonal interactions — something we are all engaged in every day, every minute, every second of our lives — sometimes seem so challenging, complicated, confusing, difficult, and mysterious?

The quality of our partnerships with others actually reflects the quality of the relationships we have with ourselves. Do we know who we are, and do we like who that is? Do we believe we are worthy and deserve unconditional love? While we may know how we would like someone to love us, do we love ourselves that way already? Do we trust and accept all parts of ourselves? The bottom line for most all of us is we simply would like to be loved and accepted for who we are, for our real selves.

MALE AND FEMALE TEMPLATES

As we change our inner definition or template of our male and female selves to a place of balance and self-acceptance, we are able to attract someone who is more reflective of our true counterpart. Even if we are balanced with our inner masculine reflection, if we do not like our own femininity, we would be unable to create a truly balanced relationship for ourselves.

One aspect many people do not give much thought to is that we look to our partners to reflect aspects of ourselves back to us. For example, if we are a woman, our partner is holding a place for us so we can better understand the feminine part of ourselves. If we are a male, our partner is holding a place for us to understand the masculine part of ourselves. Although this may be the opposite way most people view their relationships, how, if we were a woman, would we be better able to understand what type of woman we were unless someone could reflect it back to us as we interact with them?

THE TASK OF ANY RELATIONSHIP

The task of any relationship is always to find ourselves, to understand ourselves, to be the complete and natural selves we already are. The only true relationship we ever really have is the one we have with ourselves. Everything else, every other interaction, whether we might realize it or not, is simply a reflection. As long as we resist being our natural, balanced selves, the real us, we continue to always attract relationships that will serve to remind us of what and who we are not. Resisting who we are will, therefore, usually attracts relationships that are unfulfilling, or ones where we have to work very hard. By being fully and completely who we are, we then attract relationships that reflect back to us the fullness of our creative being. It is the age old adage: What we put out is what we get back.

FUNCTIONING HALF COMPLETE

Many of us function as if we are only half complete. If we project the vibration of half of an individual, looking around for someone else to complete us, we attract an incomplete relationship. The resulting interaction with anyone attracted in this manner will usually come up short of what we ideally desire. Entering into any interaction from the viewpoint we need the relationship to feel complete, results in the relationship continuing to reflect and remind us of our belief in our incompleteness. What we will have is a partnership made up of two half people, truly satisfying to neither person. When we know we are a relationship unto ourselves, complete and sufficient within ourselves, we set up a vibration that attracts someone with those same qualities and assurance. Too many times people make out long, wonderful lists of all the attributes they wish their perfect partner to have. The question to ask is, are we all those things? Do we have all those attributes? Unless we are able to reflect the type of vibrational being we choose to attract, how will we ever be seen and recognized by someone who does?

WHAT DO WE ATTRACT IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS?

We always attract our definition of what we think we are capable of attracting, no matter what may be on our wish list. The first question we should ask ourselves (the most basic question for any relationship) is: What do we get out of it? What do we get out of having a relationship with so and so? Secondly, what did we learn about ourselves by being in that relationship? We primarily attract situations to ourselves that create interactions, allowing us to continue to accelerate, serve, and learn who we are. We can do this with ease, grace, love, and joy, or through the school of hard knocks. The choice is always ours.

RELATIONSHIPS ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE

The reason for relating to someone else is for the opportunity to share who we are. Approaching a relationship as an opportunity to share attracts individuals who reflect our belief in our own completeness. When our relationships are set up this way, we are able to interact with the other person as two complete individuals coming together to share experiences. We will both know and experience the idea of personal fulfillment.

THE RESULTS OF EXPECTATIONS AND JUDGMENTS

When we put expectations or value judgments on the outcome of our relationships, we never actually get to experience the real reason we created the particular interaction in the first place. For this reason, it is important to accept relationships for what they are. If we invalidate what we have drawn into our lives, we are really invalidating ourselves.

BALANCED RELATIONSHIPS

It is important to understand why we have drawn certain individuals into our lives. We usually have attracted others to allow ourselves the opportunity to grow and to give us more information about who we are. The idea is not to become like each other. The idea is to allow each individual to be the strongest, healthiest, most balanced individual they can possibly be. Sometimes we might forget this because we think unity is the product of conformity. Unity is the product of granting and allowing equality to uniqueness and diversity. In a balanced relationship, we do not lose our individuality — just the opposite occurs. We each become stronger reflections for each other of all that is possible for each of us. The purpose of any relationship is to allow us to be more of who we choose to be. It is like looking into a mirror and seeing another aspect of ourselves. This does not mean our relationships will be an exact 1-1 reflection of who we each are. Rather, our relationships become a reflection of what the two of us have agreed to learn and teach each other.

The best possible relationship is a balanced sharing, without dependency. Each party in a relationship has strong, natural attributes that can assist the other in their growth. If our support is aimed at creating a space for our partner or friend to grow in their own self-support, the relationship will be a happy and flourishing one. Think of it this way. Instead of constantly doling out small pieces of bread, wouldn’t it be of true, lasting benefit to teach someone how to bake their own bread? If we are in a relationship where we are giving, giving, giving, it sends out the message to our partners that we do not believe they have the ability to match or mock up their own vibrations of completeness and sufficiency. Offer support to others as long as it does not represent the idea we are taking on responsibility for them. We cannot really be responsibility for other adults. Our attempts to do this usually leads us very quickly to examine our own issues about boundaries, because taking on another person’s responsibilities brings us outside of where we prefer to be. The idea of responsibility is not to lay the blame on anyone, rather it allows us the freedom to choose what we prefer.

In a balanced relationship, each of us can still do what we prefer to do. We don’t have to change our lives just because someone else disapproves. There is no reason to attempt to be anything that we are not. Doing that only brings us more of what we are not. We will only become more uncomfortable, unhappy, unhealthy, and unsuccessful, if we keep trying to be something we are not. It is vital to express who we are, be who we are, and say what we think. We should only change our lives because we choose to, and because we are becoming more completely the real us. If we know we are functioning in true personal integrity, even if others around us don’t like it or want us to change, we continue to be who we are.

If we are doing what we enjoy and love in life, it very quickly provides us confirmation of who we really are. The idea is always to relax, have fun and be ourselves. Remember, anyone we attract into our lives by being ourselves belongs in our lives. Being of service to ourselves and others is only possible when we are complete within our own selves. If we are not fully ourselves, then the other person is not really in a relationship with the real us anyway!

“WRONG” RELATIONSHIPS

Why would any of us create a whole series of wrong relationships? The reason itself is basically very simple. Either we have forgotten who we are, or we are afraid to accept who we are. Who we are is actually our naturally centered selves in a state of balance and complete self-acceptance. As long as we resist being our natural, balanced selves, the real us, we will not attract harmonious, long lasting, or healthy relationships.

Once we become true to ourselves, we automatically attract the right person to ourselves, even as we move through changes. If someone decides to change or leave a relationship with us, realize their energy is no longer in harmony with ours. Therefore, by understanding this even if someone leaves us nothing will really be missing. We cannot miss anything from a vibration that we are not truly a part of.

HOW DO WE SHOW WE REALLY LOVE SOMEONE?

We can really show we love somebody by accepting them for who they are and by allowing them to be just where they already are. It is very important not to put any expectation on how it must be, or regret how it was or was not. When we live in the moment and trust ourselves enough to be in each and every moment, we always attract whomever is appropriate for ourselves. The best advice ever given for relationships is to trust, let go, and be ourselves. Trust is the glue for any relationship — the trust we feel for ourselves, as well as the trust we have with others.

WHAT INGREDIENT WILL INSURE OUR RELATIONSHIPS ARE ENHANCING?

All relationships, when created through a sense of integrity, are fundamentally enhancing. Relationships are meant to expand and evolve. If our relationships restrict us and cause us to inhibit and repress our true selves, we need to ask ourselves very quickly what are we still doing in the those relationships? What lessons are we learning from staying in these situations? If relationships are created from a point of dishonesty — and it could even be we are dishonest with ourselves, or with the other people about our truth — then these types of relationships will act as exclusive, disharmonic interactions. If we are able to let go of fear in our relationships, we become compassionately supportive and allowing of the other person so they, in turn, can be true to themselves. It is up to us to set the example first. The negative side of support is manipulation and interdependency and this makes everyone feel icky.

Some of us may have a fear that being a strong individual will cause problems or separation and may eventually push us away from one another. However, this is not true in a healthy relationship. The point is not to lean on anyone, the idea is to support them. In supporting them, we become supported. More importantly, we all need to practice unconditional love, acceptance, and support for ourselves. This is what allows us to trust and know, no matter what changes are made. Know, by divine law, we are never cut off from anything that is truly intended for us.

CHANGE

When we come from a place of integrity and changes occur then the changes belong in our lives. Fear of change is usually the fear of losing something. If we understand everything is happening as it needs to, then we never need to fear losing anything. It is usually only the fear of the change that prevents us from changing along with our partners. By letting go of our fears, we will know that no matter how much we might change, we will attract whatever and whoever is representative, harmonious, and unified with our changes.

If we allow change into our lives as we naturally grow and evolve — instead of resisting it or pretending it isn’t happening — the vast amounts of energy we used to put into resisting change become available for our own creative purposes. It has been said the only constant thing in this world is change. As we honor the changes that occur in our lives, we will find we no longer experience others who have made the choice to live and act differently. We will interact and co-create with those who exist on the same level as we do, with similar natures and vibrations. The best way to share our wisdom and ideas is to simply be an example ourselves.

“CHANGING” OUR PARTNERS

If we feel we have to mold, change, or manipulate our partners, the relationship bears examination. When we force someone to do something, it is a statement that we believe we will never really get what we are after, or that the person we are with will not be able to give it to us. When we force changes in our relationships, even if certain changes occur for awhile, our relationships are no longer in balance or integrity. Sooner or later the individuals who are being forced to go against their true selves will be forced to leave as the relationship is no longer a reflection of the real them.

Force is a non-integrated, distorted way of taking action. Remember, everyone naturally moves at the perfect rate and speed for themselves already. There is never any positive reason to accelerate someone (by force) to look and accept things they are not ready for. Even if they would be able to hear or see some part of the lesson we are attempting to force down their throats, until they are ready, in their own time and place, they will never grasp a true understanding of the lesson we are forcing them to learn. And because of our intervention, their original lesson became distorted and is much more difficult and confusing for them to learn. Usually, once interfered with, they will have to recreate their lesson all over again in an effort to counterbalance our interference.

Someone is ready to truly gain from our assistance and wisdom when they ask, of their own free will, for our guidance and insight. In such an instance, truth and wisdom is then shared, understood, and integrated in just the right way. The other person, by the fact of their asking, is in just the right place and state where they can truly hear, know and understand what we have to offer.

SAFETY

If we feel we need to keep ourselves safe or protect ourselves, we end up limiting the type of relationships we can create. We hear often from others that they are not currently in relationship because it does not feel safe. Two things might be the cause. If we feel we need safety, we may somehow feel we are in a relationship that will not allow us to be our real selves. On the other hand, if we are in a relationship that is not satisfying, but we stay in it because we feel safe, maybe we are not safe with the idea of taking full responsibility for who and what we are, and who and what we could be. As soon as we stop resisting our natural selves, our reality will automatically change to allow loving and supportive relationships to come into our lives.

In some cases, people feel they need safety to avoid being in a position where they could be abandoned or vulnerable. Some of us would rather be alone than express our true inner needs. If we are in a relationship where we do not feel safe or comfortable expressing our deepest inner needs, we are alone anyway. We are simply alone together.

COMPLETE TRUST
Trust really boils down to our own ability to trust ourselves. Complete trust occurs when we have an absolute knowingness we deserve to exist. Do we have to do something special in order to deserve to exist? No. We simply have to be. Creation has already decreed we deserve to exist. Can we give ourselves the same acknowledgment, respect, and love? We have a Divine right to exist in the manner we choose, simply because we prefer it! There is no other reason needed.

COMMUNICATION

Most of the problems that occur in relationships are caused by what is not being said, rather than what is said. Non communication, or withheld communication, is simply another way many of us hold back the real us from our partner. The problem with unspoken communication is more complex than might first be perceived. Saying “everything is all right,” when we are thinking “drop dead,” won’t fool the other person for very long. Our real heart’s truth and our honest feelings will always be psychically picked up by the other person on some level. Count on it! This is an ability we all have. It is the same sense that tells us when there has been a big fight or disagreement as we step into a strangely quiet and tense room. It is the same sense that we use psychically to energetically scan large groups of strangers at a party, as we decide who would be interesting to spend an evening getting to know.

Direct unspoken communication is often used by intent by a man we know, well versed in martial arts. He uses it to defeat very powerful and well known karate masters. Gifted in his own right, this particular gentleman is very aware of the power of unspoken communication and uses it to his advantage. As he takes his preliminary bows before his match begins, he smiles on the outside while mentally projecting extreme violence towards his opponent. His opponent energetically and mentally picks up these projected waves of discordant energy. These waves temporarily short out his opponents’ power centers, making it almost impossible for them to defend themselves as the bout begins.

Every relationship, in order to grow and flourish, requires open and honest communication coming from a point of inner truth and balance. Honest communication enables the other person to truly relate and to have a relationship with who we actually are. Open, clear, conscious communication enables the other person to observe and act with trust, for they know where they stand. By being clear and direct, they won’t be receiving one message from us verbally and another mismatched or opposing one psychically. It is time to share what is in our hearts with truth, trust, honest, and clarity.

SUMMARY

True creative relationships are expressed and experienced from a state of relaxed trust and creative joy. Relationships are simply learning how to play with each other, how to love and accept ourselves unconditionally, and how to trust who and what we are. When we share ourselves in a relationship, we will feel our own sense of completeness, and we will realize we are never alone. Allow yourselves to remember the world is magical, and allow that magic and enchantment back into your life. Be who you are, and do the things you love to do as often as you can! That is really the only way to really live our lives.

Boat Building Project – Grainger MTB920 – Installing Duracore Strip Planking

In my previous article I discussed the features and benefits of using DuraKore as a core especially for amateur boat building and why I chose to use this material over foam and western red cedar to build my Grainger 9.2M Trimaran.

In this article I will talk about how DuraKore is supplied and what work I had to do to make the strip planks for the project I was building.

DuraKore is supplied as planks, and for this project I ordered 13mm thick x 300mm wide x 2.4m lengths which had to be scarfed together to make planks longer than the length of the 9.2M hull.

The scarfs were made by machining a male taper onto the 1.5mm thick hardwood veneer at the end of one DuraKore plank, and a female taper into the hardwood veneer of the plank that was to be glued and joined to the male taper.

A 1 in 12 taper provides a joint stronger than if there was no joint if produced correctly.

The test to prove the finished joint is to scarf up a sample 50mm wide strip plank, and clamp one end of the plank to a bench with the bulk of the plank hanging out over the edge on the bench. The scarf joint should be a fair distance away from the edge of the bench also. Slowly add weights to the very end of the plank until it breaks. If the joint is a good quality scarf joint, the break will have occurred somewhere else along the plank.

A 1 in 12 taper means that the length of the taper will be 1.5mm x 12 = 18mm long.

The amount of balsa cut out of the female edge will be at least 18mm deep, and the inside edge of the hardwood veneers tapered towards the balsa cut-out 18mm depth inside the female joint.

The male edge is simply machined with a taper that runs out over 18mm on the hardwood veneers.

The DuraKore supplier sells an attachment that is fitted to a circular saw to do this easily. However a jig can be made to do the job. I bought the attachment.

Once I had prepared a long flat surface on which I could join 5 DuraKore planks together, I mixed the glue.
The Epoxy resin that I chose to use was 105 West System manufactured by Gougeon Brothers, Inc.

It is a clear, light-amber, low viscosity epoxy resin that can be cured in a wide temperature range to yield high strength, rigid solid which has excellent cohesive properties and also is an outstanding moisture barrier.

There are two types of hardeners formulated for use with 105 resins.

205 and 206 hardeners require 5 part resin to 1 part hardener mixing ratio. 207 and 209 hardeners require a 3 to 1 ratio, and solid state 6 to 8 hours.

I used 205 hardener which is mostly used for general bonding, barrier coating and fabric application. It was also formulated to cure at lower temperatures and to produce a rapid cure that develops its physical properties at room temperatures. Its pot life is 9 to 12 minutes at 22 degrees C. And solid state 9 to 12 hours.

The 206 hardener is a slower hardener and provides a longer working time especially when working in climates of higher temperatures. Its pot life is 20 to 25 minutes at 22 degrees C.

Special pumps can be purchased to dispense the correct amount of resin per 1 full stroke of the resin pump, and the correct amount of hardener per 1 full stroke of the hardener pump.

The temptation is to mix larger amounts, to save time mixing the stuff all day, but this resin generates heat once the hardener is added and stirred, and with larger volumes of epoxy in the container the greater the reaction and shorter the pot life. Before you know what has happened your hand is hot and the epoxy is hardening in the pot.

The epoxy needs to be thickened to glue the scarf joints so it would not run out of the joint before it cured, and West system provides additive powders to enable this. 411 powders are suitable for this.

I mixed about 4 pump strokes of Resin and 4 pump strokes of hardener together, and while mixing stirred in powder until I got a peanut butter consistency.

Mixing containers can be bought, however I preferred to put my money into the boat and not the rubbish bin. I had my wife and our neighbours saving plastic milk bottles and other suitable containers for me. My supply of milk bottles was insane at times. I cut the tops off those to make suitable containers.

Five planks were glued together and laid flat along a flat floor and straight edge jig to cure. This was important as the finished plank needs to be straight, or else the hull will have many humps and hollows to fill causing the fairing job to be a larger job than it should be. Those finished planks were just short of 12M long for the 9.M hull, which was fine because it is important to stagger the scarf joints as the hull is being planked, and wastage will occur because of that.

Those long planks then had to cut down to mostly 50mm widths so that the planks could be laid up over the male mould frames to form a round bilge core. In fact what you really have is many small chines’s, which are hardly noticeable, and disappear completely once the fairing is completed.

Around the water line area bilge areas, I had to cut the width of the planks down to 25mm and a couple to 12mm in order to get around the tighter radius.

Once I had a good stock of strip planks made it was time to start installing them onto the mold.

First I ensured that the hull could be removed from the mould frames at a later date by applying insulation tape to the edge of all the mold frames.

The first plank was important, as where it is placed along the hull would depend on how well the following planks laid up around the curvature of the hull. I screwed the first plank into the deepest point of the concave frame curve for each frame, and with a little bit of trial and error it became evident where the best fit was.

The edge of the first plank was coated with thickened glue so that it would not run off and also fill any gaps in the edge joints. The next plank was lifted and fitted into place, making sure that the scarfed joints of each plank were not aligned with each other, and only then screwed to the temporary frame.

I also found it necessary to screw plywood battens across the planks to hold the edges aligned in the areas between the spans of the temporary mold frames.

This edge gluing process was continued for about 6 to 7 weeks outside work hours until the entire DuraKore core was finished. A battery powered screw driver made this job easier for me.

As the planking progressed it became evident that I would have to stop on the area that I was currently filling in, because it became impossible to lay the long planks around the bilge curves as the plank was beginning to twist like a propeller blade and it would resist sitting flat against the edge of the mold frame.

I had to then lay a new 25mm plank along the highest point of the convex curve along the waterline, bow to stern and screw that plank on as my new edge to glue to. The next 25mm plank was edge glued and fitted to the lower edge of the new plank, and I continue to plank down towards the previous planked up area, slowly increasing the width of the planks to suit the curve therefore filling up the long elliptical void that was left. As the void was closed I found that I had to taper the end of the planks so that they could fit against the lower plank, and as the elliptical void was closed up each subsequent plank would become shorter. You can see the photos showing the planking on my web site.

Once the whole hull core was laid up, every screw was removed thousands of them and the hole filled. The glue joints were lightly sanded flat taking care not to remove any hardwood veneer. Hand sanding was the safest method as machines tend to dig in far too easily.

My next article will be about the fibre glass lay up on the main hull.