Day51 Plate on top of keel Keel bottom plate
And now for something completely different!
Half inch plate is very heavy, even though the peice was only 18" wide and 12' long. A template may have been a good idea, but such a small piece couldn't be much of a problem. The plate clamp didn't seem to have much of an appetite for 1/2" as it just wouldn't bite down. The marked curve, once brought back down, was easy enough to mimic with a piece of flatbar for the plasma cutter guide.
Plasma cutting plate so thick, on the other hand, is much slower and more difficult than the thinner stuff. I had trouble staying vertical with the torch, which with thin plate doen't present much of a problem. The 1/2" needed to be ground down for an hour to take out my bevel.
  "Big" plate cutting!
Plasma cutting my first 1/2" plate
The lesson here would be to watch the cut from directly above as often as possible, or you'll be doing lots of grinding! Or your partner in our case, poor Gena! (pic below)
poor Gena! Once back up in place, the plate had to be pulled down on each end with come alongs and clamps. For some reason, our steel supplier sold us 1/2" plate with a nice curve to it on one piece, and the other with a nasty kink. This all wasn't immediately obvious as it was under other plate etc.  
From now on we'll check things out more carefully before having it carted home. This may be a natural thing thick plate does, we don't know...
The flat end of the plate has been bevelled right down to 1/8" to provide a deep V for mating the other piece of plate aft. (tomorrow) Anyway, all went in fine and the fit wasn't bad. The plate on the side of the keel has such a suttle curve, and the keel bottom looks great in place!

Day 51:
8.5 hours: Put on first half of keel bottom plate.

to DAY 50

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to DAY 52