Deck Installation

There comes a time in every mans life when he needs to rise up off the couch and install a deck.  Today was my day.DSC00007But first, I installed cleat blocks between the gunwales and carlins for the 4 deck cleats which will be installed later.  The blocks were made from (3) 3/8″ plywood scraps glued together and then cut to fit.  DSC00002I used a round over bit on the bottom edges of the block to create a smooth transition between blocks and gunwales/carlins.DSC00004DSC00001DSC00002I own 68 clamps.  I thought surely this would be enough.  Yet, just to be sure, earlier in the week, I purchase another 10.  Well, after clamping on the deck, I realized I was still a little short.  So, I sent my teenaged daughter and son to go buy 10 more clamps while I stayed and continued working on the deck.  $53.00 later, they returned with another 10.  Surly 88 clamps would be enough.   No, I could easily have used another 10 but I made it work.  I promise that no matter how many clamps you have, you will still want another 10.  DSC00003After securing the deck, I completed a few fillets to finish things off.  This is the deck/transom fillet.  DSC00002This is the BK2/front deck fillet.

Steps I followed:

  1. Applied the second coat of epoxy to the underside of the deck within 10 hours of the initial coat (to save sanding).
  2. With this second coat still wet, I had my kids help me position the deck onto the boat.
  3. Before doing so, I wet all carlins/gunwales and other mating surfaces with un-thickened epoxy (I used a roller to ensure complete coverage.  Roll it several times to work the epoxy into the wood fibers.  They are very thirsty.)
  4. Placed a thick bead of thickened epoxy onto all gunwale/carlin tops.
  5. Used a stir stick to smooth the thickened epoxy out flat over all the mating surfaces.
  6. Called for the kids to help position the wet deck in place.
  7. Clamped it down using 88 clamps (100 clamps would have been even better).
  8. Cleaned up the squeeze out and admired my work.

What I learned:

  1. You can never have too many clamps.
  2. Spread the thickened epoxy completely over the entire gunwale and carlins.  This will make for a very wide strong bonding surface.
  3. Take your time and preplan all the steps.  This went remarkably smooth (other than frantically running to the store to buy 10 more clamps).
  4. I didn’t use any screws in this installation.  The epoxy is plenty strong to hold everything down and you save the work of filling all the screw holes.

Have you touched your Scamp today?

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