Look Ma…A Cabin Top

There are a few stages in this build that demand your upmost attention. Think it through late at night…ponder all the appropriate steps for success.  Think it through again…don’t forget anything.  Think it through again.  Then, don’t screw up.

Glueing down the cabin top was right up there with the centerboard bushing.  Get it right and heavenly choirs will be singing Hallelujah…get it wrong and the jaws of Hell open wide to receive you.  DSC00005First off, I filed down the mast ramp to better fit the cabin top.  The cabin top looks proud in this photo, but it’s not screwed down yet, and riding a little high in the saddle.DSC00022Dave (building Scamp #243) has a thorough explanation of the steps he followed in installing his cabin top.  I copied them.  My only deviation from Dave’s approach was that I countersunk s.s. screws into the top 2 cabin cleats.  I was careful to miss the accessory holes I had drilled through the cabin cleats earlier.  DSC00024My countersink is designed for a #6 screw.  But, I have found that the screws don’t tighten as well as they should, so I’m drilling out the screw hole (increasing its size).  If the screw gets hung up in the block, it will not tighten like it should and may strip out in the solid stock behind it.  In theory, the screw should just barely fit through the block (and plywood), so all the threads tighten in the solid stock behind it, producing a very tight clamping action.  Hence, I enlarged these holes and the plywood cabin top holes to optimize the clamping action of the screw.  I wanted all the aces in my hand for this nerve-racking step.  DSC00029  Ya baby, that’s a cabin top DSC00031DSC00034If you have done your homework well, things may go smoothly.  I’m glad to report, all the preparation paid off and things went very smoothly for me.  It was down right fun actually.

Steps I followed:

  1. Set everything out carefully, like preparing for surgery.
  2. Double check everything.
  3. Wet all surfaces with unthickened epoxy.
  4. Applied a thickened paste to all surface tops.
  5. Screw cabin top down into the top 2 center cleats.
  6. Tightened straps and inserted wooden sticks for even clamping pressure.
  7. Screwed the outer edges down using wooden blocks for even pressure.
  8. Applied inside fillets and worked additional epoxy into areas that needed more.
  9. Cleaned up and went for a 27 mile bike ride with my hot wife.  Life is good.

Now Shackleton is beginning to look like a proper vessel. 


5 thoughts on “Look Ma…A Cabin Top

  1. Will, I guess I stepped into that one didn’t I. You’ll have to check out our cycling blog at: ridingprivateidaho.wordpress.com

  2. Todd, I believe it was the same stuff I used everywhere else..but now I’m thinking it may have been slightly taller. I want to say 7/8″ x 1 1/8″ or something like that. I would just look at it and see what looks right to your eye. There is an argument for using a little taller cleat here because you’ll be planing a fair amount off to achieve the correct angle. Hope this helps.

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