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?

Carlins Baby!

It is with great joy swelling up in my heart that I bring you this blog post.  There are many emotions that come to a builder during the building process.  Some are thoughts of boredom (like sanding), others are feelings of great exultations (like singing Hallelujah in the church choir).  I’m ready to sing Hallelujah twice over.

Not sure why, but the gunwales and carlins were a big deal to me.  Maybe it’s their shape, maybe it’s because I struggled initially with these steps, maybe it’s because my boat now looks as beautiful as a women.  I actually made my wife come out to behold the curves.  She agreed they were very beautiful.  I didn’t know boat building could be sexy…but it definitely is.  DSC00003 DSC00005Something about seeing these steps complete feels so rewarding.  Maybe boat building complies with the Law of the Harvest and I’m feeling the spiritual blessing from this natural law.  Call it what you will, I feel good.  The shaped hull is definitely attractive, but when you add gunwales and carlins, look out baby.

After my initial slow start bending the wood, all seemed to fall into place.

Key to building a boat…just keep working…problems seem to work themselves out.  

Bright Work, Seat Hatches and Carlins

DSC00003My thinking has been, if I did finish work as I went along, it would never appear too daunting a task.DSC00063Though you can’t see it well in this photo, here sits Shackleton with 4 coats of varnish on the inside.  I use 2 coats of gloss, followed by 2 coats of satin.  I much prefer the look of satin over the high gloss.  The reason I start with 2 coats of high gloss is that I have read (and tend to believe) that high gloss is more durable.  So, I start with the gloss and end with the satin, for the best of both worlds.DSC00008Seat cutouts, finished and drilled to receive hatch.DSC00016Hatches installed using a generous bead of 100% silicone around the bottom flange.  I worried for some time that the hatches would be uncomfortable to sit on, but I believe they are going to be just fine.  DSC00018Starboard hatch placed outboard of the CB slot.  This will just barely lay open once the carlins and deck coaming are installed.  DSC00003Stir stick used to flush up the bulkhead even with the gunwales.  Epoxied in place.DSC00007I added a fillet along the top of the starboard gunwale where it meets the transom for proper alignment. DSC00022The bulkheads need to be angled to better match the angle of the carlins.  DSC00024Port side carlins installed.  This was a little tricky to do by myself.  Another set of hands would have helped, but I worked through it.  I also cut and installed a filler block at the bow transom to stiffen this area up a bit.  It will also provide a nice place for me to attach a bow anchor line plate (not sure what they call those things).

I’m going to increase the size of the bulkhead/carlins fillets in a few hours and then let things get good and hard before removing the clamps.  Lots of pressure; I’m afraid the carlins might want to pop off, hence the larger fillets to follow.

Then on to the Starboard side carlins.