Thursday, January 04, 2007

All Decked Out

So, Mike left us yesterday evening for Colorado to work out his plans for a summer internship doing research for NOAA, rock on Mike! Meanwhile, Matt and I were left to finish beveling the top edge of the second boat and we also spent some time working out and prioritizing what is left to do before we go back to school. Chris got back from Boston last night and is back on the job in Mike's place so we are still one man short but dealing with the challenge. Matt and I drove to West Marine today to buy more epoxy filler in order to be able to work on the decks today. We returned and the three of us started making the preparations for the deck installation. Here is a teaser from later in the day.

We started by installing the mast steps which consisted of an oak plank that rested across the chines just ahead of the second bulkhead. We epoxied in a long stainless steel bolt from the underside of the mast step plank that will later hold on a 3 inch cylinder of delrin which is on the way from McMaster Carr. This will fit up inside the windsurfer masts that we will use and keep the bottom of the masts steady.

We had dry fit the deck panels the night before so it was just a matter of laying the panels out and coating the bottom side with two coats of epoxy before gluing them onto the tops of the hulls with thickened epoxy and holding them down with ratchet straps, rubber tie downs, clamps and screws. We also laminated some 8.5 oz fiberglass onto the underside of the deck panels in the location of the forward and rear hatches as well as the mast step location. This will help the hatches hold the curved shape after we cut them out of the deck later. We used boards across the edges of the deck panels so that force of the straps would be distributed across the edge. This worked very well and we managed to get an almost perfect mate all the way around the hull.

We also packed the bow compartment with scavenged milk jugs, soda bottles and scrap foam from the amas as we could. We epoxied all the bottle caps on and this floatation will keep the boat afloat in the event that both cockpits and both hull storage compartments are filled with water.

A very long day today but rather rewarding seeing the decks in place finally. Tomorrow will be a day of sanding trimming and of course, more epoxy. We are also planning to do all trailer modification tomorrow so we don't get stuck with no way to take the boats home. My hobie 18 trailer will be the workhorse for the boats from now until the EC.


DancesWithSandyBottom said...

Looking great!

DancesWithSandyBottom said...

Perhaps Bob Stuart of

would sponsor you by providing a couple of SpinFin modules.

DancesWithSandyBottom said...


Michael said...

I wish I could be there. It's alot of work, but it is definitely worth it! See ya'll tomorrow.