Assembling the Deck

To get back in sequence, this step comes after glassing the outside of the hull and before glassing the inside of the hull. Remember, you need those temporary frames inside the hull to establish the right loft on the deck.

First step–don’t forget to get your plastic wrap along all points of contact between the deck and the hull, otherwise you’ll have a devil of a time getting them apart. I also found that having clamps here and there helped retain the panels somewhere in the vicinity of the hull, rather than springing off and heading for the shop floor.

Joining the Deck Panels in Place

the deck is taped to the hull and glued

Deck Panels are Glued Together

Once the deck panels are pieced together, with the edges fit smoothly to the hull all along the sheer joint, you’ll have something that looks like this (right). The stains are from the resin applied to the joints between the panels. It looks bad and I’m not sure this is an example of a good job, but once the glass was applied to the deck the stains absolutely disappeared and the deck had a very uniform color.

So, what’s the story with the block, razor knife, and popsicle sticks in the back? Well, I had too much curve in the deck, whether that was from too much chamfering or the wires too tight or what, I don’t know. But I had to apply pressure downward on the deck to get it to spread out a bit and fit the hull. This seemed to me to be a pretty gross error, but once the resin glued the panels together and cured, the Tern went together nicely in final assembly and rowed true and straight.  I put address this to show that within limits you can squeeze-push-pull the pieces to fit and you’ll wind up with a good boat.

aft deck is compressed to fit

Aft Deck Fitting Detail

You can see additional detail to the left. The block is formed with a slight curve in order to flatten out the deck, the razor is keeping two of the panel edges aligned, and the popsicle sticks are keeping the deck panel edges from being pushed down into the hull.