Attaching the Deck

We’ve now got a hull and a deck. Before we put them together there are some inside tasks that ought to be done because they are so easily accessible. One is the smoothing of the inside of the deck, mentioned in the previous page. The other is installing the footbraces. With the deck up in the sling and out of the way, the hull can be rolled up on its side and held with duct tape. This makes installing the studs easy.

Install the Footbraces Rolled on the Side

You Can See Through the Joints

Don’t be surprised when you see light through the joints. They will all be slightly open, unless you filled them with wood putty. You can see through a lot of the wire holes, too, but once the deck is on, there are few opportunities to actually observe this, since there’s no line of sight directly to the light.

You Can Fill the Bow Now--Squeeze it Shut and Tape It

Once the deck is attached, one of the locations that will be difficult to reach is the the bow. You can do the bow fill at this time by overfilling the space, then clamping the deck down. You’ll squeeze out any excess, which can be wiped off. The down side was I got a lump of hardened wood putty on the keel, which I have not busted loose (yet). With the deck securely taped onto the hull, it’s goodbye to the strongback!

Out the Door! This Strongack Served Three Pygmies Well.

The Deck is Rolled Into Position for Gluing and Taping

The sling makes it easy to roll the boat and apply resin glue to the deck-hull joint. It also makes for natural filling of the joint with wood putty and taping it. You can save a lot of time by doing these operations as soon as the previous application of resinĀ is tacky, not cured–the whole deck attachment can be done in one day, including the taping.

 

Use 1" Wide Tape to Set the Trim Line

Skew the Cloth to Maximize Remnant Size

Glassing on the deck is easy. Once again, skew the cloth so that you wind up with two big triangles of remnant. The only tricky part is cutting the glass at the bow and stern so it can be wrapped around the tips. You’ll likely wind up with a very small bare spot right at the tip. It will look pretty crappy, with threads of glass sticking up that you can’t get to lay down. Wait until the resin is very tacky, then use a squeegee to push the threads down–they will mostly stick fine. However, you will eventually wind up cutting and sanding them to get a flush finish.

The Glass is Wetted Out

The boat looks great, even without trimming the edge of the glass. Note that the edge of the glass hangs below the tape, but that it’s only wetted out 1/4″ to 1/2″ into the top of the tape. (If you get resin below the tape, no big deal. You can scrape off any roughness later.) Trimming is a bit scary–you have to cut all the way through the cloth so that when you lift off the edge you don’t pull the “stay behind” edge of the glass off the surface. At the same time, you don’t want to cut through the fill layers of resin on the hull and into the glass below. Make sure the tip of your razor knife is sharp and clean. You need to cut the edge free when the resin is very tacky, but still flexible and able to stick to the hull if you press it down (in case you do raise the edge, which you will do–every few feet you’ll fail to cut through a single thread and you’ll see the cloth come off the hull. Just press it back down.) Another reason to cut when it’s just tacky is that you may trim slightly into the masking tape, leaving a sliver under the glass. You need to get this out or you’ll have a permanent white sliver in the glass.

The Tape and Cloth Edge Come Off Cleanly

Once you’ve cut the glass, just pull the tape and it comes off cleanly. You may get a slightly raised edge, enough to make the glass turn opaque. You don’t need to press this down if it’s just the edge–you’ll scrape this before you apply the fill coats. So, the next step is to take your scraper and smooth the edge of the glass before you apply the fill coats.

Scrape the Edge

Look closely at the photo. The scraped edge looks unattractive, but it will disappear under the fill coats and become translucent again. If you run your finger along the scraped edge, it will feel almost smooth with a barely detectable ridge. The scraped fill coat below will also become completely translucent will the fill coats. You can see some wavy lines below the glass line–they are drip lines that have been lightly scraped. You can remove drip lines and drips easily with the Bahco scraper–it’s magic.

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