Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Decking the Sterns

The stern decks are now installed and I am in the process of fairing and filling them in preparation for fiberglass sheathing.

Before they could be permanently glued in place, I first completed the painting in the stern buoyancy compartments and the varnishing in the aft bunk sections. The inspection plates were installed in bulkhead No. 1 in each hull, as well as the thru-bolts that reinforce the aft beam lashing pads.

As in the bow buoyancy compartments, I painted the sealed stern compartments gloss white to make it easier to inspect the interiors with a flashlight. The natural finish in the aft bunk areas is actually a satin finish polyurethane with U.V. inhibitors. I think the satin finish will be nice in all the main cabin areas.

The decks were glued down using thickened epoxy on the deckbeams and along the sheer stringers. Temporary screws were used to hold them in place until the epoxy cured.

Once the epoxy was cured and all screws removed, I began the process of filling the screw holes and sealing the deck to hull joint with thickened epoxy. After this cured, I sanded the excess epoxy away and then used a small router with a 1/2-inch round-over bit to put a radius on the deck edges. This will make it easier to wrap the 6-oz. fiberglass sheathing over the sheer stringer to overlap the hull-side sheathing.

The decks were shaped and filled around the stern posts. After this initial filling is cured it will be sanded and more fairing compound applied to smooth it out.

Here are the stern decks where I left them at the end of the day today - mostly filled and faired, sanded, and coated with a first sealing coat of epoxy prior to fiberglassing.

I've also been doing some final fairing and sanding of the bow decks, getting them ready to fiberglass as well. This should begin tomorrow if all goes as planned.

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