Summer is mostly over, and it is time to get back to boat building. We had a great time working in the back yard, sailing the Potter and the Melonseed, enjoying the nice weather. In August, I attended the Small Craft Academy, and the SCAMP rally, and got quite a bit of SCAMP sailing time. So, now I am really stoked to get ANNIE B in the water.
So this post covers work I did back in May and early June, as well as recently.
After playing around with trying to bend single wood strip gunwales, I decided to make the gunwales (and carlins) from two strips laminated together. And even with those thicknesses, I decided it would be easier for a single hander to deal with these if they were steam bent.
So, I bought a steamer, and created this setup using PVC pipe. The pipe needs to be supported at frequent intervals as it becomes very soft when heated by the steam.
I steamed one gunwale piece for (in this case) the port side, then pulled one out of the steam box and clamped it in place.
I then drilled countersinks for some of the screws from inside, plank to gunwale, and installed 3/4" screws to hold the 1st gunwale piece in place. I then steamed the 2nd piece and clamped it in place on top of the 1st.
After letting that sit for several hours, I drilled countersinks for screws from the outside (outer gunwale piece to inner) and installed 3/4" screws, and finished the inner countersinks.
To glue the gunwales to the hull, I removed the inner screws holding the gunwale sandwich to the plank, primed the plank and inner gunwale, applied thickened epoxy to the plank, and screwed the gunwale sandwich to the plank from the inside, starting at the stern.
After cleaning up squeeze out, I removed the outer screws and the outer gunwale piece, primed, applied thickened epoxy, and screwed it back in place.
After cleaning up squeeze out again, I removed the inner 3/4" screws one-by-one and replaced them with 1 1/4" screws that penetrate both gunwale pieces (I had to countersink each hole again before installing the longer screw).
This process allowed me to do the entire job without help, and gave a good result.
Gluing the carlins was done differently than the gunwales, since they are not screwed to anything, and I didn't want to screw them together.
I put one screw between the two pieces at the stern, removed them from the hull, then primed and glued the two pieces together, clamping frequently with spring clamps, as you can see at left. After cleanup (and before the epoxy cured), I installed them with glue to the bulkheads. I clamped them at each bulkhead to keep them parallel with the front surface of the bulkhead, so that the coamings will fit against that surface later.
I made an H shaped jig that clamps onto the side deck pieces in the middle and at the stern, so that I can handle the deck by myself. I was able to lift it up and turn it over by myself, though carefully as it is pretty floppy.
Here, 3 coats of epoxy are being applied to the underside of the deck. The 2nd and 3rd coat have white pigment added, so that I don't need to try to paint the underside of the deck (cant imagine how messy that might be!)
I also cut and dry fit backing plates for the 6 deck cleats to be installed (sorry, no pix). These were made from a material called G-10, which is a fiberglass and epoxy mix, and comes in 1/2" thick sheets. I chose it because it doesn't need to be coated with epoxy, and holes dont need to be overdrilled/epoxy filled. But mostly I just wanted to try it out.
I cut these backing plates to barely fit between the carlins and inside of the plank so that the edges can be glued to them when the deck goes down.
After a pretty hectic epoxy mixing and spreading session (thank heavens for slow hardener and cool temps!), and quite a few screws, the deck is glued down!
I started by gluing the deck cleat backing plates to the underside of the deck, supported by the temp bolts/nuts. Then spread thickened epoxy on the gunwales and carlins, followed by a bead of thickened epoxy on the edges of backing plates.
Then I lowered the foredeck down onto the hull, followed by the middle and then the after part of the deck. You have to pull the sides of the foredeck down (I used a strap around the bows) in order to be able to push the aft edge of the foredeck snug against the foreward side of BH2. This was followed by half the screws, then the other half, then endless cleanup.
This is a backing plate under the port foreward edge of the foredeck for a bow eye to be used for anchoring. Howard Rice described a method that allows handling the anchor from the cockpit, and involves running the rode through an eye on the foredeck.
Now, he recommended putting the eye on the starboard side, which will allow the boat to fall off on a starboard tack when leaving an anchorage, thus having right-of-way. But, my rode storage locker is under the port seat, back at the transom, so to simplify rode handling I put the bow eye on that side.
The backing plate is 3 layers of 9mm ply glued together, edge glued to the carlin, deck beams and bow transom, with the 3rd layer overlapping under the deck beam, and finally the whole mess glued to the underside of the deck. And yes, there is some squeeze out that wasn't cleaned up when the deck went down. I spent most of the time cleaning up squeeze out under the deck elsewhere, and didn't crawl up there to do it. I can live with that.
And in case you're wondering, I can reach this point under the deck via the BH3 hatches. I can just get my entire upper body through them - it is NOT comfortable, but it works, and I will be able install the nuts for both bow eyes (you can just see the backing plate for the bow transom bow eye at the lower edge of the pix - it is made of G-10).