Friday, February 18, 2011

All Decked Out - the 3.5 step

Tonight saw a continuation of last night's project, i.e, cutting the hatch spacers and working on the compass recess. I completed all three hatch spacers - to my satisfaction, at last!! I ended up cutting one of them three times. Did I mention before that I am anal retentive?!?!? Well, they are all cut now and waiting to go.

I decided to drop the deck on the hull to see how things were fitting. Things are looking really good. The deck is going to require very little extra fairing. Once I start stitching the deck to hull, it should really start to come together. The exercise of popping the deck on the hull was to get an idea of hatch placement. This a pretty narrow craft and it's going to take some finagling to get them all to fit but I've got it all cased!!

Deck on and held in place with push pins.
I was trying to connect the deck and hull by using masking tape but it did not have the holding power so I opted to use push pins. I pushed them down through the deck and into the top of the sides. I am sure some purist will find some problem with this but it works great. Plus I can work on fairing the sheer as the pins are not in the way!!

Hatch placement is pretty well figured out - just a few things to keep in mind like bulkhead placement.

In my last post I was ruminating about how to encase the back of the compass recess. Today, while at Home Depot I came across a cap that is used on white PVC drain pipe. It says it's for 3" pipe which I take to mean 3" ID as the OD was 3.25 or exactly what I needed!!  At $1.75 it was worth the risk of buying it to see if it would work out!!! And it did!!! I was planning on constructing a custom backing out of FG and epoxy but when an easier way presents itself, I am not one to ignore it!!!   I initially tacked the cap onto the compass recess using hot glue and did some test fitting. You decide - does it look good, or what?

Compass recess with ubiquitous beer can in the background!!

And again!

I've had success with epoxying plastic before but it's a bit dodgy at best. I had some West System G-Flex on hand but never had a chance to try it. G-Flex is designed for use on plastic and other hard to glue surfaces - and in a marine environment to boot!! G-Flex is a 1:1 mixing ratio and it puts you in mind of the cheaper epoxies by Lepages that you can buy at CTC. It's pretty gooey during the mixing stage and, for some reason, it smells like a barn - weird!! I figured that since I'm gluing a piece of PVC, I'd give the G-Flex a whir. I sanded the PVC and gave it a quick cleaning with some acetone. I added some 406 filler to make the epoxy thicker to keep it in place. G-Flex + filler = a very yellow epoxy. I ran a thick fillet around the PVC. No need to worry about looks as this will NEVER be seen once installed on the boat. Curious to see how this stuff sets up!!

And just a few shots showing what the finished product will generally look like.

Hatches laid in place - they will be recessed much more than this once installed.

Next will be glassing the underside of the deck.



  1. Progress will slow with some of the tedious work with the hatches and compass recess but you're making good headway. Some of this work is not for the faint of heart!

    Tony :-)

  2. Yep, things have slowed a bit. I think the slowest, though, is the glassing of the larger areas - like hulls and decks. Each coat takes a full day to cure!! Once I glass the underside of the deck - a pretty easy task - I'll be ready to cut for the hatches. Speaking of work that is not faint for heart!! I'll definitely follow the old rule of measure twice, cut once when I take on this task.

    Thanks for watching!!