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A Perth Riviera # 8 – to October 2013

On January 28, 2014, in Glen-L Styles, by Andrew

After the diversion of the electrical system, installing the deck saw a return to normal boatbuilding.  In retrospect, I was somewhat premature in this step as a number of things would have been much easier to install without the deck being in the way – fuel lines being one!  But the need to progress overtook sounder judgement.


Plywood under deck installed and rebate for sheer timber created.

After a final fairing of the sheer, four sheets of marine plywood were obtained to provide the deck base.  The ply was screwed to the frames to provide clamping pressure while gluing which eased the process of installation no end.  With the ply based installed, a rebate was routed on the sheer for the sheer edge piece.  This was done using battens screwed to the ply base for the router to run against and gave a fair curve.  The depth (toward the centre of the hull) of the rebate varied across the length of the hull in order to allow the sheer edge to be correctly faired into the hull shape – the rebate is shallower at the bow and deeper at the stern.  The height of the rebate (toward the keel) was calculated to accommodate the finishing pieces.

The installation of the sheer edge piece at the bow was the first and only time that a piece of wood needed to be steamed during the build as the curve was too sharp for the 1” square mahogany.  A primitive steamer was created using some plastic drainpipe connected to my long suffering wife’s clothes steamer and the mahogany pieces pre-soaked and then steamed.  While the plastic drainpipe did not take too kindly to the process (the heat distorted the plastic quite badly), for a one-off job it was perfectly adequate and the results more than good enough.  The sheer edge pieces were then screwed and glued to the hull.

The top of the deck is finished with a 5mm (3/16”) mahogany veneer arranged to give the appearance of an edge timber and planking.  As with the hull bottom veneers, a bunch of wood was re-sawn into thin planks with the bandsaw and the thicknesser pressed into service to bring them all down to a smooth 5mm.  200mm (8”) planks were used for the edge timber (this being the largest that I could comfortably re-saw using my bandsaw) and 40mm for the planks.


Finishing boards on and sheer edge pieces installed.

The finishing boards were constructed from multiple pieces to accommodate the various curves.  Once the shape was close to correct, the pieces were stapled to the ply base temporarily and a batten (screwed to the ply under deck) again used to create a fair curve to allow the inside edge to be routed to shape.  With this done, the veneer was unstapled, thickened resin applied and the whole thing stapled back to the ply base.


Dry fitting of deck planks. The stitching screws used as spacers/clamps are visible.

The planks were straightforward if tedious.  Recognising the need to shape the ends of the planks to fit the edge timbers and various cockpit openings, I invested in a disc sanding machine which eased the task considerably.  The individual planks were clamped to the ply base while gluing (and the gap between them established) using stitching screws (with a very wide head).  These made the whole process very simple although, in some cases, left small marks in the timbers.

With the deck in place, stain was applied to the edge timbers and coats of resin applied before filling the gaps between the planks with white sealant (to make cleaning up possible).  The scheme used by other builders of filling the gaps with white colored, thickened epoxy was rejected for various reasons.  Once again, in hindsight, the flush finish that results from that approach – as opposed to the slight dip that you get with the sealant – would have been a better outcome.  Live and learn.

Finally, many coats of varnish were applied – the hull was complete.


10 coats of varnish applied using roller and brush – not perfect but shiny.






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