All Hands on deck!

But first, a brief apology.

To: Thomas, Les, Amos, mark, Cliff, Christopher, Don & Sue, wllpuent, Michael, Leo, Peter, Bruce, and Jason, I apologise for my uncivilized and unseemly reticence. The previous page alluded to my, and our, travailles. It didn't however describe at great length the breadth and depth of my depression. A sad effect of my political participation and perspective is that after six years, our national miasma appears to be taking on a state of permanence. I have been taking it very personally. And I still harbor a great deal of scepticism about the future despite the apparent changes in Congress.
As well, the accomplishments on the boat, (such as they have occured,) don't seem particularly noteworthy.

Having a real job means getting real vacations, as opposed to getting laid-off.

Mine started Christmas Eve and lasted until January 2nd - eleven days of bliss - seven of which were spent boatbuilding.
The concept for the deck has been rolling around in my head for several years, as have been most of my concepts by now. The mechanics of the project are fairly straight forward; laminate three layers of 5.2mm plywood, dispersing the joints to maximum advantage.

The reality was that in the rush to complete significant portions of the boat elsewhere, the bow/rode locker was abandoned unfinished three years ago. So before beginning the deckwork, I had to glass the inside of the hull, add some deck bracing between station #8 and the stem, and a couple of 2x6 backers for the forward mooring cleats and stanchions. I chopped away the sheerclamp in this area and added the 2x6's directly to the hull - a much stronger layup, IMO. Various other tops; the bookcases, the head doorway and such I'd let "run wild", and so they were planed to match the deck contour as well. Bit by bit, all that was done over the early winter.

Originally I'd feared that laying the deck was going to require three or four people to accomplish; a couple up top to actually lay the sheets and a couple down on the ground to hand things around. I'd asked my brother to help and mentioned the possibility on needing help to Melvin, the carpenter who works on my house when needed. No, I don't work on my house myself. SWPUWM tells Melvin what she wants. They work out the details. Melvin tells me how much it costs. A win-win-win situation all around.

As it turned out, my brother became unavailable at the last minute, but Melvin did the work of three men. I tend to forget how strong people who aren't all stove up and crippled are. The first morning Mel and I went to Lowe's and bought 20 sheets of B/B maple/birch plywood and three boxes of 1&5/8" truss screws. (We repeated the screw pickup twice more as the days went by; the heads are comparatively soft and stripped out, usually on the way back out, sooner than anticipated.) By 9AM we were at the graving dock.


12/27 The weather was cool - always a plus when using large amounts of epoxy. The carlins turned out to be in exactly the right place for the first layer edges to fall dead-center on the carlins. (As if there was ever any doubt!)


The first layer sheets were all cut to length to fall on-center on the beams. This was to avoid having to tape any seams from below.


No, no! This isn't Melvin showing his best side. The deck was very tender at this point. Notice his feet are placed on the beams.
We finished* the first layer on the first day. * explained later down the page.


12/28 The second layer was somewhat less tedious. Although we did spend a fair amount of time making sure sheets would lap the joints below... all the way down the hull, the deck was becoming stronger and we used full sheets.


Oh my God! There's an INSIDE!

Which means no more free illumination from the fluorescents overhead. Sheesh! Some people can bitch about anything. Cheap clamp lights for now. One more step along The Path.


12/29 Melvin's better side, and all three layers down as far as possible; almost.


This third layer took coniderably longer than the second because it was screwed down like underlayment - which is to say with screws on 8" centers throughout, which, if I may admit to imperfection or second thoughts, I probably should have done on the second layer as well. I have a very high degree of confidence that the lamination is uniform; the thickened epoxy was spead very evenly and generously. I'll know for sure when I begin cutting the holes for the mast, skylight and hatches.


This is why the deck isn't 100% complete. The cockpit seat backs weren't cut and installed until the 27th, the morning we started this project. I realized only almost at the last minute, (it came to me in a dream the night before,) that without them, I couldn't get the curve of the deck there that I wanted. And the reason they weren't in place long ago is that I'd originally made some pieces to fit that location that didn't fit. So they moldered in a dusty corner and were wiped from memory.


Seams and holes are being filled and sanded, filled and sanded.


12/31 My brother came over and did a superb job of rounding over the starbord sheer with a beastly heavy belt sander while worked away at the port side with a power planer. (And then later, on the First, with the same beastly machine.)
Mongo, who also came over on Sunday, set to work with a vengence cleaning the interior, vacuuming and sorting out the indescribable clutter.

Between you my friends, both near and far, you've reinvigerated my flagging spirits. And I seem to have banished my writer's block, uh... including emailer's block.

This way to 2007

This way [home2.] Home.[chaos]

Got any questions or comments? I'm still "themadmac" [dawg1email.jpg] only now I'm at

Written 2007/Jan/07