Re: cutting the decks

Posted by Howard on Mar 11, 2005


Sounds like 4 good questions...and dave and ken are giving you solid advice. let me add a couple other tips.

1)assuming the rear bulkhead is in the proper location, the rear-most edge of the cockpit opening should be somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 inch in front of the bulkhead. as long as you have not attached the deck this is a great time to verify that the deckbeam in the front of the cockpit is also properly positioned. the front-most opening of the cockpit should line up between 1/4 to 1/8 inch behind (aft) of the aft side of the deckbeam. this way when you cut out your cockpit and do some sanding work, you will not cut into your deckbeam. what i do is take a measure of the length of the coaming opening and double check to make sure it will fit properly BETWEEN the aft bulkhead and the deckbeam.

2) you need to cut the deck opening prior to putting the deck on. in addition to the issue of getting the right curvature, if there is no opening, you will not be able to properly mate the back of the foredeck with the front of aft deck becuase you will have nowhere to put a clamp to pull the panels into alignment. In addition, at this step, the clamping of the foredeck and aftdeck joint has a "doubler" behind you need a way to get that piece in there. but as the guys said...take your coaming pattern and give yourself and extra inch and half all around so that the hole you cut initially is smaller than what it will be when allow you room for final fitting.

3)do the scarf of the front deck prior to installing the deck. you cannot ensure the proper curvature if you try to do it at the same time as installing the deck. the other value of that you can properly clean and get rid of any excess epoxy around the scarf while it is still nice and flat. it is tough to clean up scarf joints once the wood is curved/set in place.

4)decks without nails. there are a lot of different techniques that folks use. i happen to be a fan of tape. i have had good success with reinforced packing tape as well as high quality duct tape. you need to be careful when removing tape as it has a tendency to pull up a bit of wood with it. this will typically mean you need to do a bit more sanding of the panels to get rid of any marks your create. you also need to ensure you have plenty of tape on hand and be generous in really wrapping the deck securely. but a lot of people have ben doing it and doing it successfully.

good luck


In Response to: cutting the decks by ray on Mar 11, 2005


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