Mill Creek 16.5 decking sequence?

A call for advice from MC16.5 builders-

I am nearly ready to install the deck, and so have studied the construction manual.  Apart from instructions to do the aft deck first, then forward deck, and finally the two side deck pieces, the builder is left to choose, apparently, how to cut the butt joints.  In other words, does it matter from which deck piece I cut the excess of the overlap?  Since the side pieces apparently go on last, I assume it's best to overlap their ends on top of the aft and forward deck parts, then use the shop knife to cut the side deck parts to fit.  (Rather than cutting the forward and or aft deck.)  Does it matter?  Will aesthetics be affected by a longer or shorter side deck segment as a result?  Am I overthinking all of this?  Your input appreciated.

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RE: Mill Creek 16.5 decking sequence?

 For an almost invisible butt joint, I think... you overlap  say, the side pieces, and the aft deck, get a short metal straight edge,  and  a newish shop razor knife....  and  cut through both pieces, at the same time ...   as I recall, it took  about 12 passess to get all the way through cleanly.


 The resulting joint will have  almost zero clearance,  and will not show, when  glassed.



RE: Mill Creek 16.5 decking sequence?

I did the overlap and cut thru both pieces.  The joint is not invisible, but it is just a nice clean line.  Be sure you have a sharp knife and change blades in mid-process if you think it is getting dull.  Make the cuts in the same location port and starboard for symetry.

One other bit of advice.  Mask all the future gluing surfaces and finish the cockpit (paint or varnish) before you put the deck on.  It will save you sticking your head into wet paint trying to reach the tight spots and you will be able to get a good coating on the carlins and sheer clamps.

Paul G.

RE: Mill Creek 16.5 decking sequence?

...also keep in mind that the angle that you hold the blade will make a big difference in how clean the but joint will look...hold it at an angle as shown and the and don't wobble as you pull the'll get the cleanest joint possible this way...


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Deck Joint Cut

RE: Mill Creek 16.5 decking sequence?

One thing to think about is the location of the joint relative to the expected location of the nails. To get a uniform spacing between the nails and keep any nails from being too close to a joint, I think I trimmed off the bow and stern and left the side pieces full length.


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