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In Greenland

Iron Bark

Iron Bark
Under full sail


At Russell Boating Club's Tall Ships Regatta

Blue Water Medal

Blue Water Medal
Blue Water Medal

Books By Annie Hill

  • Brazil and Beyond
  • Voyaging on a Small Income

03 March, 2019

Mixture same as before

Well, if you thought that last lot of photos of sheets of plywood being laid down were less than exciting, here are more of the same.  However, I'm pleased to report that all the 4mm ply has been glued down atop all the 6mm ply and I am now ready to cut holes for hatches and lay teak.  Or maybe the other way round.  We shall see.  I'm frankly terrified at the thought of cutting said holes!  

 David and I had originally agreed to have a little canopy overhanging the after end of the cabin.  There is one on Fantail that does a fine job of keeping out the rain if there's no wind.  However, I've decided against this for three reasons
  1. Fánshì doesn't have a sloping cabin back, so there is less chance of the rain coming in the companionway.
  2. I am going to have a pram hood, which will keep out the rain and allow ventilation even more effectively than the folded down 'washboard'.
  3. I think the camber is more pronounced on Fánshì than on Fantail.  There's a reasonable chance that it will catch me in the back of the neck, if I'm sitting against the cabin back - it will probably be intensely uncomfortable for anyone else.
Anyway, I'm making the deck just about flush with the back of the cabin and used my little router to trim it.

 Laying the 4mm was hardly rocket science.  However, with the temperatures still in the high 30s, it would have been impossible to lay large sheets, even if I could have handled them.  I laid them out to cover the butts in the 6mm, but in truth, as those all landed on beams and stringers, this was hardly necessary.  I tried using staples, but they were such hard work to remove, that I went back to screws again.  I didn't want to leave the staples in because not only would they be hard on the sandpaper, but would undoubtedly interfere with the screws required for the layers of teak to follow.  Even if I had been glassing the deck, they would have been a nuisance.  Bronze and plastic staples don't appear to be available in NZ.

 The 4mm plywood flopped into place much more readily than the 6mm had.  It was now that I discovered what I'd already heard about: the thickness of plywood is nominal.  Apparently, it all rather depends on when they change the sandpaper on the huge belts they use for finishing the plywood.  So the finished sheet can vary in width by over a mm.  This hardly shows when you're using 12mm ply, but becomes quite apparent on 4mm.  It was easy to tell, when I started filling the gaps with smaller pieces, whether or not they had come from the same batch of plywood (the 4mm I've used was bought on two separate occasions).  Still, that's why Mr Makita invented random orbit sanders.  (The belt sander was uncooperative on the steeply sloping deck).

 Due to the framework of the shed getting in the way, it's hard to see that this photo shows a saw, trimming off the bilgeboard case.  David, very sensibly, suggested that I should use this extension to hang the blocks for raising and lowering the board.  However, the acute angle is making it really difficult to fit the decking, so in the end I decided to take it off.  I can always rebuild a smaller version if I can't think of a slightly more elegant solution!

Abaft the bilgeboard cases, I used strips of plywood, having sawn the full sheet into three.  Again, I staggered these more for the 'feel good factor' than from any real necessity.  These longs strips appear to have ironed out most of the bumps and hollows still remaining after sanding.  I am not a professional boatbuilder.  The deck will support the structure and keep out the water, even if they are far from perfectly even.

And so, here we are: a bit of sanding and filling and then it's teak time.  (Actually, sadly there are quite a few other things I have to do before I can start laying the decks, but it does seem imminent!!


Malcolm Duckett said...

Looking good Annie.

I was disappointed to discover that Befur's cabin roof had suffered from water entry over the winter on the hard... A ply roof bedded in epoxy onto laminated beams and stringers covered with two-part paint. It seems that water made it into the ply via the antenna cable (and maybe at the edges of the sheet). I guess I should have epoxy coated the ply (or maybe glass coated it) before installation, but I thought the 2-part paint would do the job. I contemplated removing the whole sheet, but just too hard, so injected more epoxy into the sheet to stabilise things and will re-finish and see if we can halt the "rot". I guess leaving it on the hard for 4 months let things get out of hand, you will be better living on board :-)


Annie Hill said...

I am sorry to hear about that , Malcolm. I confess that I take the concept of encapsulating everything in epoxy quite literally. I soak all unprotected endgrain with several coats until it is shiny, and I would always use a flow-coat of solvent-free epoxy as a primer. It saves using primers anyway, and is far better than any other coating I know of, for keeping water out. If you make holes through the plywood, it's always worth sealing those with several coats of epoxy, too, applied with a pipe cleaner or cotton bud. If the wood hasn't deteriorated or de-laminated, it might be worth taking off your paint and putting plenty of epoxy on all the rest of the plywood before painting it again, once the wood has dried out thoroughly. With spring arrived, that shouldn't take too long. Best of luck to you!