One thing about laying teak: it may be somewhat tedious and is very messy, but when you stand back and look at it, it's all worth while. I would have to say, that on odds, fitting out the cockpit (once I'd decided what to do with it!) has been fun, if slow.
You will remember my agonising over the teak trim around the transom for the outboard, and persuading it into place with a heatgun. Well, to my astonishment, when I undid the screws and took it off, it retained its shape with hardly any spring back.
It was a cinch to glue in place. I was so relieved.
The next job was to paint out the fuel lockers, in which I had put a small platform to take the containers. There is room for plenty of petrol. I don't anticipate using a lot; on the other hand, it's not particularly easy to obtain without going alongside a fuel dock for which you generally need a special card. If I can carry sufficient that I only need to fill up once a year, I shall be very happy and can't see that being an issue.
There was a certain amount of eye-rolling among my friends as I solemnly set to work cutting out strips of teak and fitting them into the deck lockers. They were too kind to say it, but I could hear
them thinking: "I thought you wanted to get this boat finished"! However, when (particularly plastic or cloth) containers sit on painted surfaces, the water gets trapped and reduces the life of the paint job. My aim is to minimise future maintenance and these strips of teak should help keep the lockers less wet.
Here is the teak capping in place and sanded flush.
The next thing was to start extending the decking over the lockers so as to form the lids.
While these pieces were being glued up, I cut out the top for the lockers. I often find it's easier to use my large Japanese saw (for which I recently invested in a new blade) than to set up a guide for the little circular saw, and in this case, one long side had a curve in it, anyway, which the electric saw won't cope with. It's much easier to follow the line (for me) with a handsaw than with a jig saw, too.
I was now ready to start laying the first teak. I puzzled a little while as to whether I should run fore and aft, or parallel with the cockpit or with the back rests. In the end I decided it would look better if it was the same as the centre deck and cockpit sole.
In the meantime, I had been fitting the locker top. Once it was all cut to shape, I then cut out the separate lids for the lockers. This time I used the hand saw to keep the kerf down to a minimum so that the lids wouldn't be a sloppy fit. I'd rather sand them down afterwards than try to add extra bits of wood.
Having said which, I did put teak capping over the sides and ends, which then reminded me that I needed to add teak to the ends of the lockers. This was done with lots of offcuts left over: it's always satisfying to use these up.
Here the lids have been pre-coated and I'm preparing to lay the rest of the teak around the cockpit.
It was quite a fiddle tapering the pieces along the edge, but fortunately I still have heaps of decking left, so the odd mistake isn't too much of a catastrophe.
Gosh! That was quick, wasn't it? I wish. However, when I'm up to my ears in black epoxy, it's not easy to take photos and besides, you have seen the teak-laying process in the past.Although not perfectly symmetrical, the two sides aren't that far out. The teak varies in width by up to a couple of mm and even I am not so obsessive as to ensure that they match either side.
I fitted the teak to the lids in full length pieces and then took the lid down and cut the lids out, which left me with a kit of teak pieces to fit.
I did all the lids as one, gluing them up in situ
with masking tape separating them from each other and from the rest of
the locker lid. Once the glue had cured, I took the hatches off and did
the rest of the lid. This wasn't quite as straightforward as I'd hoped
and for the second locker, I glued down the wood on the fixed part
first, which made it easier.
The lids than had to be sanded, the gaps filled, sanded, filled, sanded ... you get the idea.
The next stage is to put teak on the fuel lockers. When that is done, the boat will essentially be finished and I can open the bottle of Bollinger that a kind friend gave me ages ago. There will be much rejoicing - even if I did hope to have had this finished by the end of October.
Of course, I still need to make the companionway, sort out the pram hood, put on the toe rails and rubbing strakes, fit the stanchions, finish and hang the rudders, work out the tiller arrangement, make the bilgeboards, paint the boat, make the mast, make the sail, sort out blocks and rigging, make the self-steering, fit and wire in the solar panels, finish the davits, make patterns for cushions and sew up their covers and I dare say many other things that I can't think of at the moment. Please don't remind me of them: I can promise you they won't be forgotten.