Fitting the deck

Another slightly late set of photos….

Filleting up inside

Once we’d turned Kensa over things seemed to progress very quickly. This was partly because the deadline was looming and we were by now running on technically illegal levels of caffeine and solvents and partly because the nature of the work left to do meant we had a series of short finite tasks to complete.

Finishing filleting

But mainly, and most satisfyingly, we actually were a lot quicker at getting certain jobs done. Because for the first time we were repeating processes which had been completely new to us a few months back and finding – very pleasingly – that we were considerably more confident and competent. So things like epoxy filleting the last joints which had been inaccessible while the boat was upside down were straightforward jobs that we got done quickly. That said, there were still a few tiny spaces to get into to achieve this….

Quite a small space

Once we’d finished making her watertight, we got on with fitting Kensa’s deck structure. In order to do this we needed to plane back her sheer (the top edge now that she was the right way up) to get it level and fair.

Planing back the sheer

Most of Kensa’s deck structure was already in place given the construction of her frames, but for extra strength and fixture points we still needed to add the carlins, longitudinal wooden battens.

Fitting the carlins

We bonded these with thickened epoxy and clamped them in place before epoxy coating them.

Deck structure all fitted

Next we cut the deck panels to fit. These are 9mm plywood, in order to be flexible enough to take the deck’s curve.

Deck cut and ready to fit

Once the panels were cut to size, we coated them with epoxy and got on with fitting the outer transom. As I was writing this post, I looked back through our Twitter feed to remind myself of the order in which we did some of these jobs. I happened to idly glance at the date of our posts and was filled with slight horror when I noticed that the photo below was posted on 1st August, a mere 18 days before our launch date! We still had quite a lot to do then… This may explain why I have little memory of last August!

Decks epoxied!

The outer transom is essentially a large bit of plywood the same size as the transom which covers and protects the plank ends and acts as an aesthetically pleasing fascia or fake bum for the boat.

Fitting outer transom

This was cut and shaped and bonded to the hull using thickened epoxy. We clamped it in place where we could, but used a prop to hold in the bottom end of the transom where there were no suitable clamping points. The only alarming thing about this was that the other end of the prop was wedged up against the end of the shed. Although we love the shed to bits, it is old and frail in places and we worried slightly that this much pressure might be too much for the end wall; in a fight between boat and shed we rather assumed Kensa would win! Fortunately the epoxy cured without any mishap and the shed is still as intact as it ever was…

Side decks fitted

With the deck panels coated and dry, we set about fitting them, using thickened epoxy and a combination of screws, penny washers and ratchet straps to clamp them in place while the epoxy cured.

Sitting on deck!

Actually, we ran out of penny washers. So in absence of a handy Screwfix, we decided the most expedient option was to drill holes in 2p pieces. I believe this is some form of high treason and probably punishable by death, but we risked it anyway and got the job done in half the time.

Side decks epoxied

Once each section of deck was fitted, we epoxy coated them ready to be fibreglassed.

Foredeck fitted

The foredeck went on last, partly because it was the most complicated shape and partly because there was still work to be done fitting the mast step before the area became covered and hard to get to.

Decks epoxied

While we were waiting for the epoxy to cure we worked on the sole (floor) boards; the last pre-cut pieces of the boat ‘kit’ to fit.

Cutting out sole boards

Having test fitted them, we cut out the individual locker lids and coated them in two layers of epoxy.

Epoxying sole boards

This was all simple enough, but rendered complicated by the size of the boards themselves. Thanks to British weather, we had to keep moving them in and out of the workshop in order to find enough space to work on them while avoiding rain and epoxy mixing, which they don’t do well!

Deck fibreglassed

Finally, we fibreglassed the deck with one layer of thicker 600gsm cloth and epoxy. Having learned to fibreglass on Kensa’s hull, it was bliss to come back to it with some experience and a flattish surfaced to lay it on and find that it really wasn’t that difficult to do!

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