Getting Ready to Deck the Boat

Now that the hardware has been installed on the deck and hull we can start to think about bonding the deck to the hull, called decking.  This is an important step because there is only one shot at getting it right so it is important to have everything ready to go before mixing putty and catalyst.  First is to go over the build order one more time to make sure all hardware is on that needs to be on and if foam is ordered, that it is in place below the cockpit.  Next, check the build order one more time to make sure that you did not miss anything.

Ok, now we need to prepare the hull joint for the test fit.  I use a grinder to go over the entire hull part of the joint, removing excess fiberglass and creating a fresh surface that will bond better.  There are fiberglass overlaps that need to be evened out or the deck will not fit on as there is not a lot of wiggle room between the two parts.

hull joint after grinding

hull joint after grinding

Done grinding, now we lift the deck up on the hoist and position the hull below.  Lower the deck onto the hull to see if it goes on. Yes, then go to next step.  No, then lift the deck and grind some more till it does.

lowering the deck onto the hull

lowering the deck onto the hull

it fits

it fits

Once the deck fits, the next step is the prepping stage.  Clean up all the dust with the shop vac, the entire hull will be full of grinding dust,  and tape off the interior part of the hull to make clean up easier.  The joint areas need to be dust free and the interior needs to be dust free because I have to lay in there to clean up the joint after bonding.

cleaned up and taped off

cleaned up and taped off

At this point we can get into position, move the hull under the raised deck and spread the clamps out around the hull.  It takes about 30 per side, 5 along the transom, and 4 larger clamps at the bow.  Almost ready to mix putty.

clamps spread evenly around the hull

clamps spread evenly around the hull

-Matt

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