The Boatshop is Open

Actually, the winter of 2011-2012 turned out to not be as bad as usual here. There was no snow to speak of and the temperatures rarely got below freezing. Unfortunately, job & family ate up the time anyway, so there was not much boatbuilding.

One thing that I did get done was to beef up the deck support structure. The more I considered it, the more it seemed to be a bit flimsy. So I added gussets at the joints and notched clamps at the sheers.

While I was at it, I also removed and replaced the cockpit carline/deckbeams. The originals were straight and looked too boxy, so I replaced them with curved ones. I also put in the mast steps and a couple of deck reinforcements. Pretty soon, the deck can be fastened on.

Before that happens, though, I want to make sure that everything that needs to be done with the deck off gets finished.

Click on any image below for a larger view

Vertical Gusset

These are the additional carlines I added to the design to help support the weight of someone standing on the deck slipping the drop keel into the slot. Since that's at least a couple of hundred pounds, I decided not to depend on just the butt glue joint and added gussets. This increases the bearing surface area and spreads out the force.

Horizontal Gusset

The t-joints where the carlines meeet the outline of the hatch also seemed not quite strong enough, so they all got gussets, too. All the gussets are made from 1/4-inch plywood glued in place with thickened epoxy. They add a surprising amount of strength to the joints.

Sheer Clamps

To reinforce the carline/hull joints, I used notched sheer clamps.The deck pushes down onto the carlines, the carlines onto the sheer clamps and the sheer clamps distribute the force over their entire surface area that's bonded to the hull.

In addition, the same effect works in reverse. It is now possible to pick up the front half of the boat using the front-most carline as a handle.

Bow plate

While I was at it, I glued a piece of 3/4-inch plywood in the bow to reinforce the deck where the bow cleat is going to be installed.

Cockpit Deckbeam

Here's the new cockpit deckbeam. The curve was impossible to achieve with the 3/4-inch thick wood that I had on hand, so I laminated it up from 2 2-inch by 3/8-inch pieces of wood bent around a frame. A pair of 3/4-inch plywood L-brackets supports the joint at the bulkheads.

Also visible are the gussets and sheer clamps mentioned above.

Mast Steps

The mast steps are s simple 4-piece structure. The top and front support are 3/4-inch plywood, the sides are 2x2 dimensional lumber (actually 1.5-inch square cross section).

Foremast Step

The step for the foremast initially glued into place. Still to come are the fillets that help transfer the loads to the bulkhead/frame and the bottom.

Mainmast Step

While epoxy is a very strong glue, until it at least partially cures it's also a pretty good lubricant. Makes sense, since it's a petroleum product. As a result, the mainmast step had to be taped into place to keep it from sliding aft until the epoxy cured enough to turn tacky.

Interior framing

So here's all the upgraded interior framing for supporting the deck, as well as the knees and the mast step. I didn't follow the elegant curves specified by Bolger for the knees since the strength and stiffness of the simpler shape is enough and because the knees will be out of sight. With this shape I get a little more room for large objects in the hold. But his are much prettier.

Copyright © 2012 László I. Mórocz. All Rights Reserved.

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