Posted by: Mike Randall | February 21, 2011

Hit the deck

Finally the flood waters abated, carpet was ripped up, heating ducts pumped out, wet furniture dried and insurance claims lodged! Time to get back to boat building!

I’ve been working on the laid deck and as you can see by the below pic it is coming along nicely.


Laid deck starboard

The laid deck begins

Before I began I had to do a bit of prep. When doing the Gunwale cap I had a lot of trouble trying to clamp and hold things in place during the measure and fit. It wasn’t till right at the end that I found a couple of strategically placed sandbags stopped highly sprung bits of wood flying off at crucial gluing moments!

It's always at the end when you work out how to!

As the laid deck is an extension of the gunwale cap fitting process I thought I would continue with the sand bags as a helper. So I wandered down the beach and filled a few plastic bags with sand and voila its like having as many extra hands as I need. None of them moan about having to always do the crappy boring jobs, they don’t even have to be bribed with beer!

I also needed some 4mm spacers as this is the recommended distance between each plank, I could have used plastic tiling spacers, but of course these come in 3 or 5mm dont they, no such thing as a 4mm tiling spacer!

I then discovered two icy pole or popsicle stick (depends where you’re from) when stuck together make perfect 4mm spacers. I wrapped a whole stack of these in packing tape and was finally ready to begin.

It’s taken awhile to get into some sort of rhythm, but I think I’m into the swing of it now. It was taking me about 3 hours to fit and glue 3 starboard side deck planks at a time. The port side is going a bit faster as I pretty much just have to mirror what has already been done.

Here are some pics of how it’s coming along.

First Three Starboard Planks

Dry fit first

Clamping blocks & spacers in place

The layout makes for a nice deck sweep!

The deck sweep

Amazingly it's actually coming together like it's supposed to.

On my guess there has been about 9-10hrs on the starboard deck run of planks. So you can see this type of deck is not something to take on if you’re in a hurry to finish your boat! Anyway I like the look of a laid deck and I think the extra time added to the overall build will be worth it.

Port Side

Halfway through the port side

Now I’m In the rhythm of this deck laying business, it’s starting to go quicker, I’ll probably even be really good at it by the end!



  1. Sandbags! I’m filing that one away for my build. I keep seeing dive weights, lumps of steel etc, but the shape conforming, weight adjustable sandbag is the killer!

    And on the damp side, having some in reserve in this La Nina cycle might be not be bad thing.

  2. I’m really enjoying looking at your site. I am in Tassie and, having just sold our big boat am ready to start buidling something smaller. Stir ven is on the top of my list.

    I would love to have a chat (by phone or e-mail) with you sometime if that’s possible and, possibly, If I come through melbourne check out your build.

    One question for now, I am looking at the possibility of getting the CNC kit. Did it take you very long to do the markout and cutting (I like your pattern system)? Also, did you use sapele ply in the places that Vivier recommends (e.g. sole, rudder, transom etc)?


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