Posted by: Mike Randall | March 20, 2011

All decked out

The jigsaw puzzle that is the laid deck is done – except for the caulking. It’s taken over a month of my part time boat building efforts and either by fluke or good planing it’s actually come out how it was supposed to.


Finishing of the port side

Rear deck king plank

François supplied me with a planking diagram that  I’ve tried to match as exactly as I could. Though how to work out the shape of the king plank was still a mystery to me at this point. I drew it up on the deck as best I could and continued to dry fit the planks till I was happy they resembled the king plank shape in the diagram.

I then needed to somehow transfer the shape drawn on the deck to some MDF that I would then use as my cutting pattern. Here is my wacko technique I used for transferring the shape.

Hot melt glue and scrap timber strips to make a pattern

The stick pattern

This actually worked and was really accurate, but somehow it didn’t feel very skilled craftsman like!

All in place ready to glue down

After that little complexity I moved on to something simple – the bridge deck, this was a snap and also gave me an excuse to avoid tackling the front deck which I’ll admit I was quiet apprehensive about!

The bridge deck - quick and satisfying to lay

The reason for my apprehension about the front deck was a lot of bits had to come together for it all to work, match the planking diagram and just look right.

Firstly the planking from the side decks had to come together in such a way that they would align neatly with the edges of the anchor well hatch! Amazingly the port side fell into place without a problem, but on the starboard side I had to buzz about 1mm of each plank to get it to work, but this too came together with this small invisible cheat.

Aligning the planks with the anchor well hatch

Then it was onto the world of hurt that was the front king plank, the hatch cover and the actual deck! I don’t know about you but I’ve often stared at these sort of details on other people’s boats and wondered how on earth it was done!

Even though I’ve now done it myself and it’s actually better than I could have hoped I’d still love to see how a pro would tackle something like this, just to see how similar or different their approach would be!

The glue down

OMG! it's actually coming together!

All good ready for caulking!

To caulk or not?

I’ve decided to hold off caulking for the minute till I finish the cockpit coaming, and a bunch of other tasks that involve me making a mess with epoxy. I’d rather not get any on a final caulked and sanded deck. As it is at the moment I can keep sanding it clean without to much bother.

I think though this is really an avoidance excuse created by my brain clearly looking for something fun to do as opposed to smearing black go everywhere!!

Cockpit Coaming

It was nice to be done with the deck for the minute and have a chance to do some enjoyable woodwork for a change. I spent a pleasant Saturday ripping, buzzing, routing, shaping and all together making mountains of sawdust from some very nice Jarrah that I intended to use for the cockpit trim.

Pre drilling for bungs

Everything in place

Rear cockpit coaming clamped in place to match the deck camber

I’ve never used bungs before to cover up screws, and wondered If I should be using the tapered ones? I only have the normal straight plug cutting bits and they seem to be just fine. These all went in well requiring only a gentle tap with the mallet for a nice tight fit.

Bungs in place

So that’s where I’m upto at the moment.

I’m going to avoid the caulking for a bit longer and finish the cockpit seating and floor which I’m quiet looking forward to.



  1. that’s an awesome looking deck Mike – you’ll be proud of that for years.

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