The past few days off have been spent trying to get the forward deck back together. The more I dug, the more rot I found. Not that this was a surprise.
The deck had been neglected for many years. I would guess that there have been problems for over three decades, judging by the layers of deck coatings and archeological repairs. The problems had been going on for so long that some of the deck beams had started turning to mulch.
So a lot of bad wood had to be cut out and replaced with good wood. Here is what the beams looked like today before the planking went on:
At the end of the day, all the planks were fastened and are ready for caulking. Each plank has to be cut to shape, then the top half of each side edge has to be beveled at 5 degrees to create a watertight seal at the bottom half of the planks and a quarter inch seam at the surface. The seam will then be pounded with cotton in the ancient art known as caulking. The cotton will then be waterproofed with a heated mixture of bees wax (thank you Oceana Co-op) and turpentine. After that dries, Marine Glue (basically pitch and india rubber) is heated and poured in (or payed into) the seams. The cotton is the actual waterproof seal, and compressing the cotton will tighten the planks and create structural stability.
Here’s what the front deck looks like tonight, with the hole for the forward hatch starting to show:
Here’s the jig I made to mark the 21″ circle for the deck hatch: