The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2016.08.26 - Side Decks- Part 3

Today's task was to steam both the battens for the side decks as I'd like to have them fitted and fixed before I go away to another event tomorrow afternoon. I did a little bit of shopping first and then set to. The steamer was filled and started, the timbers put into a plastic bag an supported on poles laid across the hull and a number of brackets made to aid the bending process.

All in all a good day's work with one minor problem which you can read more about below.

The side decks were turned upside down on both sides putting the edge to which the battens will be bent on the outside.


These are the brackets before being screwed together. I made ten initially but then made another four as five per side was not enough to get a smooth curve.


Here the pieces have been glued and screwed together.


The brackets are clamped to the side deck so that the outer face of the bracket lines up with the point where the outside edge of the batten will end up except for the two brackets at either end which are lined up with the edge of the side deck. This is to try and allow for the spring back that will occur when the batten has cooled and is unclamped.


Here we go. Both side decks have the brackets clamped in place, there are five pole across the hull to support the side decks ready for the bending and the steam bag can be seen on the starboard side of the boat.


I used a long, thin piece of metal rod to hold the end of the bag open. without this the end flops down and prevents the steam from getting out.


The new steamer arrangement. I have a new, hotter burner and the plastic pipe that directed the steam into the plastic bag has been replaced with a copper tube with a right angle bend at the top. the plastic tube kept on getting kinked and that stopped the steam from getting into the bag.


And two hours later the battens are bend in place and cooling off. I'm glad I bought those cramps the other day, I've used 14 of the 20 as well as all my other cramps in bending these two timbers.


One of the two scarf joint broke open as I was bending the batten. The first batten bent without a problem but not the second one. I think that this is my fault since I did not clamp the two joints individually but together and I think that one of them did not get enough pressure as a result. Not a big problem. I cut the battens so that the joint was in a straighter section and for now I've just clamped it together while the batten cools. Once it is cool I'll re-glue the joint with epoxy having cleaned up the resorcinol first, of course. I wonder if the rubbing strakes will have the same problem as I used the same clamping technique with them as well.


And while I was waiting for the steaming to be done I built this. It stops the cats getting out but lets the wind blow in. I just have to find a way to allow it to be unhooked from both sides.


My water carriers arrived today and you can see them in this photo. This is where they will be kept and I bought them at this point so that I can mark where the side of the locker will be. This project is very much one of offer it up and cut it to fit rather than draw it out on paper then cut the wood and then try to fit it.


I realised that tomorrow I have a lot of cooking to do in preparation for the event so I'll not have time to fit the battens to the side decks, so I did it today and epoxied the broken scarf joint in the process. Here the side decks are back in place but with the battens underneath. Not that you can see that in this photo but they are there all the same.