The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2016.09.30 - Fitting the Cabin Sides

You won't be at all surprised to hear that today's task is to fit the cabin sides to the hull. Well, not if you have been reading the last few days progress that is. The weather today is cool but sunny which is ideal for epoxy work, not so cold that the epoxy doesn't cure properly but not so hot that it goes off too quickly. Just as well since I have a lot of epoxy to mix up today.

I made up batches of three pumps and three scoops of micro-fibres for this job. I wanted the epoxy to be thicker in consistency than salad cream but thinner than peanut butter. I decided to brush the epoxy onto the side deck batten whilst holding the board upon which the epoxy was being carried under the bit I was working on to catch any bits that fell off. I finished up with the starboard quarter but not before I had put all the tools, screws and the cabin sides into the hull since once all the batten was completely coated I'd have a very sticky job getting in and out of the boat.

The forward sections were easy to do, they are not quite small and therefore light and easy to hold in place. The rest of the cabin sides were not so easy but I had marked the level of the side deck in pencil on the outside which helped get it in the correct place.

I timed things quite well. I didn't rush but I didn't work slowly either. Once I had done up all the screws, but not tightly, the first bit of epoxy was just starting to harden up a little. All the screws were left just a little proud instead of screwing them fully home for two reasons. Firstly the cabin sides will need to be adjusted and tightening up the screws would prevent that and secondly, the screws being used at the moment are not the ones that will be put in to finish the job. The screws I'm using are standard screws with a cross-point head and I can use the Spiral Ratchet Screwdriver to put them in. These will be taken out and some of the silicone bronze screws will be put in their place. These have slotted heads and are not so easy to put in quickly.

Obviously, one does not stop halfway through a major epoxy job to take photos, so there is the first one after the epoxy work has been done.

Once the cramps had been put in place and the sides adjusted to where I wanted them, the gap between the cabin sides and the deck was filled with more epoxy. This time the consistency was more like that of mayonnaise so that the epoxy would slip down to the bottom of the gap. Later on today I'll go out and put more epoxy in where there are still gaps.

The next task is to make a front and back section for the cabin and cockpit, epoxy those in place and then create a epoxy fillet all the way around the the entire cabin and cockpit to finish it off.