The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2017.01.21 - Flat Top Box

The major task for the weekend is the flat top box over the centreboard case. This will be done as two separate tasks as the second task of fitting the top can't be done until the epoxy on the first is cured.


So, here we are, the first part of the box being glued to the centreboard case.


It took a surprisingly long time to do this, or so I thought until I wrote down the steps I took to get here.

  • Light the heater so that the cabin becomes warm for the epoxy.
  • Get the plywood from the container.
  • Set up the circular saw.
  • Cut a 4" x 70" piece from the plywood.
  • Put the circular saw away.
  • Cut the piece of plywood in half.
  • Trim the top edges of both pieces together so that they are both straight and identical.
  • Offer up to the centreboard case to check the fit.
  • Screw each piece on to the case with two screws making sure that they are both level and plane.
  • Set up the planer.
  • Plane the Oak that will be the top of the box.
  • Offer up the Oak to the two pieces of plywood and check that there is no play.
  • Unscrew the plywood and set aside.
  • Scrape all the paint off the centreboard case under the box sides.
  • Sand the wood.
  • Mix some epoxy.
  • Spread epoxy on the correct parts of the plywood and screw into position.
  • Check that the top still sits correctly.
  • Cut the two end pieces of plywood such that they are fractionally too large.
  • Epoxy the end pieces and force them into position.
  • Mix up more epoxy and pipe a bead along every right angle joint inside the box.
  • Smooth out the fillets.
  • Mix up more epoxy and use to level those area where the centreboard case curves to prevent water getting trapped there.
  • Drill three more holes per side and screw in more screws.
  • Smooth out the fillets where putting the screws in has forced epoxy out of the joint.
  • Check that the top still fits.
  • Check everything else.
  • Put away the planer.
  • Put away all the tool used.

That little lot took all morning and half the afternoon, with the tea breaks of course. It was not helped by the small space being worked in!


I cut the top piece to size once the sides of the box were done. It still fits, there is no rocking and I'm pleased about that.


After that I put the hinge on the fore hatch. The bolts on the hatch itself were fairly easy to get in.


The ones on the frame were not so easy. It took about 20 minutes just to get the end two washers and nuts on as the gap between the inner and outer coamings is just too small for my fingers. I've left the rest until I can think of an easier way of locating the nuts.


Happily, the hatch opens and closes freely.