Sunday, January 19, 2020

_____________________ COCKPIT FLOOR BATTENS _____________________

The first attempt to glue down the cockpit battens (above) was a disaster. It happened like this. I had all four battens held in place with little blocks of wood (as above), all well glued up. I then proceeded to put as much weight (tool boxs, large G clamps, various wood planes etc, etc ) as I could find to place on top of the battens to apply pressure and squeeze out the excess glue etc. The next morning when I had a look at the job I found that I could slide a short steel rule under all the battens in various areas. So I ripped the whole lot out. One day to put the battens in - one day to take them out and sand and prepare the area for another try. I wasn't impressed by the loss of about 5 metres of good Alaskan red cedar.

For the second attempt it was recommended to me that I simply temporarily screw down the floor battens and remove the screws when the glue was dry. This I must admit, is a simple and effective method, but this would have meant repairing the holes the screws made on the outside of the hull after the job was completed. I wasn't prepared to do this. So I devised another way of applying pressure to the battens. A method which you can see in the photographs.This method turned out to be very effective and didn't involve breaching the hull in any way.
Job complete. The battens are firmly in place. A few more pieces of trim and we won't be too far away now from painting, varnishing and attaching all the sail controls and other gear.

Saturday, January 4, 2020


I think if I have to cut another rolling bevel on a pair of splash boards I might well give up the will to live! I haven't come across such an ornery piece of wood working marlarkey for quite some time. Having said that, I am grudgingly thankful that the boat demanded this of me as I am quite pleased at how they have turned out.

Every set of Zephyr splash boards I have seen are straight or curve in the opposite direction to mine. I have curved them this way in a Herreshoff - ish kind of way because I like the way they look.

And on goes the deck. The angled piece of plywood in the foreground is a deck join doubler where the fore deck plywood joins the side deck.

Fore deck is on.  Note a different and much bigger side deck doubler on the left hand side of the photo. This doubler doubles the side deck thickness in this area from 4mm to 8mm making it strong enough for the skipper to sit without cracking the deck.

Note also the hanging scales. The "legal" minimum weight (as set in the class rules) for a Zephyr is 58 kgs. Before the renovation began the weight was 64 kgs. I have been watching the weight carefully and hope she weighs in at 58 kgs - a light boat is a fast boat.

Happy is the wooden boat renovator if he has a good supply of G clamps. 

Fully decked is a bit of a milestone.

Today I glued on the new splash boards which I had laminated up over a temporary jig. It was a bit of a mission, especially cutting, planing and sanding a rolling bevel on the underside of the splash boards - not a job I want to repeat in a hurry.

The only construction work left to complete are the cockpit floor battens, the internal cockpit trim and the exterior trim (rubbing strakes) around the gunwales.

At this point the boat weighs 53 kgs. So I have 5 kilos up my sleeve - Steady as she goes skipper and she should make the grade.