Thursday 19 September 2019

Fitting Deck And Cockpit Cleats

Now that the finish of the hull interior surface was complete, it was time to fit cleats to support the rear deck and cockpit. This promised to be quite a big job, and required some careful thought and planning to make sure that the cleats go in the correct location.

I started by dry fitting cleats to bulkheads 7 and 8. Their location is obvious and fitting is straightforward.

Here is bulkhead 7.

And here is bulkhead 8.

The location of the cleats on the transom is marked out by extending a straight edge from the bulkheads back to the transom itself, like this.

I taped a steel rule to a builders level to achieve this. I initially tried to use a short level which I already had, but it didn't work very well and after wasting some time getting inaccurate results I just went out and bought a good long level. Problem solved instantly!

The same technique is used to mark out the location of the long cleats on the inside of the hull, as here.

And here.

The long inside cleats are held in place with temporary screws through the hull, like this.

Here are the transom cleats, held in place with temporary screws.

I found that I had to mark out and cut slots for the deck frames in bulkhead 8 myself, as here.

There are no pre-cut slots and the manual offers no guidance on positioning, so I just deduced it from the drawings and by lining up with the slot in bulkhead 7 and the cleats on the transom.

I hope I've got it right! The hull hardware package should arrive soon so I can check where the cockpit deck hatches will go before I deck over the frames, just in case remedial action is required.

Here are the rear deck frames, dry fitted.

When I was satisfied that everything fitted properly I profiled the exposed and visible edges of the appropriate cleats, using a router and a 3/8" roundover bit.

For this job I set up the router table, as above. The table is attached to a piece of kitchen benchtop so it is portable. I ran all the cleats through the table in no time at all.

Then I glued the cleats in place, with plenty of clamps. Like this.

When gluing the long port side cleat in place I immediately found that I had not used enough temporary screws. Friction holds the cleat when it is dry fitted, sprung into position with just three screws, but when glued up it slides out of position. I had to quickly drill for and fit more screws. Nine fastenings are required on each side to hold the cleats in place.

Here are the transom cleats glued in place.

While working on the footwell support cleats I also attached cleats to the footwell sides and test fitted them, as here, to make sure everything is in the right place. It all seems to fit nicely!

The final thing I did was to glue the rear deck frames in place. In the above photo they are simply dry fitted.

Now that the cleats are all done it seems incredible that the next job is to fit the floorboards before we deck the boat!

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