Thursday 19 September 2019

Forward Deck Sheerclamps

The interior of the bow compartment was finished and the lower breasthook installed, so now was the time to add some cleats to the hull sides for the forward deck to sit on.

The build instructions say to fix a thin strip of wood to the hull sides in the bow compartment, but do not say anything about the storage compartment immediately behind it. This seemed odd to me because it would make sense to tackle both compartments at the same time.

I looked ahead in the manual to see how the forward deck is joined to the hull sides in the storage compartment, and to my horror it calls for a fillet to be applied to the join.

Now, it was hard enough making a good job of the fillets in the hull when they were easily accessible and in the bottom of the boat ... but applying a fillet to an overhead join, working on your back through a hole in the bulkhead? No, I don't think so!

So I used the forward deck panel as a template to make a jig, and laminated sheerclamps to run the whole length of the deck through both compartments. Each sheerclamp is made of two strips of 9mm marine ply.

Here are the sheerclamps, glued up and curing.

When cured I cleaned them up and cut them in half to create sheerclamps for each compartment. In doing this I managed to ruin one of them, so had to laminate another one, as here.

It was no hardship. The jig was ready to go and I have plenty of scrap ply.

Then I shaped and test fitted the parts, and when happy with the fit I glued the sheerclamps in place, like this.

Lastly, some time later I faired the tops of the sheerclamps level with the hull. As here.

I think this offers a much better landing for the deck than a thin strip of wood and a nightmare of a fillet! And it was fun making them.

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