Tuesday 25 August 2020

Cabin Roof, Dorade Box Cleats & Forward Deck Sheerclamp | Fairing

I left the cabin roof and Dorade box cleats to well and truly cure before I started to fair them to receive the cabin roof itself.

I was not sure that this would be a straightforward exercise.

If all the bulkheads were at the correct height and all the cleats were correctly installed to leave sufficient stock projecting above the bulkheads to allow for fairing, all should be well.

However, it was difficult to know just by eyeballing the boat if this was going to be the case.

There was also quite a lot of stock to remove. I thought about purchasing a power plane, but in the end decided it would be a wasteful investment when I have perfectly good hand planes to do the job.

In the end the ideal tool set for the entire fairing exercise turned out to be the good 'ole jack plane, the block plane, and a rasp and a good paring chisel. Here they are.

I started on the port side, and worked on the sheerclamp and the carlin first to get my eye in. 

That went well, so I moved on to the cabin roof cleats on bulkhead 2 and the rear cabin wall, using a piece of straight edged stock to check the bevel.

That went well too, so I moved on to the Dorade box cleats and finished off the port side.

It turned out that the jack plane is ideal for roughing out the bevels, and the block plane and rasp and chisels are great for finishing.

Here is the port side of the boat, with a frontal view of the Dorade box and all cleats faired.

And here is the starboard Dorade box, with all cleats faired.

The trick at the sheerclamp is to shave it down to its upper edge and no more, and to shave down the bevel until you have a continuous smooth edge with the topside panel. It actually works out really well. You have to be patient, that's all.

Here is a starboard view of all cleats faired.

When fairing the carlins to support the top of the cabin roof I clamped a thin strip of edging across the boat to check the fit. Like this.

This works well.

This just left the sheerclamp between the Dorade boxes and the stem to be sorted out.

I hadn't been entirely sure how this would work out, and had left any finishing of the sheerclamp in the forward deck space until now.

It was now obvious that the only thing to do was to continue the bevel along the sheerclamp to the upper breast hook, with it becoming steadily shallower until it was flat.

Here is the side view of the faired sheerclamp on the port side of the forward deck.

She's looking pretty good!


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  2. Hey Steve, the boat looks great! You are really coming along. Suggestion on running lights. If you going to install, I would run the cable before you put the roof on. It has been a pain trying to do any work in the dorado boxes with everything put together!


  3. Thanks Ron - much appreciated! I have been wondering about navigation lights. What do you think about a masthead LED light fitting - tri colour for running lights and white all round for a mooring light?


  4. I like the idea, just not sure on how to run the cable. The mast will need to fold down and maybe come off for maintenance. Possible a battery operated one? I just wired up my green and red running lights in the dorade boxes. For the time being, I am going to use a battery operated stern white light and I have a kayak all around light that I may try to use. Still trying to determine how to get cabling aft. Probably all overkill, since I have no immediate plans to sail a night. Lol!

  5. I like the idea too. I intend to cruise coastal estuaries and sleep on board, so good lights as high as possible seem essential. I am thinking about running a cable inside the mast with a waterproof connector at deck level, to allow it to be disconnected to lower or remove the mast. I will do more research!