The last few weeks have been spent rebuilding the port side decks, reframing and plywooding the cabin sides. The plywood is all 1/2 inch marine grade, the studs are kiln dried #1 2x4's.
For the most part this half of the job was a rinse and repeat of the starboard side. The old plywood decking was rotten in a few places, with some fiberglass delamination. The cabin side wall had a pucker midway down it, and a few patches that needed to go. We decided the fastest course of action was to strip everything bare and start fresh. Once the plywood was up off the deck, we had to scrape and grind the layer of tar which was poured down when the boat was rebuilt the last go round. After the tar was up, we replaced a few bad deck planks and faired the decks to take off the high spots along her shear line to keep the toe rail fair down the line.
We discovered the side decks are narrower on her port side than starboard, and the wall follows a slightly different angle... Which in laymans terms is just another way of saying she is a boat. If we were building her from scratch, it'd be a more symmetrical boat... but there is a reasonable level of compromise on things, lest the project never reach completion.
We squared off the window openings, brought the port side door aft 16 inches, and added another set of windows center way on the wall. The rear most windows were running at a different angle to rest, trying to add some more shear to her lines. From Noel's middle aft, she doesn't have a whole lot of shear... so it looked a bit off to the eye.
When the new plywood was down on the deck, we built a toe rail along her edge matching what we did on the starboard side. Two layers of #1 salt treated 2x6's, the top planed down to an inch and a quarter thick. From there they were cut to fit around her waist, and scribed on the underside. The bottom layer was worked true with a long bench plane, and a 7 inch grinder to knock off the highs. The top was cut with a flush trim router bit. Then everything was disassembled with story marks, and reinstalled with west systems epoxy and a load of screws.
We are still in the process of developing her lines, the bulwarks on the front will end up being modified, at the very least a new cap rail will go on, blended to the toe rail. The blue tape on her in the top picture shows a few of the proposed ideas.
Moving inside, we have been priming and fairing the surfaces to be painted down below. That is a short sentence, but I'm beginning to believe the most expensive part about building a boat second to labor... is sandpaper.
We are using the Awlgrip system for paint and primers. Fairing compound we've been working with Awlfair, as well as Alexseals dark grey compound, and here lately system three's silver tip... which pulls the smoothest of them all.
Most surfaces are to an 80 grit finish. Which means we are past skimming with fairing compound with plastic spreaders, and have started spraying 2 part epoxy primers and sprayable fairing compounds. Very seldom does an electric sander come out, from here out its pneumatic airfiles, hutchins in case you are wondering, and human powered long boards.
Things are progressing nicely, when the weather gives us a break we will be glassing the port side cabin, toe rail, and deck. We'll move outside and make a big push, to try and get the boat into primer before it becomes to hot this summer.