This week I got the glued decking laid on the seat tops.
For the most part, I followed Barrett's article Glued Decking with Beveled Edging Boards published on Duckworks, with some exceptions.
Instead of using ipe or teak, I used mahogany. I don't like working with ipe. It's extremely hard, very difficult to cut, it sometimes splinters and splits for no reason, it dulls tools in short order, it's very heavy (so dense in fact that it sinks in water) and you have to wear a respirator when cutting it because the sawdust is toxic. Teak is the best choice for this application, but teak is expensive. Of all the woods that I have available to me, mahogany is my favorite. It's not too expensive, it's a joy to work with. Usually just the right density - not too hard or soft. Of course it varnishes beautifully and oils very nicely. Epoxy and paint sticks to it like mad. Granted, mahogany is not quite as oily as teak, and it's not quite as hard. Without protection, it may not withstand the abuse and neglect that unprotected teak decks normally endure. But yearly application of teak oil will provide plenty of protection, especially for a daysailer that will be garaged. And oiled mahogany looks good....real good.
About two years ago I scored an entire truckload of mahogany for free. A guy in Seattle was performing a major remodel of an old home. He had removed all the wood trim from around the windows and doors, which had been painted over, and was giving the pile away for free as firewood. He said he didn't know what kind of wood it was, but it looked like it might be mahogany. It was. After I got the pile home I scraped off the paint and a good friend of mine ran the entire lot through his thickness planer. The end result was hundreds of dollars worth of beautifully clear boards with nothing but a few nail holes to fill.
Most of this mahogany has now become a part of Ellie.
One man's firewood is another man's yacht.
Installing the decking
It made sense to me to begin by installing the perimeter of the decking, then fit the interior to it. So I began with the area around the footwell, proceeded forward along the centerboard case, then around the outside edges.
The front seat, rear seat, and sections along the centerboard case were easy because all the planks were the the same length. It's true what they say. You never have enough clamps. When I ran out of soda clamps I had to resort to using paint cans.
She laid her entire deck down using nylon spacers and then glued it down with sikaflex.
I epoxied my deck down a few planks at a time. I found that two Popsicle sticks gave me just the right gap. I would cut a few planks and lay them in place using the spacers, then remove them, brush epoxy on the plywood underlayment and the underside of the planks, set them back in place, clamp them with soda clamps and finally remove the spacers and allow the epoxy to cure.
Until then, here are some more photos of the progress to date.