December 29, 2021
Arietta Phase 2-37
Now that the laminated cabin sole had cured sufficiently, I unclamped it from the bench and with a router trimmed the teak veneer around bilge hatch opening, matching the accurate cutout in the substrate. Then, I prepared the underside of the sole with a tapered edge all around to allow it to fit comfortably into the molded recess in the boat.
After several rounds of back and forth and fitting and additional sanding to fine-tune the sole and its fit in the boat, I eventually got it to sit properly and flush all around.
Now I worked on the hatch opening and the hatch cover, starting with lining the opening with strips of 1/4″ teak to cover the edge grain. Then, I cut a piece of the 1/4″ substrate to fit the hatch accurately and, after some layout to line up the striped wood colors on the teak veneer top layer, cut and epoxied in place a section of the top plywood, leaving it slightly oversized along the edges for final trimming later.
Using the old teak support cleats as a guide, I built a new cleat support from materials on hand, in this case white oak, and glued the assembly together, maintaining the opening size the same as the original. The side pieces are slightly longer than the cross pieces because I realized after I cut them to the original length (based on the old teak) that my stock was slightly less wide than the original and therefore the overall length should have been correspondingly shorter. The only net result of this was that for the opening to remain the original size the cross pieces had to be slightly offset from the cut ends; there was no reason to bother recutting the side pieces since this assembly would always be invisible till some future version of someone like me 40 years from now puzzled over it when replacing the sole the next time.
In the event, later, when the glue had cured enough, I set the assembly in the molded trough in the boat, and with the sole installed over it made reference marks all around on the supports so I could align them properly during installation down on the bench. I used thickened epoxy adhesive to secure the cleats to the underside of the new sole, clamping it securely and cleaning up the excess all around, but particularly inside the hatch opening.
To round out the work for the day, I epoxy-coated the edges and bottom of the plywood and new cleat system for protection.
Total time billed on this job today: 4.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: Partly cloudy, 26°. Forecast for the day: Sunny, 33°