January 3, 2023
I spent the day building the staging out at deck height. I didn’t plan on the job taking the full day, but with many modifications required to suit this boat, it just plain took a lot of time to get set up and everything secure.
My staging towers are 5′ tall, which on this boat was not high enough for a comfortable working height on the decks, so I knew I’d need to raise the planks further. To begin, I collected a bucket full of 8″, 6″, and 4″ blocking to work with.
Even at the stern, the lowest part of the sheer, I found I needed extra height, so I began there with 6″ blocks atop the staging towers, which I secure with screws and fender washers. To get around the transom at a comfortable height and proper distance, I had to provide extensions off the tops of the towers so the transverse plank could run closer to the wall. From scrap plywood, I installed the extensions, securing them to the tops of the staging towers with screws and with additional support from cleats secured to the wall framing. I probably might want to add a little platform to cover that empty angle at the stern ends, but one learns to look down and watch foot placement whenever moving around staging planks.
With the aft end established on both sides, I worked my way forward, starting with the port side. I had to add blocking to each staging tower, and as I moved forward I had to increase the height: first to 8″ after two planks, then to 12″ for the final, monster 12′-long plank that I used at the bow. Providing space for the additional blocking required another small add-on plywood support on the third staging tower to increase the available width and hold the pair of blocks required for the 2″ step-up there. I secured all the blocks with multiple screws, then, once I’d arranged all the planks and positioned the stands and planks where they needed to be for proper access to the decks along the way, I secured the planks with four angle brackets, two at each end of each plank. With the extra height required everywhere, I made sure the whole arrangement was tightly secured together to limit movement.
The second side went more quickly since I could start by securing the extra blocks to each of the staging towers in advance, as well as pre-position the towers where they needed to go, based on their counterparts to port. I ran out of angle brackets, so would need to pick up six more to completely secure all the planks; for now, I had to make do with one on each end of most of the starboard planks.
This gave me a sturdy and comfortable working platform all the way around the boat, so I could do as much work as possible from standing height. It would have been nice to avoid the small steps in two places on each side, but needs must. I might add some fluorescent paint to highlight the steps later, but I didn’t have any on hand. Now I was ready to get to work on the decks.
Total time billed on this job today: 6 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 35°, cloudy, drizzle, dew point 34°. Forecast for the day: Cloudy, chance of rain in the afternoon, 40°