Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cutting the deck panels.

I've waited a long, long time to do this.

It may sound cheesy.... but then again, maybe not. I'll tell you what kickstarted my interest in classic wood motorboats: Initially, it was the Venice boat chase scene in Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade. I was immediately taken by the beautiful wood decks on those boats (I believe they used triple-cockpit Hacker Crafts for the movie.) 

A classic venetian limousine, docked on a quiet Sunday afternoon in 1998 on Italy's Lago d'Orta. This particular boat was likely made by Cantiere de Pellegrini Elio in Venezia.

About 10 years later, I found myself in the lake district of northern Italy. My fascination with these boats was rekindled as I stepped aboard any of several handmade mahogany "limousines" driven by the motoscafisiti in the little town where I was staying.

In each case, it was the wooden deck that so easily captured my imagination.

And so, for as long as I've been building my little boat, I have anxiously awaited the day I'd start working on my own wood deck.

A few days ago, I drew and cut my first poster board template for the deck panel on the port side. When I flipped the template over to check the fit on the starboard side, I quickly realized that the sides were not perfectly symmetrical. So, I drew and cut a second template for the starboard side.

Starboard & port deck panel templates.

I'll be adding a slight curvature (based on the sheer curve) on the ends of each panel.

With the panel templates cut, the next step was to draw them onto my last remaining full sheet of Meranti. I tried to choose areas where the grain along the centerline would match relatively well. But first, I had to pull the boat out of the garage so I'd have enough room to move the 4' x 8' sheet of plywood around.

Perseverance sees the light of day for the first time since September.

Laying the templates out on the last full sheet of Meranti.

After the first few rough cuts, I placed the panels side-by-side & was pretty happy with the look of the grain.

Both panels cut.

The next step for the deck will be to epoxy the two panels together.

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