We didn’t ever expect to purchase so much plywood or utilize epoxy as much as we have while building our wooden sailboat but it turns out to be a vital money and time saver. Garrett’s done his best to stick to his guns but even a stubborn man has to overcome one want to meet another. We were, literally, right on the edge of planking the hull in plywood, making it a composite hull, if it weren’t for one last effort to find quality lumber to traditionally plank. We decided at that moment we were driving into town to find planking stock, whether that was discovering a new listing on craigslist (fat chance) or settling and heading into Portland to Mr. Plywood! Unexpectedly, a true sign, a post on craigslist for clear old growth vertical grain douglas fir at a price we could afford. So that Thursday in December we never made it to Mr. Plywood. May 8th, however, a Monday, we took advantage of this great source. This day we purchased 9 sheets to form the middle layer of the cabin top after being happy with the material we acquired for the main deck last September.
We have quite the crown in the cabin so it took both Hoffa and I to sit on either end while Garrett fastened each sheet down to the Port Orford planking.
The pieces went on quick. If we hadn’t run out of screws we probably would have finished the puzzle of sheets in a day.
The top turned out to be so solid we’ve decided there’s no need for a second layer of ply. (The extra layer of plywood was overkill anyway, thicker than Buehler’s plans even called for) After a very scientific “frolic” test confirmed the deck’s rigidity of course. If you’d like to check out the test you can visit our Patreon page to view our findings on film!
Once we were in the groove we were unstoppable. We portioned the cabin ceiling in 3 stages. Day one started working from the port side of the companion way out. This ended up taking a few days but we found our rhythm soon enough.
Practically finished stage 2, working from the starboard side of the companion way out, in one full day!
Stage 3 left the center of the deck to be filled in. In this stage we also decided the placement of the main salon hatch.
Garrett worked hard on deck fastening each strip down and trimming them to the shape of the cabin while Hoffa and I were outside the shed diligently rounding the corners of every plank and planning down any burns left behind by the table saw.
We were lucky enough to find a few really nice days. Even managing to earn ourselves a little sunburn! God, that felt good. We forgot how quick we move when the sun is shining. I think all three of us thrive off of solar energy.
Without any ports in the side walls it’s a little hard to capture on film exactly how beautiful the cedar looks from down below. We all stared up for a very long time that day. All that was left was to find just the right piece to fill in the ceiling “spine.” Garrett pulled out a wonderful piece of fir, surprisingly one we picked up from Home Depot, with a mix of grain from VG to flat sawn. We’re thinking we’ll stain the “spine plank” a little darker to closer match the western red beams.
Next up is laying down plywood and more glassing! It’s been really nice getting to mix in a bit of finish work with the raw construction of the boat. It means we are getting that much closer to completing the dream and living out the next from the water!
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