Join Date: Nov 2005
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
I am doing what you are about to do. Here are a few "for what its worth" thoughts and experiences.
1. sawdust and fiberglass dust gets into everything. Especially dust from finish sanding. Often you have to epoxy or fiberglass (or "tab in" as it is called) a ledge along the hull to use as a foundation for what ever is being built (shelves, countertops, seating etc.) You may have to grind this for a number of reasons. I use a vacum cleaner when ever possible. With fiberglass dust even more so. The best time to do the work is when the boat is on the hard and you can vacum, then rinse down, if possible, with water to take off the very fine particles. Otherwise the fiberglass suspends in the air and you will always itch when you come aboard.
2. You really have to develop a way to force vent the air inside somehow to the outside. I use a box fan to draw in the air on one side of the work and another to vent the air outside on the other side of the work being done. I usually try to paint an area first so that I get a good surface for the vacum cleaner to work against. The fans tend to make the dust settle or accumulate in pile which can then be vacumed up easier.
3. As some one earlier stated, nothing is square or level. Often I use the cabin sole to work from for longitudinal measurements and ports on either side for the other measurement. Make templets of stiff posterboard whenever possible to make sure the finished piece with fit.
4. Planning ahead is the big deal. I always wish I had added this or that after it is too late.
5. Rounded corners and fiddles are seamanship like. They are a little harder but well worth it in the end product. Not all corners need to be rounded. As someone advised earlier, look at all the interior pictures of boats you can, go to some boat shows to get ideas, etc. It really helps.
6. Gorilla glue is all I use for wood. It is water proof. Elmer's carpenter glue is not and it can soften in the heat and release the joint. There are a number of marine grade caulking and filling in products. (Use marine grade whenever possible.
7. For a good finish, I often epoxy the surface, sand to a fine or extra fine grade, then varnish. Epoxy will release in sunlight due to ultraviolet deteriation, so I always finish coat with a varnish having good UV properties. The epoxy seals the wood and should be applied on all sides of the piece to seal out moisture.
8. Laminates, while not as classically seamanship like as varnish, are often a good choice because of their easy to clean up or wipe down properties. They can cover a lot of sins.
9. Never use interior grade plywood (unless it will be well coated with epoxy) and always try to use at least exterior grade plywood. (Use marine grade for hulls, etc.) Exterior ply can be used where the wood is hidden from view with nice mohagany vernier ply where the eye will see it.