Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Replacement of the deck of the bow

December 2011
                                                              Replacement of the deck of the bow.

After installing the longitudinal deck beams under the deck the complete deck of the bow needed as well to be replaced. This included all the deck supports, support for the escape hatch as well as other needed supports for deck equipment. This replacement will be done in two steps first step is to remove the old deck and replace the needed deck supports with a new marine 6 mm plywood deck.
Second step will be the installation of a new teak deck.
A start was made by removing a  part of the deck, we did not want to remove the complete deck at once since the installed new longitudinal deck supports needed final shaping with the transversal deck beams. The first part of the deck which was removed was between the actual bow and the forward bulkhead, this included two deck supports.

By removing the complete deck not at once but in parts we could keep a reference between the old installed deck and the new to be installed deck. After installing the first deck supports we had a reference  between the old deck and the new installed deck supports preventing that the new to be installed deck would be in a different position, higher or lower, than the original installed deck.
 The new deck supports were made from pine and were shaped according the old removed supports, this was done one by one by more or less a copy paste of the old removed deck support. They were kept longer at the ends than the original ones and shaped to the correct length when installed. The reason that they were kept longer than the original ones has to do with the fact that also new longitudinal deck  were installed which could be in a different position from each other compared to the removed ones. After temporarily installation of the deck supports it was checked if they were not installed to high, with the old deck still in place we were therefore able to check the correct height.
To have guidance for the installation of the new deck supports a small piece of wood was installed under the original deck supports before they were removed, see also the following picture.

This support was a guide for the installation of the new deck supports and was not removed until all new deck supports were fitted in place. The deck supports were fitted in the same way as original built under an angle in the longitudinal deck beams and screwed in place, the only difference to the original installation is that we glued them in place with epoxy as well.
The last deck supports which runs on the inside of the cabin from port to starboard side needed to be made before the actually new deck could be installed, since we do not want to remove the complete deckhouse yet. This was the one in the forward cabin which is round and which has the same curve as the rest of the deck from centerline to portside and starboard side to be able to let the water run of the deck. This round deck support was laminated from marine plywood strips which were glued together with two component epoxy. To get the same shape as the original one the old deck support was cut out in one piece as much as possible and the new strips of plywood were glued one by one against this old deck support to get the same curve and shape.

After all the deck supports were installed a check was made with strips of plywood to check if the roundness of the bow was correct,  it was checked if none of the deck supports were higher or lower than the two next to it. After some minor changes and checking the complete deck supports from aft to forward it shows that all was installed as best as one could expect.

To make sure that ports side and starboard side deck beams are on the same height measurement were taken from one point of the center keel line to port and starboard, otherwise it can happen that one side of the ship is higher than the other side.
When all deck supports were fitted in their final position the support for the escape hatch was installed as well as the supports for the deck boulders. The support for the escape hatch was made from two layers of 10 mm marine plywood glued together and screwed in place on 3 deck beams. After installation it was shaped in the same curve as the deck beams where it is placed into. The actual hole for the escape hatch will be made after the teak is in place this will also result in that the deck support in the middle of the escape hatch will be cut out, this cannot be done at this moment since it provides strength for the installation of the to be installed teak deck. The supports for the deck boulders were made from oak as original.

The deck is made from 6 mm marine plywood like original, to make my life easier I have painted the inside deck white before it was installed, two layers of epoxy, the thin type with white pigment and one layer of normal white paint. This will have as a result that I have only to do some touch ups instead of painting the complete deck from inside which is time consuming.  Also the deck supports have been sanded and put in a protective layer of epoxy. Before installing this prepared 6 mm under deck the white paint/epoxy has to be removed at the position where it will be glued onto the deck supports and longitudinal beams.
The new deck was glued with epoxy on the new deck supports and screwed temporary into the deck supports for good contact.  The excess of glue was directly removed from the inside to avoid long and difficult work in a later stage by removing cured glue/epoxy. After the complete deck was installed the screw were removed,  holes filled and the completed deck was placed in a thin layer of epoxy as a protection for the winter , the next step will be completing the complete marine plywood deck around the deck house before new teak can be installed. This will have to wait till next year, 2012, since the humidity and temperature prevents that epoxy glue can be used.

Some pictures of the inside

Before new deck

After the installation of the new deck

The hole for the escape hatch will be cut after the installation of the teak

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