Dec 24, 201308:59 AM
Odduck: Adventures in Boat Restoration
Winding Down for Winter
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Work on Odduck has pretty well stopped for the year. Besides the low temperatures, this is the time of year we put things together for an extended stay in the Florida Keys. This year's project involves crafting a rack for my inflatable boat's trailer to hold a kayak and two bicycles.
I am leaving Odduck with the mid-cabin finally framed, ready for skinning the interior and exterior with finish material and installing the 36- by 15-inch slider window. I have also roughed out the design for the motor cover and rear seating.
Because the main wall between the cabin and cockpit was badly hacked up, I had to re-create what had been there. That panel had an opening to crawl into the mid-cabin plus framing under the three doors, which are at two different heights off the floor.
To start the process, I attached a piece of 1/2-inch plywood to the cockpit side of the existing wall running from gunnel to gunnel that was cut to the approximate size of the openings. To make the precise determinations of those, I needed to have the three doors in place, but they first had to be completely re-done. The doors were nasty, cruddy, falling apart and the Plexiglas inserts were scratched. I deep-cleaned, then stripped, sanded, put on two coats of Cetol and re-glued the doors before putting on a third coat.
To remove the scratches from the Plexiglas, I tried a product that is used to remove scratches from aircraft windows. It is a wet/dry process that eventually took me to 12,000 grit. Then, I discovered I hadn't started coarse enough to remove all the scratches.
Getting bolder, I put some 600 grit wet/dry in my palm sander and started over. This time going up to 2,000 did the trick.
After gluing wooden matchsticks into the holes for the hinge screws, I reattached the doors. Being shiny and fresh and looking new, they stood out like a sore thumb but let me make a determination how the panels needed to be cut.
I pieced in a section with the exact dimensions on the cabin side of the 1/2-inch ply, then had to put in another panel because the new plywood didn't match the thickness of the original plywood.
While that was going on, I enlisted a couple friends to help me enclose the end of the boat's storage structure. I have tried to do as much as possible by myself but simply needed more hands for this job. After attaching some metal framework and building a stud wall, I covered the end with used shrink wrap material. I also put another layer of that over the poly sheeting on part of the sidewalls. I earlier had used clear poly to cover another part of the walls on the theory the clear would let some light in. For now, the boat is covered top, sides and back but still open to the bow.