27
Jun
09

Feather Craft Vagabond Part Nine: Put it to the floor!

All boats need a floor…or more correctly….a deck.  A deck is the nautical term for a floor.  So we will put a deck…er, uh…floor for you landlubbers in our little aluminum vessel.

Due to the fact that the entire boat is constructed of aluminum, there seemed a need to add something more organic.  The previous owner had marine plywood for a deck.  I decided this was certainly organic, but very boring.  Instead I tore out his marine plywood and replaced it with more marine grade plywood. 

DoH!

Alright…settle down.  A twist was used to spice it up a bit.  Though it isn’t finished, here is the start.

First a 4X8 foot sheet of plywood was cut down to size using the old plywood as a template.  This is the oh-so-boring marine plywood looking nice and new, but boring as hell.

First a 4X8 foot sheet of plywood was cut down to size using the old plywood as a template. This is the oh-so-boring marine plywood looking nice and new, but boring as hell.

Eventhough the plywood is marine grade, being a big time believer in the merits of CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer)...several coats were applied to seal the wood and especially the end grain.

Eventhough the plywood is marine grade, being a big time believer in the merits of CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer)...several coats were applied to seal the wood and especially the end grain.What sparked the whole idea of spicing the deck up was I found several rolls of unused oak veneer coiled up in my workshop. I used it on my model railroad cabinetry, so decided this would be a good way to use it up.

The first task was to carefully cut the oak veneer on a table saw into 2.5 inch strips.  The strips would be contact cemented to the plywood and for a bit of extra traction, 3M safety tape would be laid between the oak strips.  This make for a bit of warmth in and otherwise very metallic vessel.  The visual appearance should also conjure up thoughts and images of the grand old wooden boats that preceded our vessel.
The oak veneer strips were laid in place by first finding the center of the decking.  Then a bit of contact cement and a carpenters square was used to line up the center strip of veneer.  The other sections followed by laying a sacrificial piece of the 3M safety tape inplace and butting the next strip of veneer against it.

The oak veneer strips were laid in place by first finding the center of the decking. Then a bit of contact cement and a carpenters square was used to line up the center strip of veneer. The other sections followed by laying a sacrificial piece of the 3M safety tape inplace and butting the next strip of veneer against it.

In this photo, the black safety tread is temporarily laid in place to butt the next veneer strip on to the plywood.  A strip of this tread will be placed between each veneer strip after CPES and varnish is applied to the oak to seal it.

In this photo, the black safety tread is temporarily laid in place to butt the next veneer strip on to the plywood. A strip of this tread will be placed between each veneer strip after CPES and varnish is applied to the oak to seal it.

 

As for the transom, we went back to the machine age a tad.  Wandering around the hardware store i came across thin sheets of decorative stamped aluminum.  These would be almost a perfect fit.  For some added strength, the sheets were doubled up to make them thicker, and then fastened to the aluminum ribs.

This is the same aluminum sheet that would be used on a screen door.  It's not terribly thick, so two sheets were layed on top of each other to double their overall thickness.

This is the same aluminum sheet that would be used on a screen door. It's not terribly thick, so two sheets were laid on top of each other to double their overall thickness. The perforations allow for drainage into the bilge should there be a spill.

 

That is how the Feather Craft sits today.  I hope to install floatation foam this week now that our cottonwood tree is finished polluting the neighborhood.  Also the transom will be varnished and installed, as well as the electronics.

This thing may get to the water yet!

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2 Responses to “Feather Craft Vagabond Part Nine: Put it to the floor!”


  1. 1 Golden Leaf
    September 28, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    I’m not sure what I’m looking at in the last picture unless its the wrong picture.
    you say “That is how the Feather Craft sits today” I would think it would be a picture of the flooring. Please let me know. I am not a boat person so my ignorance may be the problem. I liked this since I would like to put wood on my car in strips like above and not like a woodie and was wondering different ways to do this. This seems possible this way.

    Thanks

  2. 2 conductorjonz
    September 28, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    the final photo is the aluminum flooring in the rear of the boat over the bilge and in the transom area. The wood that is refered toneeding varnish is the wood on the transom that the motor mounts on at the vertical transom on the hull.

    Thanks for checking in

    Greg


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