Wood and Weather and Such

Side coamings clamped up


(to start of project)

Between holidays, Terri’s role in a local theatre production, both of us getting nasty colds, and such as that, the boat building pace has eased a bit lately. Besides feeling under the weather, we’ve already started to get some weather, too – snow flurries coming over the mountain Friday, and a light dusting covered everything by Sunday morning. Epoxy has started to thicken in the jugs again, and with the cold it now takes a week or more for a batch to cure. No point in rushing now, I suppose.

Got the side cockpit coamings epoxied in place. With no screws used, they’re under a lot of tension, so it didn’t hurt to let them set an extra week before pulling off the clamps. With that done, the fore and aft coaming pieces could be fit and attached. All are left a bit rough and tall, to be planed down later. One thing I hadn’t planned on, but turned out kind of neat, is the side coaming pieces were resawn from the same board, with their faces facing, so the grain patterns mirror each other in a sort of bookmatch fashion. I didn’t notice it until they were already clamped up.



While those set up, work could move to the hatch coaming. None of this went much quicker or easier than the first time, by the way, it just didn’t require as much time to figure out.







By the time the hatch was done, the outer trim for fore and aft cockpit coaming could be fit and mounted. This is a bit tricky, too, due to the angles and curves involved. To get clean and tight joints, all the parts have to be scribed and shaped to fit. To get the closest possible color and grain match, each piece of trim is cut from the the same blank as the coaming piece it attaches to – from the rough coaming itself, really – before both are sized and shaped to fit. You can see the square topped pieces ready for scribing in some of the photos above.





While the epoxy cures this week, the side trim can be ripped and shaped, maybe even start on Aeon’s hatch cover and mast collar.




melonseed skiff, mellonseed skiff, melon seed, mellon seed   


4 Replies to “Wood and Weather and Such”

  1. Howdy! I’m starting a strip plank 16′ melonseed, really enjoy reading your stuff and was just wondering how beneficial the front hatch really is?

    1. Hey, and congrats. Personally I find it really useful, though not for what you might think. It’s not much use while sailing, because you really can’t go that far forward to access whatever is inside while underway. But very handy when pulled up on a beach or camping in the boat while anchored out. I store things there in a bucket with a water tight lid, which not only keeps them dry, but has served as floatation the few times I’ve swamped the boat.

      But the most useful part is simply accessing the forward nether parts of the bow and mast step. These are critical structural parts of the boat, so import to keep clean and be able to inspect frequently. Much easier to do the occasional repairs when you can keep your feet on the ground and poke a head and shoulder inside through the hatch. Without it, you would have to crawl inside the very narrow space between the deck, centerboard case, and hull. Very hard to work that way, in a wooden straight jacket.

  2. Hey Buddy, I must have missed this question when you first left it. I’m sure you worked something out by now. I have a snap hook on the underside of the hatch near the aft end. It clips to and slides along a bit of bungee stretched across the aft end of the hatch opening below deck. There’s enough tension to hold it down while sailing, but can quickly open and slide it out of the way without losing it overboard. I take it off completely ands stow in the car while trailering.

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