Back to Home Page

Back to the building log

 Bridge Deck... Wing Deck.... whatever, the big flat thingo...
   The panel halves were assembled long ago, see step one, and I had installed these supports or braceses according to instructions but had my doubts about them. The plans called for these PVC pipes but I think a rectangular shape and three of them instead of two would have been better. But anyway, several layers of heavy uni cloth and then three layers of bi-ax tape. I'm sanding off the edges to clean up for finishing and painting.
   The edge of this layer of the cloth really wanted to lift off the structure. I found it was a good idea to keep an eye on the resin as it came to gel and work it long after the fact. Pushing the edge down until it fiannly stuck fast.

 Now ready for joining the halves. Because I was a little concerned about the support, I used several layers of uni and a three layers of 750gm tri-ax tape to create a little more stiffness. Maybe it helped a little.

I then rolled on two layers of resin. The first layer I put on at the wrong part of the day to see if these 19mm panels would outgas. They did but not near as much as the parcel of 13mm panels and the resin bubbled and had time to collapse before the resin set firm. This left me enought time in the day to apply the second coat with a squeegy early evening when the panels were cooling to seal them good(hopefully). Then later that night I applied the first coat of epoxy primer when the second coat of resin was barely firm enough. A right royal pain in the arse but I have heard of at least one cat built with these duflex panels that had to have the whole assembly replaced after the boat was just a couple years old so... time well spent.

see this page for more on this issue.

   So now the halves are joined, the bum is sealed and time to hoist into place.

 Gather up some help, John Challis and Malcome Salisbary.. thanks!! and some drums.. can't build a boat without them!

Lift one end up and then go forward below...

   Hmmm... is this thing going to fit?
   It doesn't look like it....
   Nope... it's not going to fit.
   So we hoist it up as close as we can.

 And brace it up. Once braced firmly, I double checked all measurements. The unavoidable conclusion was the panels were cut wrong. al the fancy machinery in the world is no good if the plans are wrong, garbage in, garbage out, as the old computer saying goes.

So.. I used a diamond blade on my angle grinder to cut off about 20mm both sides using the chamfer panels and bulkheads as a guide to fit the deck.

   Then lifted totally into place and fastened the deck to the hulls with bracing strap and screws, still supporting the weight with jack stands and barrels.
   And support in the centre with my 6 ton floor jack. I didn't want anything to jiggle out of place whilst I was working in the hulls to tape the topside of the panel first.
   This closer up photo shows how much of the deck was cut off to fit each side. this wasn't the first stuff-up in the plans. another one was the reverse.. that is it was undersized and that was a bitch! I had to add 20mm all around on one of my keel panels.
   But anyway... there we go. Taped in at the top and now firmly in place.

 And now the dreaded overhead taping... never done it before.


The Black plastic was put up to keep resin from running down the hull but found it wasn't needed. I did the normal wetting and filleting...

   Then with that done, quickly put in place stands and planks to wet the tape on in place and ready to lift.
   And away we go...
   The plan worked very well. I talked to others that suggested rolling the wetted tape up and unrolling as you go but that rolled up tape would make a lot of exothermic heat that I didn't want affecting my working time. This was better! I had no problem with the stuff falling down. This is another example of why I like the Boat-Cote epoxy. It really suited this application.
   Then peel ply and roll it in after rolling the naked tape well.
   And a little more wetting through the tape here and there...

 Notice those white spots to the right? See red arrow..Those were old screw holes that I bogged over before taping. Never trust Duflex... I kept an eye on the work long after it was done. About an hour later that section and several others had blown gas bigtime and lifted the tape off the surface. The resin was just loose enough for me to coax it back to the surface.

Anytime you are taping the second side of a duflex panel, expect it to outgas through any screw holes or throught the panel itself. The first side it will gas through the open back seam so no problem. I can't help but get angry everytime I face this problem knowing that the manufacterer and the designer knew about this shit and didn't tell me.... or anyone. If I hadn't caught this I would have had to cut out a section of the tape and redone it with the lump to deal with later for fairing... or in the case of a hired builder.... probably would have been left and covered..hidden for later troubles. I know it happens. Never turn your back on this shit.