Port Quarterberth Lining - Phase Two

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May 2007 --

The port quarterberth was cleaned down to the hull
in 2005, just prior to rebuilding the engine, fuel, and steering systems.

After installing
the new cabinet,
it's time to put
the new liner on.

I'm lining it with Mahogany,
because it's the easiest way to go.

A local lumber supply yard stocks Mahogany baseboards for 38 cents (US) per foot.
They're "finished" on one side,
but the finish is cheap and ugly.
I'm going to use the unfinished back side.
It looks like Phillipine mahogany,
which is fine for this application.
It's much lighter than
African or Honduran mahogany.

They're already formed into perfect battens, with the edges milled at an angle so that they'll overlap.

They clean up nicely.

When all the battens were sanded clean,
they were sealed up well with Smith's Penetrating Epoxy.

This thin epoxy has a resin formulated especially for wood. It soaks into the wood and
doesn't have an amine blush, so that the first coat of varnish can be applied when the epoxy is about 70 per cent cured.

They soaked up three coats of Smith's
over the course of a day,
then left to cure for two days.
The penetrating epoxy takes a long time
to cure, because it's full of solvents.

This will really seal up the wood,
which is important because there may be condensation on the back side.

After two days, I brushed two really thick coats of Minwax Spar Urethane on them, then sanded them down and
sprayed the final six coats.

This foil backed bubble insulation from McMaster-Carr will go behind the battens.

It might be overkill, since the cored hull insulates really well. This side of the boat gets the full sun all day long, but the hull never gets hot. The heat really comes down from the deck.

But what the heck.

I had bought 3/8" brass screws, but that turned out to be optimistic.
I had hoped to barely penetrate the vertical wood strips,
and avoid any possibility of drilling holes into the hull.
However, there is a lot of twisting and bending stress on the battens,
and they really need to be screwed in well.


I went to get longer brass screws, but West Marine wanted 30 cents per screw for brass. Instead, I got stainless, and will mail order new brass screws from McMaster-Carr,
for 7 cents each. Even with shipping they're much less.

It turned to be a good idea, because even 5/8" long screws are barely enough. The battens, with the finish on, turned out to be almost 3/8" thick, and there's a bit of space between them and the vertical braces. Those braces are 1/4" thick, and there's a thick layer of epoxy holding them to the hull.

So 3/4" screws will work best.

I want brass screws, so that they'll tarnish over time
and be less noticable against the wood.
Covering 70 holes with bungs
and refinishing in place was never an option.
For now, stainless will get the job done,
and will make it easy to go back and
replace the screws with softer brass ones.

The brass screws are on the way, but it might be a while until I get around to swapping
them in.

It's summer, so sailing is more important than brass screws.

It sure looks a heck of a lot better than it did two years ago!