Boat Building

Mounting hardware on cored decks: Right and wrong ways

Improperly mounted hardware is a constant source of frustration for boat owners. Sometimes it's water leaking in through a bolt hole, sometimes it's rust bleeding onto the deck, sometimes it's a cleat that tears off its mount under load.

Here's how to mount hardware on cored fibreglass decks correctly, so you won't have to deal with it again- and a few examples of why things go wrong otherwise.

Boat embryo at 60 hours

It's about time for another update on the Starwind 860 power trimaran project.

Katy calls it a "boat embryo" now. Several key assemblies- the outrigger struts and the strut-to-crossbeam junction blocks- are complete. Almost all of the custom machining is done. There's a steering wheel (a proper ship's wheel, of course- could it possibly be otherwise?) and the helm shaft assembly is finished except for a bit of thread cutting.

Strut blocks for the Starwind 860

Our current situation, with regards to the construction of the Starwind 860 power trimaran, requires that we stick to small bits: there simply isn't enough space at the moment to build the entire boat. In order to minimize the time for which we'll need a full size build shed, we're starting with the smaller and more fiddly pieces of the boat. These can fit in our current work space, and by having them pre-assembled, we'll save a lot of time during final assembly.

Making the best of mediocre wood

Boatbuilders like to have really good wood. The best stuff is quarter sawn, vertical grain, air dried two years, felled by ceremonial beaver at midnight under a full moon.

What you actually get, especially when buying in small quantities from lumberyards that are unfamiliar with boatbuilding, is plain sawn, a bit warped, and often a bit wet, like the batch of western red cedar I'm using for various small parts of the Starwind 860 power trimaran.

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