Saturday, May 10, 2014

Cockpit sole laminated

Well, here's a job I had been putting off for a while.  The cockpit sole (floor) is made up of two layers of 9mm plwood that need to be laminated together. Getting these property aligned and sufficiently clamped was something I had been worried about.

The builder's manual suggests doing this in the boat, first gluing down the bottom layer, then screwing the top layer to the bottom layer and venting the epoxy out through a whole array of 1/4" holes drilled for the purpose.  My objections to that method are 1) it's hard to work inside the boat, 2) it would be a pain to fill all those screw and vent holes, 3) it would be more difficult to fillet around the edges.

I decided to laminate the two layers on the bench.  And since I have a number of hatches in the floor, I felt I could get good clamps in the center areas of the floor.  I made sure I had a good coating of epoxy in the areas around the hatch openings and in the areas where I have drainage channels from the hatches to the gutters along the edge of the floor.

Next I took two 2x4s and jointed one edge straight.  I then ran them through the planer to straighten the opposite side and ensure they were the same thickness.  I set these up on a table and shimmed them until they were parallel.  This allowed me to elevate the parts above the table and have room for clamps.

Then I spread thickened epoxy with a grooved trowel.

And proceeded to use almost every clamp I own in the glue-up!  

After the epoxy cured I ran a fillet along the edge of the gutter. 

I even remembered to keep my drainage channels clear of epoxy both in the glue up and the filleting!

I'm glad to have that job done.


  1. Dave, I am glad to see this technic of epoxying these two soles outside the boat. I sort of figured they took a slight curve and therefor had to be epoxy to each other inside the boat. I assume this was not the case and the outside glueing works just fine. Brent

    1. Hi Brent - there's no curve to the floor. There is a slight incline from front to back to drain the water back into the sumps, but I sighted along the bulkhead tops before I put the transom on and confirmed the tops are all in the same plane.

      I didn't relish trying to laminate this in place, and am glad this worked out. I have since trial fit it and trimmed a couple edges between B3 and B4 to make sure it lays in there and touches all the glue cleats.

      Before I glue this down, I am going to epoxy/graphite coat the underside between B4/B5 (the ballast tank area), and epoxy on a block by each hatch that will locate and center the hatch cover in the opening. I'll have another post on that in a bit.

      -- Dave