Monday, 16 September 2019

Slapping Paint About and Planning Windows

Ages since I posted anything on here, been busy elsewhere.....however, I have been working on the boat when I can.

Last time, I was starting to put the ornamental planking on the decks etc. I've finished that job and gave them a coat of epoxy resin followed by a covering of fibreglass cloth. I tried cutting strips of the cloth but it shreds into threads and makes a mess and so I had a bright idea and bought rolls of  three-inch fibreglass tape. I wanted the fibreglass for two reasons:

(1) to make the decks watertight.

(2) to give a less slippery walking surface

I've started to paint the wheelhouse

The next move is to work out the best materials and methods of fitting the windows. Here is some info I've researched.

Here’s a quick look at the most popular marine window materials on the market today:
  • Vinyl and Polyester Composite: An excellent composite material, vinyl and polyester composite fabrics offers the flexibility you need to curve and bend along a boat’s contours easily. Fabrics made using this composite stay tight against the frame and provide waterproof and mildew resistance. Herculite Inc. offers this composite combination in two top quality marine grade fabrics: Riviera and Regatta.
  • Clear Pressed Polished Coated Vinyl: A popular choice for everyday marine use, clear pressed polished coated vinyl can be rolled back easily, which is great for boat tops. Herculite’s Strataglass is one of the top brands on the market for this versatile material. Another reason for the popularity of this material it is available with scratch-resistant special coatings, which extend the life of the material considerably. Strataglass is one such example of a material that offers such a coating: VueShield.
  • Polycarbonate: Made from a semi-rigid clear plastic, polycarbonate windows are widely considered to be nearly unbreakable. With polycarbonate, user visibility is clearer that other clear plastics, plus it can be coated with scratch and UV resistant coatings for additional protection. Polycarbonate is an excellent choice for rugged uses. However, this textile isn’t soft like clear vinyl so it can’t be rolled up for storage. It also tends to be pricey.
  • Acrylic: Like polycarbonate, acrylic panels are semi-rigid and provide excellent visibility. Acrylic panels are very difficult to break, making them an excellent choice for rugged marine use. However, acrylic fabric windows can be scratched easier than some other options, and the panels can’t be rolled up for storage. Acrylic can also be expensive, so it’s best used sparingly.
When it comes to marine vinyl window materials, remember to consider the cost of each material and how that relates to its longevity. Some materials will last longer than others, which make their additional cost make sense over than cheaper materials that will require frequent replacement. Alternately, if you can maintain a more affordable and versatile fabric like polycarbonate or a clear polished pressed vinyl properly over time, why not choose the more cost effective solution (and get benefits like a roll up window?) How you use your boat and what your needs are will dictate which material is best for you.
One final note: remember that the gauge (a.k.a. thickness) of your windows affects how it will look, as well as its clarity and flexibility. Some marine window materials come in gauges as thick as 40 gauge and as thin as 12 gauge. Before you buy, check out this quick buying guide on marine window materials to make sure you’re getting the perfect choice for your needs.

(a) From the above, I've decided to use 6mm (0.25 inch) thick polycarbonate.  The following link allows me to size, cost, order to cut size the polycarbonate.

The rubber seal I need I found on

From the chart I chose:

(b) window rubber seal WR71 as it fits the 12mm (1/2") thick bulkhead and the 6mm (1/4") polycarbonate window.

(c) Additionally, I chose te FS34077 rubber filling strip that goes with the WR71 seal.

(d) Finally, a glazing tool GT75 with tips GT3243  appropriate to the above seals

I then uploaded a video on how to fit the rubber 


Thursday, 6 June 2019


I've continued the decorative planking on the walkways and forecastle, using the European Red Cedar that I have left over from the hull planking. I apply glue to the under-deck and in the grooved edge of the plank using the Collano glue shown below:

I then cramp the plank to the edge of the gunwale and vertically tack in place until the glue sets.

I should finish this soon and then carry out the decorative planking on the quarterdeck.  

Tuesday, 28 May 2019


I've fitted a 2 x 1/2 inch hardwood rubbing strip around the outside off the gunwale. This will serve three purposes.

1. Stops the boat chaffing against hard surfaces.
2. Looks decorative when varnished.
3. Stops feet slipping of a wet deck.

The third point needs some explaining. There isn't much room for walking along the narrow deck/walkway on Seagull: it's only six inches wide: running around the gunwale.

When at sea, feet can slip on the deck, the hazard being worse when getting around the Cuddy (see photo - ignore loose pieces of wood).

I've made the Rubbing-strip high enough to provide a 'fence' around the edge of gunwale that rises one inch above the gunwale. Inside the fence I am inserting a top decorative decking of the same cedar the hull planking is made from.

From the left: hardwood rubbing-strip, first cedar plank and gunwale

When the cedar decking is in place, the rubbing-strip will still be a 1/2 inch higher than the planks: stopping feet slipping over the sides of the walkway.

I have also made and fitted the control console mentioned in the previous posting.

Sunday, 7 April 2019


After a two-month delay whilst my wife was in hospital, I'm resuming work on Seagull by drawing-up a design of a control console for the the boat. It will largely be in half-inch (6.5 mm) marine plywood.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

That which we call a Rose, by any other name would smell as sweet

There can only be one boss on a project which is why the term 'infrastructure' was replaced by 'cuddy' to keep the boss happy. Now 'cuddy' is found to sound like a road-workers shed. So 'cabin' been deemed more suitable by head-office - albeit that technically it's not a cabin.

I've sacrificed streamline for 'fit-for-purpose' insofar as my wife is disabled and this construction is more suitable for her.

There's plenty to fill this volume. Two swivel chairs, a control console and helmsman stations for a start.

The infrastructure Cabin doesn't look quite so big when you can see the rest of the boat.

Next I'll fit the top to the ... 'er ... cabin. 

Thursday, 24 January 2019


It goes by many terms, some call it the Coach-house others the Cuddy whilst I've always called it the infrastructure. As my wife thinks 'cuddy' sounds cosy (sigh) ..... cuddy it is.

As you can see I have made and fitted the two side bulkheads; looking massive from this camera angle.

In order that the bulkheads slope gently inboards towards the centre-line, I have made tapered carlins'.
Close up showing the taper on the carlin

View of the port carlin in place
The starboard bulkhead, below, is screwed to the carlin and is forced to follow the taper of the carlin, causing it to slope inboard.

This is quite a high cuddy, but my wife is disabled, and so the structure is designed to suit her rather than style.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Aft Lockers

I have now completed the aft lockers, apart from sanding and final finish.

The lockers act as seats, with the tops hinged for access to the lockers. The materials uses are marine-ply and Iroko. The Iroko serves two purposes: Firstly, to protect and conceal the plywood edges and, secondly to bring a contrast in the colour system.

As you can see the Iroko floors are now glued into position and I'm fitting the midship sole (duckboard)

Starboard locker with its lid open.

There are two edges through water, be it sea or rain, can enter the locker: the hinged edge and the aft edge. On these edges I have made an internal gutter from Douglas-Fir (2" x 1") into which I have routered a channel. I've drilled a scupper in the sides of the locker for the water to escape from the channels. The front and front edge of the lid overlap so no water can enter through those two edges. 

The two most forward Iroko floors can be seen in the picture above, and the forward stowage is almost complete