Finally I´ve found some hours today to return to the yard and work a bit on my boat. It was a stressful time on my job as I was occupied with working. I really enjoyed the drive to the yard and the pleasant anticipation was capturing my imagination: Being out here is always a pure pleasure and I enjoy the time off whilst building on my own yacht. It keeps my mind flying away to a later time when this boat will happily sail the seas with an even happier skipper. When I arrived I quickly checked the status quo.
When I left the boat some weeks ago I had already prepared the whole fore cabin by making an Oak batten substruction for the Teak ceiling, painted everything in a shiny new white colour as I imagined this white shining through the narrow core ducts to be left between the individual Teak batten. I enjoyed taking a seat on the berths and lifting my head to see that the roofing panels had been mounted and although there is still lots of work ahead, the cabin was much more enjoyable than the last two years before.
Preparation of the Teak Ceiling Batten
I also had the last batch of massive Teak batten prepared during my last working efforts here for today: By making the backsides of the Teak batten waterproof. I therefore added a layer of Epoxy resin which has hardened now of course, neither condensed water nor possible spray entering from the hatch below will have a chance to make the Teak rot away from the back side.
It started with a lot of pre-work. I cut the bulbhead facing ends of the batten to fit even with it. This had to be done individually for each single batten itself. I also marked the upper ends of the batten on the three substruction-batten. After cutting the ends I sanded away the edges of the batten to achieve a nice and smoothly rounded appearance. It was pretty much the same work as I had previously done with the saloon-ceiling some months ago.
After doing so, I returned with all of the fourteen batten to the cabin and had to adapt every single of it to the individual measurements of the substruction: I marked the spots for the bore holes, drilled the holes into the Teak batten and – again by holding the batten to their respective positions – drilled through the batten and into the Oak substruction. That´s a learning from previous sessions where some of the batten split in two because the screws were causing harm to the wood.
Adding a final touch to the batten with sand paper: Smoothing the surface of the raw Teak, getting rid of all the splints and chives. That´s a nice work, almost like meditation. I love sitting in my saloon and sand down the wood, dreaming myself away to a place and time when this yacht will be finished and back in her element, maybe mooring off a nice Danish island, having a cold beer, enjoying summer and the quietness of the seas …
Mounting of the Teak Batten
But back to work. When the batten had been prepared and all the bore holes been drilled, I mixed some resin and hardener to produce Epoxy. Putting each batten (I was marking them with numbers to allocate each of the Teak parts to their respective mounting positions) exactly to their markings, I needed the cordless screwdriver to put in the brazen screws. And here´s the second learning from all my previous ceiling work – I never screwed too much electrically.
The last few revelations I do by had with an ordinary manual screwdriver. That prevents the Teak wood from splitting and allows me to exactly dose the amount of power that goes into the screwdriver – not a single batten did split. Secondly, by putting on Epoxy to the adjoining parts where Teak and substruction meet, that´s another way of joining the ceiling and I find that´s a rather good way to achieve a solid outcome here.
Work went on very quickly without any problems. On the other hand I found it rather difficult to making sure that the batten had the exact same distance to one another. I should have gone for spacers put on top of every batten – a technique quite similar to tiling – but I missed the chance. So some of the batten have more than 4 mm distance, some just barely 2. That´s a bit disappointing but a learning for the next ceiling session here.
After some three hours of work it was finally all finished. The fourteen Teak batten had been mounted and despite some spots left over by thinner I used to clean the painted ship´s side the outcome was looking just fine to me. There are some Teak batten mounted with varying distances to each other, but this I would say adds to the “individual” touch of the boat.
Next Steps in the King´s Cruiser 33 Refit
I loved the outcome of today´s work. It´s a sad thing that I ran out of Teak today as the last fourteen Teak batten had been barely enough to cover one fourth of the fore cabin´s ships sides. As this has been the last occasion in 2017 for me to work on my boat (I will travel to Salon Nautique Paris Boat show next week) I close this year´s refit season fairly satisfied. The order for another 50 Teak batten to finish work here has been issued later in the afternoon.
When this work is done in mid-/end January next year, there´s still so much work ahead: The roofing panels need some decorative Teak stripes just as I did in the saloon – as the panels in the saloon will need too. I also have to fit the massive Teak-made hatch frame which will be another rather complicated thing. And of course on the upper part of the cabin there will be the two shelves to be mounted and plywood panels (LINK) painted in white will be the last woodwork to be done here. Phuh. Still a long way to go though …
Sailing Yacht Refit: You may also be interested in reading the following articles …
Fore Cabin Refit – my initial thoughts and design ideas (Part 1 and 2)
Refit of the Yacht´s Fore Cabin – Roofing panels