Decks Finished

After installing the inwales I turned my attention to the decks. As usual, I pretty much followed the words of wisdom found in Canoecraft. However, there are a few interesting bits to mention. First, I managed to find a nice piece of sapele at a local lumber store. There was about 1 board.ft sitting in a bin of scrap wood that they use for stacking lumber. I still had to pay for the wood, but at least I only needed to buy a small piece. It cost me $10.

sapele

I resorted to a few more sluggo special jigs for the deck glue-up and shaping:
shaping jigdeck glue-upcurve tracing

I had some problems screwing the decks into the inwales. First I predrilled with a 1/8″ bit for #8 screws. I got a couple of screws in, but then I broke one. Next I predrilled 1/8″ into the deck, and then 5/32″ through the inwale. I still broke a screw. Finally I settled on this pattern: start with a 3/8″ forstner bit for countersink, drill 5/32″ through the inwale and deck, then finally drill 3/16″ through the inwale.

I managed to shape the decks ok and the fit was pretty good for me. I had some Elmers wood filler that did an excellent job of filling gaps between the cherry and sapele:
wood filler
And used thickened epoxy for gaps between the decks and the inwales. Once it’s sanded I think it will look quite okay.
deck in place