XIII. Finishing the Interior

Building the Core Sound 20

Our progress was slowed considerably for a few weeks by our house-hunting efforts, but we finally found a home to buy—complete with a double-car garage that will be perfect for varnishing and painting the rest of the boat! Now, at long last, we're back to work finishing the interior.

First, we installed 3" diameter PVC tubes through the forward bulkhead to accommodate a pair of oars. The oars will be 10' long, but we would like to store them alongside the 8' centerboard case. To keep them from sticking out past the end of the case and getting in our way, the PVC tubes will allow the extra 2' of the oar handles to extend into the forward bulkhead area. This is a clever solution that other builders recommended to us. We think it will work very well.

At the same time, we also installed a 1/2" diameter PVC tube to drain any residual water out of the front mast step. If water is permitted to stay trapped in the mast step, it could cause rot and other problems. Some builders drain the mast step overboard, but we didn't like the looks of a hole cut in the side of the hull, so our drain runs down into the cockpit, where it can be easily emptied. Very little water should make its way down the foremast, so we don't expect it to contribute noticeably to the bilge water that is sure to splash aboard anyway.

Next, we installed the plywood panel that joins the two side seats at the front bulkhead. We also installed the centerboard trunk cap and the thwart that supports the mizzen (rear) mast. We made the thwart from mahogany and will finish it bright to match the mahogany tiller we built for the rudder. Once all were in place, we ran over the perimeter with a 3/8" roundover bit to match the radius of the seat edges. The results were both aesthetically-pleasing and practical for protecting the edges from chipping.

Then, we cut a hole in the floor for the Andersen bailer we'll be installing (to empty bilge water) and installed the mizzen mast step. We made the mast step from five layers of 3/8" plywood, producing a very hefty block. Then we bored out 3-1/4" diameter hole (to match the hole in the thwart). After some careful measuring to set the mast rake (angle), we glued the mast step in place. Later, we will add a fiberglass collar to the 3" diameter mast where it passes through the thwart to create a tight fit around the mast. We will also fill the mast step with thickened epoxy to mold it perfectly around the foot of the mast. We could've bored 3" holes to match the mast, but the oversized holes will make it easier to insert the mast, while still providing solid (tight) support at the collar and foot.

Later, we installed the framing for the deck. The deck framing defines the edges of the deck, establishes the placement of the hatch openings and oarlocks, and provides support for the fore mast. Once it is in place, it is much easier to appreciate how the finished deck will look.

Since a couple of other builders had told us the Core Sound's deck looks a bit too flat as designed, we added an extra 1/2" to the foredeck radius back when we first cut out the front bulkhead. So now, we took care to preserve that extra radius while installing the framing and the results look very nice. We can hardly wait to get the deck attached, but since it will close off many of the boat's spaces, we decided to paint the interior first, while it is still fairly easy to reach into the corners and see what we're doing.

to prep for painting, we sanded and sealed everything with three coats of epoxy, ensuring a smooth, watertight coating. However, we left the top edges of the deck framing uncoated to ensure a strong, soak-in glue bond later when we attach the deck.

Here, our progress came to a screeching halt again. The next three weeks were eaten up by the labor-intensive process of settling into the new house and pulling wallpaper off the walls of our new kitchen. Since the previous owners failed to put a primer between the drywall and the wallpaper, we had a lot of drywall repair to do. Then we had to sand and paint the repaired walls. Then there was landscaping to do in the back yard. Then the garage needed shop lights and storage shelves installed. Then we built a workbench out of the scrap lumber from the outdoor awning we had erected for boat-building. Then there was... well, the list of "home improvements" goes on. Suffice it to say that there was no progress on our boat except for moving it onto its new trailer so we could transport it to the new house.

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