Now that the new deck is installed, its time to put the cabin back on. A much easier task to imagine than do.
As it turned out the cabin trunk was literally falling apart. The iron rods used to attach the trunk had rusted inside the wood leaving a decayed mess. The first thing I did was to replace the front of the cabin since it was in the worst shape. This was in the fall of 2010 while I was working on the new deck. You can see the cabin top in the background of some of the pictures of the new deck plywood being painted.
The old front piece of the cabin was a two part laminate that had de-laminated. The iron rods damaged the wood. The only salvageable piece was the inner layer. The forward cabin top also had a dovetail type of joinery in the corners with an iron rod running through the intersection to hold the cabin down. The iron rod had dissolved and destroyed the joinery. So I made new corner posts. I cut a new outer layer and laminated it to the old inner layer with epoxy. Unfortunately I can't seem to find any pictures of this work. The pictures below are of the new cabin front on the new corner posts with the old cabin sides. The last two pictures have the old cabin trunk behind the new ones under construction. Notice the iron rot from the rods.
The work on the cabin was suspended while I worked on the new deck through 2011. The pictures below show the process of installation onto the deck in 2012. Notice the rod holes in the top of the trunk sides. The way the cabin sides are clamped in the pictures allowed me to properly align the wood to the edges of the deck opening. It is a slightly concave outline. Once the clamping was done and checked for companionway angle (so the hatch boards would not bind) I drilled the rod holes through the deck coming. Then I used wooden dowels to align the cabin sides while I fit the cabin onto the deck. Once the deck fit properly I measured, cut, and threaded bronze rod to fasten the cabin to the deck. In one busy day, I used 3M 5200 Mahogany adhesive sealant to bed the cabin down, and install and tighten the rods holding the cabin to the deck. Once the sealant was cured, (after a few days when I had time) I beveled the top of the cabin sides to mate with the cabin top. The nut recesses were filled with boatyard bedding compound.
The cabin installation was done in October of 2012. The cabin top was installed in November Just before the winter set in. As you can see from the pictures below that it was a rather straight forward install. After marking the location of the sockets to accept the cabin top ribs, it was rather easy to cut the wood to allow the setting of the ribs in place. The hardest thing was getting the compression post correct. Apparently the new cabin was 1/4" lower than the original cabin. The compression post needed to be trimmed to accommodate. Gravity has a way of flattening out the cabin top over time. As you can see I used clamped pieces of wood to align the top to the sides. I think I also had to clamp through the window holes from side to side to get things just right.
Once the cabin top was installed it was time for the trim. I got the trim installed in the first half of 2013. Its a rather straightforward process of milling the lumber and bending it into place. I started with the top at the companionway working clockwise. To make sure the miter was correct I bisected an arc drawn on the corner of the cabin top.This creates a perfect half of the angle. When the trim is in place I extend the line, mark the vertical angle off the cabin sided and then cut. The front trim pieces were milled using the curve of the cabin and deck respectivly. The cockpit coaming to the cabin top trim was where I wanted to get perfect. I left the coming side long so I could cut it after trim was in place. I used a piece of beadboard paneling I had left over from a recent bathroom remodel as a template.
Installing the windows was a lot of gooey fun. These went in in June of 2013. The windows from the prevoious cabin were scratched and just generally nasty. Since I'm replacing the cabin I might as well replace the windows too. Before the cabin sides were installed I made a pattern for routering the rabbet in which to insert the windows. The fun part was getting the trim pieces to fit the hole. The pictures below tell the story.
By August of 2013 I had all the windows and trim installed. Time to make it look pretty. I started with a long board and some 120 grit sand paper to make sure everything flat was truly flat. I followed that up with A palm sander using 180 grit paper. Finally I used 220 grip paper Both by palm sander and by hand to get the corners and rounded edges. The wife and I decided not to stain the wood. I'm not sure about the long term effect of this decision was. First coats were warm weather Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer (aka CPES). This sealed the wood and made a "green" epoxy layer to apply Bristol Finish over. Them came three hot coats of Bristol Finish. Hot coating is a term to describe applying subsequent coats of finish over the previous coat without sanding or full cure. This can be done with a two part finish since the finish does not require air to fully cure. Wating an hour or two between coats is only to allow the solvents to evaporate berfore the next coat. Two more advantages of hot coating is 1) The depth of the coating builds up fast. Three coats can be done in on day. 2) When the three coats cure, the cured coating is one coat since they chemically bond as one.
After the initial coats have fully cured, I sanded flat and ripples, bugs and bubbles. Then applied two more hot coats. Finally after full cure, and more sanding, The final coat went on. Here is the result:
Finishing out the year of 2013 was new paint on the cabin top. The old paint was over old paint, over old paint, twenty years worth. So it all had to come off. I used Back to Nature Ultra Strip to do the job. I squeegied the paste over the paint just thick enough to be able to see through. Then I covered it over with heavy plastic and left it for the night. The next morning I removed the plastic and started scraping. The paint came off easily. I filled a bucket. Once that was done I hosed off the residue and scrubbed with a scotchbright pad..
After a day or two of dry weather, I sanded down the wood and applied CPES. The next day I applied the first coat of Interlux Pre-Coat. The next day I sanded and applied another coat of Pre-Coat. The next day I sanded and applied Inerlux Surfacing Putty. (I usualy don't get more than a day or two back to back to work on her.) The next time I came down I did final filling with the Surfacing Putty, let it dry. sanded and applied my first coat of the tinted topcoat. All before 3 pm. I use 3pm as the cutoff time when painting or varnishing. After this time the chances of dew settling before drying is higher. Dew will reduce the sheen of high gloss paint. A few days later I came back sanded and applied another coat. Below is the result.
Looking back at the pictures of the old cabin you may notice that the hand rails were cracked and starting to splinter. I figured it would be easy to find commercially available Mahogany hand rails. I was wrong. So here are pictures of new rails being made. These were ready by Thanksgiving.
This was the fun year. The next challenge comes in 2014.