With the larger deck structures complete, it is time to get them mounted and seal the deck.
I’ve been holding off on applying a clear poly topcoat to the deck until I get the major structures installed. These larger structures are ideally glued down with PVA (wood glue), and that glue won’t create a strong hold if it is applied over a clear topcoat. So now that these buildings are done, it is finally time to seal the deck.
Before I can glue them down, I need to install a few eyebolts and rings. These kinds of details are something I prefer to do later, but some of them need to go into holes drilled into the bulwark stanchions. If I don’t put these in before the structures are glued down, it is going to be hard to get a drill in there to make the holes.
There are 16 eyebolts and rings to install around the bulwarks – eight on each side. The locations were found on the plans. I used a #69 micro drill bit in a pin vise to drill the holes. The eyebolts themselves were provided by the kit, along with the rings.
Each eyebolt was trimmed to shorten the stem, then dipped in some CA glue and placed into its hole. Once the glue sets, the ring is added. These are ‘split rings’, which means they are rings that are cut in one spot so they can be opened. I carefully twisted each ring to open them, then slipped them onto their eyebolts and closed them back up.
I also installed the four eyebolts and rings along the cabin. These are called for on the plans, and they are much easier to install before the cabin is glued down.
With all the hardware in place, I proceeded to mark the locations of all the deck structures.
Since I was careful with my deck planking to align the planks to the centerline of the ship, I can use the planking to help me find the center of the deck. I laid down some tape and marked the center line to help keep things straight.
I took the locations for each structure from the Model Shipways Bluenose kit plans, and glued them down one by one.
Once they were all installed and the glue had time to set, I started in on sealing the deck. I’m using Minwax Wipe-On Poly as my clear coat. For the outside of the hull and for the deck structures I used a satin finish. For the deck itself, I’m going to use a gloss, which is a little more shiny. I think the deck looks a little cooler when it is a bit shiny – it gives it a little bit of a wet look.
The poly was applied with a clean rag. I only used the tip of the rag so I could control the application around the deck structures. I also went ahead and applied the gloss to all the stained wood on the structures – roofs, coamings, etc. I think having the ‘natural’ wood on the deck all glossy will look good.
The poly takes a few hours to dry, so I’ll work on something else while it sets.
Once it dries, the last detail in this phase of the build is to add the eyebolts and rings for the hatches. I waited to do these until after the poly was applied because I didn’t want them to interfere with applying the poly.
With all this done, I’m finished with ‘Stage 9’ of my build plan. The next stage involves adding all the other miscellaneous stuff on the aft deck.