Realigning Hull/Deck Seam

I started building my Guillemot L about 8 years ago. I got to the point where I finished stripping the hull and deck. However, before I could start work on stripping the cockpit recess, life intervened. I'm now taking advantage of the forced downtime to finish up this awesome project. 

After sitting for so many years, while the hull sides still fit tightly to the forms, unfortunately, the deck sides along the seam between the hull and deck sit about a 1/8"-1/4" proud of the forms. (See the attached photos.)

I'm trying to decide how best to deal with this situation. I haven't started sanding the boat yet - and am concerned that if I leave it as is, I won't be able to do any sanding across the hull/deck seam. I suppose that's not the end of the world, but it would mean that I might have to do some serious bending to join the hull and deck once they are glassed.

Alternatively, I'm thinking that I could pull the deck off the forms, scrape off whatever residual hot glue is left between the deck and forms and then re-glue the deck to the forms (I didn't use any staples in the build process - a decision I'm now regretting). My concern with this option is whether the deck has enough integrity - without any glass on it - to survive being pulled off the forms.

Does anyone here have any suggestions about the best path forward? 

Thanks in advance for your input. 


3 replies:

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RE: Realigning Hull/Deck Seam

Can you slip a razor blade between hull and deck, where the hot glue's holding the two substructures together?

That's how I'd approach this, but not with a razor blade to 'sever' the glued areas. Rather something as thin but not sharp, more like a painter's flexible palette knife.

Hot glue's usually some kind of polyethylene formulation, and in that it's really never 'hard' like epoxy it can be worked apart by fricton using a thin blade-like tool.

If you had access to both sides of the seam I'd suggest thin fishline used to "saw" the joint apart, but as it looks from those pics you have to be content working from the outside.

Too, a lot depends on whether you managed to lay down a continuous bead of glue or only did a spot-weld kind of join. The latter ought to be easier to separate than the former.

Another thought is to use a heat gun or even a hair dryer to warm the areas adjacent to where you're working, then use that palette knife to separate the hot-glued halves once the glue softens a bit.

Good luck with completion of your long-term project! Let us know what you eventually find effective getting the hull away from the deck portion. 

RE: Realigning Hull/Deck Seam

Hi Barry, 

thanks for the pictures and it looks like very nice work. 

i have built a number of strip built boats and my first comment is i don't see any issue here that is not common to this kind of don't fact, i am impressed at how stable everything looks after 8 years.

it is very very common that once you pull the staples out that the hull and deck will spring away from the forms a bit....and so how to approach sanding can appear to be a bit mysterious.

so first, work on all the sanding adjacent to the seam.  that is plenty of work.  then as you have to finish it up and sand the seams, you can simply use some packing tape to hold the two parts together tights and in alignment and sand and then reposition the tape to address the section that was under the tape.   you can also use your hand to hold the area you are sanding as you typically only need a small sanding block to work this area and when you apply the sanding block it will push both sides against the forms so not a big deal.

also, when you do glass the top to the bottom later in the construction process, you can always clean up any minor misalignment/sanding issue prior to the applying the outer glass tape that secures the deck to the hull.

so congratualtions on your work and bringing it to a close.  i am itching to start a new project myself as a good way to spend the time.



RE: Realigning Hull/Deck Seam

Just want to thank you for the feedback. I'll post an update as I get through this. Thanks again!


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