Caledonia Yawl Project: fitting out the hatches

The progress is now something that is not prescribed in the plans drawn up by Ian Oughtred. It is true that a flush and clean decking with a minimum amount of fittings would be more water tight. But already I can see that the bulkhead access ports won’t really be sufficient to get full use of the bow and stern compartments. So I’ve decided to add hatches to the deck in the bow and the stern. To make this as water tights as possible I’ve created frames before I start laying down the deck.

Adjusting the rise of the kingplank on the bow to match the sheer strake lap with strake 6.

I also started fitting the decking make sure the kingplank and the deckbeams are flowing right. I found that the straight kingplank at the bow did not match the upward flow of the sheer strake. At first this scared me as it introduces a compound curve for the plywood decking. But in trying it out because the plywood is in two pieces and gets quite narrow at the bow it won’t be too hard to torture it to follow the curve.


Then I got to the framing of the hatch framing. You will notice that they are intentionally trapezoids. It just looked too weird when I mocked it up as square.


I then turned to the fitting of hardware. With the arrival of 4″ 5/16″ bronze bolts for the chainplates I got to work drilling the holes in the beautiful bronze castings from Classic Marine. (I bought them a while ago and feel like it was as we say in french “un petit caprice” especially now that I see the price of bronze has gone up further)

Drilling the chainplates

Once complete they are now ready to have the hull and frame drilled too.

Chainplate all ready to be fastened

The stern hatch frame was completed and a few other beams added to support the plywood decking for good measure as I know I will have children running up onto all surfaces of the boat.


The next steps involve fastening all the benches, thwarts and knees and then removing them before priming and painting the whole interior.

I will also go get some 1×4 of 1×6 cedar planks to use for the floor. My plan is to leave it unfinished as a sacrificial surface that I plan to leave raw.