The one most important part of the punt remains undone: the floor. Our dear Uncle Ed (it is amazing how the relationship develops spending time with the few pages of text we have) says that the next things are fairing the base and then attaching the floor. He makes it sound so easy.
Fairing means taking the various pieces: sides, chine piece, frames, transoms and bulkhead and making them all fit to be one smooth layer that the floor panel can attach to evenly without any gaps. This sounds easy. And it almost is. Except that being a bit careless, we ended up chipping large chunks of the lower parts of the frame pieces off. Oops!
Slowly we took off the angles, planed down the pieces of plywood sticking out in various directions, smoothed over the inaccuracies between the battens and the frames or the deep floors. Using a piece of light wood bent over the various parts of the floor support, we could see the sudden changes in angles, non-smoothnesses moving from one piece of structural wood to the next. So we planed and trimmed, sanded and sawed until it all seemed to form one surface.
Placing the whole construction on a large piece of plywood we traced around the sides of the boat, plus around all of the frames, battens and suchlike inside. These lines gave us the pattern of the boat, and on that large surface we could see the kinks and bends that should not have been there. But they were less than they might have been and this is not some mahogany and oak construction for Abeking and Rasmussen, it is just a punt for us. So it can have a few oddities.
We cut the floor out, then started sanding the concrete-repellent coating off the wood so that the glue would take hold. We sanded back to the next layer of wood, so the glue must hold, no layer of repellent. The positions where the battens and frames, deep floors and bulkhead were also sanded back and ready to be glued.We then positioned the floor on the boat and started pre drilling holes for the screws. Following Monk’s recommendations of 10 screws to the foot (25 mm between them) but leaving enough space so as not to be all screws, we put screw holes at 30mm spaces across the transoms and bulkhead and 40mm spacing along the side panels. And then smaller holes for the nails across the deep floors.
Then the time came to get boat and floors together. A wire through the pre-drilled holes to line up the pieces with all the holes with glue oozing all over the place.
Oh the joy of boat building!
Screwed, glued and held in place.
Soon the test of water!