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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lifting the Deck

With this project, I find myself simply sitting in the boat and thinking. Sometimes a good ten or fifteen minutes will pass before I realize it. This "lifting the deck" problem has been no different. I have to build some sort of platform to support the jacks just under the deck. The platform needs to be secure such that it does not shift while the deck is lifted. Whats more, whatever is under this platform needs to be strong enough to support the weight as well. So, I did a lot of thinking and came up with some elaborate schemes (which I wont describe here). Finally I thought what the hell. Let me find what pieces of lumber I have laying around and see what and where I can build for a platform. I cut up a few 4x4's bought a couple 2x10's and some steel joist/post brackets from the local lumber supply. Screwed everything together on the aft cabin floor. This platform will lift the aft portion of the deck. I bought a couple bottle jacks and placed them between the platform and underside of the deck. For firsts, I would test lift the aft deck. I figure if I hear cracking fiberglass and/or creaking coming from the floor, then I need to rethink things. In the end, I lifted the deck a couple inches with out the sound of crushing fiberglass. No problem! As for the bow, I used a 10 ton hydraulic floor jack resting on the V-berth and a section of 4x4 lifting under the foredeck. The Coosa framing underneath had no problem supporting the weight of the foredeck as things were lifted. With everything lifted, I placed some 2x4 blocks atop the primary bulkheads under the sidedecks, then lowered the deck onto the blocks to keep it lifted, yet stable enough to walk on.
From Building A Westsail 42: Bonding the Hull and Deck
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