Clark Fork Drifter - Getting Close
February 9, 2013
we left the Clark Fork Drifter, we had taped her up in anticipation
of getting her final paint job done. Now, it was time to get moving
on finishing out her interior.
We flipped her back over and made a nice fillet of epoxy and sawdust
from the random orbital sanders, and set the seats. The stuff squished
out all over, so we had to do some extensive cleanup. We were going
fancy with this build, so we used bronze silica screws to hold the
Next were hatches. We use 1/4
Turn Deck Plates from Duckworks. Every enclosed space needs
some kind of access so you can get in there and dry it out. If the
space is big enough, use a hatch big enough people can stow things
in the space. We smeared the flange with caulk and screwed it into
place with stainless steel screws.
People make 3 primary mistakes when installing hatches which make
them almost impossible to use:
- The hole is too tight - it needs to be a little sloppy so it
doesn't deform the opening. The hole is ~1/8" larger than
necessary, plenty loose.
- They don't have the lid in place during installation and the
opening deforms. You can see we have the lid installed.
- They over-tighten the screws, deforming the opening. What you
can't see is that I have the screw driver's torque set to 5 (out
I did the forward hatch (to remember how it was done) then had
Curt do the aft hatch. It's important to use enough caulk to get
a good squeeze-out all the way around the flange, then clean up
the squeeze-out quickly so it doesn't dry into an unremovable glob.
Another thing to remember when installing hatches is aesthetics.
Try to get the screw holes to line up the same on all your hatches
- it looks more professional that way.
Flip the boat back over to do the trim paint. We needed to do a
wee bit of sanding before we got to painting.
If you remember, the bottom is coated with epoxy impregnated with
graphite - to make it slick as it slides over rocks. We didn't want
to paint the bottom, but we did need to do our trim work. We chose
Rustoleum's Gloss Black and I think it matched the epoxy/graphite
Next week: Flip her over for the last time, finish out the seat
installation, attach the wales, and we are done.