Yesterday as I was stripping under the decks I decided that it would be a good idea to remove them to make my life easier. One of them was already loose so I decided to remove it first and leave the other in place for now.
When I make my woodstrip canoes from scratch the decks are well glued and screwed in place but with this deck there was no evidence of any glue and the screws were relatively easy to remove.
I also noticed they have very slim heads perfect for this application. I have actually taken ordinary screws and sanded the heads down to this sort of profile (in a drill) so I could squeeze one in at the narrow end of a tapering outwale before now so I can see why they were made like this.
The timber of the decks is very soft and crumbly and one corner was already falling off when I took it out so I kept the pieces and glued it back on.
The underside of the deck was in need of a good clean up and I needed to hold it still whilst I worked so I got a couple of pieces of insulation and carved them to fit the top profile of the deck so I could put them under it to clamp it still.
The coaming was still fixed on but only just by a few screws so I carefully removed them.The heads needed to be cleared in order to get my screwdriver into them and for this I use a smaller screwdriver and a rubber mallet to tap along the slot and clean it out.
The coaming was then scraped clean of varnish and given a light sand. It is in far better condition than the deck timber and is still properly hard.
Despite some very careful sanding of the soft surface the deck itself still seems to have some nasty stains on its underside so I may have to bleach them out.
In addition to that it has woodworm and the point is suffering from a bit of rot so I am going to have to treat it with preservative followed by wood hardener before I finally get to varnish it.
At least now that I have it removed I was able to finally strip and clean the planking underneath it to my satisfaction.