One of the weak points of the Freeport is the hull to deck joint. Mostly due to the age of these boats.
We did not plan to take on such a project but when leaks developed, we knew what was ahead.

After a close inspection we discovered that the bolts were only 1/4 inch bolts and that after all these years I could break them off very easy with a pair of regular pliers.

The photos below show my approach to this problem.


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The old teak was already trashed so we just tore it off any way we could.


This shows the old caulk that was used to seal everything at the factory. Most of it was the consistency of mud


I pulled all the bolts out, replaced them with new 5/16 inch bolts, scraped as much of the caulk as I could from the joint. Then I used a grinder to dress everything down to where I could use fiberglass matt and West epoxy to make the joint one piece. I still wasn't convinced this was strong enough.



The entire decks and deck joint were stripped back to the gel-coat

Here are a couple of the deck bolts as they came out.

I decided to put wood bulwarks on the deck joint. In addition I would add two wale-strakes on the outside of the deck joint.
Here I have scarfed together all the boards needed to create a 42 foot bulwark and strake.
These are mahogany and I have for years used west epoxy thinned with lacquer thinner as a penetrating epoxy. These boards got the treatment on the back side as well as the face.

 The mahogany treated with epoxy. It is sanded smooth and once installed we put four coats of clear AwlGrip over the epoxy.

We have used this technique for many years and if West System 207 converter is used, it will stand up very well with little maintenance.

Above and Right: some of the planks have been scarfed together, treated with epoxy and sanded in preparation for installation.

These two photos show the bulwark installed on the inside of the deck joint and the lower wale strake on the outside.
Once the other top strake is installed, fiberglass matt and epoxy were used to build up a "U-cannel" between the strake, bulwark and deck joint. Every piece is installed with epoxy and matt for added strength.


Starting the new cover boards. Note the two wale-strakes on the side of the boat


Dry fitting the cover boards and joining them with a "common scarf".

One trick I use for band saw cutting: When cutting and fitting the cover boards, I temporarily install them in their exact location. Then I trace the underside of the boards along the bulwark and the wale strake. Then I take them to the band saw and use masking tape to average out the curve of the bulwarks & wale strake. This also gives me the spacing of 3/4 inch for the overhang needed. It also makes it easier to see where to cut with the band saw just in case, like me, your vision is starting to fail you!


Once the boards are cut on the band saw, I clamp them in place and plane the edges to remove saw marks and any wobbles in my cutting.
Then I finish the edges with a belt sander and then bullnose the edges with a router.

The cover boards are installed, trimmed and sanded. All ready for 207 epoxy and clear Awlgrip.

In my quest for organization, I built-in a small storage box under the bow cover board to keep small items that are related to anchoring. Seizing wire, shackles, shackle wrench, pliers and anything needed to handle anchors.

Starting to fit all the deck hardware in place. Once we know where everything goes, I'll drill holes and remove all the deck gear.
We will build-up heavy coats of Awlgrip 545 epoxy primer. Then sand and fair the areas where things get bolted on.

All the deck gear will then get bolted in place and masked off for the Cloud White Awlgrip paint and non-skid.
The reason for this is because if you tighten bolts on something that has Awlgrip under it, the paint will mushroom out and eventually crack. Once it breaks open the surface, water can get in under the paint and spread the cracks



Left... sanding the first coat of epoxy and applying the second coat.

Two coats of West Epoxy using #207 hardener. This will get sanded smooth and then I will give it three coats of clear Awlgrip.


Note the small anchor parts locker..


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