My fair reader, please bear with me on this site. I do my best here to make this readable in some sort of searchable fashion so you can find what you want to read about. Linear it is not, but then again for those that know me, this should be no surprise.

Due to the swiss cheese that passed for side decks on the old Salty Pup, an executive decision was made to completely re-fab something new. The time required to repair, strengthen, modify, match, and non-skid the existing decks was more than just making all new decks. Meh, time for the sawzall.

Using the 3/4″ material, a full ring of decks was made up that will glue to the existing aft deck and the toe rail forward. Then frames will be added to enclose the fuel hoses and ballast drains, build large plenums for the engine room venting, and all of this will brace the side decks significantly, strengthening the boat far beyond her original layout.

The fab work wasn’t all that visually interesting on the decks, so here’s some shots of them after they’ve been trimmed and mocked up in place.

salty pup bow deck

Salty Pup aft deck

The Vetus vents were built into a Salty Pup refit over on the west side of Washington when a boat was made into a serious diesel cruiser. The diesel ate far more air than the old 318, so they opened her up and added the big vents. Aside from looking sweet, this will provide the Pup with a very cool engine room and bilge, prolonging life and enhancing power.

uniflite salty pup vetus

The dorades that fit inside the hull prevent water from getting in those huge holes. The air will flow up and around, then through a notch in the sole that’s got a larger surface area than the holes in the dorade.

uniflite vetus dorade

Next we get out the hot glue, strips of cheap ply, and have arts and crafts day! This is such a sweet trick to making fast templates that are fairly accurate, it never disappoints.

vetus dorade, uniflite

The templates were also made for surrounds aft to enclose the fuel fills. They look similar, it’s not that interesting in photos. All the bits were cut out and are due for the grinder to prep for glass.

In a moment of meat-headedness at the factory, the Uniflite wonks decided to build out one side differently than the other. This means that the large engine room vents were a good fit on one side, and not so hot on the other. This required using a chunk of cut out hull sheathing from the other side, plus a big butt block to fill.

Uniflite salty pup

butt block

Side frames have been glassed into place. These will provide the plenum for the engine room, and a chase for the fuel fills, fuel vents, and ballast tank vents.

intake plenum

This allowed for the side decks to be glued up. Lots and lots of thickened epoxy was slobbed all over the place to make it happen. There was a little alignment mishap resulting in a bit of saw work and a repair/fill. All did end well, however.

uniflite salty pup

uniflite salty pup

salty pup side decks

The engine needed some protection from water slopping around the decks, so a small rim was created. This has a large cleat that runs under the sole parallel to the stringers, adding considerable strength to the largest unsupported area. Stainless screws back up the epoxy, and glass will finish the assembly.

engine room protection

What was nice, however, is that the assistant came out to lend a hand.

The assistant

To stiffen the side decks some, and add a large gluing surface, fir cleats were bedded and coated in a thick layer of epoxy, then glued to the side decks. This was then backed up with large fillets between the ends of the cleats and the side frames, to make one long linear part on both sides, distributing stresses the full length of the boat.

uniflite side deck

Obviously one needs many clamps to build boats. This is about a decade’s worth of collecting in the boat at once.

salty pup

The side decks needed some thigh bearing, so bolsters were added. 7″ of height should make for a comfortable place to rest legs working over the rail and keep kids corralled in the boat. Went with blanks and trimmed everything to fit.

thigh bolsters

Went with screws rather than clamps due to an abundance of large clamp need, and a lack of large clamps.

fish deck

Fore deck

Since the decks were almost complete, and I had a few minutes, the tow post went in for a dry fit. This will be for the surfing and wakeboarding, probably not enough to tow large vessels, but we will see when it’s complete. The template you see on the sole is the marking template for the Armstrong watertight hatches.

Surf tow post

Out came the router and everything was trimmed up nice and tidy. Then out came the grinder and the random orbit sander. Things looked quite nice afterward. The final shape of the boat is starting to emerge.

Salty pup center console

Carolina flare