Deck arrangement is basically the same as Chapelle drew it.

The deck arrangement will be as shown in Chapelle’s Lion drawing. Above is my construction plan for the deck beam and hatch locations. Deck beams have a 4  1/2″ crown at widest beam. (That is, looking from the front or back of the boat, they will be 4 1/2 inches higher in the middle.) They will be sided 3  1/4″ (fore’n’aft dimension) and molded 4″ (height). There are 29 deck beams (one at each frame). Most of the beams will be of white ash from trees that came down on my lot during Tropical Storm Irene (2011) and Hurricane Sandy (2012). About 10, including most of the “partner” beams, will be of white oak. Partner beams are those that adjoin the mast supports (mast partners) and also those fore and aft of a deck opening or hatch.

In the fall of 2021, with planking completed about halfway down from the top, planking efforts were put on hold to begin fabrication of the deck structure. The following video shows the first five months of the deck structure work, which started with the fitting and fastening of the full deck beams in the middle two-thirds of the hull.

The deck has two levels. The main deck extends from the stern forward to Frame 8 (the eighth frame from the bow). At Frame 8, the deck steps up about 8 inches from there to the bow (the “foredeck”). All of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023 was spent building the main deck structure. Then the “Great Beam” was erected at Frame 8, providing the 8″ step up to the foredeck. The remainder of 2023 was spent on the foredeck, including the shelf under the foredeck beams. The “shelf”, in boatbuilding parlance, is a structural member which runs under the deck beams at right angle to the “clamp” and edge-bolted to the clamp. The shelf in the foredeck area is dimensioned 1 7/8″ thick, 7″ wide and extends from the stem back almost to the Great Beam.

The foredeck was challenging. It’s difficult to explain, but the presence of the foremast partners, the “breasthook” and the shelf, all in the relatively short length of the foredeck, required that the full deck beams be temporarily fastened in place, the shelf and breasthook installed, then the deck beams removed and permanently fastened only after the mast partners were fastened in place. Hopefully, the photos and captions in the gallery below will make it a little more clear.

The foredeck and shelf were completed in early 2024. Work is now primarily on the “shelf” under the main deck, which is dimensioned 2 1/2″ thick, 6 1/4″ wide and will extend from the Great Beam aft to the sternpost.

Click on any photo to enlarge and scroll through the gallery.

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