Rebuilding the cabin corner

Aft cabin rotThe first sign of trouble was a discoloration of the mahogany rail inside the aft cabin. Further inspection reveals dry rot had pretty much claimed the corner of the cabin.

After some poking around I realized that I’d have to replace a couple of entire side boards at the corner of the cabin. Fortunately the boards do not support the roof, corner and side pillars do. The side boards are attached with screws and glue at the top and bottom to horizontal beam. The are joined along their edges with a glued shiplap joint.

I started by removing the horizontal trim strip running along the base of the side boards on top of the side deck. This required prying it out and making a scarf joint cut so that I wouldn’t have to remove the entire strip. I used a type of Japanese saw that cuts a very thin kerf.

Sawing a scarf jointSome of the short side boards under the windows were rotten at the bottom. I decided that instead of replacing the entire boards I would just cut off the rotten ends. This wouldn’t show when the job was done because the trim board would cover the joint between the old side boards and the new wood below. This was my first big mistake, as I would only discover four years later.

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