Separating the Deck from Hull

David Ellis

Posted: 01 Feb 14 15:16
Message ID: 2400
Baker boat (308). Found on Craigslist. Home to multiple animals at one point in time. Sat upsidedown on horses the last twenty+ years. Strangely enough, it is complete.

Anyway, I want to separate the deck from the hull. Then, I want to separate the buoyancy tank(s) from the hull to remove foam that was sprayed in there. After that, I want to put it all together after I fix whatever I find. What I am looking for is advice aside from cutting it up with a chainsaw and sending it to the graveyard. Have any of you Larkers ever done this?

Yes, I am crazy, but me thinks this is what this boat needs as every bit of wood in it is shot. Believe it or not, I am doing this for fun.

John Knowles

Posted: 02 Feb 14 11:58
Reply ID: 6582
The foam wasn't sprayed in, it was built in as reserve bouyancy - all Bakers have it (not sure but I think it is, or was, in the class rules). And the only bit of wood should be the thwart - if there's any other wood it's been fitted later.

David Ellis

Posted: 03 Feb 14 11:07
Reply ID: 6584
Hmmm. That makes no sense as one tank (starboard) has foam and the other does not. It was definitely added by some clown during the history of this boat as the job was sh*t.

How about loft lines for a Baker Hull? Anyone? I need to make a frame to support the hull shape when crack open this clam.


David Ellis

Posted: 03 Feb 14 11:11
Reply ID: 6585
Forgot to mention the wood. You are obviously only referring to the "visible" wood. There is more. Deck battons, transom rudder support, stay attachment blocks, etc.

I still love the fact that the deck design has a hole for a spinnaker lead RIGHT THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF THE DECK BATTON! That is certainly a recipe for rotting it.

Anyway, with a grinder and a lot of beer, I am going to have at it. (I also think I will be the first AND LAST one to do this.

(308, build April 1968)

Steve Hall

Posted: 04 Feb 14 07:32
Reply ID: 6586
I think it would be almost impossible to get the deck off the hull in a state that you would then be able to use again, with the same applying to the side tanks.

The main reason is that to separate the hull/deck join is going to involve an angle grinder/dremel and also wedges to force the join open to allow you to grind deeper, it's very likely the the glue used has also gone around the corner of the flange as well meaning that you wont be able to access it with a grinder so the only way to remove the deck is likely to be to destroy the flange used to attach it.

If you want to remove the foam or refurbish the supports inside the tanks, then I would suggest getting jigsaw and cutting a hole in either the hull or the deck and then repairing the hole afterwards.

Garry Packer

Posted: 04 Feb 14 11:27
Reply ID: 6587
Not sure about Baker but my Parker has a block of foam. If you do remove it you will need to replace with something buoyant. Otherwise, if, for any reason, your buoyancy tanks fill with water the boat is likely to sink to the bottom.

Garry Packer

Posted: 04 Feb 14 11:30
Reply ID: 6588
ps, Steve is right, in my experience you will never successfully split hull and deck and maintain the structural integrity when you rejoin. Cut the tank if you really need to get inside. I know some of the old foam was heavy and takes up water but you will also add considerable weight glassing it all back together, just a thought is it really worth it? There are a few good Parker hulls around for a few hundred which could still be a project if you're looking for that.

Paul Roe

Posted: 08 Feb 14 11:38
Reply ID: 6590
Bakers were originally built containing expanded polystyrene blocks held in place with plastic bailer twine during assembly. There was lots of internal wood, mostly ply for attaching fittings forming the hog etc. Most of this will have ended up a soggy mess.

As stated in the other posts I think you will find parting the components rather difficult.

Your boat is of an age when the deck/hull glued flange is quite narrow and finished with a C section black plastic strip?
You may be able to cut the glue/filler out with a jigsaw and correct length blade.
For the floor/buoyancy tank join: slide in a hacksaw blade somewhere it has already failed and happy cutting!

This could only ever be a 'labour of love' scrap the deck and fit a wooden one?

Nigel Hufton

Posted: 09 Feb 14 08:47
Reply ID: 6591
Boats built pre-2000 all had to have positive buoyancy fitted and still have to have it in place to be legal. It sounds like Parkers forgot to fit foam to one side (quality control wasn't strong point). Post-2000 Larks have bulkheads and separate tanks, so don't need foam.

I am aware of a couple of people who took a deck off - but only to fit a wooden deck in place.

David Ellis

Posted: 11 Feb 14 12:18
Reply ID: 6592
Well, I have a whopping $100USD in this sucker to date. I am going to see what happens when I split this clam open. If it fails miserably, I will chainsaw it to pieces and it will be no great loss (and you might see parts for sale on this site to boot!).

Successive freeze/thaw cycles over the last 20 years may have already weakened the deck/hull seam while it was upside-down as it looks like the joining compound is shot and no, I am not going to replace the plastic deck.

Spring is coming and I need an excuse to get a compressor and pneumatic tools. Yes, there will be a potential for butchering this, but trust me, this thing needs surgery.

I will think about posting video on YouTube. No promises.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.....