The Topsides

I really wanted to have the topsides clear. I’d seen an Atalanta 26 before with clear topsides and fallen in love with it, but with all the patches, ble-
mishes and paint filled gouges, I realized that it would not be possible.
Then I discovered a veneer company in Vienna called “Liechtenstein” This place was a wood lover’s dream come true. An Aladdin’s Cave; a vast hall filled with stacks of the most beautiful and exotic wood veneers imaginable.
From that moment there was no stopping me.They did not have Agba from which the hull was built, but that was no problem as I had already set my heart on Sapelli Mahogany and immediately bought enough 1.5mm veneer to complete the topsides.
It was a long job, but the material was a joy to work with; flat, straight grained and malleable. I set up the band-saw and ran the material through in 10cm strakes. I did find that on the tight turn of the bilge aft that when I did the fitting, I needed to run the hot air gun over the veneer as I gently eased it round the curve. It would then retain the curve and twist and would glue easily in position.

I had already removed the rubbing strake in order to repair damage at the hull to deck joint so I started the veneers at the hull/deck joint and ended them at the waterline that I had pre-
viously marked. Each strake had the edges planed and was dry fitted before it was glued.
When the whole laminate was com-
pleted it was sanded and then coated with three coats of clear epoxy, sanding between each coat.
At this point I replaced the shear strake. This time I bedded it in thickened epoxy. I realize that it is harder, though not impossible, to remove if damaged, but it does protect an extremely vulnerable joint between the hull and deck.
The final finish is: 10 coats of one-component polyurethane varnish from Veneziani.

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