As mentioned before, the unusual shape of the hull led me to ballast heavily low in the hull and to keep the upper portions of the decks and superstructure as light as possible, lest the model turn turtle when in the bayou.
There are basically two decks. A main deck about two thirds the length of the vessel, and a higher forward deck. The shape of the bulwarks of the hull reflect these two deck levels and have in addition a third level in the extreme forward part of the hull which is also decked and covers the hawse pipes.
For the deck camber, I used formers cut using the ship’s lines from the plan as a guide. I first rough cut out the two main deck pieces from 1/32″ plywood, using the actual hull as a pattern. Then I laid out locations for the deck formers so they would fall between or adjacent to existing deck beams in the hull.
the formers were extended about half an inch or so to each side and then glued to a building board.
This snap shows the building board, after removal of the deck as discussed later, and two of the extra formers.
After gluing the formers to the board, I then glued the deck pieces to the formers and held the deck in place with rubber bands.
Both deck pieces were constructed similarly.
Once dry, the formers are trimmed to the deck width and then trial fitted to the hull, further trimming the remaining center portion of the formers to fit in the hull.
I then trimmed the decks to more precisely fit the hull, and notched the lower deck to fit inside the forward portion of the hull where it overlaps the upper deck by about half an inch.
For deck planking, I used strips of cardstock cut from manila file folders. One plan I have shows deck planks on the forward deck and on the cabin top to be narrower than those on the main deck, and I duplicated this feature on the model.
I glued the cardstock down with waterproof glue then lightly sanded and coated with several coats of polyurethane varnish, which provided a pretty decent white-wood finish for the deck..
This is a snap of the two main decks trial fitted to the hull.
Here I have marked out the position of the main cabin, as I will be cutting out the deck so the cabin will fit just inside the cut out. I plan to have necessary running controls and switches accessible through this opening so it will not be necessary to remove the entire deck when running the model.