Last update, January 16, 2008
Decking the Boat
Since the beginning of the Class during the early part of the 70's, the structured and molded decks have been around in various forms. The structured deck has been more widespread because it provides a good base for covering options like Formica, veneer finishing and balsa. Even some of the molded decks have required such support. It also provides the base for some of the most strikingly beautiful individually planked decks of any models in this category of use. The structured deck was less expensive to build and for those conscious of sailboat righting moments found the decks to be less weight. This was the featured deck presented in the EC12 Manual, which was written in the late 90's and considered to be the Classic Build.
Till recently, there have been two competitive reasons against the molded deck, weight and strength. It seemed you had one or the other. The structured deck was far stronger and with all the components, glue and finishing came in around 14 ounces. In late 2005 molded decks appeared with less weight and needed no beam supports with minor backing for hardware and a mast supporting strut. This was possible through design, new foam materials and processes like vacuum bagging. These have been in use on the racecourse successfully and await the test of time.
That time has passed and the molded deck, as part of all competitive building processes, is the choice in competitive racing and with ease in building. Like in many things it has increased the cost of building about three times for this phase in the process. However, this site looks at the easiest approach for those less skilled in craftsmanship but seeking a competitive boat.
The presentation here will be with the molded deck. The structured framework deck building information will be retained but linked into a separate section, as it was originally presented. The molded deck is now part of the advance ordering items needed to begin a project. By some it is call the "Short Kit" in the hull, deck, rudder and ballast.