F16 Catamaran Deck Grip

Summer 2013

Upgraded my F16 Viper's deck by applying foam-padded grip, re-seated the beams using a colored epoxy, and added through-hull carbon tubing for lines. These modifications improved the performance of the boat through additional grip, comfort, platform stiffness, and control line flow.  This project would not have been possible without guidance from my teammate Sam Armington and his father.

Foam Grip

First the original nonskid was sanded off and the deck refinished, leaving a very smooth surface. Next, the soft grip pad was cut to length in strips using a table saw and the edges refined with a 45 degree bevel cut. By using strips unsightly seams were avoided as a single sheet would not fit the entire length of the deck. It also allows for the easy replacement of damaged individual sections. Using an angled cut at the grip pads' edges helped prevent the pads from pealing off while sailing.

Re-seating Beams

The beam pockets into which the boat's beams sit are not a perfect fit as the boat is intended to come apart for certain shipping setups. Also, after the boat has been sailed for some time these beam pockets begin to wear and their connection loosens. In order to fix this, a beam was removed, black colored epoxy applied to the beam pocket, mold release wax to the beam, and the beam fastened to the boat again. Once both beams were finished they were removed to ensure that the re-seated beam pockets still allowed the boat to be fully disassembled. This upgrade greatly improves the platform stiffness.

Carbon Tubing

Appropriately sized holes were cut through the sides of the hulls and carbon fiber tubing threaded through, capped with end fittings. These allow the skipper trapeze bungees to run smoothly through the hull rather than over the deck.