In recent days, I rouged out both the mast step and the decks. The bottom layer of the mast step is 3/4” No. 2 Pine and was set in epoxy on the bottom, using six No. 12 x 1 wood screws, countersunk extra deep. The upper part, laminated from two ¾” boards glued with Tite-Bond III, has been fashioned and will be glued-n-screwed in place when the mast is ready.
My hole saws do not extend to the 2-1/2” diameter required to accommodate the mast, so I traced the radius and used a sabre saw to cut slots from the board’s edge to the line, then snapped or cut each resulting tab off. I slanted the hole to accommodate the angle of the bottom. This left a very rough surface, which I was able to sand out with 60-grit paper wrapped around a caulk cartridge.
I’ve also set some paint on the boat. The forward and aft holds are painted and it feels good to see some finished surfaces. In this case, I pretreated the wood with varnish cut 10% with mineral spirits. I sanded this lightly before applying oil-based primer, then sanded again before applying Rustoleum oil-based Topside Marine Paint. Nice stuff, not expensive. The interior and topsides are a creamy white. The hull exterior will be navy blue.