Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Friday, March 29, 2013

Experiments In Cabin Height Increases

As I have been building the boat, I have sometimes lamented on the fact that this boat has a low cabin height of 5'4" which is seriously short for me at 6'. I felt it was something I would have to live with because I was sure that raising the cabin height would look all wrong with the boat.

Today, after discussing space increases with a fellow boat builder, I decided to try and see what might be done. At this point the whole thing is an exercise and not a firm plan. Mainly I wanted to see if it would be possible to increase the cabin height without destroying the lines of the boat.

I first considered raising the deck along with the and keeping the cabin height the same. This came out of the discussion with the other builder. He has some good ideas which I wanted to see if they might be practical for my boat. I didn't have a lot of luck with this approach, primarily because I have gotten to the point in my construction where making deck height changes would be a fairly substantial step backwards. I'm not particularly prepared to go that far so I set that idea aside for now until I can get more feedback.

As a second way of tackling cabin height, I decided to try increasing the cabin height itself and leave the deck height the same. At first this looked hopeless. Everything I tried looked wrong. But I stuck with it and keep tweaking the shapes. After awhile I came up with a design which gives approximately 8 inches more of head room and still retains the look of the 50's styling that I wanted. Remember, the deck height is the same, only the cabin has been increased in height and the wing shape has been changed slightly.

Now the following pictures are only drawings and if I was to pursue this, it would take some engineering of the existing design to make it work. But the beauty of the boat is that the cabin is essentially just a box with two wings trailing back towards the transom. The wings are what make it possible to get the extra height and  still look right. That and a little creative coloring to give the illusion of sleekness. So here are the before and after pictures.

Click Here To Comment:

  1. Over all I think the added height works with the drawings you produced. I have been working on finding a way to increase the front frams and have some drafts of frames 4, 5 and 6. After playing with the over all process quite a while I settled on a max of 4" that I am comfortable with. This adds some complexities in the sheer area between the orginal location and the new line. By keeping the orginal sheer in the designed location and then adding a second "new sheer" for the addional 4 inches some which also includes the need to add a slight increase in width for fairing purposes.

    Since I am considering extending the boat I have drawn the new heights both at the cabin level and bow area. I will send you a copy of it when I stop playing with it.

    I still like I the over all cabin increase of 8" I a notsure more is needed by I am doing test drawings as well.

    1. A second sheer line will give that raised foredeck look. I have another boat plan that has this built in however the boat itself was too short so it was discarded from consideration. However, I do like that look and wish that I could have it on my boat. Too far along now to back track for that.

      I will be working on the cabin drawings at a later date. I have enough to do right now with frame construction and the building form (which hasn't even been started yet).

  2. After working on the full size frame member drawings for some time, I finally got frame 6 raised 4 inches and am work on frame 5. I discovered that going up 4 inches adds about 1 3/4 inches of additional width on each side. I kept everything the same as orginally drawn up the the sheer and then added an addtional sheer at the top of the 4 inch extention. I had hope to keep the deck increase to 1 inch but it looked funny that way and did not look like it would flow with the boat. While I am scaling the frames I am also looking at how the changes will impact the stem and breast hooks. I will keep the orginal hook and add a slighly larger on 4 inches higher.

    I had drawn full size frame members for frmme 5 and added the 4 inches today. I am still playing with it to make it flow both the frame 6 and frame 4. We'll see how it works tomorrow.

    Frame 4 should be no problem.

    I have also worked on raising the cabin to 6 feet but found I need to actually add 10 inchs in my first set of drawings. So far it looks okay. The real test will be how it looks once I get it completely modeled with the new deck look. I plan to draw a full scale draft of what the side of the cabin should look like and how it will flow.

    Thanks for continuing to share your approach. I still have a year before I can start lifting anything of any weight so drawing and templates are about it for a while. In the mean time I enjoy watching your progress


  3. It sounds like you're on the right track. I am really curious what the added foredeck is going to look like.

    One thing I found when working with the smaller drawing when I was experimenting with cabin height changes was that it took a lot of finessing with the aft wings in order to get the extra height to look right. I suspect you will run into the same issue. You might consider drawing a smaller version first to experiment with curves and see how they flow before working on the full scale drawing.

    Finally, it's my pleasure to share my building experience with you and anyone else that is interested. I've gotten almost universally positive responses from people when they find out I'm building a boat. There haven't been any Noah jokes or asking me when the Flood is coming!

    Stick with your dream JOhn, and find ways to keep it alive over the course of the next year as you recover. There are plenty of little things to do, and you might even be able to do some actual construction work near the end if you're careful.

  4. Clipper- In my opinion your revised Vera Cruise with the raised cabin is FAR BETTER looking than the original design. Amazing job. Doug

    1. Thanks Doug,

      I appreciate the compliment. as mentioned in the blog, the cabin height on the original design is too low for my six frame. I will have to take care not to throw off the vertical balance when I get to that point in construction, but I am confident I can manage it.


Feel free to comment on what you've read here. I only ask that you keep it civil.