Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Sunday, January 26, 2014

More Transom Work And Floor Plan Teaser

Yesterday and today were the only semi warm days this last week and it is supposed to get down to polar temps again after tomorrow so I probably won't be able to do more work this week.

But between what I accomplished earlier 2 weeks ago and what I accomplished today, there is sufficient material to make another blog entry.

When I wrote the last regular article, I was still trying to determine the best way to strengthen the transom. I had mentioned applying a 3/4" plywood sheet that would fill the area between the frames. Then on top of that I was going to apply another 3/4" motor board that was the width of the cut out for the outboard motor. At the time, it seemed the sensible thing to do.

However, like most things, these plans changed. I was convinced by discussion with others and further research that my approach would have been overkill and added additional weight. I was also still unsure of the width and depth of the cut out. I have since decided to go with a 20" long shaft outboard which determines the depth of the cutout. And by choosing 34" as the width of the cutout, I would have a width that slightly exceeded the minimum recommended width for the cutout. I chose a slightly wider cutout because at least one of the engines I am considering requires greater than 33"

One additional consideration that I wanted to address was how I was going to build up the motorwell area and make allowances for seating and storage in the aft cabin. while none of that work will be performed very soon, it is affected by the design of the motor board.

I want to have additional seating in the aft cabin. I was originally thinking of having a seat on each side of the motorwell. But with the 34" cutout, I would have only had 18" of width for each seat. I felt this was inadequate if side seat cushions were considered so I elected to try a different approach.

The following picture illustrates my in work drawing of the floor plan of the boat. It is mostly the way I want it, but I still need  to do some more thinking on the design. I do feel, however, that the bench seat design at the back is the way I am going to go. I will cover this floor plan in more detail in a future article.
So this is relevant because it allowed me to move forward with the transom motor board. As part of the motorwell design, the motorwell sides need to tie into the bottom battens on the hull structure. Unfortunately, the nearest battens were in the wrong position athwartship (side to side). In order to correct this, I would have either had to move the battens (unacceptable at this point), or widen them (undesirable as I would have had to purchase quite a bit more expensive mahogany), or find some way to tie the motorwell sides into the existing battens. 

I decided to cut the batten notches a bit wider and add small sister battens alongside the two that will tie into the motorwell. These sister battens only need to extend two additional frames forward. The following photos illustrate what I have in mind. The first shows slightly widened notches. The second shows a scrap piece of wood simulating the additional sister batten. This will be glued to the regular batten and braced further on the inner surface of the batten. The motorwell side will tie into the side of the sister batten. This particular view is on the right off the centerline when looking forward. 

This third photo sort of illustrates the motorwell sides and how they tie into the motor board. You can also see where they are approximately aligned with the batten notch in the frame member. Later in construction, when I get to the motorwell, this will become more clear.

One of the artistic touches I want to have on my boat is a nice wooden cap in the cut out to hide the edge grain of the plywood motor boards. In the previous photo, you can see the shape of the cutout (although it will be deeper than illustrated here). So it was necessary to make the motor board slightly wider than the cutout that I can extend it to the top of the transom and provide an edge for the cap. You can sort of visualize that in the previous photo as well. I plan to do the cut out after all the motor boards are glued into position.

The big task today was getting the first motor board glued into position. I am still planing on adding two 3/4" plywood sheets to reinforce the outboard mounting. But both of them will be the same width. The first one was glued into position today. The second will be covered in another article as I haven't gotten to it yet.

The following series of photos show the process (and yours truly). The process is similar to what I have used in the past. Both gluing surfaces are pre-wetted with unthickened epoxy resin, then coated with thickened resin, assembled, and then screwed together. The large of an area took a considerable amount of epoxy so I had to work fast to get this done before the epoxy began to set up. Fortunately, it was a very pleasant day and I had no issues.

In this next photo, there is still insufficient thickened epoxy and I was mixing another cup .

The motor board in position.

Lining up the parts and adding initial screws to hold in position.

And the final results after initial clean up.

So as previously mentioned, because of the coming colder temps, it will be a few days before I can continue with the transom. But the next plan is to finish preparing the second motor board. This will be slightly different in that it will need to fit around the knee. So a portion of that board will be cut out for that purpose.  I will show all of this next time.

Until, then, take care.

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