Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Completing The Cradle and Rollover Structure

Work is essentially completed on the cradle and rollover structure. Since the last posting, I finished assembling the cradle and added carpet and padding as well as corner bracing.

I carpeted the cross battens between the support frames with double layers of indoor outdoor carpet remnants. The support frames were handled a bit differently. On these I used pipe insulation foam covered by one layer of carpet. All of the carpet was secured using a staple gun with the staples being inserted in the areas not directly contacting the hull.

Once the carpet was all in place, it went back on the hull to see how it fit and to get ready for making the rollover structure.

The rollover structure is a temporary piece that will only be used to protect the hull during the flip. Once that is completed, it will be removed and the lumber re-purposed for something else (probably stairs to climb in and out of the boat).

This structure needs to be sturdy enough to take the stress of rolling over and to hold the boat on it's side long enough to transfer the casters from the building form to the cradle. It also needs to be able to skid a bit so that we can re-position the boat for the final roll. This is because the alley were we will be flipping is too narrow to roll the boat completely in one shot.

The structure was made from 3/4" plywood connected together with 2 by 4 lumber. It bolts to the cradle and extends under the hull where it will be connected to the building form. This will be performed later after the hull has been painted and had sufficient time to cure. I'll also be adding a couple of corner braces between the cradle and the rollover structure to strengthen that connection.

I made the rollover pieces that fit against the hull by using a technique involving what I believe are called witness sticks. Unfortunately, all the in-progress shots of that work did not come out so I can only show the finished result.

But the technique works like this. I placed a long level on the cradle bottom that extended over the side about 15 inches. From this I hung a piece of 1/4" poster board of sufficient width to cut the shape of the hull into (approximately 24 inches wide). This was hung in such a way that it rested against the hull at it's widest part. It extended down past the sheer.

Then I made a small diameter stick with a pointed end. This stick was long enough to reach from the narrowest part of the hull to just beyond the closest edge of the poster board. At about every inch going down the side of the hull, I placed this witness stick with the pointed end against the hull and the other end on the poster board. The stick was kept parallel to the ground. I made a mark on the poster board at each point.

Afterwards, I drew a line connecting all the marks and had an approximate shape of the hull. This was cut out of the poster board and then adjusted by fitting against the hull. When I had it correct, I transferred the shape to the plywood, allowing sufficient overhang on the hull side to allow connecting the plywood to the cradle and to allow extending under the boat hull.

After cutting this out of the plywood, I tested it against the hull and was pleasantly surprised to find that it fit just fine. With carpet padding it would work as intended. I then rounded over the outside corners with sufficient radius to provide a rolling surface.

This process was repeated for the other end of the cradle (where the hull shape is different).

Then the structure was connected to the cradle and cross bracing installed between the two rollover frames. The structure is good and solid and once it is connected to the building form under the boat, will provide a stable means of rolling the boat over. On the side edge, I added some additional 2 by 3 lumber that extended slightly past the plywood edge. This will serve as a skid plate when we have to slide the boat back in the alley for the final rollover. It also strengthens the plywood so it won't split with the weight of the boat on it.

So as I mentioned, this work is essentially complete. I will be removing the entire structure including the cradle so that I can complete painting the bottom. I'll also be making final preparations for the flipping event. If it doesn't rain too much, I anticipate doing the flip approximately mid May. I can hardly wait as this is a big milestone.

That's it for now. Take care.

Click Here To Comment:

  1. Way to go, Carl! Very, very impressive! Congratulations on your progress as you near that milestone point of flipping the hull!

    1. Thanks Mike,

      I have been dreaming about this for so long and to finally have it get to that point, well, it's just an awesome feeling.


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