Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Monday, May 29, 2017

Bow Compartment And Back And Forth Interior Mock Up Work

Over the last several weeks, I have been focusing on two parts of the build. I want to get the bow compartment / anchor well to a point of completion where I can let it ride for awhile, and I have been slowly getting more familiar with the interior design of the boat.

I'll cover both of those here, starting with the bow compartment. This section of the boat is rather difficult to work in and I found myself having to step away from it from time to time to give my legs a rest.

The work remaining was mostly finish work and assembly with periodic switching back and forth between the two as needs of assembly dictated. Many of the parts needed pre-painting either because they would not be accessible after assembly, or they would be difficult to work on afterwards.

Wanting to allow a good bonding surface, I elected to leave the paint short of glue areas in many cases, with the plan of touching up the paint after assembly. I showed a bit of this in the previous posting when I painted the area below the storage compartment floor. After painting, that floor piece was epoxied in and then seams filled. Paint was touched up afterwards.



Other parts were pre-painted as well. The anchor well floor underside, the bulkhead forward face and the inner surface of the hull planking. I also completed staining of the hatch and hatch opening wood.






One of the tasks I wanted to do was add some insulating foam behind the storage compartment walls. This was mostly for sound insulation, but it would also help control dampness by insulating the compartment from the cold water outside the hull. 

I spent quite a bit of time trying to find foam, worrying about things like flotation factor, flammability, resistance to chemicals, and the ability to not absorb water. I finally settled on cross linked polyethylene foam. I acquired a 1 inch thick sheet of this and it was cut into appropriate size pieces and glued into place using a high temperature contact adhesive. This contact adhesive was chosen  because I hoped it would hold up over a long period of time. It was designed for gluing up headliners in automobiles, so I reasoned that if it could hold up under that harsh environment, then it should do well in the use I had intended for it.




Next, the inner compartment walls were epoxied into position. Like nearly everything I've worked on in this project, they needed further tweaking to get them to fit right.  But eventually the parts were installed.




Then this compartment was pre-painted, leaving bare the areas near where the anchor well floor would be glued.



The bulkhead was next. This too required further tweaking to get it to fit. It's always amazing to me that parts can be made to fit, but when they are finally assembled, further work is needed to get them to fit right. It was pretty cool to finally see his bulkhead permanently installed. I first envisioned this particular piece over 4 years ago, so it was a long time coming.




Finally, the anchor well floor was installed. One last item was to install the compartment LED light strip as I knew this would be more difficult after the floor was installed.





In the last set of photos, you can see the interior areas that still needed touch up paint. With the anchor well floor in place, access to this compartment was now restricted to the hatch opening, I can tell you that the combination of a small opening at a low height and the awkwardness of working in the bow compartment made it very difficult to get in there and touch up the paint. But eventually it was done. Then I could finally install the vents.




So that completes this section of the compartment for now. I will be returning to the anchor well to fiberglass it and paint that area, but I want to return to the other other part of the build that I have been focusing on, namely  working out the interior design.

The interior design has to take in numerous concerns such as ventilation, seat location, head room, location of interior fittings, the gas tanks, the floor design and height, and many other considerations, too numerous to list here.

With this many concerns, I felt that a slow approach to design was best, using temporary materials and trying various ideas as I went. I also found that I could see ideas more clearly as I got pieces into place. So far nothing permanent has been installed, but by trial and error, I have determined that the single level floor that I had originally wanted wasn't going to work.

This primarily had to do with inadequate remaining height for seating in the cabin which would have led to a difference in height over the length of the berths. Imagine a bed with a step in the middle and you get the idea.

But the first task was trying to get some idea of how to support the floor. Before I gave up on the single level floor idea, I sketched the following photo. From discussions with other builders, I determined that these supports should be made in such a way that they allow cross ventilation under the floor.



The next photo shows the original floor idea and cross bars as markers while trying to  determine the seat heights. From this experiment , I first determined that there was inadequate room for seats heights with the floor at this level in the cabin.



I also started considering the fuel tank location as this affects how the bilge area is to be ventilated. Originally I was thinking of under floor fuel tanks, but there simply isn't enough room, so saddle tanks in the side compartments is where I am going instead.The following is an early sketch showing this.


Here are some more sketches as I experimented with ideas. Keep in mind that these are rough ideas and only intended to help me plan the interior. I still plan on mocking everything up in poster board. Also, all of these were before I gave up on the idea of a single level floor.




After some additional experimentation with seat heights, I determined that an 17 inch seat height would be desirable. Checking this in the cabin with the original floor, showed that head room would be tight, but doable. But in order to get an 17 inch height, I would have had to raise the "V" berth height. This was not going to work as it would have covered the hatch on the forward bulkhead,

So I took a series of measurements from the floor and spots below the floor as well as the side markers I had established (which showed the height of the "V" berth). From these measurements, I determined that if I stepped the cabin floor down 1 inch, I could accommodate the seating height I needed.

I sketched up this new plan and arrived at the following photo. Again it's rough. Also the "V" berth is shown extending further aft than I intend. It also shows the saddle fuel tanks and the aft cabin floor,. In order to make it easier to visualize these thins, I placed an "X" on the surfaces of the various floor and side panels. You can make out the lower floor in the cabin area


As the reader has no doubt guessed by now, this is an iterative process, giving and taking, experimenting, trying different ideas, discarding others, and all the time, slowly building up an idea of how the interior is going to be built. I hope by the time I post the next article, I will have some actual mock ups completed. But it will be quite some time before the real, permanent parts are made and installed, as this experimentation phase still has many hours to pan out.

So until next time, take care.

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