Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Friday, May 12, 2017

Some Cabin And Floor Design Work

On the bow compartment, I had gotten to a point of needing some foam for insulation. I had to do some research and looking before I found the foam I wanted to use for this area. Although this might provide a very small amount of flotation, it's real purpose is to insulate the storage compartment a bit and reduce noise coming from water slapping the hull up forward. I'll get into that discussion in the next post as I only just received the foam yesterday.

While I was waiting for the foam, I decided to return to the cabin design. As many know, I desire to shorten the cabin length and increase the aft cockpit area. With the heat being what it is down here in Texas, and given that the boat will primarily be used for day trips on the lake, I reasoned that most of the time will be spent in the aft end of the boat under a sunbrella bimini top where it's cooler.

My concern with the cabin shortening is keeping the look of the boat as much as possible. It entailed removing one of the windows planned for the cabin sides to gain an additional 18 inches aft.

Of course, shortening the length can potentially change the way the height of the cabin appears. I didn't change this on the mock up as I am not yet sure that it is needed. However the cabin is quite low on this design already, so interior room in the cabin is a concern.

This brings up the third consideration, which the floor height in the boat. As part of my vision for an open design, I want the floor height to be the same from front to back. This means that it is going to be a bit higher in the cabin.

Okay, so what this means is that in order to properly evaluate the cabin design, I need to have flooring in place so that I can make design decisions about seat heights, cabinetry shapes and placement.

The following images with the old building form lumber lying in position, show how the floor will span the frames and how it is higher than frames 3 and 4.

So the first order of business was to make a template for the floor using poster board. I needed something to temporarily hold it at the level the floor would eventually be at, so blocks of wood were used while the shape was determined.

 Like the fairing of the hull that I did several years ago, I don't have a clear idea of how all of this is going to look, except in a general sense. The details still need to be worked out. The best way for me to do this is to think about it for a while and then put something into place. Then back to thinking again. Each new piece in place makes it easier to visualize what needs to happen next. I try to do everything in a temporary manner so that I can back out of decisions if they turn out to be wrong.

In this case, I elected to make temporary flooring out of cheap plywood. This serves two purposes. First, it aids in further design as just mentioned. Secondly, when it is in place, I can then mock up the interior and make sure that everything is the way I want it. There is a third reason actually. I am going to need approximately 10 sheets of marine plywood for the cabin sides, cabin flooring, and fore deck. I plan to order this and have it shipped. However, the price of marine ply being what it is, it is going to be a bit of time before I have enough funds to pay for it. So temporary, cheap plywood allows me to continue work on the boat.

Once I created the first plywood floor piece, I realized that I was going to have to have better supports underneath as the floor came to rest in a slightly different manner than the poster board first indicated.

I've known all along that I was going to have to build up a structure for supporting the floor. By making temporary supports, I can get a better 3 dimensional view of that area. I can see where the supports will need to be.

Here are some images of this temporary floor supports being made and positioned. The top of all these supports are the same height, and level in both fore and aft, and side to side directions.

The last image shows that the outboard edges of the floor will need angled cleats attached to the chine and flooring. I can also see that I want to add more fore and aft supports between the frames. One thought that has come out of this is that the original lower frames (3 and 4) and the area surrounding them, can be used for a long storage area under the floor for a boat hook and oars. This will work as long as the supporting structure is designed correctly.

As for the cabin profile, here are a series of images showing what I am considering. The plan is to reproduce the profile in cheap plywood and mock up the cabin. This will allow me to get a better idea of how this will be assembled.

As can be seen, there is a lot of preliminary work that needs to be accomplished. Some money will be spent on plywood that will ultimately be removed and not used. However, I feel that this part of the build is critical to get right as I will be spending all my time here after she's finished. And the boat has to look right when viewed from a distance or close up. So it's money well spent in my opinion.

That's it for now, The next posting will cover more floor design as well as hopefully completing most of the preliminary assembly of the bow compartment. Until next time, take care.

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