Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Cabin Floor Supports Part 2

I am focusing on getting the cabin floor installed now, as I want very much to get started on the seats and other cabin fittings. The cabin floor is approximately 31 inches wide and 6 feet in length. It will be a 12mm (1/2 inch) of Okoume marine plywood and needs adequate support in order to not be springy. So, most of the work for this posting is for those floor supports.

However, before covering that, I will show the remaining work that I did on the forward V berth. This involved two tasks, getting the lower floor unit prepared for installation and getting the upper platform prepared for fasteners. 

The lower floor assembly is a removable piece so it requires screws to install. But before I could do that, I had to finish painting the part. 

Installation is only temporary for the photo shoot since I will be making quite a mess in this area for some time and it will be easier to clean it up without this part in the way.

Next, I wanted to get the upper platform mounting holes drilled and threaded inserts installed. I won't be mounting this platform for awhile longer as it ties into the cabin cabinetry and I want to leave it loose for fitting purposes. But I got the holes drilled and the inserts added to the platform support structure.

The next step in the cabin is to get the floor supports installed. There are several tasks to accomplish for this. There are the floor timbers on frames 3, 4, and 5 which need additional work. There are fore and aft horizontal supports in the sections between the frames which needed to be made and installed, and there is encapsulation and painting of these sections.

When I first started on these floor supports, I wanted to insure that they were very stiff and came up with a design which had a center span support on the inboard supports that straddled the battens below it. However this approach, while it works, was fiddly and hard to get installed. Here are the parts in preparation. 

Before these could be installed, I had to add some trapezoidal shaped fillers on frame 5. I also needed to widen and install the floor timbers on frames 3 and 4. I needed to install a forward floor support cleat on the frame 5 floor timber. And I started encapsulation and painting of the area between frames 4 and 5.

Then, installation of the forward supports began. As I mentioned, it was somewhat fiddly and difficult to get them installed. Because of the heat in the garage, I installed them in phases so I wouldn't have to rush because of the epoxy setting up. It also made it easier to get each one set up with installation jigs so that they were in the correct location. However, getting the drill into position to drill the holes and then install the screws was fairly stressful and uncomfortable. It doesn't help when the screw heads strip and they have to be removed.

Because the floor timber on frame 3 has thicker plywood members, I decided to try a different method of installing the aft floor supports. First, I was going to dispense with the center span supports that straddle the battens. That design works, but as mentioned was a lot of trouble. With the new approach, I had to compensate for the missing center span supports by bonding a 18mm piece of plywood to the inboard supports to make them stiffer. The outboard supports will be under less stress, so they got 12mm plywood bonded to them. All of them are quite stiff. To mount them, instead of using cleats (which were hard to fit and install), I cut slots into the floor timbers. This was done using a multi tool after marking the locations.

The slots were cut out and the parts placed into position. The whole process only took me two days compared to nearly two weeks for the first supports. Once I get the bilge pump pads installed and the entire area encapsulated and painted, I will do the final installation on the second set of floor supports.  

The floor extends just past the outboard supports when it is made and fitted. This gives approximately 25 inches of side to side floor space after the cabin seat boxes are made and installed. 

As I am off from work this week, I will continue working on this area with the goal of getting the area basically completed other than final installation of the floor. That will have to wait until I complete the cabin fittings because there will need to be some electrical wiring run in underneath (for the bilge pumps).

All in all, I feel pretty good about the progress made. It does get rather daunting at times when I think of what still needs to be done, but every day, I get closer to that goal of putting her in the water.  Take care.

Click Here To Comment:

  1. You have much to be proud of, Carl! This is a bigger project than most boatbuilders take on, and you're doing a superb job of it. Not only that, but your blog documents the whole project in great detail and will be a blessing to future builders. By the way, I really like that last photo, with the cabin mockup on the side. That really shows the flooring tasks in the context of the larger goal, and makes it easier to visualize the future boat. Keep up the good work!


    1. Thanks Michael,

      Funny thing is that i didn't set out to take on a larger project. I really believed when i started that this boat could be finished in 3 or 4 years. Looking back on it now, I can see that there is considerably more work involved in building a cabin cruiser. Nonetheless, I am very satisfied with the choice and there is enough work here even after I splash her, to keep me busy for quite some time.

  2. Hi Carl, amazing work and thank you for sharing all the details!!! Thank you and good luck there! It is looking really great!

    1. Thanks Renato and sorry for the extended delay in responding. Shortly after posting this blog entry, I found myself spiraling down into a lack of motivation, which I am now coming out of after two months. Perhaps it was the onset of the cold weather or perhaps after 5 years I needed a break. Anyway, I've begun again and should have an update for the blog soon.


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