Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Bilge Paint And Working The Seat Boxes

Work continues on the cabin fittings. Many, many details to take care of and at times, not so much visible progress. Sure, I've said this many times before, but it is true. Some time back, I decided to go three weeks between blog posts because of the slow pace of change.

What's really happening is that many of the parts to install, are getting close to the stage where they can be installed, and at some point, the cabin will go from seemingly endless construction to having something to actually look at.

One of those myriad tasks is the painting of the bilge. This is actually a fairly intensive job as there are many nooks and crannies to get to and the bilge paint requires two or three coats to completely cover. Add to that the fact that I am working in a hot garage and you can probably see why progress is sometimes slower.

The bilge is getting white paint and this needs to be done before I can install any parts. It also takes at least a week to dry properly to it's full hardness. The weekend of Memorial Day was spent doing this particular task.

Additionally, the undersides of the floor panels and the inside of the head box and seat boxes where given some white paint. This is not bilge paint but it still required a few coats to properly cover. And as it stands, there is a need to go back and do some touch up work in both the bilge and on the other parts.

For health reasons, I had to take a week long break, but when I returned, I began working on the seat boxes again. This time the effort was in getting the lids and flip up extensions going.

Readers will probably remember that I plan on having extensions, on the seat boxes, that fold up to give extra width when using the seat boxes as a bed. At the same time, I want to maximize the floor space when the seat boxes are used as seats (which will be most of the time). 

The following photo gives some idea of how this is going to work. The extension is the vertically hanging piece. It is not permanently mounted here, only setting on blocks so I can determine how to attach it to the seat box frame. The extension will be hinged and can be folded up. It will be supported by legs which fold down from inside the extension.

You'll notice that the seat box top overhangs to form a sort of pocket for the extension.The extension will be hinged to that overhang which will be permanently mounted to the seat box frame and reinforced with aluminum angles on the underside.

However, the lid of the seat box also needs to open to give access to the interior space. So in order to accomplish that, the lid is cut into two pieces. More on that in a minute.

Before doing any cutting, I wanted to add hardwood edges to the plywood used for the lids.

Next, the amount of overhang was determined and marked off and the plywood cut into two parts.

Where the cut line is, required additional hardwood edges which are in process.

The larger piece, which is the hinged lid, will need a landing when closed. It rests on the sides of the seat box, but the remainder of the frame is under the smaller piece. So I bonded an extra piece of mahogany to the frames to serve as the landing.

And finally, so that I have both flip up extensions, I've started making the port extension. The starboard one was made last year when I first started on the seat boxes. At the time, I decided to wait in case modifications were needed.

I'll be adding a plywood top to this extension frame and then both extensions will be getting hardwood edges on the plywood. I've ordered the hinges for the extensions and have the hinges for the lids. I still need to purchase the aluminum reinforcement angles.

So that's the extent of this session of progress. It can be difficult at times, trying to keep patient when it's nice out and I see other boats heading to the lake. One of the things I occasionally do is go to the marina just to walk and be around the boats. It's not the same as being on the water, but it does help.

Until next time, take care.

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  1. Carl, it's looking great! I really like the hinged extensions on the seats / berth to maximize useable floor space. Very clever, and well thought out!


    1. Thanks Michael,

      As this cruiser tries to be a bigger cruiser than it really is, taking the time to maximize space will pay off in comfort down the road.


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