Seat Longitudinals

I want the boat light, but it also has to be strong.  One of the issues with using 1/4″ plywood is strength, especially when you remove as much of the panel as I’ve removed.   So, I used cleating to stiffen and strengthen the panel.  Here’s what I came up with:

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This is the back side of the seat longitudinal.  I’ve laid out all the cleating in it’s proper location.  The horizontal cleat will stiffen the seat top leading edge & the vertical cleats will keep the panel from potato chipping under a vertical load.     

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All exposed edges were rounded using a 1/4″ round over bit.  This’ll make it much nicer when I stuff duffel bags into these storage areas.  There’s nothing worse than skinning your knuckles on a sharp edge.  

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This photo shows the panel with all the cleating just prior to glue up.  

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And, here’s the panel all glued up and clamped.

Steps I followed:

  1. I designed the seat longitudinal and made all cut outs to the panel.
  2. I rounded over all the edges of the 1/4″ plywood using a 1/8″ round over bit.
  3. I milled out all the cleating.
  4. I rounded over all the exposed edges of the cleating.
  5. I rolled un-thickened epoxy onto all mating surfaces.
  6. I applied thickened epoxy to all mating surfaces.
  7. I clamped all the cleating to the panel.
  8. I cleaned up all the squeeze out the best I could.

Summary:

Now this will get harder and harder while I sleep.  Next, I’ll cut out the seat fore and aft bulkheads. 

 

Beginning Seat Design

Between running a 10K in West Yellowstone with my daughter and watching the BYU football game, I got started on my seat design.

Here’s what I came up with:

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This is the Port seat longitudinal.  I arched the aft end to allow access to gear and cooler under the slosh well.  This arch will also serve to support the back bench top.  I then cut a 8″ x 17″ opening for gear access.  This should be sufficient for life jackets and medium sized duffle bags.  I then cut out an opening for my cooler, or anything else I want immediate access to.  I kept the floor cleat out of this forward access area, so gear can be slid out without needing to lift it over the cleating.  The cooler slides back against the chine panel and will stick into the walkway a bit, but remember, my seat will also cantilever out into the walkway.  Hence, the cooler really isn’t in the way.

I plan to run a 3/4″ x 2″ pine support cleat horizontally along the top inside edge of the seat longitudinal.  I also plan to run 2 vertical cleats fore and aft of the gear access hole, so the whole panel doesn’t potato chip under a vertical load.  This will make more sense next week once it all gets attached.

Summary:

I’m really glad I bought the extra gas cans and coolers.  It’s great to have these item on hand so you can accommodate them into the design.  Fun stuff here folks.  Not hard, just a little design work.  And remember, I’m not an engineer or a designer.  I’m a Ham N Egger.  So, if I can do this stuff, so can you.  

 

 

Cockpit Cleating Installed

After milling down the cleating to a diminutive size of 1/2″ x 7/8″, I took the exposed sharp edges off with a 1/8″ round over bit, rolled on 2 coats of epoxy, and installed the cleating into the boat.

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Due to the curve of the side panel, it only required 2 screws to hold the cleat tight against the panel.  This means minimal touch up on my newly painted hull that I just drilled 4 holes through.  I didn’t run the cleating all the way forward on the bottom area.  This will make more sense latter, but it will allow me to slide my coolers under the seats without the cleat getting in the way.

Summary:

As you can see in the above photo, the U shaped bench hardly encroaches into the foot area of the boat at all.   It smartly utilizes the outer sloping edges of the cockpit, which is good for little else.  This leaves the cockpit open which I really like.  The  back bench will also extend over the bright red gas tank, leaving it accessible but much less noticeable.  

Cockpit Bench Cleating

With the hull looking sharp, painted and striped, I’m ready to focus on the cockpit seating.  This took some thought, because I want the cockpit to be organized for how I plan to use the boat.  I want 2 small coolers within reach of the 2 front seats.  I also want easy access to duffel bags, sun screen and my cell phone.  And lastly, I want a place for garbage and a cold drink.  I’ll explain how I’m accomplishing all this as the bench get constructed.  So, stay tuned!  Believe me, I’ve got a place for everything in my head.  

So, I pulled out the square, plumb bob, tape measure and combination square and started scratching my head.  I had my dad come over to render some sound advise and wisdom.  Everything’s easier when my dad helps me.

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This doesn’t look like much, but it all starts with markings on the floor.  You can’t build what you can’t mark.  Though you can’t see it, the floor is all marked up to scale for proper placement of the cleating.

After an hour, I had a pretty good idea of how I’d build the benches.  As mentioned earlier, I will be installing a U shaped bench, with 2 captains chairs up front.  The back of the U will allow access to the open storage areas behind the false transom, and the sides of the U will allow access under the fixed top seating.  Yes, my top will be fixed in place, with access holes cut into the vertical sides of the seating.  And, yes, this will work.  But wait, won’t this system get all my gear wet in a rain storm?  Well, it might but I’m a kayaker, so I’ve got plenty of dry bags laying around.

The fixed U seating offers several advantages:  

  1. I can add an attached cockpit cushion to the U seating if desired.
  2. No one needs to move or stand up to access the gear.
  3. I don’t have to remove a lid (and set it down somewhere) to access the gear.
  4. The seating is more secure and solid.
  5. I can lighten up the design by cutting access holes (think swiss cheese).
  6. I can increase access to the storage areas by cutting multiple holes.
  7. I can design a way to access my coolers by sliding them out from under the bench without needing to lift or hinge a lid.
  8. A fixed bench top is simpler to build.
  9. For afternoon trips, I’ll have a place for the smaller kids to sit around the back, while placing the bigger kids up front (remember I have 6 kids).

Downsides?  My system will compromise the total amount of gear you can stuff under the seats.  If you want maximum storage, install the seats per plans.  Also, if you want dry storage, build per plans.  But, if you’re a kayaker and want minimal gear and weight in your boat, I think you’ll find my system more than adequate.  Also remember, you want weight forward in this design, and you’ll have dry storage in the cabin, which I find sufficient.

The truth is, you’re not going to get much storage under the seats, due to the tapering sided of the hull.  You don’t need much gear.  You need the right gear but not a lot of gear.  So, keep it simple and keep it light.  

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Rolling epoxy onto the cleats.  Remember, everything needs at least 2 coats.

Summary:

I milled the cleating down to 1/2″ x 7/8″.  This offers plenty of strength, but keeps things light weight…remember, Kilburn is watching and counting.  He’s right with his lightweight obsession and I too am very interested in keeping the boat light.

I hope to have the seats knocked out over the next couple of weeks.  

 

 

Steering Wheel Progress

Here’s the steering wheel after sanding and applying 2 coats of epoxy.

P9200035.jpgI chose to epoxy the wheel prior to installing the handles for easier access to the wheel.  I’ll now glue in the handles, sand everything again and apply 2-3 coats of high gloss spar varnish.

 Slow and steady gets it done!

Wooden Steering Wheel

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With the hull paint complete, I took a few hours Saturday to work on my wheel.  I previously formed the wheel and had set it aside until now.  I used the drill press to drill into the 3 sides of the wheel.  

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After purchasing a 1″ oak dowel at Home Depot, I headed over to my dad’s.  He owns a wood lathe.  

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After getting my first lesson in wood turning, I cranked out the 3 wheel spokes.  This was actually really fun.  It made me want to add a wood lathe to my own wood shop.

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Now I’ll sand and finish the wheel, then I’ll epoxy the spokes into the wheel.

Summary:

The wheel is a lot of fun to build.  Don’t be afraid of the detail here, there are many ways you can build the spokes if you don’t have access to a wood lathe.  

A Fullness of Joy

The scriptures speak of a fullness of joy.  Well…I think I got there this morning.

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And, now a shot of the entire boat…

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Summary:

You work so hard and so long for this very moment.  To see the color go on the hull is upmost rewarding to say the least.  A heart felt thank you to Kilburn Adams for designing this boat.  This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever built in my life.

Painting the Hull Deal

 

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Marking the top line with a 3″ board.

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I sanded the back side so it wouldn’t scratch the paint.

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It follows the gunwale curve nicely.

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After taping off, the Dark Navy was rolled on and tipped off with a foam brush.

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Dark Navy looks like a battle ship.

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I elected to wrap the Hatteras Off White & Dark Navy around the transom.

What I learned:

  1. Card scrappers help you immensely when prepping your boat for paint.  They can level an area better than any other tool.  Buy one and learn how to sharpen one.
  2. Foam brushes worked much better than chip brushes for two reasons.  First, you eliminate the stray hairs coming off the brush and second, it applies a much thinner coating.
  3. Roll on an area, then pause and tip out the bubbles with a foam brush, then roll again.  In this manner, you can paint the entire boat and always maintain a wet edge.

 

No matter how much prep work you do, your hull won’t be perfect or even close to perfect, but you’ll have a very nice boat of which you can be proud.

 

Paint on the Boat

Now calm down, this is just the first coat of the white stripe.  But, I did learn something during the application.

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I elected to hold the white strip flat across the transom.  The top line (actually bottom line when the boat is right side up) will be taped when I add the Dark Navy.

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I’m holding the white stripe just shy of the bow.  

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The stripe will be 3″ wide.

OK, now for what I learned.  This stuff set up way faster than I anticipated.  It was 76 degrees in my shop.  I thought I could roll all the way around, then come back and tip off the air bubbles.  Nope, it set up almost instantly.  Next application I will use a foam brush and keep things smooth as I go.  Lesson learned.