This was actually quite a difficult step. I was hemmed in on both ends trying to cut a board that had a:
- Curving bottom line
- Flat sloping top line
- Angling inward toward the forward end
- And, both vertical ends requiring cut outs
As it began to fit, the angles all changed, leaving you wondering how to cut it longer.
This portion of the panel was cut too short to fit tightly against the bulkhead.
Kilburn would say, “Well, it’s wood isn’t it?”
“Just cut a little piece to fit the gap”.
With wood and thickened epoxy, you can fix just about anything.
When I get ready to install a panel like this, I lay everything out, like I’m prepping for surgery (no, I’m not a doctor). All the glass is cut to length. All fillet bags are ready. Notice my roller, ready to roll epoxy onto the glass tape.
I like to mark the panel location with a sharpie, so I can roll epoxy over all the fillet areas.
The front joints require a notch to fit properly.
I laid 3″ glass over all the fillets on both sides of the panels. This should really stiffen up the forward portion of the hull.
I held the aft top edge shy of the bulkhead cutout by 1/2″. This will allow the bunk top to fit flush with the bulkhead cutout.
Looking forward. The bunks are designed to slop downward toward the bow. This is probably to keep your feet below your head when sleeping. Good design Kilburn!!
I’ll roll another coat of epoxy over all the glass before it fully cures and then turn my attention to the hull bunk supports. I’ve decided to build the bunk supports and hinging mechanism exactly as Kilburn designed. I’m continually impressed with Kilburn Adams design work on this boat. Kilburn, if you’re reading this blog, I hope to meet you some day in person and thank you for this most excellent boat design.
Heck, how about coming out to Idaho for a wooden boat mess about? And, you could bring Bill along too.
After BYU lost to BSU in football, I had to get out of the prenatal position to keep working on my boat. So, this morning I got up early, went for a run and then installed 3 of the 5 bunk supports.
I am so glad I didn’t lower these bunks. This just looks right to my eye. A low play pen would have been a disaster.
I’ll now begin building the aft bunk supports. I think I’m really going to love the walkway between the bunks.
Here’s another example of where Kilburn nailed it…notice the wide opening to the cabin. Now, when you ask uncle Joe to sits up front (because he weighs 300 lb.), you can still visit with him so he doesn’t feel bad. I really like the wide bulkhead opening.
I’ve started building the cabin longitudinals. Kilburn has utilized a lot of beautiful trim work for these pieces that should make them really pop.
The plywood is toped with mahogany and white oak. This will form the forward most seat longitudinal. The oak extensions will provide a solid place for the seat tops to rest.
After the epoxy has cured, I’ll run this top edge (previously glued together) over the jointer to level up all the pieces. I’ll then round over the top edges with a 1/8″ router bit.
The bottom edge of this piece is sloped to fit the shape of the hull.
This is the forward portion of the footwell. It too gets the mahogany top strip.
I’m really excited about these cabin bunks. I’m glad I stuck with Kilburn’s design. I think it will afford the best of most worlds, namely: great storage space, comfortable edge seating for several people (even though they can’t lean back) and a comfortable place where 2 can lay down or sleep on the boat. That’s pretty hard to top.
My last post indicating my decision to lower the cabin bunks has been on my mind. I’ve spent many hours looking at and sitting in my boat. In the end, I’m not comfortable with the lower bunk concept. Truth is, I would need to lower the bunks significantly in order to sit comfortably against the side panel. So low, I would hardly have any storage left. The idea of sitting comfortably against the hull is very charming, but logistically hard to achieve, unless you nearly sit on the bottom of the boat. And, it would cost dearly in storage loss, not to mention that the bunks now gets significantly narrower. In this lowered configuration, It would look more like a play pen than a V berth.
After mulling this over in my mind for several days, I’m back to the original design as outlined by Kilburn as the best solution. The V berth is primarily for laying down, and that’s all the design I can milk out of it. Sometimes we over engineer things and in the end they end up lopsided. I don’t want my V berth lopsided. So, I’m going back to the basics.
Now that I have clarity on how to proceed, I can moving forward. Sometimes it takes a few days of thinking before the way to proceed is made clear.
I seem to already have willing passengers for cruising. These two are often 2 partners in crime, but always a lot of fun. This is what it’s all about! Hangin’ with the family, creating memories. I think we are really going to enjoy this boat for family cruising. I can’t wait until this spring!
Life is a series of tradeoffs. Likewise, a boat is nothing more than a bucket of compromises. This is the reality I faced as I began designing my cabin layout.
Here’s the problem:
I’m 6′ tall. The cabin, as designed, doesn’t allow me to lean back against the outside hull without bumping my head. That’s why some have raised the cabin 3″. Well, I didn’t raise my cabin (which would’ve made it harder to see over the front). If I slump down to fit, my back is at an extreme angle, which would only work for 60 seconds max. This just doesn’t work for me. I must be able to lean back, with back support and read a book or make a journal entry into my adventure log.
So, what gives? After 2,1/2 hours of mocking up different seat heights…I’ll tell you.
I’m going to lower my bunks so my head will clear the cabin top. How low? After mocking up several different scenarios, my bunks cannot exceed 8″ top to bottom. This will allow me to add a 2″ pad for a nice comfy seat to lean back, get out of the weather and read for a few hours. That’s very important to me.
What am I giving up?
- Storage space under the bunks (max depth of 7,1/2″)
- Bunk width (the lower you go, the narrower becomes the bunk)
What am I gaining?
- A comfortable place for 2 adults to sit, lean back and read in the evening, wrapped and protected by the beautiful wood of the cabin.
- Seating Flexibility. One of the things I love about Kilburn’s design is the cabin doesn’t feel separate from the cockpit. Most cabins are socially and physically removed from the cockpit. You feel like you’re being banished into the dungeon. Kilburn’s design opens up the cabin bulkhead so the two separate and distinct areas flow together and allow for a natural conversation to occur between the two zones. This makes the cabin seat height even more critical. Without adequate head room, I can’t hardly ask people to move up front to properly trim my boat and take full advantage of this open cabin design of which I’m so fond.
How can I gain back the width lost through lowering the bunks? And, how can I sleep on a narrower bunk? I plan to design a drop-in filler board for sleeping. This filler board will have a cushion, creating one large, flat sleeping area. I did this on Scamp and it worked out very nicely. With the filler board in place, it’ll actually offer more shoulder room than the stock plan and gain back the width lost by lowering the bunks.
The decision to lower the bunks, prioritizes comfortable cabin seating at the expense of overall storage capacity. It’s a trade-off for which I’m willing to settle. Give me a comfortable place to lean back and read or possible make another blog post. I spent almost an hour leaning back in my boat tonight and with a lowered bunk, it’s a very comfortable place to rest.
My goal was to have the seat tops installed before the BYU football game Friday night.
Mission accomplished. Check it out:
I created a small fillet between the seat top and the side panel of the boat.
I laid everything heavy I could find on top of the seats to weight it down. I’ll let this dry and then take a few more photos. Notice the box of Idaho potatoes on the left. Ya baby, we eat lots of them, especially with 6 kids.
Steps I followed:
- I rolled 2 coats of epoxy onto the seat tops (on the bench) and sanded between each coat.
- I then sanded the top of the seats and the underside of the seats where it contacts the seat longintudinal and cleating.
- I then rolled epoxy onto all contact areas (all cleating and seat bottom contact areas).
- I then applied a bead of thickened epoxy to all cleating areas.
- I then set the seat tops into position.
- I then laid a fillet around the outside edges of the seat tops.
- After waiting a few hours, I ran my gloved finger over the fillet (while dipping my finger into alcohol) to smooth the fillet. This makes for a very smooth finished looking fillet.
With the seat tops installed, I can now move on to the motor shifter, instruments and consoles. I’m very pleased with how the cockpit seating worked out. I think for my style of boating, this U shaped design will work out perfectly.
This particular step has been very exciting to me. To see the seat tops resting on the seat longitudinals, defining the space in the much anticipated “U” seating, has been something I’ve envisioned for a long time. Without any further ado here it is:
One sheet of 1/2″ plywood yields both halves of the seat top with only one seam.
Showing the access to the storage compartment.
Both sides cut out and fit into position.
The seat top is 16″ deep on all sides, with a 1″ overhang over the seat longitudinals. I applied an 1/8″ round over to the top and bottom exposed edges.
Looking aft into the open storage areas. These areas are very accessible by reaching under the back seat and allows for long items to be stored out of the way.
The cockpit is still surprisingly open and roomy.
I’ll now apply 2 coats of epoxy and prepare for installation. My next focus is to design the instrumentation console. I want a small console on each side for miscellaneous items: sun screen, phone, drink, wallet, keys and sun glasses.
Some boat builders install a drain plug in the stern of their boat. This thinking has some draw backs though, and before you go drilling a hole below the water line, you should consider both sides of this argument.
Why you should install a drain plug in your boat?
- So you can hose out the cockpit.
- So you can crank up the dolly wheel on the front of your trailer and get most of the rain water to drain out the back of your boat.
Why you shouldn’t install a drain plug in your boat?
- The cockpit floor (the only floor that drains with a drain plug) is not very big and won’t accumulate much water.
- You’ll already have a bail bucket and sponge on board as safety items, why not use them?
- Even if you have a drain plug installed, it won’t get the last 1/4″ of water off your floor, so you’ll be using a sponge anyway.
- If you ever forget to put the drain plug back in your boat, your boat will take on significant water. Don’t ask me how I know this.
- If you ever loose your plug, your boat will take on significant water.
- If your drain hole ever leaks, your boat will take on significant water.
- If you plan to store your boat inside, there is very little reason to install a drain plug and lots of reasons not to install a drain plug.
There just seems to be something morally wrong about drilling a hole below the water line of your brand new boat and I’m not going to do it. Simpler is better. Less to go wrong is better. And, if that’s not enough, remember, once on the water, you’ll be using your sponge and bail bucket anyway, otherwise, water will be coming into your boat, not out of your boat. Just my 2 cents.
Some areas are much easier to reach before they’re completely built. The under seat storage areas fit this example. It’ll be much easier to paint these areas now before I instal the seat tops. I used a Silver Rustoleum paint product meant to look hammered. It goes on sort of thick and pickles up as it dries. It’s really weird stuff but I think it’s a good fit for this part of the boat.
Check it out:
I also plan to use this paint on the floor of the boat and will wrap it about 3″ up all the sides for a bathtub look. I plan to paint the bottom of the slosh wells this same color. It’s really tough and will hide dirt well.
With the painting complete in these hard to reach places, I can now focus on the seat tops.