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Under Cockpit and Watertight Compartments, and Ballast Tank

For some reason I would really like to have the first hull planks installed. I think it would make me feel like I'm progressing faster. I've been working on centerboard pivots and ballast filling hole. Detailed and useful work but there is not much to show for the hours of work.

It would be better to have the work on the watertight compartments done and ready to close up before putting planks up. They are easier to reach this way. So patience eh!

Floor Supports

floor supports floor supports glued on

The cockpit floor lies over the bulkheads and is supported by strips of woods that reinforce the bulkheads, and also are glued to the side of the seat uprights.

After fitting the strips I coated them with epoxy. I need to be particularly careful with the strips that are located in the water ballast tank. They need to be well waterproofed.

Glued them in. I have strips of flexible plywood to push the side strips in place while the glue sets.

I have to decide if I want large openings to the watertight compartments under the floor. I'm tempted to keep these opening quite small, 6-7 inch round covers. This boat is likely to be more of a day sailer than an expedition boat. I will be having larger openings to the side and the front compartments.

The small round ports are inexpensive and are easy to install too.


sanding coat of epoxy ice

Spent some quality time with my sander today. After finishing to glue on the support struts I spent the day sanding.

I also added a few fillets and touched up in a couple of spots. The inside got a final coat of epoxy. That's 3 coats for most of the inside bits except for the struts which only have 2. I mixed more epoxy than I could use in 20 minutes so I kept some on ice to slow down the setting.

I don't think I will do much more to the interior compartments. Once the epoxy is sort of smooth and does not snag onto stuff put into the compartments I think that is smooth enough for me. I will save my sanding urges for the exterior and visible parts of the boat. Some people have painted the dry compartment to make them lighter. That makes sense. The water ballast tank will get a bit more work and certainly a coat of paint.

filling hole

I found this Garboard drain plug in Canadian Tire. It is readily available on Amazon.Sea Dog 520040-1 Garboard Drain & Plug It's a brass screw in plug and a threaded fitting to install it. It requires a one inch hole. There are many nice through fittings available but mostly they are thicker than the bottom ply or quite pricey.

This will need some kind of wrench. It screws in quite nicely by hand right now, but I can imagine a bit of silt getting in there and making the screw less smooth.


filling hole hole

There is something very scary about making a big hole in the bottom of a boat.

The plug requires a plywood doubler. Here is a dry run.

Some modifications of the ballast tank

At this point both John Welsford and Howard Rice, Designer and Builder /Adventurer, wrote on my facebook page to suggest strongly that some modifications would be useful

taped tank

Because in a few boats there has been a small seepage of of water out of the tank into the boat, John suggested taping the seams to improve the seal. I did this by making larger fillets on the bottom and side seams and also adding fillets under the floor support sticks. I then taped the seams.


floorweights on ballast floor

Howard suggested adding some plywood to the floor to make the floor higher so that the plug would drain all the water in the tank. As shown in the plans, the drain stands about half an inch proud of the floor and cannot drain the last bit of water on its own. I had at that point glued in the doubler.

It seemed like a good suggestion so I added some ply to the bottom of the water tank till it stood just a bit higher than the plug. This will allow the water to drain completely at the cost of some extra weight.

Both John and Howard made a point of emphasizing that the cockpit floor had to very well glued down with lots of epoxy glue to make sure the tank was waterproof around the top edge.

I also added a small extra floor support to make the top of the tank seam thicker. Plans only ask for one but the seam of the 2 piece bottom of the cockpit floor falls just at the bulkhead and I'm not confident that I will be able to glue the 2 parts of the bottom floor perfectly evenly and flat. This way will give me good gluing surfaces.

When everything is set I will add a small fillet and another coat of epoxy and call it waterproof.

Seat Supports get glued

seat support glued

I coated the seat supports for the port side, with resin and glued them onto the bulkheads and the seat verticals. I'd sanded the glue area because I already had one coat of epoxy and wanted some roughness.

Wax paper keeps the clamps from sticking.

These supports help glue the seat cover which is alto the top of the side watertight compartments.


OH NO! Moment

I realized that I had glued them on crooked. I forgot to allow for the thickness of the seat and alligned the side strips too high. Doh!

The end that faces towards the centre of the boat is at the right height. I have to cut a wedge off. fixing seat support mark fixing seat support cutting
fixing seat support sanded

I tried cutting with the japanese saw but I figured my dremel saw might work really well here and dug it up. I had not used it since cutting out some of the straighter parts of the boat. It worked really well and got to withing about an inch from the end. I chiseled out the piece which was still glued to the side. The glue seam held on for dear life. No fear of this joint coming apart because of glue failure. Epoxy is amazing.

Moving on... I coated the support planks for the starboard side. You can bet I'll be pretty careful lining them up.


starboard seat supports

Started gluing the starboard supports in. Check and check again, seems ok. I will have to shorten some of the cross pieces. I cut them too long because I forgot to include the thickness of the gluelines, no harm done.




emails: Christine

If you decide to build a boat be careful. These tools can be dangerous. If you don't know how to safely handle something find out. There are lots of forums out there.

This web site reflects my personal ideas and doesn't represent anyone else's point of view. I don't claim to be an expert in anything, just someone muddling along.