So where will I store them when sailing?
What will these planks look like?
What do I make them out of?
How will I attach them to the thwarts?
So many questions!
1. Solid wood say 6 or 9mm ply with strengthening cross pieces below made of 2” x 1” or do I go for some sort of slats affair? Rather like Paul Hernes – see later
2. Mounted flush with the thwarts or going over the top of the thwarts? If I go flush – then I need to put some cross support piece across the sides of each thwart. Then I’d need to put some form of tongue on the boards themselves so that they slotted below the lip of the thwarts but rested on top of the side support strips. If I go over the top - the planks will need to rest about 5cm over the thwart which will form a ridge but that won't matter if we are sleeping on inflatable mattresses.
3. Solid pieces or flexible pieces? – solid one piece will make storage difficult – but putting them in two pieces joined by some flexible material along their length will allow me to fold them in half and that will make storage much easier – along the front of the centre case or even under the side decks
4. Painted or just sealed with burgess hydrosol? Well they aren’t going to be seen that often and will mainly be covered – so maybe just sealed?
But hang on – what if they are put across the front cockpit area – they could be left up permanently – so maybe I do want to paint them white non skid; but then if I leave them up permanently – it reduces the freeboard in this area and when going forward to the mast or front of boom – I’m bound to fall in!
If I put them in the front section – forward of the centre thwart area...then I run into another problem. The little sides which run along the length of the centre case to the front thwart actually curve upwards – so that will be tricky!
Of course, front well would be better because it has a higher coaming and you could just get your feet under the deck. It would be warmer and more out of the breeze than the aft well.
If I made them for the aft well – they could stay in place permanently and I could stretch out whilst sailing – um....not so sure about that – I quite like being able to put my feet in the well or stretch them across to the opposite thwart.
Paul Herne built a Phoenix boat – see this website - http://www.baysidewoodenboats.com.au/ and he designed a simple set of sliding thwarts – very clever...but what I found interesting was the way he fitted them to the thwart sides. It’s rather akin to what I was thinking about as shown in the photograph below.
Mike Moines on Laguna Dos (go to Duckworks for more details) made a set of slatted boards from air dried cypress which he rounded over with a router. He then screwed 3/4 inch by one inch runners to the bottom of each slat with stainless steel screws. He used them both as floor boards in his cockpit and as sleeping slats just by raising them. They also rested on side support cleats – clever idea – the dual purpose boards!
On a different note – while perusing Duckworks I found out more about John’s tent on his navigator.
It’s very roomy and is rather like Richard’s tent on Bootstrap. John’s tent has standing room at the forward end. He uses four lengths of sail batten 15mm wide which is very flexible. He gave the measurements as
• Set one attached to horn cleats on the decks either side about 120mm forward of the transom. 2300mm long;
• another set 2800mm long and attached to the rowlocks (1200mm forward of his transom);
• the next set were 3100mm long and attached to the jib cleats 2000mm forward of the transom;
• And the last batten was 3000mm and attached to the jib fairleads 2800mm forward of the transom.
The covering is rip stop nylon - length is 2650 mm. Battens fit into sewn in pockets which run across the fly parallel to the transom – although they are not full length – which means he can roll up the sides. Two doors with insect netting in each and then bungee cord runs around the bottom of the ten which hooks onto upside down fender hooks at points around the outer gunwale.
I quite like this design – I think I could make one or two personal preference alternations – I’d quite like some plastic window panels; and a side Velcro door flap as well – but it just complicates a simple and well tested design doesn’t it. John explains his design more fully at http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/06/howto/boomtent/index.htm
Richard has done something similar on Bootstrap.
I think its between a design like this and something akin to Steve Earley's approach - have a read of his blog http://logofspartina.blogspot.com/
Scroll down to his post about his tarp tent. in the meantime - I wonder where I can get some rip stop waterproof material from?
Well lots to think about over the next few weeks.