Day 89 - Splashwell II

I finished the splashwell and started working on the deck shelf that goes right at the bow. I also installed the last center web stringer under the aft deck area. I cut out some floatation foam and placed it outside of the stringers. By my figures I added 4 cubic feet of floatation. Since a cubic foot of water weighs 64 pounds, that's over 240 lbs of positive floatation. I figure that the water-tight tank right at the transom is at least 2 cubic feet so that's a total of about 360 lbs of floatation within the last 6 feet of the boat. This still leaves the large areas on both sides of the center web stringer open.

Day 88 - Splashwell

Today I got a lot of work done on the splashwell. I have the full-width bottom glued in as well as the middle section and two side sections. I also have the aft deck plywood cut out. I had to get the splashwell in before gluing in the center web stringer. That is made and will go in tomorrow. Then I'll work on gluing down the deck. I'm going to put in foam first and I'm still thinking about a fish box. I don't fish but who knows? Maybe I'll decide that it would be a waste of a Tolman skiff to not fish with it. Anyway, I'll do some research before gluing down the deck.

Here are a series of photos that will show how I'm doing the splashwell. Remember that I have a 10" jackplate so I only need 14" of depth at the transom which, with the 2" thick transom, gives me 26" inches of clearance for the motor tilt. I went in and measured my Suzuki 140 to make sure I'd get this measurement right. From the aft top of the transom to the top of the cowling, the engine is 25.5 in. tall.

This first image shows the splashwell looking down from the top. I made the 30" between the stingers deeper for the engine. Renn gave me the idea for doing one this way after a Tolman builder named Stan did it using a narrow transom opening. This way I still have the wide opening but still have good bracing for the transom and a full-height splashwell. The sides of this deeper part are tied into the stringers and support the splashwell floor. The forward wall section in the middle goes all the way down to the hull. All of these pieces are filleted and glassed in with 24oz biaxial. In the first book Renn says not to connect the stringers to the transom in this way but he told me about another way to do it. I'll quote part of his e-mail here just because it's a good example of the kind of help Renn gives and it's salted with other info that I find fascinating;

"Paul, You've got a good memory. I did say not to attach the drywell to the stingers, but the context was a narrow transom cutout with a corresponding narrow drywell in a decklesss skiff. If you attach the drywell to the 2x8 and brace it down to the stringers, it will tend to tear loose from the former because of the propensity of the 2x8 to twist rearward as the prop pushes the skiff from its position at the bottom of the engine leg. It happened to me.

But this jogs my memory, and I'm reasonably sure Stan came up along sides the stringers with his bulkheads. And the reason they don't tear away from the transom is that they go on up full height--plus as I said before they were massively reinforced. (I would ask them, but as we speak they are waiting on weather to run across the Gulf from Sitka. There's a heavy freezing spray warning that even a 108-foot crabber heeds.)"

This makes the weather in Oregon seem very nice indeed! ;-)

The width of the splashwell floor is 14". The sides narrow to about 8". This gives me just over 5 ft. of usable deck space in the boat. I also like the way the deck shelf comes back and you have a nice 13" seat at the stern corner. You can see that inside the corners I have ventilation conduit. These vents are for the two fuel tank compartments. I'll take a photo of the intakes when I do those. I'll be putting a small cowling over the vent exhaust port on the sides of the splashwell. Both side compartments will be coverd and will have access doors. I just got a Racor fuel filter I want to mount inside one of the compartments too.

With the deck open all the way to the transom it's nice standing in the stern as there is room for your feet under the splashwell at the sides of the boat. This will also make it easy to make the drains. In the middle there is an air-tight tank with a tube that drains the rest of the boat. Making that one was a chore so I'm glad to not have to do that again.

This last view shows the stern. I still have to put in two more pieces and then I'll trim them all for height. I'll put on a teak capping strip that will wrap around the sides and go along the shelves to the cabin bulkhead.

One more thing I have to do before I glue down the decks is install a bilge pump. I've always sailed open boats with thru-hull bailers. When those didn't work a 5-gallon bucket usually did the trick. I figure to mount it on the forward edge of the splashwell bulkhead, right next to the drain tube which is the lowest part of the boat and a place where all the limbers lead.

Days 86 - 87

We had a nice, sunny, warm weekend with lots of progress on the boat. I put in the stringers under the aft deck. I only have one more stringer to put in, the center one that goes from the aft pilothouse bulkhead to the forward face of the stern floatation tank, under the splashwell. I hate putting in stringers. You're on your hands and knees with your face down in the epoxy. Your latex gloves always seem to rip open halfway through the job and it seems to take forever. There is one thing I'm happy about though. I got a GREAT deal on biaxial on ebay and I've been using that anywhere I want extra stregnth. I got a 150 yard roll of 2.5 inch, 24oz tape for about $20. It's a great feeling to have spent so little on something that you can use it without a second thought. I also got a 150 yard roll of 10oz, 2.5 inch tape for the same price. And, even though I don't like filleting and taping these stringers, after they go in with the biaxial, they sure do look nice and strong. The other thing I did this weekend was make the stern tube. I'll have a water-tight floatation tank right under the splashwell so I had to make a tube that would go through the tank and drain the rest of the boat. I wrapped a 1 inch dowel with wax paper and then a few layers of glass and epoxy. The next morning I thought I would be able to just knock out the dowel. Wrong!!! :-( One hour later I had it out after drilling most of the dowel out from each end and knocking out the small section that was left. The tube is glassed into the boat and the floatation bulkhead will go right over it. In the end, it works. It looks good and it will never go anywhere or leak with the way it's put in there.

Days 80-85

I've been way too slow in updating the site. Last week was spring break and I worked on the boat several days and got a lot done. Mainly I installed the aft bulkhead and purchased a Suzuki DF140 outboard. Now that I know I have a motor, I guess I'll have to really finish this boat.

The motor will be mounted on a CMC hydraulic jack plate. It has 10" of setback. CMC makes more of these than anybody else and they have a good reputation. The other nice thing is that all the hydraulics are right inside the jack plate. You don't have to run hoses back up and over the transom. Using 10" of setback means I can shorten my splashwell by that same distance.

I am taking steps to build a very beefy transom to deal with the added strain when using the jack plate. The first photos show two fore & aft bulkheads that are tied to the stringers and transom. They will support the bottom of the splashwell and and transom. There are two twisting motions acting on the transmom. Left to right as the boat is turning and fore-aft as the bottom of the motor mount pushes and the top pulls. In the photo above you can see that these supports are filleted in and glassed. I'm using 24oz biaxial here as well as on the middle part of the transom right under the 2x8. I'll try to post photos as it all goes together.
The last photo here is of the rear pilothouse bulkhead. It looks pretty tall. I'm just 2 inches away though from having it fit back in the garage. I could lower the jig but I'll have the trailer soon and it won't be too long before the boat is ready to be outside so I don't think I'll bother.

Day 79 - Bunks

I finished the bunks and started working on the rear bulkhead today. I will need to install a vent system to each of the tank compartments before gluing down the bunk tops. I will have a fresh air inlet forward of the cuddy bulkhead on the side of the cabin. It will go down the front face of the bulkhead to a hole in the bulkhead leading into the tank compartment. Air will exhaust via a 3" duct hose at the aft end of the compartment under the decking led up to the spash well.

B&B are the only builders I've seen who seem to have properly vented their tank compartment. They actually have a pvc duct system with a blower. I'm thinking about that but I'll see how well I can get a passive system working first.

Day 76-78 Cuddy Bulkhead

I've only had an hour or so to work each day so I'll make one entry for all the things I got done over the last couple of days this week.

I finished the bowtank, anchor deck and forward bulkhead. I still have to lay down a layer of glass on the deck surface but I want to wait until I have the drain holes drilled for that. I used biaxial on the anchor deck seams. I will have to feather the edges, apply a little epoxy and fairing filler then lay in a layer of 10oz cloth on the deck, lapping up the sides. I got the biaxial on ebay paying $20 for a 100 ft. roll. I really like this stuff. It takes more glue but I've been using it in places where I want extra strength. Getting such a good deal on it makes it all the more fun.

I also did a bit of grinding on the outside of the boat to see how the bow line tube was going to look. I still have to put some epoxy and a little of fairing compund on them but they look pretty good to me. In this photo you can also see the little keel strake the UHMW is screwed into. This piece is glassed to the hull with several layers of cloth. I think it's pretty strong and it looks good too.

Here are a couple of photos of the rear cuddy bulkhead. This is the middle of the three bulkheads that go in the boat. It's made from one piece of 1/2" ply. I've been using superply as it's so nice. It has 9 plies and is 7/16" thick. It's very strong and a bit lighter than the 1/2" marine I used for the hull. It also only costs $23 a sheet.
I took a photo of the way the bulkhead fits up agains the shelf. Renn has you make a jig to get the size just right and then trace it onto the plywood. This works very well. I only had a little bit of trimming to do with the full size panel. Renn says to glue down the shelf capping before you put in these bulkheads but I have mine just screwed into place. This makes putting these big pieces in MUCH easier. Now that they are glassed in I can glue down the shelf capping.

Day 75 - Anchor Deck II

Again, just a couple of hours to work today. I fitted and cut the forward cuddy bulkhead. Both the bulkhead and anchor deck are now ready to glue and glass into place. Sitting on the floatation tank inside the boat, the 38 inches of height Renn specs is just right. I still think this makes for a big cuddy. I'm sure it will be very nice when inside the boat but in my eye it looks tall from the outside. Standing on the stringers at station #6 I don't have any problem seeing over the cuddy bulkhead to the stem. The corners do restrict my vision a bit though. My cabin will have a dropped floor so forward visibility will be limited when short people stand on the floor and try to look forward.

Day 74 - Anchor Deck

I had just a few hours to work tonight. I made the jig that supports the anchor deck and then scribed, cut and fit the deck. I used one piece of 1/2" SuperPly. I know Renn says to use scrap left over from the front side panels but frankly, if you add up all the times he says that in the book, you'd never need to buy any plywood at all. ;-^) The SuperPly is 7/16" thick and is 9 plys. I really like this stuff. Making the deck from one piece means there is no seam to glue and tape and it should be stronger as well.

Next I have to cut out templates for the forward bulkhead portion that goes under the shelves. Then I'll remove the deck with those templates attached and use it as a guide to draw the bottom of the bulkhead.

Day 72-73

I spent a few hours here and there over the last two weekends working on the boat. I've been too busy at work to really get anything done. :-(

Anyway, in terms of an update, I have all of the shelf decking cut out. I used SuperPly 1/2" which is really 7/16" thick with 9 plys. I was having to piece together my 3/8 scrap and I didn't like that. The SuperPly was only $23 a sheet so I got a couple of them. You can get one shelf cut from one sheet of ply and still have lots of wood left over for other projects. This also means that you can decide where the joints should be. I made sure that my shelf-scarf joints were under solid sections of shelf decking.

Day 72 - Shelf - Decking

I have the fuel tank support decks in place and today I started on the shelf decking. I trimmed off the extra ply overhang along the shelves and only had a few small areas that needed the attention of my power planer. The gunwale looks nice and fair with 1/2 of the decking tacked into place so far.
After I have the shelf decking on both sides I have some big next steps:
1. Cuddy forward bulkhead and anchor well deck
2. Rear cuddy bulkhead
3. Fuel tank compartment sides and tops
4. Cuddy sides
5. Pilot house rear bulkhead
6. V-Berth bunks
7. Cabin decking

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