I quickly re-measured where I wanted the helm island to finish, so that rather than being a complete island, it is now going to be more a raised helm box. I will place a half height step up into the helm position to make getting up and down easier. I will also put a step up from the seat top to the deck, which is a similar size rise as the floor to seat height and again this will make the transition up onto the side deck or back down much easier. I will also put a step in the middle of the rear bulkhead seat front to again make that step into or out of the boat much easier. It will be curved reverse to the seat back. It will mean that the 2 middle hatches will only have half the size openings if I go with my original idea of having these open fronted for life jackets so that they are in an easy place to grab them for such things as bar crossings etc. If I decide for them to stay solid fronted I will just have the lid in the seat tops like all of the other cockpit hatches.
Once I had re-measured, I marked the new position for the kerf and where the panel should end, I cut the kerfs and the excess panel off. Once that was done I put mdf planks across the kerfs to try to keep the panel stable while it was lifted onto the boat. Once on the boat I removed the mdf planks and bent the panel into place and using the mdf as blocks screwed to the cockpit floor to hold the panel in place I had my cockpit roughed in. It will still need to be pulled back into the curved rear seat and once fully roughed in I can prepare to glue it in.
I am very pleased with the way the cockpit is laid out. The cockpit is very wide, as wide as I could make it without impacting on the internal volume of the main bathroom on the port side or the bunk on the starboard side. As well as being spacious we also have a heap of seating. I think we could easily and comfortably seat 20 people in the cockpit, 6 will be able to eat at the outside table.
The boys have also started on the fairing of Nine Lives. In the next few weeks, the ply boat will be transformed into a shiny white boat, and some of the hard lines will soften.
Hopefully I will get the seat back glued in soon. I have to go to Melbourne on Thursday and will need to stay over the weekend for a family Wedding on Saturday, so no work this weekend, so I doubt I will get it glued in until the following weekend as it is a big job and will take a day.