cockpit, Furniture

Cockpit Step Glued In

Posted by Paul

I decided that the cockpit step was too wide and too deep, it was 2500mm wide across the cockpit and 300mm deep into it. I tried only 1500mm wide at only 150mm but the step was not deep enough and I figured if being too narrow there was a risk of slipping or tripping off it then it defeated the purpose of having a step, so I tried 250mm but at this depth but 1500mm wide I could not torture the board into place without kerfs, so I settled on 2 meters wide and 250mm deep which is the same as it is high, the seat height is 500mm and the step is at half way. This presented the best compromise of lack of protrusion into the cockpit space but deep enough to step on (most stair risers are about this depth and height) and the step curves 2 meters wide and starts each side at about the same point as the seat ends on the forward seats.

I ground the end of the step front to about 45 degrees so that it would sit against the front of the seat and I marked the centreline on the step front and lined it up with the boat centreline marked on the bridgedeck and seat. I placed 2 spacers (offcuts of duflex) under the step front to keep it up off the deck whilst I buttered it with glue. I then placed planks of wood to wedge one side into place with the 250mm spacer at the middle (not glued or screwed in place) I bent the step front around under pressure to the seat front on the other side creating the curve and wedged that side into place also.

I buttered the bottom edge with glue and removed the spacers and pushed the step front down onto the deck. I let one of the braces off slightly so I could get some glue on the side edge and re wedged it in place and repeated that on the other side so that now the step front was glued on all edges and wedged in place. I tried to spread the wedge plank load out but using duflex offcuts so that it did not create a flat spot when glued. I then coved the ends with filler and glassed the front on (and peel ply to ensure a nice finish), so that when the glue is set and with the help of the glass the step front will stay in place without the braces whilst I cove and glass inside and out.

I will remove the centre spacer once the glue is set and I wish to use the space under the step to store my fishing rods, it is 2 meters wide so my rods (about 4) and reels should fit in there in 1 piece. I will create a top for the space which will be the step. The seat front is curved as is the step front (the other way) so I will need to cut the curved lid with a straight line so I can hinge the lid as you cannot hinge a curved lid, it must be straight. This will reduce the size of the lid but I think it will be big enough to get the fishing rods in and out.

I only managed 60 hours this month due to losing work time in the heat of the last 2 weekends. Ironically the weather seemed to cool during the week and heat up again on the weekends which is Murphy’s law as you seem to get the opposite when you want it! Anyway I have a plan to beat the heat this summer once the cabin top and sides are on. I have an old air-conditioner I will place in the doorway with a ply door in plugging the doorway with a cut-out for the aircon to keep the cool air in the boat. That plan may not work if I decide I need to cut the windows out of the wrap around to let light in. I am sure I can resist that temptation until the end of summer. I have plenty of lighting I can use, I would rather work by candlelight in a cool environment than in bright light in stifling heat!!

Perhaps next month I might finally get that roof started.

Time Spent: 60.00 Hours
Total build time so far: 1897.00 Hours
Total Elapsed Time: 3 Years 4 weeks.

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