Building Logs

Port Fwd Island Bunk Glassed

Posted by Paul

Setting step heights and shapes is trial and error with cardboard. Once you decide on the heights that is, and setting heights is somewhat more difficult, because the only way to be sure they work for you is to use them, and the only way to do that is to have them fixed into the boat well enough that they can take your weight. Now what the hulls are sealed I am very loathe to screw into the hulls anywhere near the waterline in case a screw goes through. So I used blocks on the bottom step and then made a judgment call on the rest of them. Stepping down the steps into the hulls or back up them to the bridgedeck you do so on your feet the entire time but up into be it is likely that whilst you start stepping up on your feet you revert to your knees at the top. So whilst I settled on 4 steps plus top and bottom 200mm apart for the hull/bridgedeck steps I have decided to make the bottom 2 steps 300mm apart and the top 2 steps 200mm apart for 3 steps plus top and bottom.

So having decided that, next was to decide on a shape. I experimented with curves but in the end straight edges worked best here. The issue is the same as I had with the other steps, that of being able to see the step below to get a foot fall when coming down and for the step above your foot not to impede your ability to find a foot fall on the way up and because of the near vertical rise in the hull that then transitions to the chamfer at about 45 degrees. It is the lower steps that present all the issues. In order for the bottom step to protrude far enough it starts to encroach on walkway space and into the doorway so that it impedes the travel of the door through its arc. The solution is curved steps or angled steps, in other words the front edge of the steps is not parallel to the hull centreline. This is the way I went. It suits the angles of the island protrusion and the angle is such that it keeps the doorway clear and by subtly changing the angle of the steps as they rise it curves around to naturally lead you up onto the bed.

With the steps decided on, the next step was to start glassing the bed island sides in. After the front and top edges are de-cored and filled. Angles marked so that they are easily replaced into the correct position with glue on then coving and glassing has them set in place, level and plumbed front (also note that the front edges are sanded on an angle so that the fronts are parallel to the center line despite the angle of the sides.).

With the sides glasses in and after I set the step shapes and heights Jo and I discussed whether we would put fronts on the step risers so as to close them off, or leave them open and just run carpet up under each step. We couldn’t decide, until I realized that I would need pipes across the steps to ferry water pipes in both directions and power. Water will go from the tanks in between the 2 bedrooms, across under this bed under the steps to the main cabin (and under the steps in there) to the kitchen and bathroom and from the water maker in the bathroom (behind the shower wall) and to the water tanks. The power will be for lights in the bedroom and may not be needed but better to fit is now and not need it than to need it and it not be there. And the power and water have separate conduit paths because it makes sense that power and water be separated in case I have a leak.

The pipes will need to be hidden so fronts on the top 2 steps will hide them. The top steps will not need footfall under the riser above as is needed in the main hull steps so fronts on the top 2 (as I will have in the main steps anyway) works out fine. With these final details decided I glassed the steps into the boat. But again this occurred over a few days as the usual process of de-coring and filling, waiting for it to set so I could sand it then glassing the steps in from above first as there were screws below to hold the step up at the height (and level) required so they need to be removed before the underside can be glassed, so next day when the top glass had set I removed the screws and glassed and coved the underside.

With the steps glassed into the port bedroom I moved across to the starboard bedroom to work on a problem that Jo will decide this weekend (she is down for the weekend). Each bedroom (there are only 3) ought to have some clothes hanging space, and the port bedroom has a dedicated walk in wardrobe. The aft bedroom on the starboard side also has hanging space in the change room in front of the bed (which is behind the bulkhead) but the forward bedroom in the starboard hull does not yet have a hanging closet/cupboard. So I have to figure out where I will build one that does not intrude into the room too much but still works effectively as a cupboard. The issue is that at the front of the room there is to be a mast post that restricts the size and access to a forward cupboard, and whilst it will act as a good support structure to strengthen the mast it wont be as practical as a cupboard because of the mast. However and cupboard on the aft bedroom wall will be very obtrusive and close in the bed too much but will have very good access. So I am doing the only thing that makes sense. Have Jo decide.

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