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Old 12-10-2007, 12:59 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2007
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I have been around Cruiser Log for quite some time now. I enjoy reading the many and varied posts from which I have gained much knowledge but I was thinking that maybe there should be another forum "Boat modifications and Improvements". What does Admin and the Mods think?

Anyway, I would like to kick off by asking for a little advice. Like many boats my yachts has a very conventional accesses - a hatch forward and am opening from the cockpit into which washboards are slotted to prevent water aggress. I would like to raise the sill at to the level of the cockpit seats. This will not bring it above the level of the coaming so; if the cockpit is water filled there will be some seepage below decks but it will be less than with the current arrangement and the entire construction should be stronger.

So, to my question, what would the best way to construct this bridge deck be? I have been thinking of using Divynicell or would a simple laminate be better? What does the forum think?

Looking forward to reading your thoughts.

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Old 12-10-2007, 02:30 PM   #2
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there should be another forum "Boat modifications and Improvements". What does Admin and the Mods think?
Good question. We gave this a lot of thought and in the end actually cut down on the number of forum boards. Where do you stop? Boat Mods, Electrical, Engines, Electronics, Deck Hardware, ....... the list could be endless and the main forum board loooong and sloooow to load.

We felt that it would be better kept all together - read ONE forum for all topics. If the topic heading is good AND the 2nd heading line is descriptive it is easy to run through ONE forum to read a variety of "subjects" in one place.

Remember also that many readers and contributors here are cruising and sometimes connecting to the Net from slow and expensive sources - this is our first and most important consideration.

Those are MY thoughts.


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Old 12-10-2007, 03:08 PM   #3
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I agree with the Board Captain. The main thing is that questions are asked and answered.

Which brings me to the question Collingwood asked. Is there any member who feels competent to answer Collingwoods question?

Aye // Stephen
Yacht NAUSIKAA | Call Sign: 2AJH2



= Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:29 AM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2004
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When I added a bridge deck to our previous boat I used plywood as a form and glassed over that.

Divinycell, Klege cell, things like that would also work quite well- cut out the sides at the cockpit seats and give yourself more room inside the boat OR build it as a box glassed to the existing cockpit floor and make it stowage acessible form the cockpit. Either one would do the job.

If I were to cut out the sides and cockpit floor ( which I did on the boat I did this on, I'd add a heavy transverse beam for the material ( what ever used) to attach to at the aft upper corner AND at the washboard level. I ran those under the existing cockpit seats. I suppose it could be done by just glassing, but I liked the strength of the transverse members. As it turned out I mounted a traveler on that after beam so it worked out well.

However you do it, it's an excellent idea to get that opening up to at least seat level. I wouldn't worry over much about higher. I also ( on that boat and on the current one) increased the size of the cockpit drains substantially- they were whimpy.
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Charlie Jones View Post
I also ( on that boat and on the current one) increased the size of the cockpit drains substantially- they were whimpy.
Cockpit drainage in most boats over 20ft length after 1/72 - various regs provide that a minimum of 4 drains of no less than 3/4" or 20mm.

However the above does not seem to relate to the size or volume of the cockpit - so if we take a cockpit 4ft x 2ft 6" x 2ft height = 20 cu ft. = approx 150 US gallons,

versus a cockpit of 8ft x 6ft x 2ft height = 96 cu ft = approx 720 US gallons or 2,720 litres --- both with 4 x 3/4" drains.

(Could someone tell us how long each cockpit would take to drain from only 2 drains - as the boat is heeled over? Then how long draining from all 4??)

This must be the key to safety : the relativity of cockpit volume to size and number of drains, rather than the length of boat ?

Another safety issue is the washboard being tight enough to prevent large amounts of seawater penetrating the companionway, while the cockpit is draining - at the same time being loose enough to enable easy removal - also must be attached to the hull by lanyard.
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:13 AM   #6
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 48

Not knowing your boat and the nature of its construction, I think I would take a bunch of pictures, digital if you wish, maybe put them on your laptop then take said laptop down to the best yard you know and ask the construction foreman/engineer for a quick opinion and estimate. He will give you some ideas and some idea of the cost of making the mods. YOu can extrapolate downwards from yard charges and get some idea of the parameters of making the mod. This is not a trivial modification, and done incorrectly could threaten the integrity of the boat. I have always made of point of getting expert advice when dealing with things that can get me killed, and i'm still around soooo, I
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:26 AM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Good idea Seeratlas!

I will do just that; although methinks it is probably unnecessary as there will be no constructional changes as all I will be doing is filling in the space between the side-benches without changing anything except raising the companion way sill.

I also like Charlie Jones suggestion of adding a strengthening transverse member as this will make the boat just that bit stronger and provide a substantial base in which to secure an eyebolt for safety harnesses. I think an L-profile in stainless steel or aluminium would be best for this. Of the alternatives I will probably go for stainless as the eyebol will be the same material and therefore eliminating corrosion risks.

This aleads on to the next question. What is the best tipe of hatch to have? At present, I have two washboards but after the conversion I should end up with only one. Should I stick to that washboard or should I consider some other construction - if the is one?

Thanks a lot folks!
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:18 PM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 81

In my opinion, short of closing the entire aft end of the cabin off and going down through the companion slide, washboards are the strongest way to go. Certainly stronger than doors.

Our current boat, a Rhodes Meridian 25, had a companionway that was 32 inches square, with two drops that angled outward. You could fly a helicopter through the durned thing, When we rebuilt the boat I narrowed the companion opening to 24 inches square and made the drop board runners vertical - the two drops are interchangeable except for the lock slot in one. So If I need to get them in in a hurry it matters little which one goes first. The drop runners are cut so the boards fit against the actual cabin rear wall instead of in grooves in the runners themselves- so if they get hit with a wave, the cabin wall is carrying the load, rather than half a rabbet in a chunk of wood.

I also build a true seahood- not just a shell over the slide, but a total incorporation of the runners, slide and hood. It's rock solid and doesn't leak period.

The boat already had a bridge deck.

The cockpit drains were a pair of 5/8 hoses leading into the engine well. Both had kinks in them as fitted, so total volume available was somewhere around 1/2 inch each!!!lI made a pair of curved fiberglass tubes, 2 5/8 ID that lead directly out through the hull bottom above the water line aft, under the counter. If we are running hard they tend to pull up a bit of water into the cockpit, but they sure get rid of it fast too.

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