Saturday, March 06, 2010

Sole (floor)

I learned a new term in my Boatbuilding with Plywood book this week. Its not called a floor, its called the Sole. Whatever you call it, it takes a lot of time to install. Ive been at it 8 hours and dont have much to show for it.
I started by making a bunch of blocks to support the ends of the sole planks. I could have saved time with one long piece but I didnt want to be able to see the support between the planks. Also had I used the bottom frame member as the support I could have saved even more time but I wanted the floor lower so I have the blocks sunk down so the planks are flush with the bottom frame members and butt against them. This gives me an inch lower seating position and I like the look. I will also have some bracing directly under the seat that will spread the load of the passengers evenly amoung the planks and to the keel.

I have the planks spaced 3/4". I like the look. I dont normally carry loose change or other small items when I go in a boat so I am not worried about stuff falling in the gaps. If something does get lost between the planks the seats will be easily removable with 4 screws and the sole will only be screwed to the blocks, not glued. Everything can be removed in just a couple minutes for access and cleaning. This is something Todd B told me when I visited his boat. Everything in his interior looks great but is easy to remove quickly as well.
The planks themselves are Ash and I am excited to see how these turn out varnished in contrast to the rest of the interior which will be varnished mahogany. I think the contrast will look nice...I hope. They do have some interesting grain. If I dont like it I can always put marine carpet over the entire floor.
You can see my 8 hours of work didnt get me far. I only have the middle of one section so far.
I have most of the planks for the forward storage/fuel tank section cut to size also but not pictured. I glued up the blocks for the forward planks before calling it a night. More of the same work tomorrow. The weather is warming up here so I might get distracted by r/c planes for a couple hours like I did today or maybe a motorcycle ride, if it doesnt rain.
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