adding floorboards..

i  am  thinking  of  adding  floorboards  to  both  my  eastport  pram  and  my  skerry.  for  the  pram, one  sits  on  the  floor  while  sailing  and  the  floor  gets  wet.  for  the  skerry, even  though  you  can  be  on a  seat,  your  lunch  and  jacket  on the floor   get wet. i  ahve  some  design  ideas as  follows ,  does  anyone  have  input  or  comments??

1)  make   boards  of  lightweight  cedar, routed  to 1/2 round on  sides.  varnish  boards.  have  these boards    removable  for  cleaning  or  re-  varnishing.

 2)  how  do  i  get  the boards running  fore and  aft   to  follow  the  floor  camber ?  bow  to  stern,    there  is  a  noticeable curve to   the  floor ,  and  side  to  side,   the  same.

 3) to match the  floor   camber do  i really  have  to  wet  steam  some  transverse  beams,(of  mahogany ?)    then  attach  the  cedar  floorboards  to  the  beams? how can  i  get  the longitudinal cedar  boards  to  fasten in  place,  yet   be removable?

 4) i asume  i'll  have  to  drill  through  the  floors  of  the  boats  from  outside   of the  hull  to attach  the  bearing  beams  for  the  floorboards. do i  drill, put epoxy into the  drill hole,  then  insert  the  screws?  how do i keep screwheads  from appearing on the bottom of the  hull? contersink  the screws  then  fill  holes  with more epoxy?    

 any  and  all ideas  welcome, this is a  winter  project.. 

2 replies:

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RE: adding floorboards..

Hi Carey,

   I put the floor boards in my Pocketship recently and if you take a look at the construction album in the catalog you'll see how they avoid all these issues on that one. Basicly there are short ribs epoxied to the bottom that let the boards stay flat and off the bottom. This avoids having to put holes through the bottom although you still have to be careful with the screw lengths and drilling at the ends and near the chines.



RE: adding floorboards..

I am a fan of floorboards.  They will need to be fitted to the boat with cross members, called floor timbers.  The forwardmost AND aftmost ends of your floorboards can touch the inside bottom.  Allowing for some fore-to-aft curvature, shape the two middle floortimbers (one by stock) to provide the additional support.  The two outter most floors will be tappered at their ends.  MAKE SURE YOU CUT LIMBER HOLES.  You do NOT want to trap water.... Once built, floor panels secured to the floor timbers, install velcro strips to keep them in place.  This will allow for removal for cleaning & future refinishing.   I recommend adding stick-um nonskid to the upper surface of the floorboards.  All varnished surfaces are VERY slippery.

 Being old & decrepid, I don't know how to post photos to this forum.  But if you email me, I'll send several photos of floorboards (Velcro'ed in place) of a boat I rebuilt last year.  She is in WoodenBoat this month (July/August) at the top right corner of page 95.

 Bruce T. Martens

[email protected]

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