Rounding slots in CY floorboards?

Hi all,

We were working through the Chester Yawl manual this weekend and came upon the instruction to round off the the edges on on the floorboards, their supports, and all the slots in the floorboards.

As we were considering the best methods of accomplishing this, my friend began to question, "why round the slots in the floorboards? What is these meant to hold?".

Of course the purpose of the slots is the hold the foot brace, accomodating its "tabs". While the forward end of the tabs are rounded, the aft end of the tabs (which are the business end - taking all the pressure) is squared off.

Wouldn't rounding the edges of the slot allow the footbrace to slip out more easily? I would think that retaining a squared off edge in the slot will made for a more solid connection between the foot brace and the floorboard.

I would appreciate anyone else's experiences with this.


4 replies:

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RE: Rounding slots in CY floorboards?

Try a trial fit or two before doing anything to the tabs' ends.

Cutting slots on a CNC machine leaves curves at the ends, corners if the slots are wider than the cutting bit. The tabs that are to fit into those slots will have squared-off ends and curved corners leading into the rest of the edges those tabs extend from.

With stitch'n'glue fabrication, it's OK to have small gaps - say 1/8" or less - rather than a tight fit between parts that are to be bonded together. Those'll be filled solid with epoxy at the proper time.

You do a trial fit of the parts you're thinking about, you'll see if any of the residual curves left in the material needs to be removed for a good fit or not. It's a good idea to do a dry-fit of components before actually bonding them together, it's the best way to ensure everything fits together as the designer intended!

If you find you need to round off those square tabs, it's easy enough to do with a sharp box-cutter blade, sharp chisel, or coarse flat file. Just go slow, take your time to check the fit as you pare away material! Relax if you find you've gone too far, you can count on the epoxy to make everything right as you continue. 

RE: Rounding slots in CY floorboards?

Thank you for the advice to do test fits.

Thoughts from others with experience on whether the floorboard slots on the Chester Yawl should be rounded off any more than how they come from the DOC shop?


RE: Rounding slots in CY floorboards?


Are you concerned about rounding the slots as seen from above or rounding the upper and lower edges of the holes in the floorboards?

Rounding the upper and lower edges will help prevent damage to the slots when you put in or take out the footrest tabs.

Probably the best thing to do is to call CLC support and ask them.

Good luck,



RE: Rounding slots in CY floorboards?

...also, a sharp edge of a plank or a slot in a panel will resist holding paint or varnish well, in addition to Laszlo's sage advice that rounding those same sharp edges will reduce the chance of damage.


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