Peapod, Losing stuff in the bilge.

First off, let me say that I like my floorboards.  makes the ship look sharp and keeps my bottom end dry even after I ship some water.  BUT.   I keep losing things in the bilge through the gap between the end of the floorboards and the bilge.  It's like a magnet.  Just the other day I was re-attaching my seats, and after getting nut and washer started on underside of the bolt, I decided I no longer needed the towel stuff in the edge of the boards to keep stray nuts and washers slipping in there, I LOST AHOLD OF MY LONG HANDLED RATCHET on a particularly hard to reach nut,  and like a jackrabbit, it flew into the bilge.  AND the gap is big enough that I can just get my hand under there that I can confirm the tool is in fact under there, but not enough to actually grab it.  Fortunately in this case I was able to contort myself to cajole it enough over that I was (eventually) able to pull it out.   This, and many, many other stories of things slipping into the bilge have worn thin for me.

Anyway, has enyone sorted a good way to prevent this from happening?  I thought of getting that foam stuff you can put in gutters that lets water through but stops things like pine needles.  maybe shove that along the gap between the outer boards and the hull.  But I am open to suggestions.


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RE: Peapod, Losing stuff in the bilge.

A recent WoodenBoat article on tips for a better small craft recommended having at least one section of floorboard that is removeable without tools. This is why.

in my Sassafras canoe the floorboards are one unit, and not attached. Works well enough, as the boat is used solely with a smalll electric motor on sheltered waters.

My Peapod will not have a centerboard trunk, and I will have a removeable plank to fill the gap where the trunk would be. That will at least give me access to the two center bays between frames. 

RE: Peapod, Losing stuff in the bilge.

   Likewise on my Rhode Runner. I modified floorboard plans such that I the whole set of floorboards is a one piece unit held together by screwing the longitudinal floorboards into to 3 cross-sticks (one near each frame, just slightly offset so the unit can't slide foreward or aft). The unit then just rests on the top of the frames.  I even put a finger hole in the center floor board to make it easy to lift them up.  And shortened them so that I created a place for the battery in the bilge area up in front of the foot rest. 

So for whatever design, I think removable floor boards (or just one removable board) is a good idea.  If you're really worried about them flying around when you tip over (it happens in small boats) you can figure out a quick hold down method, even if that means just one or two screws.

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