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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kingfisher Drift Boat Build - Interior Raised Floors

The Kingfisher is designed with two raised level floors. One in the front casting position and one in the aft casting position. When I say level the front floor has a slight slope towards the center of the boat. The aft floor is relatively level. So the idea is to create a raised floor with 1x members that are fit to the correct height and width and then put in a floor made with 1/2" Okoume plywood. The process of building the raised floors is a multi-step process.

This is the front pedestal in position with the bottom scribed to the slope of the bottom. The side with the opening is 19" tall and the back side is about 16 1/2" tall.  I shimmed the pedestal level, scribed it, then cut it.

Scribing in the Pedestals

  • The first step is to cut the bottom of the two pedestals to conform to the slope of the bottom.
  •  marked the position of both pedestals on the floor with pencil lines.
  • The bottom at the front and rear of the boat has a slope to it. The pedestal has to be put into position and shimmed to be relatively level. This is a little bit suggestive as the boat's bottom is not flat. Support the bottom of the boat with scrap 2x4's so that the bottom of the stem and the transom are relatively the same. There is a spot where the boat sits when on the floor relatively level.  This is what you are after.
  • Once the boat is supported as is in it's "resting position", shim the pedestals and use a level on the top. I shot for dead level. I supported the side with the opening up with a 2x4 laid flat and then added shims to attain level.
  • Once the pedestal was level I use a compass/scribe to mark the line to cut the pedestal.
  • I cut the bottom with a jig saw with a blade to cut curves.
  • Once it was cut, I checked the fit and fine tuned it by re-scribing it. I used a random orbital sander to get the final fit.
  • I did this for the front and aft pedestal.

Epoxying the Pedestals

Here is the rear pedestal in position once it has been sealed and sanded
  • The next step was to give the pedestals a coat of clear epoxy. The pedestals will be painted so they just need one coat. 
  • I sealed the inside on one day and then the outside on the next. I sealed the edges and the opening.
  • Once the epoxy had dried I sanded the interior and exterior with 80 grit and then 100 grit.
  • I tabbed the front pedestal into place using 5 minute epoxy to establish its final position.

Installing the Anchor Tube

A piece of 3/4" electrical conduit that is about 5 feet long is installed along the centerline of the boat for the anchor rope to run through. The tube runs through the bottom of the aft pedestal and extends to under the rowers pedestal.
  • The electrical conduit first had to be cut to length. It needs to extend just through the rear pedestal and about half way to the rowers seat.
  • Once it was cut to length the conduit has to be bent and massaged to fit the contour of the bottom. I did this by placing one end of the conduit on a 4x4 and stepping on it to get the desired shape. This was a trial and error process. Bend it a little check it, bend it a little more and massage it into shape. 
  • I had to cut 2 slots in the front and rear of the aft pedestal for the conduit to run through.
  • Once I confirmed it all fit nicely, I duct taped the conduit into position and then mixed up a batch of epoxy peanut butter and tabbed the conduit in place. I let this set up overnight.
  • I then cut and fit a cross support that will form the vertical portion of the step up at the aft level floor. I had to cut a notch in the center for the conduit.
  • Once the support was checked for position and fit I used 5 minute epoxy to tab the cross piece into position.
  • I also tabbed the aft pedestal into position with 5 minute epoxy.
  • I then mixed up a batch of epoxy peanut butter and to fillet the entire conduit and the cross support into place.

Cutting and Fitting the Level Floors

This shows the floor scribed and fit onto place

Now for the tedious part. The fitting of the fore and aft floors is a meticulous process that you just need to take your time and get it right. 
  • The front level floor fits around the front pedestal. I started by laying out the circle for the pedestal. I also took rough measurements for the shape of the piece where it makes contact with the sides. The size of the floor from front to back is about 2'7". The bottom of the floor where it approaches the stem must be planed or sanded down to meet the rising bottom of the floor. This is like a scarf cut. it goes from 1/2" to zero in about 2 1/2". This joint will be "faired" with epoxy peanut butter and then will get a 4" glass strip across it.
  • I made a rough cut to get the approximate shape and then placed it in position. Guess what, it was too big. Just what I was hoping.  I scribed it about 4 times, nibbling a little at a time until it fit just right. The joint where the level floor hits the pedestal and the sides will eventually get a fillet and a strip of 4" glass so it just needs to be close. I got it pretty darn perfect.
  • There are two cross pieces that form the step up that will run from the sides and butt into the pedestal. These pieces are about 3 1/2" tall.
  • I also had to fit a cross piece that in placed at the front of the pedestal for additional support. This gets screwed into the pedestal and tabbed with 5 minute epoxy to hold it into place. 

This shows the front level floor wrapping around the front pedestal as it was being fit

Glassing and Sealing the Parts

The two floor pieces have been glasses and flow coated. You can see the taper cut into the aft floor piece that allows it to fit tightly to the floor.

Once the parts were fit I had to seal all of them with clear epoxy. This is a two or three day affair because you can only do one side at a time. The 2 floors pieces get glassed on both sides and then flow coated. The other parts just get flow coated.

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Have any Questions or Comments? Let me know, Clay.