Cabin roof project.

This is one of the longer term projects with the boat, maybe one for next autumn and winter, the write-up today is partially in response to Al’s comment in boat safety :

How about a couple of low hoops running across the boat with a fore and aft rail attached, the frames across give the stiffness without a load of bracing, you would need to pattern the areas of the deck where the feet go, tape deck with brown packing tape, green or blue masking tape first so you don’t end up with tape residue to remove, bog and attach some wooden framing to connect the whole lot together and make it stiff enough to remove to the man cave where the process is reversed to produce a pattern for the feet. then it can go anywhere to be made in the workshop a drawing should suffice for the rest. You must be on nights !

Good thinking and this was one way i had thought about the cabin but then ran into a bunch of problems : first is that a hoop across the front would foul the dropping of the main mast (it rotates aft) and i do need to be able to drop the rigs.  Second is that anything across the boat aft of where the current one is will foul the hatch and i have plans there.  So lets go back to the start on this one : what i want is an arrangement like a pilot boat/police launch…funny but the river police came past in their boat and i snapped some pics to try and show this, basically they have a solid rail inboard of the side deck and no guardrails, that works much better on pilot boats for example.  Taking that as a starting point though what i think i want is a solid stanchion like fitting at each end of the cabin roof, well braced and have a removeable soft line (dyneema) running between them as the grabrail/cliprail and get rid of the tripwires completely.  Have the new stanchions obviously mounted on the cabin roof at a height that i can grab them without bending down and going off balance which is what happens now.  Also if i made the aft ones such that the starboard one was alongside the hatch it would make getting in and out of the cabin in a seaway much safer and if in shaped it so that the aft edge was vertical but the forward edge sloped back it would also be the start of a solid mounted rail for a spray dofger (would have been useful this week !).  The height of a planned sprayhood is about the right height for a grab rail too.

There are some fouling issues here : the halyard winch to stb would have to go, its awkward there anyway and is only there because the halyard exit is to stb but here is the thing : the hatch is offset and gives a much larger area to port (aft) of clear cabin roof that is just asking for the keyboard stack…re-arrange things so that all the working lines come to that area like a proper race boat and where i can handle them without leaning out of the cockpit to loo-ard !.     With the current stick i would either have to cut another exit to port and at a different height so as not to create a weak spot or do what i am thinking now and build a pair of wood-composite sticks in birdsmouth….i just (just) about have the skills for that. My mate dave here would obviously be muttering ‘carbon’ by now but i don’t think i have the K&S for that but can bodge wood and epoxy with a glass coat !.337002



  1. Opps didn’t think that one through with the rigs etc !
    Can you get inside the cabin top to put some reinforcement in where you want to bolt the bases? as our boat has no head lining and I don’t like bolts hanging out the deck to smack the head on I made some ally plates with holes taped in them for the jammers.
    You can use the same pattern method using dowel ( broom handle ) to represent the staunchion so as to get the base angles right.
    Its all good to incorporate many things into the structure saves weight.


    1. Its got a loose headlining so no problem, i think i can get one stanchion alongside the hatch to stb and one next to the moulding rise to port. Need to take a good look at where the reinforcing will go. Whole thing might stop me falling over the rails.


  2. Anything that stops you falling over the rails is a good plan ! we ran some webbing jacklines down the foredeck to hang on to.


    1. Its a similar idea here as i plan to run dyneema lines between the stanchions. I forgot to add that the secondary plan is a cross rail at the forward end of the aftermost rails, that would be a fixed brace between the stanchions and be a support for a hood. Back rail would be demountable. All the control lines would then come to the port side just like a big boat but onto simple cleats (cheap). I was working on the idea of moving the aft rig back a bit and off to one side to make it easier to drop the mainmast but may leave that until as and when i build new sticks or not…that relies on having a long enough inside space and i might get that in the summer depending on what is the yard shed. Been working on drawings for the birdsmouth construction with pre-milled spruce but can’t get a decent idea of whether to make them larger dia in wood and glass coat or wood and carbon.


    2. I was thinking that with little boat you might want to play around with a different anchor and a stern deploy method too, contraption 2 is in the works right now and its much more along the lines of a solution you might take.


  3. Carbon what else would you use 🙂 I can buy pre made carbon tube here (I have to get a piece for the retractable prod on the folding tri that the owner wants) I guess the mast needs to be reinforced at the deck mount you could do wood with some carbon at the high load places or e glass, just have to mind the weight. I want to use a carbon stick for my 30 fter to keep the weight out of it.


    1. Yeah i know ! My mate dave would say the same here its just that one tech i can just about handle and i’m really not sure about the other one and its an expensive material to get wrong.


  4. The anchoring from the stern is well worth looking at, as is an anchor chum not sure what to make it out of I have some lead so might cast something to try.
    Carbons not that hard to work with, but to get the best out of it that’s where the tec side comes in.


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