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 !.