22 February 2013

Raising the cockpit floor boards

I have always wanted to be able to raise the cockpit floor boards up level with the side benches, to be able to use the area for a sleeping/lounging in the sun platform. I didn't want to fit supports on either side, as they were likely to be a nuisance. I made a chance discovery over the winter. If I simply place my big flat fenders on edge either side of the cockpit well, they are just about the right height to hold up the floor boards. To raise both sets of boards I needed to cut back the aft ends of the four central planks, to fit round the outboard. I have finally got round to doing this and it all seems to work really well. The platform  is not absolutely flush with the side decks, but they are cambered in any case. I think that a couple of bunk cushions will lie very comfortable over the top. There is even room for me to lie across diagonally, and I am 6' 3", so that is quite an achievement.

The gap between the aft section of the floor boards and the outboard will actually make it much easier to fit the outboard lock, which is a further benefit. I had a panic last year when I clicked the lock in place, to discover that to unlock it, I had to fit the key from underneath, and there wasn't room to get it in. I had to squeeze about, getting all of the floorboards out, before I could get the key in, but even then it was a struggle. I have changed the lock to a hardened cylindrical one, where the key goes in at the end, but it is a relief to think that I can still use the old lock if I need to.

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