Sunday, February 12, 2012

First Mate Side Seat Rails

At the end of June 2011, I published a post about my idea for moveable side seating in cruising dinghies. The idea is that side seats can be used if prefered (although I like to sit down low in the boat with my weight near the windward turn of bilge) and can also be removed at a moment's notice. Most importantly, if they are slid into the centre of the boat they make an excellent sleeping platform, well above the bilge water.

The Phoenix III built by Paul Hernes, showing the side seats in the standard location.............. 
...........and slid together to form a nice sleeping platform............
.....or removed altogether.
You can find my original post at this address

I am continuing to work intermittently on a First Mate in my workshop - she gets attention when glue is curing on other jobs. Last week I installed the rails to carry the removable side-seats/sleeping platform, and I'm delighted to say that in First Mate, the seats are more than 26 inches wide at the upper part of the body when slid together. Here are a few pictures of the rails: -

Here is the seat rail glued and screwed onto the aft face of the midships frame. This frame is made from 12mm (1/2") marine plywood, with 38mm x 12mm (1-1/2" x 1/2") behind where the screws go through. The whole thing is very strong, and the seat rail would be fine with just a glue joint. However, the silicon bronze screws make it simple to position when the epoxy is slippery, so they may as well go in! The rails are positioned to carry a side seat which is 31mm (1-1/4") deep - these will most likely be 25mm (1") framing topped with 6mm (1/4") marine plywood.
A close-up of the aft rail, which attaches to the semi-bulkhead at the forward end of the stern seat (i.e. the "stern sheets"). The centre cut-away is just to allow positioning of the screw-in hatch to that particular buoyancy compartment.

Another shot of the aft seat rail with the rowing foot-braces on the floor below. These foot braces do double-duty as structural stiffening elements as well

This seating arrangement will make First Mate (and Phoenix III) very versatile cruising dinghies - my favourite type of boat bar none!

1 comment:

  1. This is definitely the way to sail comfortably in a small boat.