October 19, 2004

I know the pictures of my cabin sole removal were posted on the website, but I never showed anyone the final product from 2 years ago. It took some abuse after a year of cruising/living aboard so I recently applied a fresh coat of varnish.

Rip McEldowney - Paikea #96
















Apr 19, 2001

We removed the teak and holly veneer on our vessel from the v-bunk aft to abeam the head bulkhead. We then installed a nonslip material so that when one comes out of the shower no injury can occur due to slipping on the teak and holly sole. The veneer is only 1/32" thick and sands off easily on our boat. Plywood 3/4" thick is beneath and was a good solid base for the nonslip which was installed with Epoxy resin. This has been in use now for some 8 years and is satisfactory. We can shower underway with no fear of slipping due to wet feet while drying ourselves.

Date: Mon Jul 30, 2001 11:43 am

For those of you who have asked about the forward bilge and compression post access hatch I have cut into the fwd cabin sole, opposite the head door, here are the dimensions:

From the aft/inboard, head bulkhead corner, measure fwd. 6 inches and not more than 3 inches out (and parallel to the head door sill lower panel) the hatch opening is 16 inches maximum length and not more than 8 inches wide.

The cabin sole is very thick (about 3 inches) near the port side of the cut and allows very little clearance below the sole and the hull.

Date: Thu Oct 25, 2001 6:16 pm

I recently cut out the entire sole with the exception of a few inches on each side. I do not have a digital camera, but if anyone is interested in viewing, feel free to visit. She is in my driveway in Fairfield, CT.

Date: Thu Oct 25, 2001 6:33 pm

Wish I could come calling, Rip. Could you describe the sole/floors/supports system? What are your plans for rebuilding?

Date: Thu Oct 25, 2001 6:59 pm

You have taken on quite a project...... I may take you up on that in a week or two I certainly do hope she will be ready for May 18th & 19th.

Date: Fri Oct 26, 2001 8:23 am

Quick sole description from the bottom up:
My water tank extends beneath the aft bulkhead door to the engine compartment, forward to approximately 6" behind the head bulkhead wall. There was about 5" clearance from the top of the tank to the bottom of the floor. In front of the tank is excellent bilge storage potential. It is approximately 18" deep with a flat bottom (following the contours of the hull towards the bow and sides). There is a 3/4" drain hose molded into the bottom which I guess drains into the bilge under the water tank. I apologize for the approximate measurements as I am writing this at work.
The bottom layer of the floor was 3/4" plywood (not pressure treated or glassed which had completely rotted and delaminated into the bilge. This was supported by 1"x3" glassed frames. On top of the plywood was a thin layer of glass, then the 1/4" teak and holly plywood. This description refers to flat portion of the main cabin. As the floor begins to curve towards the sides and bow, the previously mentioned thin layer of glass becomes thicker to mold to the contour of the floor and the hull. This thick glass is bonded directly to the hull. The glass under the curved portion in the forward cabin is as thick as 2 1/2". I cut out as much as possible, but it was difficult to cut close to where the floor fiberglass meets the glass of the hull. Cutting this out was pretty miserable. I used a diamond edge grinder, jig saw, sawzall, and circular saw. The dust was thick and the mess tremendous.
The new floor: I am planning on rebuilding the floor with the same 1/4" teak and holly plywood (only the top 2mm is teak and holly at $150 a 4'x8' sheet). About 4" on the edge of each settee will be permanently installed. The entire middle of the main cabin will be 3 removable panels. The teak and holly will be bonded to 3/4" marine plywood, supported by a combination of pressure treated 2"x4" and 4"x4" frames (spaced 14" apart to accommodate wine bottles, etc. stored beneath) This will provide shallow storage under the entire main cabin. In front of the head door will be a removable section 6"x the length of the door, to access the deep storage and compression post (which turned out to be in good shape). As you enter the forward cabin I am raising the floor approximately 4" with a step (sacrificing valuable head room, but still allowing 6' headroom under the hatch) and building a flat floor with removable panels for excellent storage. This will be easier to build and it will eliminate the dramatic curves in the forward cabin sole. I think they are too steep as I have wiped out twice in the past 3 months with slippery shoes. I will still have angled floors on the sides, but rather than a continuous curve, it will meet the flat portion at an angle. All subfloor and framed components will be glassed. This project will probably take all winter with work, ski season, etc. and I am making it up as I go.
I am not a contractor or a boatbuilder so if I am doing anything dramatically wrong, please advise otherwise.

Date: Fri Oct 26, 2001 9:03 am

This sounds very good to me, though I too am neither contractor nor boatbuilder. May I suggest to you Ferenc Mate's "From A Bare Hull", which has a chapter on building a cabin sole from scratch.

Date: Fri Oct 26, 2001 6:10 pm

Good luck on the replacement of your sole! I'm sure there are many ASW owners in our group who would love to take a look at the inside hull. Is there any way you can beg, borrow, or steal a digital camera? Sorry I can't just 'pop in' from here in Okie-ville.
Regardless, please keep us posted on your progress or problems.

Date: Mon Oct 29, 2001 9:12 pm

We used a non slip material in the forward V berth area to prevent slipping. It has worked well. Installed with epoxy and wearing well after 14 years.

We store wine in the area under the head area, approx. 22 litres can be stored here.

Date: Tue Oct 30, 2001 7:47 am
Subject: Wing's bilge area

Date: Tue Oct 30, 2001 8:20 am

I thought my project was ambitious. This clears up several mysteries for me. But not without a few questions, if I may?

I am curious as to the height dimension of the new stringers installed. Have you lifted the sole above the original dimensions? Was the water tank removed? What method used to repair/replace the compression post, butt end? Were you attempting to "flatten" the sole configuration? Just what indications prompted this project? How many man hours to complete?

Date: Wed Oct 31, 2001 7:46 am

The new stringers are pressure treated 2"x4". I slipped them under the edges of the original floor (what is left of the original floor, about 1/2" of material). I will put 1/2" pressure treated plywood on top of the stringers to match the finished level of the original floor, a thin layer of glass, and 1/4" teak and holly plywood. All materials used in the substructure will be glassed. The finished project should raise the floor 1/2" to 3/4" from original. I am attempting to flatten the sole, but not completely and the forward cabin floor will be raised about 4" with a step to increase storage, ease installation, flatten 80% of the floor, but reduce headroom.
I did not touch the water tank, it is original. The opening port on the water tank is the only fill. I do not have a deck fill pipe. The new cabin sole will consist of 80% removable panels to access the water fill and the entire bilge for storage.
The compression post set-up is factory original and in great shape. I have no plans to modify or change what you see in the pictures. I don't know what the red goop is that holds the butt, but it is rock hard and the oak is solid.
The motivation for this project was out of necessity, not desire. The original floor rotted from the bilge up. Apparently, as the story was told, 2 owners ago, the boat was neglected for years and sat with water deep in the bilge. The water was 6" above the floor at one point, as the bulkhead stains show. I was aware of this upon my purchase as the selling price reflects. The sole was like a trampoline and my foot went through in front of the head. The first layer in the original construction was 1/2" or 3/4" plywood (not glassed on the bottom). This had completely delaminated and fell into the bilge one layer at a time.
Before my purchase, I was aware of the problems people were having without bilge access in the Seawind IIs. Modifying this design was on my wish list before I even owned one. "Wing" simply moved this off the wish list, onto the work list.
Don't dwell on life's problems. Fix them and move on!

Date: Wed Oct 31, 2001 1:55 pm

If I might make a comment regarding sole hatches however... I delivered a Choey Lee Offshore 41 to the Caribbean in 1984 when we encountered the northeast bound Hurricane Klaus. Much of the stowage as well as engine access was through several sole hatches. Unfortunately the Perko-like flush-spring latches, meant to secure the panels in place, were not enough to prevent them from coming adrift during several 180 degree snap rolls. The cook found herself flat on the deck after two panels became roving "ankle biters" and was lucky to receive nothing worse than a few abrasions. Additionally, I sail aboard a Hans Christian 43 quite frequently, a round trip to Bermuda planned for June of '02, and she also has "floating" bilge hatches and I have concerns about them also.

Date: Thu Nov 1, 2001 5:29 pm

Awesome images

DSCN1188.jpg shows a 1''hose I presume running to the shower drain or is this a press wtr line?.

Does this drain to the aft bilge or a thru-hull and did you add this? Did the shower drain into the forward bilge?

I haven't run water thru mine yet for fear of adding moisture to the area around the Comp Post.

Sorry for twenty questions. You're images give me much more confidence to undertake such a project.

Thanks for taking the time and attention to detail.

Date: Sat Nov 3, 2001 7:14 am

The shower was draining into the forward bilge because the drain had fallen out of the shower floor. The 1" hose runs into the port lazarette to a water puppy pump mounted on the bulkhead behind the galley. This has a separate thru hull high up on the aft port topside. The water puppy is broken, but when I replace it, it appears to be an acceptable arrangement.

Silver Spray's New Cabin Sole
July 28, 2007