Altamira – Aft Cabin Work February Update

The month is nearly gone, and the Kent Narrows weather has not been good. Not extremely cold, but an abundance of snow and freezing precipitation with temperatures right at freezing has kept the piers and the boat decks covered with ice much of the month. Kept me off the boat a lot – there is mostly no one nearby to help should you fall overboard.

Since the last post, port and starboard aft cabin cabinets and a section of the cabin floor between two floor timbers have been removed in preparation for the construction and installation of the new laminated floor timber that will support the new bulkhead.

This is the starboard side. Visible is the rudder post, the starboard longitudinal stringers, and the existing floor timbers. The new floor stringer will be sistered to the forward face of the aft existing floor timber (painted white), and will be built up to the level of the cabin floor all the way across the cabin. The existing cabin floor pieces will be trimmed and reinstalled.

The port side of the space between the existing floor timbers has a loose iron chips ballast compartment. This compartment will be opened, chips shoveled out to make space for the new timber, and replaced and recovered.

Loose iron chips ballast compartment detail

After the epoxy used for the new floor timber laminations is fully cured, jacking the molded fiberglass (above deck) aft cabin structure and the cockpit deck back into place will begin. There will be seven jacking points across the beam of the boat.

For planning, the center will be raised 1 1/2 inches, the lifts outwards of center, proportionately less. When the lift is sufficient to insure that the cockpit hatch gutters drain to the aft and rain water does not pool on the deck, the lift will stop and the new bulkhead will be built across the aft cabin through the seven lift points. I plan to jack up no more than 1/4 inch each lift – over several weeks time. The cockpit lazarette will gain about 14 inches in length fore and aft (between the transom and the new bulkhead), and the aft cabin will lose 14 inches of length.

The aft cabin center line queen-size berth is no longer practical because of the cabin length reduction, but a single berth port side and a slightly shorter single berth starboard side will work. Good news is the aft cabin head (starboard) and hanging locker ((port) will be used unmodified. Bad news – the cabinet/drawer units now located where the berths will go (see previous post photos) will be removed and (most of them) reworked into the space on the new aft bulkhead between the berths. The fresh water tanks (previously located side by side under the center line berth) will fit fine, one under each berth. The fore and aft spacing of the tanks in the new locations will be the same as before – no change to the boat’s fore and aft trim. The 3Kw inverter and the 12 golf cart batteries will be in the lazarette – an improvement over their old location.

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