Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hatches in the floor/sole

Floor half width doesn't leave much room for an inspection hatch.
I've been managing to get an hours or so every day working on Tiki. Mostly nothing too exciting just installing stringers and stiffeners and many yards of fillets. I've gotten probably 90% of the fillets done. These include 1 inch radius fillets on each side of the bulkheads and 1/4" fillets on the tops of all the stringers and stiffeners.

I did get a little to zealous with fillets and made some where bunk supports will be installed:(

Next on the agenda is the Floor/Sole. The plans call for a solid floor permanently in place. The volume is then vented via small holes in the backbone and in BH4 and finally a hole with a 90 deg angle fitting in BH5. Then a hose brings the hose up near/above the waterline.

Problem is that I've seen Tikis with lower hull rot and I believe this is due to condensation that can collect in this "sealed" volume. There are about 4 layers of fiberglass on the exterior but in the interior there are many areas only covered by 2 coats of epoxy according to plans.

I don't like volumes that I can access and inspect so I'm thinking about couple flush hatches in the floor to allow annual inspection and to let the volume air out in the off season. Problem is the design. I'd like to be completely flush so feet or supplies won't catch on anything. And they need to be watertight.

Any ideas will be appreciated! Thanks


  1. I am with you, that I don't trust a "sealed" compartment to remain dry and prefer the option to inspect and ventilate. However, a well sealed hatch is important in the event of a hull breach! I have seen some flush Wharram designs in the Sea People magazines, so it might be worth dropping an email to Wharram designs. Other option is to ensure inspection possible to lowest part of hull from beneath berths or other structures and that might manage with a non-flush hatch cover.

    Good to see the build progressing again


  2. Hey Peter.
    I'm leaning towards keeping it on the simple side. Just two center line hatches recessed just like typical boat sole, but solid(no lift hole), screwed and caulked in place. I'll need to cruise through the mags and see. Thanks for the reference.

    Feels good to be doing some work, and at only an hour/day I don't feel too guilty about house projects!