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Still Finishing!

I have been having so much fun playing with the Cabin Skiff it has been hard for me to force myself to stop long enough to finish it.  I really needed to get it painted as the "urban camouflage" paint job didn't do it justice.  Sitting on the trailer it is too high to roll back in the shop or my garage with std 8' doors. Or at least I thought.  I finally realized if I removed the anchor light and lowered the tire pressure to about 5  lb. it would just clear clear. 

In advance of shoving it in the garage I dropped it in the water and and used masking tape to mark the water line.  I decided to use "Electric Blue" Easypoxy for the hull side and it would run down to about an inch from the water line. Also it will be used as trim around the cabin roof.  A "Pearl Gray" stripe was added at the top of the bulwark. If you are interested in my experience applying Easypoxy just click here.

With the paint done I proceeded to add other items.  First was the carpet.  I had decided I really wanted carpet rather than a painted finish.  It runs not only on the sole and berth floor but up the sides of the hull and stops at the shear.  One of the main reasons for this was to to cover the rough epoxy used to encapsulate the sole and hull sides.  If I was going to paint I would need to sand these smooth and because of my allergic reaction to the epoxy I felt it was prudent not to sand any more than I could help.  Plus the carpet does give it a nice look.

With the carpet installed I then added the berth doors and lid.  I was afraid that I might have a problem with these rattling from engine vibration and had taken the time to add an adjustable block on the lid so when it was closed it held the doors firmly shut.  It works well and I have no rattles.

As I mentioned before I have been a bit annoyed at the noise level in the cabin. While cruising one day I placed my wife at the helm and walked back towards the outboard.  I noticed that standing the noise level was greatly reduced.  Interesting!  I bent down and was surprised that there was a definite horizontal point where the noise level increased.  I reached over and picked up the throwable cushion and placed it in front of the engine.  My wife immediately looked backed and asked what I had done.  It cut the noise level in the cockpit in half!

As I continued to experiment I found that the bulk of the noise was coming from the lower section of the engine - below the hood line.  Simply standing the cushion on edge in the splashwell and leaning it against the engine greatly deadened the sound.  Although this is a workable solution it is fairly crude.  I had been toying with the idea of adding a piece of 3/4" plywood 12" wide to the forward section of the splashwell. 

The thought behind this was to actually create a "sundeck" where you could stretch out across it and the two storage lid covers between the bulkhead and transom.  I had planned to hinge this so it would swing up out of the way for access to the fuel bulb and cables.  But it occurred to me if I would add a leg that would prop this open while under way it could also serve as a sound deflector.

Before I went to the trouble of painting it I decided to leave it bare and test out the concept on my next outing.  The picture shows it in this unpainted state. I can report that it worked very well.  I think once I paint it I may add a scrap of carpet to the underside to help absorb more sound.  But it is definitely something I am going to include on the finished CS.  It really reduced the noise level in the cockpit.

Another item was to add a small swim platform on the transom.  Here in Illinois it gets hot and humid during the summer and we often stop for a quick dip to cool off.  I am not getting any younger and needed an easy way to get in and out of the water.

I also have added fuel to the built-in tanks for the first time.  According to my calculations when building the tanks they should have held about 30 gallon.  When I filled them the actual amount was 31 gallon so I wasn't to far off.  With only me in the boat it handled the additional weight with no problem.  I did need more trim but still could get it where I needed it.  Top speed seemed to be unaffected but you could tell the transom was deeper in the water at cruise.  There was also more spray coming up the side of the hull and would actually wet the rear sidedecks a little. 

I am just about sure the extra weight is going to affect my fuel economy but how much is the question. I planned on checking it but I some how got the calibration on the fuel flow gauge all messed up.  I had be trying to adjust it with the 6.6 gallon portable tank but I think the sampling was just too small.  With the tanks full it was showing about 7 MPG at 24 MPH.  I new this was wrong (at least I hoped it was!).  The addition of 180 or so pounds will reduce the MPG I am sure but not that much.  I decided to run the whole 31 gallon out and use the readings to re-calibrate the gauge.  Sure enough - when it finally ran out of gas (had the portable along to get me home) it showed that I had used 40 gallon out of a 31 gallon tank.  I reset it with the right numbers and it is back up to about 9.6 MPG at 26 MPH.  I now need to refill it and get some accurate numbers.

Photo of instrument panel

Photo of cabin

Photo of footrest in front of seats