Cabin Sole

Project Logs

September 24th, 2011

Major construction of the cabin sole is complete.  What a great feeling to be able to walk in the boat and get a feel for what the headroom will be.  Not only the head room, but also all the areas of the boat which are greatly affected by the location of the cabin sole.  I’ve uploaded images of all how the construction looks.  At this point, I will be waiting to install the final teak overlay until all boat construction and painting is complete.  When I have more time I will update the project logs with specific images and descriptions of how the cabin sole came together and what the challenges were for completing this project.

August 2nd, 2011

Work continues on the cabin sole.  The latest development is that the “upper cabin sole” (the slightly raised area between the navigation station and galley) has been fiberglassed into place.  This allows for some finishing work on the diesel tank lids as well as the drip pan.

The drip pan isn’t mentioned much in my research and I don’t know if I will really have much more to say on this topic other than what I write here.  If you’re not already aware, a drip pan (as I call it) is at installed at the bottom of the companionway stairs to catch the worst drips and drops as crew members enter and exit the cabin.  Here are some of the benefits of drip pans in general, plus the special features of my drip pan:

Originally, I was going to construct my drip pan with a mold and make it removable, granting me access to the area below.  However, as the cabin sole came into being, I realized the space below a removable pan was negligible.  Further, creating one of these in a mold would require more time and I needed cabin sole support.  My answer was to use pour foam to create the general mass, and carve the foam to shape accordingly.  The basic construction method for my drip pan was as follows:
  1. Install PVC drainage in thickened epoxy (these drains will drain the bilge area forward of the drip pan).
  2. Build mold for pour foam, then pour foam
  3. Carve pour foam into preferred shape.  Be sure to create runways for locker drainage as well as a slope to drain directly to the pre-installed
  4. Install Baltek cloth on all sides and sole of the drip pan.  The runways draining the lockers were given 1708 biax cloth.
  5. Install “upper sole” (more on these steps here –
  6. Fair Baltek and runways
  7. Paint
At this point, I will need to do some final sanding and fairing, then the drip pan will be ready for paint.

This previous weekend I thought I was ready to install the lower cabin sole, however after getting in place I realized I needed more support of the cabin sole in the middle of the boat.  The solution for this was to pour foam around the forward diesel tank lid and build up flanges for the access hatch and the cabin sole to rest on.

One design element of the cabin sole installation has been the drainage for the settee, galley and navigation station lockers.  I wanted to give them all direct drainage into the bilge, so for each drainage point, a notch had to be cut out of the cabin sole for drainage of these lockers.  I will post more images of how the drainage channels will work in the near future, but for now, here’s an image of the ‘notch’ I’m referring to:

This notch will allow for drainage from the port & starboard settees to drain into the bilge. It will be coated with several coats of epoxy and fiberglass.

July 25th, 2011

This weekend I worked to build the foundation fot the cabin sole.  I finished up work on the above-sump support for the cabin sole as well as the slightly raised cabin sole area between the galley and navigation station.  I’ve also foamed the area for the new drip pan that will be placed at the bottom of the companionway ladder.  I’ve decided to use foam here as well so I could easily carve the drip pan to a design that would allow it to drain, as well as accept drainage from the nearby lockers.

July 14th, 2011

This weekend I hope to begin construction of the cabin sole.  With the diesel tank in place, I will now be able to glass sole stringers on top of the tank, making way for the cabin sole to placed on top.  Keep an eye out for this area to get updated in the near future with images and more project logs on how the process goes.


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