Footwell Complete

This one was big to me.  I wrestled with the questions over and over again.  It weighed heavily on my mind.  Can I, should I make a footwell?  How big?  Would I screw up my boat?  That is, my hard earned boat of the last 17 months of my life, boat.  Then there was the little voice in my head saying, can you really retro this footwell thing?  Should you cut a hole through the sole of a perfectly sound boat?  What bail out options would you have if it all went awry?  Answer:  Nothing…there is no bail out plan that I could think of.  Yet, I wanted one and I wanted one in a real way.  I believed in the concept, the benefits and seeming advantages and knew it would increase my comfort.  While sailing in Port Townsend, I never quite got comfortable in Shackleton.  Always shifting here and there, trying to find just the right sitting position, only to find out there really wasn’t a position I felt comfortable in for very long.  After sitting in Serenity, I knew a footwell was a must.

You’ve probably read the earlier post regarding the install.  Now I’m ready to show you the finished product.

DSC00416Oval caps epoxied in place with a good fillet surrounding them for a water tight fit.  Surroundings taped off and ready for paint.  I decided to paint over the oval caps to blend into the surrounding bulkhead and seat longitudinal.  DSC00417After lightly sanding all these areas, I was ready to apply the paint.DSC00630Here you see the floor with 2 heavy coats of high gloss spar varnish and 2 coats of paint to the surroundings.  The footwell is now complete.  I’m ready to move on to additional changes I wish to make.  Remember, there were 39 in total.  This was the most technical and difficult change of all.  Whew…glad it’s done.

I chose not to install a bailer of any sort.  I wanted my footwell to be very low tech, with no mechanicals to fiddle with.  Remember, I’m a simple guy…I want my boat very simple as well.  I’m convinced that by isolating the water into one location, I can bail it out very quickly.  I also wanted my floor unencumbered, clean and basic.  I’m looking forward to taking a bath, washing clothes or cleaning off my muddy shoes all in the footwell.  Sea trials to follow.  

Finishing Footwell and adding Stern Tow Eye

I’m always surprised how many steps it takes to complete a task, especially if you’re trying to do it right. The footwell has taken quite some time, but I’m happy to say I’m almost finished and I can feel it starting to give.

DSC00417The bottom piece (3/8″ Okoume) is finished with multiple coats of high gloss spar varnish after 3 coats of epoxy and a large fillet around the edges.  The two oval access holes that exist in bulkhead 6 were covered over using 3/8″ Okoume overlays.  I though about covering these from the back side of BH6 (I will be adding an access port to the back side of BH6) but decided to overlay the ovals on the front side of BH6 in oder to provide the strongest solution.  That way, if they got kicked really hard, there is no danger of them popping through.

I now need to remove the screws (used for clamping) from the ovals, fill with thickened epoxy and touch up paint all exposed edges/additions.  I’m very happy with how this is turning out.  If you want a footwell, my advise is to go for it.  

Now for the stern tow eye.

DSC00421While towing small water craft in Port Townsend, I realized I needed a better place to attach the tow line.  I was using the mast crutch off the stern to secure the line, but this was not ideal and awkward at best.  I first built a 4″ x 6″ backing block of 3/8″ Okoume.  I epoxied this block to the transom using the stern eye bolts as a clamping mechanism.

DSC00419The only logical place I could find to add this tow eye was on the Starboard side of the rudder, near the top of the transom for easy access from the cockpit.

I plan to use a carabiner to quickly attach and detach the tow line.  This will be much quicker and more secure than tying to the mast crutch (which I now plan to remove before launching).

I’m having more fun with my Scamp now than I ever have.  Making it mine is so much fun.  It just keeps getting better and better.  

Footwell, Part 2

With the sole cut away revealing the foot well, I needed to remove the paint in this area. DSC00417After 20 minutes with my orbital sander (80 grit), my hull looked like this.  DSC0041945 minutes later, the hull looked like this.DSC00420 I wanted to create an Old World look with the foot well.  I took a piece of 3/8″ Okoume plywood and routed small cuts 2.5″ apart to simulate planking.DSC00422Two coats of epoxy applied to top sides of panels (applied 8 hours apart).  I did not sand between coats.  This created a natural non-skid texture.  At this point, the back side of the panels are raw uncoated plywood.  I wet the back sides with un-thickened and then thickened epoxy when I installed the panels. DSC00416I used my ballast to weigh down the panels.  Once cured, I’ll create a large fillet to the edges, tying the panels to all surrounding bulkheads.  I’ll then finish with high gloss spar varnish.

Steps I took:

  1. Cut out the sole with jig saw.
  2. Cut the sole flush with the bulkhead cleating on the aft side BH 5 and the forward side of BH6 using a flush-cut router bit.
  3. Round over all edges.
  4. Remove bottom paint with scraper and orbital sander.
  5. Cut to fit hull doubler using 3/8″ plywood pieces (It requires two pieces, one piece won’t fit through the opening).
  6. Planed the back side edges of the panel pieces to fit over the existing fillet between the hull and bulkheads (this allows the panels to fit flat).
  7. Applied 2 coats of epoxy to the top side of panels.
  8. Applied wet epoxy to the back side of panels and the foot well.
  9. Spread thickened epoxy on both back side panels and foot well.
  10. Install and weight the panels.

Footwell, Part 1

While sailing with Sergei and Tyler in Port Townsend, I notice several things about Serenity that I liked.  One was the large footwell, the other was the Bimini.  I left the Palooza Crooza with several improvements on my mind.  The footwell and the Bimini were two changes I knew I wanted to incorporate.

Preston and I discussed the pro and cons and finalized our decision.  Shackleton would get a footwell…and a large one at that.

DSC00417You’ve got to think this one through for a while.  This is definitely a one way street.  After measuring and remeasuring, staring and scratching my chin, I got out the jig saw and made a cut.

DSC00418Located right behind the ballast tank area and running aft all the way to BH6.  I left quite a large edge near the seat longitudinals to serve as a foot rest.


I plan to add support to the existing hull to stiffen this area and add two round access hatches to the BH6-BH7 storage area.  All this while not getting in the way of the prime real estate located between BH6 & BH7 that we utilize while standing to sail Shackleton.


Why so large?  Well, have you met Preston and Bennett, my two sons?  This should answer your question.  Also Sergei had very positive things to say about Serentiy’s full size footwell.  It preformed admiral during their capsize testing.  Finally, if your going to open it up, why not gets some room in the process.  Others prefer a small foot well, but after looking at Serenity, I knew I landed in the large footwell camp.