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.
Oval 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. After lightly sanding all these areas, I was ready to apply the paint.Here 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.