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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Working with C4

No, not a new construction technique involving explosives...

C4 standing for "Cockpit Coaming Crap Compartments"

Whilst sailing in our little 28 footer the cockpit often accumulates various items such as winch handles, handheld GPS, handheld vhf, sunscreen, autopilot remote control, sailing gloves, and numerous half consumed bottles of water (the crap). The small boat has cutouts in both sides of the cockpit coaming (which is basically the "backrest" of where you sit) handy for storing these items. Close enough to throw stuff into and retrieve from without taking your hands off of the helm. The original Westsail 42 did not have any handy storage for this stuff in the cockpit area. So we added some. Two holes cut into the port side coaming and walled in from the underside. We elected not to do the starboard as it is above the "tunnel" to the aft cabin and may look odd from the inside. Besides the one port side compartment should be big enough.

Walled in with coosa board, glass and epoxy with the inside corners filleted with thickened epoxy, it passes the leak test (I tossed a gallon of water in there with no leaks into the engine room). The compartment is positioned to allow for winches (including electric winches), mounted on "top" of the coaming, fore and aft. The forward wall has a hole where a ventilator fan will be mounted to help keep the engine room cool.

Still To Do

  • strategically spot a drain hole or two (to the outside of the hull) to keep the compartment dry
  • sand and paint the inside. White? grey? something in between?
  • fabricate and fit removable "doors" to the compartment. Perhaps locking. I need to see what sorta hinge hardware is available


The Incredible Hull said...

1. Have a big drain hole even if you have to put a s/s vent cover on the outside to keep sea water from entering. If you have the rail buried that that much you should have reefed. The drain hole on TIH was constantly blocked and you could have grown mushrooms in the coaming, it had so much mud and grime.

2. Line the bottom with Dri-Dek to keep stuff dry.

3. Clean out regularly. I have never yet seen a cockpit coaming that was not full of cr@p, in various stages of decay.

4. Paint light gray. (I still mix white and gray Bilge Kote and it works for me)

Just MHO

robert said...

Thanks TIH, all good ideas. On the drain holes, I could have it drain directly to the side deck by going sideways, but that could allow water to backwash in on a wet port tack. Otherwise it will have to go down, to the side and overboard.