Floorboards, Pt.2

In the last post I described what I am going for and how I made sure I had enough sq.ft. of board coverage (length and width). For how I want my sole to look and lay out, there was not enough area with the boards that were included in the kit.

To get more coverage, I added 4 extra full length oak boards from the local box store. However, that addition required that I reduce the width of the boards so I calculated my total width needed and got my individual board widths from that.

Now that I know I have enough coverage and my board widths are cut correctly, my next goal is to lay down a batten so I can scribe a fair curve fore to aft by which I can trim the boards. But before I lay down the batten, the boards have to lay relatively flat. To get there I will make a bunch of incremental rough cuts, each time coming closer to the board laying flat.

**I’m trying to get the boards to lay flat enough for the batten while trimming off as little as I possibly can. I want that final trimming to be based on the fair curve of the batten.**

To start, I go ahead and temporarily screw down the full length boards. For the width I cut my boards, this is 4 boards on each side of the centerboard trunk. I am going to do one side at a time, not both sides at once.

Rough Cuts

I’ll start with 2 boards at a time. Will plan on making several incremental cuts. Goal is to get the boards to lay almost flat but with plenty of excess to be removed with precision later.

And now I’ll mark and cut again…

(Not showing pics, but I’m simultaneously making similar cuts at the aft end of the boards)

Dealing with only a couple of boards at a time makes it easier to make judgements on these cuts.

Scribing the fair curve

Continuing this process I finally got all boards on the port side to lay pretty much flat. Flat enough to bring out the batten. You might note that pictures above are the starboard side. I forgot to get pictures on the port side. But after using the batten to draw the line and trimming to the line, here is a shot of the port side boards…

Now to the starboard side. Same process, except when it came time to lay the batten I first made a paper template of the port side. I then made sure I laid my starboard batten to match this template so the sides would be symmetrical. Frankly, once the cabin is enclosed I’m not sure how you could possibly tell if the sides didn’t match exactly. But…

I’m really happy with the way the cuts all turned out.

And a few more good shots…

Minding the gap

I envisioned a perfectly uniform 1/4″ gap between the edge of the floorboards and the hull bottoms. I didn’t get it. But it’s nice looking and will do. The largest opening is port side at the fore where I guess I could lose a pencil if it falls just right.


Before heading to the bench for roundovers, sanding and oiling, I removed the boards (again) and worked on shimming up where needed so that all is level. While I’m working on prettying up the boards I’ll glue the shims to the floors and seal with some epoxy.

Tool Suggestion

There are a couple of spots under bulkhead #7 where you can’t really get to the screws with a power drill. There are these 90 deg. angle extensions you can buy, but I bought a long flex adapter instead. This worked great for getting under BH7 but I ended up using it for the rest of the screws as it kept me from bending over so much. Also, the bit receptacle is magnetic so switching back and forth between drill bit and screw bit was quick and easy.


Prep and paint the bilge. Run electrical conduit. Finish floorboards (including access hatches) and install.

I’m right at 17 months so far.

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