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Odduck

Sep 25, 201303:51 PM

Odduck: Adventures in Boat Restoration

Moving Forward in Fits and Starts

(page 2 of 2)

The real problem was what to do with the entrance to the cabin. That forward wall had been whacked, and nowhere could I find a picture or anyone who could describe how it was. Part of that conundrum was there are three doors leading into the cabin. Along the port wall, there is a bi-fold teak door about 19 inches wide that reaches down to about 17 and 1/2 inches from the floor. Next to it and hinged on the other side, is a shorter single door that reaches down to about 28 inches from the floor.

That means the cabin box has two levels. From the cockpit you have to step up that 17 and 1/2 inches to walk forward to the cabin then step back down when you enter it. To reach the helm, you step up again, so the flooring there is about 27 and 1/2 inches off the cockpit floor. That means that where you place your head, you have about 26 inches clearance while your feet have about 16. It is an odd layout but could be a great nook for grandkids.

Odduck FramingFraming all that, without any guidelines except what I thought would work, was timely and frustrating. I must have re-engineered and designed it umpteen times, and each effort was revised when I saw or realized something I had missed as I was constructing the frames.

Part of that, of course, is that boats are not square. The top of the gunnels don't line up with the hull at the base, etc. At one point, I brought on board another experienced boater who is now a surveyor and has best advice was “that I could do what I wanted.” The problem was that I wasn't sure I could build what I wanted and not get to the end and discover several obstacles I hadn't planned for.

All this led to a serious confidence crisis. I am pretty good at doing things once I get a clear plan, but getting to that point is more difficult for me.

After drawing and re-drawing, building and taking apart numerous frames, experimenting with plywood along with the 2x2s, I developed what I think is a final mock-up. The last piece of the puzzle is still elusive, as I can't locate a source for purchasing a reasonably priced large horizontal sliding window for the aft wall. So, that framing is still undetermined.

I have decided against using aluminum but instead will use a combination of 1/2-inch plywood and 2x2s. Now, I am trying to determine what size and how many cross braces I need to carry the 50-inch span that will hold the 3/4-inch plywood that will hold two helm seats. A major factor is that I want to maximize headroom, so what material and what spacing would best support the 3/4-inch plywood that will be the base for the two helm chairs?

All this would be a lot easier if I knew what I was doing.

Late note: After I got to this point, I received an email from my contact person at Crestliner, who informed me he was trying to connect me with a man whose family had the factory rebuild his mid-cabin as a gift while he was out of the country.

Seeing one of these boats, of which few were built, and possibly getting on one or talking to the owner could be a huge benefit while I try to assemble a jigsaw puzzle that has a whole lot of missing pieces.

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About This Blog

Follow longtime HeartLand Boating contributor Gary Kramer on his latest undertaking: rebuilding a 1987, 24-foot, aluminum Crestliner Sabre Mid-Cabin Day Cruiser from the hull up.

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