Flooring for boat building shed/tent

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by xellz, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. xellz
    Joined: Jul 2017
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    Location: Japan

    xellz Junior Member

    I can't get definite answer on boat building location and time when i want to start is getting closer. I'm thinking of making my own place, currently looking through few solutions temporary or permanent. For one boat only, not planning to make more. Problem is, i'm living on island and concrete will cost at least 4 times more than on mainland, probably over 500-600$ per cubic m. If possible i would like solution that is cheaper and easier to transport by ferry. For example would concrete tiles suitable for my project? Maybe i can find recycled ones at cheap price. I want enough space to work on 2 hulls at same time for 30ft catamaran.
     
  2. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Concrete tiles sound a bit slippy and rough by themselves, but if you smashed them up with a sledgehammer, to make 3-4 cm granules, that might work.

    The quickest and cheapest solution I have seen is gravel or crushed rock. It self levels, is non-slip, and all the sawducts, fibreglass sandings, water and stuff all fall down between the gaps, and you don't even need to sweep. Perhaps a hose down every now and then.

    Where you need a level and solid support, just drive a star picket into the ground underneath, or cast a small block of concrete manually.
     
  3. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Lots to consider. Is it going to be rainy on the site? The best temporary solution is to build a wood platform over gravel, but you can lay stones and skip gravel with more work. 2x6s on edge with 3/4" plywood is best. The platform is built inside the tent, so water rolls off the tent walls and not onto the platform, and the gravel is best because muddy water tends to cause the platform to start to settle and move/rot over time. Concrete is overkill. You can add gravel or level out dirt and build a platform and then your process will dictate the total space needs; even how much platform you need. I am building a 32' cat with vacuum table and my space is 24' wide by 36' long. It could NOT be much smaller. For my build, I have 12'9" headroom; an absolute minimum really as my hulls need lifting out of the frameset with a gantry and hoists. I can only build one hull at a time and next week Hull#1 is going outside under a cover for storage so we can build Hull2. The build I am doing uses a female frameset, a space for the hull flipped and the vac table. On the width, I could probably get by with 2' less is all. Zero on the length and I could use 3' more headroom for my build. For you 34' minimum length for a 30 foot hull, but 38' would be a real minimum to walk around both ends easier. The benefit to a platform greatly depends on the type of build. I could elaborate more, but for example, everyday now I am working on the bottom of Hull#1. I need to push the boat from side to side to allow space for the work. On gravel; it would be very difficult-near impossible, for example. I store a lot of items under my vac table. If your items are subject to any water from rains during your 1-5 year build time; you'd end up with garbage if there was a big rainstorm. Some of your items will need to be kept in a heated cabinet; epoxy can't be in wide temp swings. So, some mixture of just gravel and wood platform would be best. And it does greatly depend on build method, so keep that in mind. Also, here, I am in a climate where epoxy cannot cure and I cannot work. Yesterday it was 1F. We are in a heated building. Epoxies cure very poorly in the cold, so you need to consider heat in the structure as needed, too. If you need heat; you can build a small heat room that would be say a forced air furnace with an open plenum blasting into the workspace; lpg perhaps? Then when you are gone, you could turn the heat down to a minimum and keep the epoxy stored in heated cabinet. Fiberglass cannot get wet, nor can ply... The crudest platform of shipping pallets can work, but is needed.
     
  4. Nick.K
    Joined: May 2011
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    Location: Ireland

    Nick.K Senior Member

    Very good!
    I've done a lot of work in a tent with a crushed rock floor, I agree, it can make a good surface but perhaps not at first. It can be really annoying when you drop something small (driver tips, expensive A4 screws etc) and it instantly disappears forever.

    I designed myself a fantasy build shed (fantasy project too - for now) using two shipping containers set down about 4m apart. The roof would be tarps over pipe arches going to the outer faces of the containers so that the container roofs would be both a work area and access to the boat deck. In hot weather or extremely dusty or fumy work the tarps could be pulled back. One container would be secure clean dry storage, the other would be a workshop with doors cut in to the side for access to the centre area. Temperature, humidity and air movement could all be controlled in the container if necessary. Chain hoists on one or two steel joists bridging the containers would serve most of my lifting needs and could be moved as necessary.
     
  5. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    A dirt floor works fine. It actually has some advantages, like being able to hammer stakes into it.
     
  6. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    Dirt can work if you have the grade to avoid the rains.
     
  7. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    I find dirt = dust on the timber and bright work, or heavy muddy boots, especially if you wet and dry sand.
     
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  8. xellz
    Joined: Jul 2017
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    Location: Japan

    xellz Junior Member

    Thanks for advice, seems it's a lot simpler than i thought. Just in case, attached photo of location for shed. Heavy rain in the beginning of summer and strong typhoons at the end, this i have to include in planning. Strong enough tent most likely will be in similar price range as permanent solution. I thought about making base from ready concrete blocks for sheds, have to mix only relatively small amount of concrete myself this way. Build frame from 10x10cm and 10x5cm timber, cover in polycarbonate sheets, maybe transparent ones for extra light? They do have protective uv layer, but wonder if it can have some negative effect on work process. This type of shed is well tested here and is strong enough to withstand local rainy and typhoon seasons.
     

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  9. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    based on your picture, I'd do it one of two ways

    Labor method
    Level the grade where you intend to build and build a drainage system around it. That picture shows lots of gravel and rubble. If you dig a small ditch all the way around the site and the water can go somewhere other than the building; you'd be okay. Then you just build a small platform to keep tools and a worktable on. You will need a scratch minimum of 20' for the Jazz build on width and 34' min on length. The ditches would be outside that area. The table you'd build on sawhorses, but probably some pallets and plywood underneath to keep things off the ground, I'd say 10 sheets of plywood, call it 400 bucks.

    -or-

    Capital method
    Build a wood platform from 35x150mm lumber on edge with ply atop; using nominal dimensions; you would build it 24 wide by 32 long and you'd need 24 sheets of plywood, plus some for a table, you still need to level the grade - that plywood around here costs about 25 bucks a sheet, so you'd be around 1500-2000 in materials for the base

    At my age and poor hips, I have no choice but to make a flat floor.

    The good news on the labor method is you could start the grade work any time you wanted and it'd be a free step to see if you are serious.
     
  10. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The cheapest and most effective temporary floor is roll roofing material. It can be applied quickly over a roughly graded area, though the more level you get it, the better and you can still drive stakes, put down plywood or other heavy items. If it was me, I'd put down plywood under the area that will receive the boat, with roll roofing around the perimeter, if only to save costs.
     
    hoytedow and fallguy like this.

  11. xellz
    Joined: Jul 2017
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    Location: Japan

    xellz Junior Member

    I'll probably go with this, at the end of month can borrow excavator to level area for shed, currently quite noticeable slope. Perhaps can get a truck or two of gravel that was used for temporary filling for free.
     
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