questions about self bailing deck in a small skiff

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by woodrat, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. woodrat
    Joined: May 2007
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    Location: Skamokawa, WA

    woodrat Junior Member

    I went to look at a 16' wooden skiff the other day to replace my cracked and failing aluminum one.

    The one that I am looking at is plywood construction, and seems pretty solid. It has a self bailing deck, which means that you are standing up pretty high in the hull. But I still like the self bailing deck idea, since I would be using this boat in the ocean sometimes. But what has me more concerned is the fact that in the forward part of the boat, it has a not perfectly tight hatch that opens into the area beneath the floor. This last winter, a storm took the tarp off of the boat, and some water leaked through this hatch and there is now a few inches of fresh water standing below deck. Things still appear pretty solid from what I can see down there. It looks like the wood down there had mostly been painted at one time, but much of it has peeled off over the years, so it is mostly bare plywood. There is a bilge pump below, too, and seawater valves for a live bait well, which I would be removing, since I would have no need of it.

    My question is how best would I go about drying this out and protecting the wood below deck, or is that even really necessary? Would it be a better idea in terms of caring for the wood to just cut out the self-bailing deck and dry and treat the inside of the hull somehow?

    I'm not that familiar with plywood in this situation. it looks and feels very solid everywhere, but I'm not sure how best to deal with the issue of water and moisture below decks in the long run.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Use a fan to dry the area below, but in addition to the hatch, cut a approx. 6" hole at the aft end and install an inspection plate. Position the fan to push air in the hatch and out the other opening.
    As regards the question of bare plywood, it might pay to spray some green Cuprinol into the bilge. this would help combat fungi and prevent rot taking hold.
    The problem with a self-bailing deck on a small boat is that while the sole is above the waterline, so is your own weight and that of every other thing you bring onboard.
    It's great for leaving the boat in the water, since no rainwater will collect inside. Safety at sea is a mixed bag. You've got an enclosed airspace, and if the boat turtles and is then righted, the water will all drain out. However, with the higher center of gravity, turning turtle is more likely to begin with.
    Still, my druthers, depending on the particular design (high sides are a plus), would be to have the self-bailing sole.
    The best solution (if you've got a raised sole) would be to be able to remove large inspection hatches to allow access to the under area.
     
  3. woodrat
    Joined: May 2007
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    Location: Skamokawa, WA

    woodrat Junior Member

    it actually has two 6" inspection plates near the stern, to allow access to the live bait well valves. I would be removing the bait well regardless, and thought about putting a hatch like this:

    [​IMG]

    into the stern area where the bait well comes out and another one to replace the funky plywood hatch up front.
     
  4. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Sounds like you have thought it through. Open opposite hatches in between uses if you can also. Fresh air will do wonders for the longevity of the hull. Especially where there's no coating on the plywood down there.
     
  5. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    If you don't buy that skiff, I want to! A problem I see is matching paint to cross between "Dawn Aqua Lime" and "Drama Queen Teal" - I recently had the same problem on my Audi TT and it is best to go to a professional... (If that live-well is sound, it has a value and you shouldn't trash it!)
     
  6. woodrat
    Joined: May 2007
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    Location: Skamokawa, WA

    woodrat Junior Member

    As soon as I can scrape up the money, I'll be buying this. I sure haven't seen anything else that would be a good fit for my Yamaha P60 for the price. Guy is asking $600 for this skiff with a functional trailer. It's the same length as my Valco, but way roomier and I think it will handle a little better than the Valco, too.

    I just wanted to make sure that I was on the right track for dealing with the bilge. There are a couple of other small repairs that it needs, and I might end up replacing the console with a different one, as this one has some rot in it.
     
  7. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    Good deal...I WAS kidding about the paint.
     

  8. woodrat
    Joined: May 2007
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    Location: Skamokawa, WA

    woodrat Junior Member

    yeah, that paint might be hard to match.... but gray goes with everything!
     
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