Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

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Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby Windtherapy » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:34 pm

Some might think I am nuts but I have to ask because I swear I see other DS1's on the internet that have done this. Has anybody cut their teak (or mahogany) down to the coaming edge so it doesn't stick up 2-3 inches? I ask because it's just an accident waiting to happen where some one will not step high enough over it and fall or worse, knock the wood off or bust it up (ha ha). I have seen a few DS1's with it cut flush with the side deck so I was just wondering. Actually I have seen some DS1's that are missing it all together so either they removed it or it got damaged and the owner or PO didn't replace it.
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby GreenLake » Sun Oct 09, 2016 3:55 am

I disagree with the "accident waiting to happen".

I agree that some boats have decks more conducive to hiking, but I've never felt this was a reason to cut down the coamings.

I've purchased closed-cell foam blocks that are effectively the same height as the coaming. They are very comfortable to sit on and have lasted without cover for a number of years already.

Even so, many a times I just "sit out" on the deck (not fully hiking) and on those occasions, I somehow always seem to be able to find a spot I can sit on even without cushions :) . (I usually turn forward a bit).

I think it's a shame to cut down these coamings, personally, the wood they used in the original ones is getting rare; it may soon not be possible to find like for like replacement. (Also, if you cruise and don't just go on short races, you might like the way the coamings keep some water out of the cockpit).

The one thing you absolutely do not want to do is to remove them completely. They are needed to support the side decks structurally. One guy who posted here found a compromise: he simply lowered the coamings.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby Windtherapy » Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:21 am

Glad I asked. That would be a nice idea possibly to just lower them an inch or so. I have the winter months in my pole barn to think all this over. I have to build new sole boards because the PO to the last PO just built them out of pine planks. I just finished installing all new LED trailer lights and complete wiring, a new winch, built a boom crutch, installed trailer tongue pop up wheel and a bunch of other little stuff. Il be ordering new sails this winter for sure. Going out today Probably for the last time seeing how today's high will only be 60...last nights low was 40 and tonight is 37. Wish I would have purchased this day sailer in April.

Thanks again for the reply.
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby Baysailer » Sun Oct 09, 2016 4:15 pm

I didn't cut mine but did lower them a little bit. I did have to cut the tail piece a little but it was broke anyway. It is a lot better for sitting on the rail and hiking. You do want the coamings to be a little bit higher than the deck so that water will shed off. Without them water will con across the foredeck past the cuddy and into the cockpit.
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby welderr » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:22 pm

For the most part my wood is in pretty good shape only in the stern where the pieces come together do I have a little rot I plan on pulling the trim shortly and see if I can dig the soft stuff out and fill it back in with epoxy . On the sides however I have considered making a ledge of sorts on the outside of the wood about 2 inches wide for support for my backside and to keep the wood from breaking at the attachment points if I lean to hard on it. T J
1970 DS-1 #4210 Saskia
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby GreenLake » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:22 pm

@welderr: there's some "invisible" wood on the DS1 as well. The screws that hold the wooden coamings (cockpit trim) go into "carlins" that sit (lightly encased in fiberglass) under the side decks. If you have spots of rot in the (exposed) coamings you should definitely check for dry-rot in the carlins (take off the coamings and explore how firm the wood is around the screw holes). The carlins can be replaced by any rot-resistant hardwood (search for wood species considered suitable for marine use). Or, if the condition isn't too advanced, you could try some temporary measures (see the RotFix kit from SystemThree for example).

I've found the coamings amazingly strong for their apparent thinness, and, unless yours have been weakened somehow, I can't imagine the need to add any supports.

There are two additional pieces of hidden wood that could usefully be inspected for rot: one supports the middle of the foredeck and anchors the foredeck cleat. I don't recall it being encased on my boat, so it should be (relatively) easy to verify its condition, or to replace it. The other reinforces the transom, and water leaks from fittings (such as the rudder gudgeons) are a concern.

Other members of the forum have reported their process for, and success in replacing any of these "invisible" pieces of wood. However, you will have to read the earlier threads in the "DS I Only" or the "Repairs and Improvement" going back a few years to find them.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby jeadstx » Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:14 am

I plan to keep my coamings intact on my DS I and go with Greenlake's suggestion for pads to use when hiking. As Greenlake mentioned, the mahogany the original coamings are made from are getting rare and hard to replace. I need to build new floor boards for my boat and was fortunate to get the floorboards from a wrecked 1965 O'Day Mariner to use in the construction.

As far as replacing the carlins, there was a discussion recently on the Mariner Class Assoc. forum concerning the use of hardwoods to use on boats. The recommendation was to avoid the use of red oak as it is prone to rot due to the fiber structure absorbing water easily and causing rot.

John
1976 Day Sailer II, #8075 - Completed the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Texas 200
1952 Beetle Boat Swan Catboat
Early Rhodes 19
1973 Mariner 2+2, #2607 - Completed 2014, 2015 and 2016 Texas 200
1969 Day Sailer I, #3229
Fleet 135; Canyon Lake, Texas
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby GreenLake » Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:00 am

I've also heard that red oak is not recommended. Although, if you can thoroughly seal any wood in epoxy (all six sides and all screw holes) you've eliminated water access and the sensitivity to being exposed to moisture should be less of a factor.

The carlins are not straight pieces of wood, so you's need something that's not too tough to accept a bit of a bend.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby welderr » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:53 am

The pieces I plan on making are more for a ledge to sit on than support for the wood , I haven't had this boat in the water yet and will have to see how much hiking I do . If I don't get some rain in my area soon its not going the see much water the reservoir is so low now that it would be impossible to launch, I was last out a month ago in my Sunfish and it was a bear getting that on and off the trailer. T J
1970 DS-1 #4210 Saskia
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby GreenLake » Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:21 am

I just went to a place specializing in foam and bought two lengths of closed-cell foam roughly the height of the coamings and the width of the side deck. These have served me well on longer outings. (Originally I was going to find a way to cover and secure them in place, instead I simply tied a lanyard around the middle in case they get knocked overboard). For shorter excursions or casual races, I often do not even bother, but I must say, that our usual conditions tend to be more moderate, so extreme hiking is not the order of the day.

If you haven't taken out your boat yet at all, I would definitely suggest you might want to wait until you've had a bit of first hand experience about how your boat before deciding on modifications. Unless, of course, you've sailed on someone else's DS before.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby jeadstx » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:08 am

I was thinking (if they are still made) about using something like the "life belts" I used to use when sailing in the 70''s. I also have several old orange life jackets I don't use I thought about making pads out of since they already have a covering on them. Make a section from them, sew up the end, maybe add Velcro to hold it to the deck when needed. I guess boat cushions could be modified as well.

John
1976 Day Sailer II, #8075 - Completed the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Texas 200
1952 Beetle Boat Swan Catboat
Early Rhodes 19
1973 Mariner 2+2, #2607 - Completed 2014, 2015 and 2016 Texas 200
1969 Day Sailer I, #3229
Fleet 135; Canyon Lake, Texas
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby K.C. Walker » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:09 pm

I moved the original Philippine mahogany coamings down flush with the side deck for hiking comfort. I rounded the edge but still found it uncomfortable… so I adhered 1 inch thick mini cell foam to the side decks and now it's really comfortable. Actually, the original Philippine mahogany on my boat is/was considered a low-grade mahogany. I know that some of the earlier boats had teak, which is much nicer. I also made a mini cell foam coaming to direct the water that comes over the front deck and around the cuddy over the side. I figured it would be less likely to be a tripping hazard than a hard one.

I like to sail in conditions where hiking is necessary and this made the experience far more pleasurable. At this point it's actually more comfortable than sitting in on the hard seats.… I need to get some foam on the seats!

I did want to keep the full height of the coaming because it helps keep the boat stiff (my theory) and I've gone to extremes to get the boat stiff and responsive.… with no regrets. Though, most of the racing boat fleet simply cuts the coaming flush with the deck and they don't seem to have any problems. If it's not 100% of the racing fleet, it's probably close to it, at least in the DS 1 boats. As far as I can tell, this has no effect on the value of the boats. After all, the racing boats are probably some of the most valuable DS boats.… And none of these boats are particularly valuable in the whole scope of yachting. Some people like the looks of the coaming and some people like the practicality of having it flush with the deck.
KC Walker, DS 1 #7002
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby spoke36 » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:41 pm

I have made new coaming out of 1x8 red cedar for the sides and 1x6 red cedar for the transom. It looks good now but has not been "sea trial tested" or time tested. The side pieces were 8 feet long; I did a free hand taper from the front to match the 1x6 used in the back. The back piece was under 5 feet but I purchased a 6 foot piece which I fitted after the sides were in place. The wood cost about $50 in the summer of 2019. I had to sand the wood with a belt sander on the rough side and where the saber caw cuts were made. I stained the wood with a clear stain/sealer and then used Epifane (a UV-resistant varnish). I spread the sides with boards and clamps to keep the new coaming in place. I used 2 inch stainless #8 screws at 12 inch intervals to hold the new coaming in place. I put the plastic sealing pieces in place -- on starboard with a glue/sealer like 4400 and did not use any glue/sealer on port - just compression from the screws.

I am looking for suggestions for making floor boards. The wood for the coaming and floor boards all rotted. From the forums, it seems to have been Philippine mahogany. Has anyone tried an inexpensive wood and, if so, can share the measurements and any construction hints?

What are the pros and cons of having floor boards? Appearance? Safety?
Attachments
New Combing.JPG
New coaming in place for Day Sailer 1
New Combing.JPG (48.66 KiB) Viewed 477 times
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby jalmeida51 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:20 am

On my DaySailer1 the p.o. replaced the original coamings with 5/8 mahogany cut even with the side decks. I find it very comfortable when sitting on the rail. In fact it is more comfortable than using the seats. He also removed the floor boards. I painted the hull floor with Petit non-skid which works well. The only advantage is the floor boards look nice when they are varnished and it keeps your stuff dry in the cuddy. To me it means it is something else to maintain.
.
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby GreenLake » Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:02 pm

The problem with inexpensive wood for floorboards would be the water-resistance, or lack of it. Anytime the boat ships some water, the boards sit in it. First thing to consider is whether to make the cross-pieces that rest on the hull from something like manufactured decking material. The actual boards would then only sit in water when there is a lot of it in the boat. (Even when you are reasonably diligent, that is bound to happen sooner or later).

In the footwell, the floorboards would distribute pressure of someone standing in the boat, particularly while rigging it on land. Not having them gives more room for your legs (depends on your size, how much that matters) but you can end up with wet feet. For winter sailing, where that would be most annoying, I use sailing boots. In other seasons, it may not be that critical (and while standing water will happen, it is a bit an infrequent problem, esp. in substantial enough amounts)

In the cuddy, this is a different story. Unless all your gear is in dry bags, even a little water will soak it. The floorboards make a nice platform there.

Now, I have a set of very nice floorboards, but I took them out to refinish them (a while back) and then my friends insisted I leave them out when racing my boat - even though what we race in isn't all that competitive. The lack of a forward platform proved annoying rather quickly (everyone always brings loose jackets etc) and I simply put a piece of plywood across the space between mast and CB. The rear end is wider, so I screwed some short stubs of 1x1 to each corner using long screws. I left the screws loose, so the 1x1 tilts against the hull; surprisingly effective.

Like all successful jury rigs, this has stood the test of time: I haven't found anything better, and the original floor boards are still in the middle of being refinished.

For your coamings, you'll want to keep them well protected; oiled or varnished regularly and kept out of sun&rain when not used. Special attention is needed where they are bolted to the boat; in my experience, even with the little vinyl strip, that's the the kind area most prone to rot when wood is exposed.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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