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View Full Version : Shantyboat design question-condensation, floor plan



wallacethegreenmonster
12-23-2015, 07:14 PM
Hello and Happy Holidays to everyone on here. I am thinking of starting a shantyboat after a lot of mulling. I have a very simple scow design drawn up that is about 27 feet long and 8 feet wide(so it could be trailered). When I look at plans for some of the Glen-L boats like the waterlodge I see that the cabin floor is right at the level of the boat bottom. Won't this cause the floor to always be wet? I am thinking of making my scow with 4x4 butt blocks and mounting the floor on top of that with some sort of foam underneath it, all removable at the end of the season as moisture will inevitably get in there even if there is a roof. Now is an air gap of 3.5 inches enough to prevent a wet floor from condensation? I haven't found this question asked on the forum threads despite a good search I think. Thanks a lot, WGM

boat fan
12-23-2015, 09:57 PM
An open single layer floor will always dry out better and faster than any other.

Floor boards spaced slightly apart above the bottom should be good.

Why the foam?

Ian McColgin
12-23-2015, 10:12 PM
Are you planning to make it so it will leak? Serious question since there are no through hulls and since it should be easy to make the roof and cabin sides not leak . . .

You likely will have some inside transverse and perhaps longitudinal framing against the bottom so some sort of floorboards or decking are on. The problem with the gap approach is that you'll be getting dust and such in the bilge. I'd make them of plywood with most or even all laid down, not screwed. Depending on the structural framing, you might need to add a bit to keep the decking from flexing. No need for fancy fittings - a finger hole for lifting will do. Just be sure there's some sort of marking, maybe painted on the underside and matching number painted on the bottom, as to where each panel goes. Otherwise you'll have a huge pain.

You will want limber holes under the framing to make annual clean out easy.

You'll also want to CPES seal the inside ply and framing and then paint. You don't really need bilge paint here - something anti-mildew like KillZ on the bottom, frames, and bottom of the floorboards will do nicely.

G'luck

boat fan
12-24-2015, 12:17 AM
I am thinking of making my scow with 4x4 butt blocks and mounting the floor on top of that with some sort of foam underneath it, all removable at the end of the season as moisture will inevitably get in there even if there is a roof. Now is an air gap of 3.5 inches enough to prevent a wet floor from condensation?

I hope you are not thinking of butting plywood sheets on those " butt " blocks Wallace ....that`s bad practice.
If you are using plywood for the bottom of the hull you should scarf them or use butt straps between framing.

A shantyboat like Waterlodge is just a small cabin on a plywood barge.

The cabin should have reasonably large windows ( and doors of course ) ,
Open them just as in a house , its all about air flow.
Solid fuel ( wood or coal ? ) heaters eat condensation on cold nights.
Unless you are building a sauna , condensation should not be an issue at all.