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Thread: Securing Floorboards?

  1. #1
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    Default Securing Floorboards?

    My dory has nice varnished floorboards to keep my butt out of the bilgewater. They are a neat fit, but not secured. I don't want to screw them down, but I don't want them to float off in a capsize either. I'm thinking of a strap, or bungee, or velcro so that they can be easily removed for bailing, cleaning, access to the drain plug. What do you do?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    Toggles. This just came up on another thread as well. Google "site:forum.woodenboat.com floor board toggles" for info. Lots of pictures available as well, but the concept is pretty simple. I've been meaning to do it in my Whitehall although haven't gotten around to it yet.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    Hi John,
    Here are some pics of the system I used on my Whilly Tern build.







    Good luck with it!
    PeterW

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    Even with toggles, you have a srewhole going into timber. The floorboards on my vattern snipa have large gauge bronze screws going into the ribs, all comes out for cleaning at end of season, screws dipped in pine tar before screwing down, never been an issue, no rot.I have a foot stretcher on the boards to assist wit rowing, so it helps to have the boards secure. Do you really need fast detatchable floor boards?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    I screwed the center and outer boards to the frames with a cutout to access the bilge plug. The other boards are held in place by turnable buttons of black locust screwed into on the frames on their ends. That way I get pretty good access to the bilge. You can almost get the idea from this construction image:
    Steve B
    TraditionalSmallCraftAssociation
    DowneastTSCA.org

    TraditionalSmallCraft.com
    RIVUS 16' Melonseed

    "If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most." E. B. White

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    My dory has nice varnished floorboards to keep my butt out of the bilgewater. They are a neat fit, but not secured. I don't want to screw them down, but I don't want them to float off in a capsize either. I'm thinking of a strap, or bungee, or velcro so that they can be easily removed for bailing, cleaning, access to the drain plug. What do you do?
    Lashing. Cord if you are going to be removing them often. Sinew if you want permanent but easily removed.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    1/8" bronze machine screws set in pre-drilled 1/8" holes with epoxy. Wet out the holes with a pipe cleaner and coat the machine screws with Vaseline. Set to the correct depth. The excess epoxy and vaseline get pushed out the top as the screw is set. Clean up with a shop towel wetted with methyl hydrate. Let dry 24 hrs. Remove the screws and re-insert through the boards. If a screw loosens over time, re-drill to the correct depth and repeat.

    FLOORBOARD FASTENINGS.jpg
    FLOOR FASTENINGS.jpg

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    Another option is to eschew floorboards altogether. If you have to sit on the hull rather than on seats, a simple float cushion (which you need to be legal anyway) will keep you dry. Mostly.

    The absence of floorboards sure makes bailing/sponging the boat dry a lot more convenient.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    I agree on the simplicity and ruggedness of hardwood toggles pivoting on heavy and long wood screws (#12's or bigger). Cleaning the crap out of the bottom of any small boat is necessary. You want it easy, or you won't do it.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    Tie a thin piece of cord to them so they won't float away, like we do with the daggerboard on our Sunfish. Maybe make it long enough so you can raise the boards to clean under them. In the Marine Corps we called this a "dummy cord." Many of our water survival vest items were dummy corded, like the strobe, flare pistol and radio.

    Cheers
    Kent

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    I set up the floor boards in the dory TIPSY drilling small holes in the frames just big enough to take seine twine which I can cut and toss for winter where I need to keep snow and ice out. Consideration for the rowing boat was swamping it under tow which is the worst case scenrio. I also have seine twine hold lashings for the seats which go thru the 1x2 fastened on edge to stiffen the seats. One floor board from whence I bail is left loose. On the Harrier and the ducker I use turn buttons made of a bit of brass strap. The faering has no hold downs.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    Thank you all. I am thinking of some soft, simple attachment. I may just combine these ideas and put toggles on cords, or bungee.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    Just occurred to me that a cord with two toggles on it could get let through one of the nice big limber holes on TIPSY, the dory. Just the right length you could pick up the corner of two floor boards. I've done really neat simple toggles with bits of dowel, a groove down the center and the ends rounded, a few minutes with a file. Then a bit of cord like para cord or that nice sailmakers cord gets seized tightly to the toggle.I've made robands for the iceboat like this.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    Thank you all. I am thinking of some soft, simple attachment. I may just combine these ideas and put toggles on cords, or bungee.
    Don't like that idea, as what happens when you or a guest is climbing in or out of the boat and the floorboard shifts, even slightly? If the boat sails, then what about moving around rapidly when things get hairy == again, any sort of shifting might lead to bruises or even a capsize.

    Fixed toggles are a great method, used all over the world for a gazillion years -- so why reinvent the wheel?

    Mine are pretty basic but work very well, locking the floorboards to the cleats across the bottom.





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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    Another possibility...St. St. locator pins so the panels don't shift and earth magnets to keep them from falling out. Not good if you use a compass though.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    Don't like that idea, as what happens when you or a guest is climbing in or out of the boat and the floorboard shifts, even slightly? If the boat sails, then what about moving around rapidly when things get hairy == again, any sort of shifting might lead to bruises or even a capsize.

    Fixed toggles are a great method, used all over the world for a gazillion years -- so why reinvent the wheel?

    Mine are pretty basic but work very well, locking the floorboards to the cleats across the bottom.





    https://flic.kr/s/aHskeK7hZj
    https://www.facebook.com/david.luckh...9763645&type=3
    This, in spades.

    Notice how Thorne's boards are in panels screwed to transverse cleats.
    It you need three panels for convenience fit a margin board and make the cleats long enough to hook under it and under the middle panel, so that only the middle panel needs toggles.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    I've never had a shifting issue.

    Floorboard securing is somewhat design dependent. On my dory the outboard planks of the floorboards extend to slot into the notches created by staggered frames. That coupled with the flat bottom and steeply rising sides locks them into place so any kind of line based toggle would work fine, in fact better than any kind of turn button for which blocks would need to be built that are in the way when the boards were not in the boat.

    My faering's floorboards are not secured in any way but are prevented from shifting by fitting into the planking. With this discussion I think I might rig some line based toggles to keep them in the boat when it is capsized to prevent the yard sale.

    Floor flats have cleats underneath them that keep them together and are spaced to sit next to the boat's ribs which keeps them from shifting. Turn buttons mostly serve to keep them from floating away, and have to be on blocks as well. What is nice is using existing structure like centerboard bed logs instead of blocking if it will work. Unless needed for structural reasons, I don't much like floorboards that are fastened into the boat. It's easy, you don't have to fit cleats but they are horrible when clean out time happens.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    I agree with Ben. While I've only owned this boat one season, it was built in 1989, to a design from 1912, with the floorboards only resting on the bottom. I am only considering securing them in case of a capsize or swamping.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    This is an interesting topic!

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Securing Floorboards?

    Thanks AnnaB. Welcome aboard.

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