In the latest edition of “Small Boats” by Wooden Boat magazine there were several pictures of Chris Cunningham’s Caledonia Yawl floorboards that raised into a sleeping platform. With the Perseids meteor shower coming up and wanting to take the family out in comfort to watch them I started working on making some floorboards in early August. I had also decided that I needed some sort of organizer to hold drinks, sunglasses, cameras, sunscreen, etc. so I worked on that at the same time.
The floorboards were made from 1 x 6 mahogany purchased finished on all four sides. I used Douglas fir for the cleats mounted on the seat supports. Four 5/16″ bolts on each cleat with heads recessed using a Forstner bit.
The organizer was made with mahogany as well and a piece of plexiglass salvaged from an old golf cart windshield that was given to me by my old friend Terry who had it in his shop.
I had some great help from a couple of little neighbour girls and finished everything the morning of August 12th. We drove out to the lake, got the boat in the water and I then used a couple of fold-up foam beds the boys use for sleep-overs to turn the cockpit into a big bed. Add pillows and quilts and we were ready to motor to the far side of the lake and drop anchor to watch the meteor shower.
Not much of a light show as the extremely bright full moon allowed us to see only the brightest meteors but it was a great time out there in the moonlight with the boys. On the way back Patty and the boys all fell asleep. It was like a dream using the outboard to head back to the cabin in the soft moonlight. Like steering a bed across the water.
The next couple of days I came to absolutely love the floorboards in the raised position. It just seemed to make the cockpit more usable when crowded with a couple of adults, 2 kids and 2 small dogs.