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  #1  
Old 11-13-2012
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More head room

My 1st season with my rebuilt 1977 Luger Tradewinds was a great success. Now that she's on the hard for the winter I'm thinking more about something I was going to do last year but ran out of time. The boat originally had a camper top that gave my main cabin an extra 18 inches or so. It didnt come with the boat so I was thinking about adding to the boat where the canvas would have been. I have all the materials set aside and was planning on making the forward facing "bulkhead" bump up from 3/8" lexon. The sides would be made from 1/2" thick vinyl sheeting on the exterior and 3/4" plywood on the inside covered with carpet matching the rest of the ceilings in the boat. I would also add fixed windows to the side pannels made of 1/4" lexon. I already planned on making a new main hatch so making it a little taller wont be a problem. Just wondering if anyone has any reasons why I shouldnt do this. the only negatives I can see is it will add about 100 pounds of weight to the top of my boat. It will also make it a little harder to see directly in front of the boat but otherwise it dosnt seem like a bad Idea.
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2012
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Re: More head room

Why not just fabricate the pop-top canvas? Then you would have the advantages of additional headroom while at anchor, while not adding to weight up high, reduced visibility, and less access to vang(?), while underway.
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Old 11-13-2012
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Re: More head room

Are you planning a fold-down top of the panels you described, (like a homemade pop-top) or a fixed "doghouse"? The former would be pretty cool. The latter might be a big disappointment unless it's put together solidly enough to withstand a few hundred pounds of water splashing on it if a wave hits it. The aesthetics are another issue. Someone recently posted a boat that had its cabintop "rainproofed" with 3-tab asphalt shingles... You don't want your boat to look like that one if you can help it.
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Old 11-14-2012
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Re: More head room

A curious and unbidden thought just occurred......
WHat if ya measure the top and find a fiberglass PU truck camper shell that fits close enuff to fair it to the cabin? Reverse the shell if the fwd part is canted and get yer Lexan fitted to where the rear hatch/door usta be.
:shrugs: Might do it faster, lighter and more similar material to wed to the overhead.
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Old 11-14-2012
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Re: More head room

I've yet to see one of these homemade doghouse type arrangements that didn't look utterly, utterly crap, but it's your boat so fill your boots. If it were mine, I would make a new canvas one.
The alternative would be to cut a section of your shins out and reduce your height by 12" or so, that would give you more headroom everywhere
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Old 11-14-2012
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Re: More head room

Aside from Paul's observation about how such things ultimately end up looking, if you have or want to add a vang (as you should) such a structure will likely interfere.

I'd stick to the original plan too.
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Old 11-14-2012
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Re: More head room

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABH3 Boyer View Post
Just wondering if anyone has any reasons why I shouldnt do this...
Playing devil's advocate: because the deck and cabintop are important structural elements in the overall strength of the boat as designed. Assume nothing is superfluous and respect the designer of your boat; leave it as designed. It is one thing to replace or repair a defect, it is another thing to alter the basic design of the boat.

If your boat does not suit your purposes, sell it and buy another boat designed to have a doghouse/raised cabintop. The transaction costs are not that great.
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Old 11-14-2012
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Re: More head room

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
Playing devil's advocate: because the deck and cabintop are important structural elements in the overall strength of the boat as designed. Assume nothing is superfluous and respect the designer of your boat; leave it as designed. It is one thing to replace or repair a defect, it is another thing to alter the basic design of the boat.

If your boat does not suit your purposes, sell it and buy another boat designed to have a doghouse/raised cabintop. The transaction costs are not that great.
Gotta disagree with you here. Adding a more or less permanent, hard pop-top (or doghouse, or whatever you want to call it) could not interfere at all with the structural integrity of the boat. It might add a small amount of weight up high, and certainly will add windage, but won't make the boat weaker (unless he is cutting holes in the companionway to make it bigger haha). Besides, plenty of people modify and strengthen their boats, and guides such as the ISAF offshore rules discuss minimum strength requirements, including the minimum number of transverse frames/bulkheads, etc. Besides, it's not like most of these production boats were built anywhere more than the bare minimum strength wise, and digging around your old boat you have a good chance to find at least a couple detatched bulkheads already...

As for the addition proposed, I am in a very similar situation. Just a few more inches headroom under that companionway hatch and I would be able to stand while cooking/changing/etc, even with the hatch closed. However I realized that by raising the companionway hatch say 6 inches, I lose ALOT of visibility from the cockpit, something very important where I sail because there are a ton of ship moorings and other blockades in the water everywhere, and it is difficult to see at night especially. One possible solution I have considered is a clear acrylic dome/bubble, which could fit over the companionway hatch. It blocks less of the view forward, and would allow me to sail the boat from inside the cabin theoretically. At least keep watch while the autopilot does the hard work in the rain.

I really like the homemade pop top idea though. It might be a little difficult to make this work, would you use pistons to lift the hatch straight up? (I've never operated a pop top myself so not too sure how this works) Does the hatch still slide forward to allow the boards to lift up? Or do you always pop it up vertically?
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Old 11-14-2012
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Re: More head room

Quote:
Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
Gotta disagree with you here. Adding a more or less permanent, hard pop-top (or doghouse, or whatever you want to call it) could not interfere at all with the structural integrity of the boat. It might add a small amount of weight up high, and certainly will add windage, but won't make the boat weaker
Beg to differ. The structural integrity of the boat could easily be compromised by this heavy addition to the cabintop. If it is not solidly attached, it could be swept away or damaged by a large wave. Next wave fills the cabin. 'Bye Boyer. What is there to attach to? For an 18" high plywood "wall" I would want carlins at least 2"x3" to rabbet and screw into. This is all being attached to a cabintop that is perhaps 1/4" fiberglass? We don't know. If it IS solidly attached, the hefty dimensions of the proposed materials (3/4" ply, for starters) could lead to fractures in the cabintop itself, with the whole thing weakening until it was simply ripped off at the worst possible moment. (This is why patched sails tend to tear more around the patch - the repair is stronger than the surrounding material.) There is also the worry about the lexan ports getting punched in, though that problem could be resolved by the proper design. On a 1977 27' "pop-top" Luger we are not talking about making alterations to ISAF open ocean standards. If the expected use is daysailing on a lake in nice weather, some of these issues are moot. The aesthetic concerns remain, however, since we each have to look at what's moored next door, even if just to avoid hitting it. Changing the original design does make the boat susceptible to structural problems that could be dangerous.
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Re: More head room

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk View Post
Beg to differ. The structural integrity of the boat could easily be compromised by this heavy addition to the cabintop. If it is not solidly attached, it could be swept away or damaged by a large wave. Next wave fills the cabin. 'Bye Boyer. What is there to attach to? For an 18" high plywood "wall" I would want carlins at least 2"x3" to rabbet and screw into. This is all being attached to a cabintop that is perhaps 1/4" fiberglass? We don't know. If it IS solidly attached, the hefty dimensions of the proposed materials (3/4" ply, for starters) could lead to fractures in the cabintop itself, with the whole thing weakening until it was simply ripped off at the worst possible moment. (This is why patched sails tend to tear more around the patch - the repair is stronger than the surrounding material.) There is also the worry about the lexan ports getting punched in, though that problem could be resolved by the proper design. On a 1977 27' "pop-top" Luger we are not talking about making alterations to ISAF open ocean standards. If the expected use is daysailing on a lake in nice weather, some of these issues are moot. The aesthetic concerns remain, however, since we each have to look at what's moored next door, even if just to avoid hitting it. Changing the original design does make the boat susceptible to structural problems that could be dangerous.
Good points. But i kind of doubt this guy is gonna hit waves big enough to take out his raised companionway hatch, I sail a lot around here in nearly all conditions (i sat sandy out though and haven't had that experience yet, so I suspect the vast majority of day sailors would be unlikely to have to worry about something like this.

I guess I am transferring ideas from my own companionway hatch on my boat, which is set on top of a very thick and strong sort of molded in lip. His boat may not be built that way...
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