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northstarjim 03-30-2008 10:32 AM

new v berth
I would like to install a v berth in my Northstar 500. Currently there is a head just forward of the main cabin, then about 6 feet of empty space in front of that. How would I go about installing the framing/etc without drilling holes in the hull? Any other tips/ ideas???

camaraderie 03-30-2008 10:45 AM

You can glass the wooden framework to the hull with fiberglass tape and resin. You might even get by with a strong adhesive like 3M 5200 to bond the wood to the hull. If I were doing it, I think I would construct 2 or 3 upside down trapezoid shaped frames to fit the hull shape and bond them in place so that the frame itself bears the weight rather than your hull to wood bond. Top off with epoxy sealed marine plywood in a V berth shape and maybe cut out an access hatch so you have storage underneath.

Faster 03-30-2008 11:09 AM

You'll probably want to install at least a partial bulkhead as well to support the end of the berth platform, and this can be done by the normal tabbing method. You will need to grind down to fresh glass to get as good a bond as possible.

Also Epoxy resin is going to get you a better secondary bond than polyester, but that precludes using matt, you'll need to use cloth or roving.

Do some very careful measuring first... you say you have "about 6 feet" of empty space.... make sure that what you end up with will actually sleep a couple of adults. The further up the boat the berth is, the narrower the foot space and that makes for more conflicts in the middle of the night.

Add a more complete bulkhead and you may be able to add a hanging locker across from the head if you don't have something there already.

Good luck, keep a hatch open while you're working! It goes without saying that dust masks, paper coveralls etc are mandatory.

soulesailor 03-30-2008 11:24 AM

Installing partitions and partial bulkheads to the hull requires a complex curve cut. Look up the 'tick-stick' method on how to transfer the shape of your hull to the plywood. It's not difficult, just a little hard to describe without pictures.

Faster 03-30-2008 12:39 PM

Good point, Soulesailor... Bruce Bingham's "A Sailor's Sketchbook" has an excellent page on using the tick stick.

The book is worth owning on many other levels too.... Especially for someone thinking of a project like the OP has in mind.

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