Preliminary mockups of the console and seating were made on the floor and butt-checked with the wife and I to make sure they’d be large enough for two grown adults to be comfortable on. I’m 6’3″ tall, which means leg room is critical. Also key to the functionality of a center console or walk around boat is the walkways must be wide enough to move unimpeded around the boat. With a piece of PVC pipe standing in as a T-top leg, these initial impressions helped shape the console and side decks.

Uniflite

Another imperative to good boat design is a wife that’s comfortable and happy. As I’ve been reminded on occasion, “Happy Wife, Happy Life”. In that strain, here is the 42″ wide forward seat with good visibility and not too much wind exposure, 48″ long for full leg support, and a comfy rake on the backrest.

Salty pup

It should work out at this height that some wind protection will occur, but it will still be exposed enough to ride out there on hot summer days in Spokane.

Uniflite center console

With our minds right about how we want to lay her out, the sole panels were laid out, dry fit, and placed. This was eye opening in seeing how deep the cockpit will be (22″), while exposing the vast space inside the boat.

Uniflite cockpit

Below you can see how much ledge was produced with the fir cleats. Big landings, lots of glue surface, connected to large tabbed areas, and solid.

Uniflite fir cleats

Obviously once everything was dropped in place, I was thinking about putting down stripes and pretending this beast is an aircraft carrier. This is a huge boat!

Aircraft carrier

Uniflite aircraft carrier

A shortcoming to the design is the lack of support in the engine area for the sole. Uniflite overcame this with insanely thick scantlings on the sole, and a big vertical step in this area. As we are going with a center console, some bracing was doctored up to tie the sole to the stringers further back, making a sturdy footing at the console.

Uniflite sole

For those in the industry or hardcore hobbyists, they’ll find an itchy familiarity with this image. Lots, and lots (and lots) of grinding to get good adhesion.

Fiberglass grinding prep

However, everything will glue up with lots of tooth, and it will be well worth it.

Salty pup sole

Then mix up the sticky stuff, goop it on, screw it down, and off we go.

Epoxy

Once the epoxy cured up, the mockups went back in to start getting a feel for rigging and other shapes as they come together. Here you can see the size of the walkways, minimum of 18″ width at this point.

uniflite mockup

uniflite mockup

Then step back and get a feel for her…

Uniflite Salty Pup

I was torn on how to make the seat box/engine cover. I’m most comfortable with pulling fillets, taping, etc. However that’s time consuming, and there’s very little free time with the tiny human that lives with the wife and I. Noting, again, how excellent the condition of the 50 year old fir was in the demo phase, I stuck with the concept here.

seat box how-to

Cleating up the sides makes for fast assembly later with drywall screws as temporary clamps.

seat box assy

Insulation will go below the shelf, and compartment doors will allow access on the sides for storage on this shelf. I’m leaning toward just putting in life jackets and light goods, for obvious reasons.

seat box shelf

All glued up and ready for finish work to commence. Taping the corners after radiusing will add strength and ensure no cracking at joints.

seat box

Since the glue was out, might as well glue up the blanks for the side decks. Any little time advantage is a good thing.

side decks

Also, a domestic goose has taken up residence at our place. He likes to come help in the shop…

the goose

Though many have said so, there was a realization in the shop that a router is an invaluable tool for speed with precision. This thing can make pretty round overs with almost no effort. Only two steps left on the seat box, glass and fair, and she’s ready to go in. I suppose ordering the cupholders would be a good idea too.

Uniflite Salty Pup

The sole was subsequently glassed in with a layer of 17oz 45/45 biax, then a layer of 90/0 woven 10oz fabric to make it quicker and easier to fair. The original sole was tabbed over similar cleats with one layer of 24oz roving and 8oz mat (2408), this will be considerably lighter, and stronger to boot.

Salty Pup sole aft

salty pup sole