Using the Renn Tolman method for building out a cabin, I added what is essentially a dashboard on the cabin top. This acts as a doubler for screwing or fastening electronics to, as well as stiffening the cabin top, and lastly a base support for the windshield and side panels.

So far I have her mocked at 24″ of cabin side height at the window level. I think I might peel an inch off that, as just a little change might make her a hair sleeker, and I don’t need the 6’8″ of headroom in the middle. It currently would have around 6’5″ at the stand-up helm, which is pretty sweet.

An inch was trimmed off the height to balance the look against the hull sides, bring the profile down just a hair, and lean her out. Then windows needed to go in to make sure helm visibility was clear and unobstructed.

One more shot from the inside, I think this will work out smashingly.

1/4″ Hydrotek Meranti was acquired to do the cabin sides, which should keep aloft weight low. After using all the template stock to bang out the cuts, she was stitched up in a dry fit.

Meanwhile, I built the roof jig (at a 5″ crown) on the ground in the smaller building, now that the boat has been moved out.

Two layers of 3/8″ Meranti were then covered in epoxy on one side, then clamped and screwed to the jig to create an 8 foot by 8 foot monocoque curved structure.

Simultaneously the cabin sides went up. Here’s a nice detail shot showing the construction.

clippercraft windshield

As for glass, you can see, I went heavy on the outside. The windshield panels were done in 6″ 12oz 45/45 biax tape for strength and durability, while the cabin sides needed something wider. I cut some fabric from a previous project and had forgotten it was 17oz 45/45 instead of 12oz. Ah well, I needed 9″ tape, so I made 9″ tape.

The trunk cabin forward was covered with 10oz woven fabric, then the structural elements were added to the pilot house sides. The aft section of the cabin needed some support to keep the sides stable as well as distribute some of the load up top to the gunnels in a beefier panel, so I built some 9mm ply sail panels. Those in conjunction with the 1 1/2″ x 1″ cleats added up top (from a 2″ x 12″ board ripped for the roof jig) on the sides made the landing for the roof as well as added some much needed stability to the sides.

A bit more handsome each day, but definitely all business and all work.

Looks like we had a little sag off the jig (no shocker there), but the big surprise was that the 8′ I thought would cover the 5′ long cabin with some good sized overhangs turned out to be roughly 4″ longer than the overall opening!

Well, time to just mark it for trimming and prep the aft edge for an addition. It should work out well, however, as I can laminate it in a little tighter radius, add some bulk, and get a stiffer roof for my labor.

clippercraft roof

She was covered liberally in epoxy filled with phenolic microballoons. Man these things sand easily, and I can’t recommend enough putting on a good thick coat and only having to do the shaping of the fairing once. No need to do 6 lifts, just put enough on initially and make her fair in one shot.

After doing the dry-fit of the lid, I found out that even though my cabin is 5′ long, the overhangs involved, and the slope of the windshield made the 8′ blank not quite long enough. She needed just a scant 10″ to work. I had planned on a butt block setup to add some thickness aft, but I was beaten down by my friend Ron about my lack of skill and craftsmanship. He invented the Ronnie Roof, so I have built it to his spec. This required cutting two rolling scarphs across the back edge, top and bottom.

This part was very exciting, just to start getting a feel for what we really have here. All the trimming was completed to shape the roof blank to the cabin sides. I like how she’s coming together.

Picked up a pressed fiberglass skin a friend was using for his big project, did some templating, and made curbing ala workboat. First part was to get the shape. Conveniently, the roof was already in place.

Now that the shapes were set, time to make the real deal, with the roof back on the jig, but lifted on horses. Cutting the fiberglass material smelled atrocious for a woodworker, but the panels are stronger than you would think for their thickness.

My buddy Kasey came over because he was “bored”. Nothing cures boredom like a friend that’s a boat builder! Up went the roof.

After a little prep work, it was time for a full day of primering. Got 2 coats on from 1130 to 530 today, and SWMBO came out to help about 3/4 through the first coat. The System 3 primer goes on fast, dries fast, and makes a great paint base.

A shot to show my shoddy fairing work.

What follows primer?

clippercraft bow

Interior is 3 coats of System 3 Whidbey white, a sandy off-white color, while the hull sides are Camano red.

System 3 paint Clippercraft

clippercraft pilot house

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