Mark Wallace's Black Skiff

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Floor Boards (& Foot Rests)

In a July 2016 post, we presented Floorboard Alternatives. And frequently, for oar cruisers, we’ve recommended in this blog that floorboards be made from ‘slats’ arranged crosswise in order to provide adjustable anchor points for foot rests and a seat, and a dry sleeping platform.

This post is a description of floor boards and foot rests I made for my Ross Lillistone Flint.

My Ross Lillistone Flint, Raven

The slats in the floorboards are 1” by ½” (25mm by 13mm) Western Red Cedar. The two longitudinal struts (glued and screwed to every slat) are oak, ¾” x ¾” (19mm x 19mm).

The slats are spaced exactly ½” (13mm) apart to allow the cleats to hook under a slat.  The ends of every slat are tapered to the slope of the bottom. The floor boards (and foot rests) are finished in Exterior Watco Oil. Since there is a permanent rowing thwart, there was no need to make a separate, movable, rowing seat.

Floorboards Installed in Raven

I added a wedge to hold down the forward end of the floorboards to prevent them from lifting when pressure was applied to the foot rests. The wedge is jammed under a cleat used for the main sheet when sailing Flint.

Wedge to Hold Down Forward End of Floorboards

The footrests are made from 6mm Ocume, a single oak base (3/4” x 1.5” x 14” long: 19mm x 38mm x 356mm) and three aluminum cleats 3.5” (89mm) inches long, ¾” (19mm) high and ½” (13mm) deep. The three cleats are spaced so that they fit between and on either side of the longitudinal struts.

3 Aluminum Cleats to Hold the Foot Rests to the Floorboards

Foot Rests Locked to Floorboards

Back of the Foot Rests

The footrests and floorboards have worked very well. The footrests can be moved to any slat to accommodate different rowers or to adjust rowing geometry.

If I were to do it again, I’d make the struts (to which the slats are attached) bigger (deeper) to prevent the floorboards from bending up (slightly) when pressure is put on the foot rests. Other than that one change, I would use this arrangement in future rowing boats.

Questions and/or comments are welcome.

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