Making a canvas foredeck - questions about Rubha Dubh

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Making a canvas foredeck - questions about Rubha Dubh

Bill Haylock 3130
The following text is an email exchange between myself and Patrick Horton, about the canvas foredeck I made for my Drascombe Longboat Rubha Dubh.

I have added the photo below of Rubha Dubh at Poll nam Partan, Eigg, to show the foredeck.

Rubha Dubh at Poll nam Partan, Eigg.


Hi Bill
I have often seen your reports in Dinghy Cruising magazine.  Sorry to see you and Rubha Dubh are parting company.

I noticed in your classified that you have a canvas foredeck.  For a while I have been planning to build a wooden foredeck for my Falmouth Bass boat as I am fed up with all my stuff being out in the rain.  I have a spray dodger like a pram cover but I don't really like raising it when sailing and it spoils the look of the boat.

It occurred to me from your photo that a canvas cover may do the job and would be a lot less effort to make.  If you made your own foredeck would you be able to offer me any advice from your experience. Some questions on my mind are:

1. Bungee fixings - how strong to take a wave over the bow?
2. Rear edge - I'd like a raised edge to deflect the water.
3. Ridge - do you had a wooden beam from the mast?
4. Tent - does your tent fasten to the foredeck? I fancy a pram cover behind the mast.  My canvas boom tent is lovely but takes an age to erect and stow.
5. Anchor - do you run the anchor rode over the top of the foredeck to the bow?
I hope this isn't too much to ask. If you have any feedback, it would be nice to move this to the forum for others to see.

Regards

Patrick

Patrick Horton


Hi Patrick,

I too will be sorry to part with Rubha Dubh, but I already have three boats and am building a fourth! I bought a Hunter Liberty 22 cat ketch trailer-sailer back in the summer to give me a bit more shelter and security for sailing on the west coast of Scotland and I'm building a 16ft Apple lug yawl, so the Longboat has to go to make room and keep me solvent.

Yes, I did make the canvas foredeck on Rubha Dubh. In answer to your questions:

1. The bungee is something like 8mm, attached to stainless steel hooks. In most conditions it is fine, but once or twice is has been dislodged by big waves when the bow dug in. It handles water breaking over it OK normally and I'm really pleased with how much protection it gives.

2. The rear edge is raised with an 8mm thick ash stiffener, but I never got around to sorting out a way of attaching it to the shrouds to keep it upright. It had a tendency to fold over.

3. There is a ridge pole of 2 inch diameter aluminium tube running from the mast tabernacle to the bow.

4. The tent doesn't attach to the foredeck. It would be good if it did, but I never got around to sorting that out.

5. The anchor rode goes under the spraydeck and through the bow fairlead, but I drop and recover the anchor from just aft of the port shroud. To recover the anchor, the rode runs through a shackle attached to a short line brought back to the port shroud so I can haul the last couple of metres of the rode in over the side. Most of the anchor rode is hauled in under the foredeck and the loose coils drop into a net forward of the mast. The anchor stows on the floor to the port side of the mast step.

I'll post this on the forum, as you suggest.

Regards

Bill
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Re: Making a canvas foredeck - questions about Rubha Dubh

Patrick Horton 3310
Thanks for your detailed reply, Bill.  I certainly plan to give this a go.  I like the look of the boat with the deck on.
Did you use cotton canvas or heavy vinyl fabric?

The anchor system sounds very sensible and  will help me as I also handle my large fishermans over the side.  What I'd like to know though is what do you do with the last bit of chain which runs from the bow fairlead over the deck to the anchor?  Do you detach the anchor when it is stowed?

I do have trouble smashing gunwale hooks when I come alongside pontoons even if I try my best with fenders.  I notice your hooks for the foredeck are below the gunwale and are probably drilled through the hull - they could be a bit less vulnerable lower down.  I'd be interested to hear anyone's suggestions on this one.
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Re: Making a canvas foredeck - questions about Rubha Dubh

Bill Haylock 3130
Hi Patrick,

I made the deck out of heavy duty vinyl-backed polyester canvas I got off ebay. Putting the hooks under the gunwhale gives them some protection. They are drilled and screwed through the outer hull with stainless self-tappers. The Drascome has an inner skin which is part of the side deck moulding, so the screws don't show on the inside. When raising the anchor I bring it up to 2 or 3 meters of the surface, cleat off the rode under the foredeck and I bring the anchor chain in over the side with the last metre or so of rope and stow them in a wooden box on the floorboards behind the mast step. I don't detach the anchor, but I strap it down to the floorboards when under way.
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Re: Making a canvas foredeck - questions about Rubha Dubh

Patrick Horton 3310
Fully understood, thanks Bill.  Can't wait to get started.
Happy sailing and boatbuilding!
Patrick