3519Hrs – Deck Pod Roof Design Finalised
It took me all day, but I got there. I now have a deck pod roof design I’m happy with. I had to pretty much build it to be sure but it was worth it.
First off let me explain my thinking behind the Tiki 38 deck pod.
The pod as shown on the plans is pretty much completely open to the elements with the exception of a small roof over the ‘watch berth’. There is bench seating either side of the pod, but when I was aboard ‘Pilgrim’ I found the height and positioning wrong for me. All in all I felt that the standard pod just didn’t cut it for my liveaboard/cruising plans.
As regular readers are aware I’m very cautious about changing the way things are laid out in the plans. I’m in no way qualified to do so and I wouldn’t want to undermine the sound design principles JWD are valued for. There is however some wriggle room when it comes to the deck pod. I decided way back to put the watch berth forward and to enclose it with a bulkhead. I’m not the first to do this and Hanneke has approved this as an option.
I also lowered the floor by about 3″ which in my view makes very little difference to wave clearance as it sits only slightly lower than the mast beam. This left me with a far more usable deck pod with better shelter and with minimum effect on weight or windage, these being the two major considerations when ‘extending’.
For me though there was still one thing missing…. a roof. ‘Gleda’ is going to be a home and a cruising boat, I’m not interested in ultimate performance, my priorities are safety and comfort in that order.
In my opinion having good shelter whilst helming contributes to both. I really liked the idea of a solid canopy but I was concerned about the windage and vulnerability to damage in extreme weather that a fixed installation might pose, then a few months back I stumbled across a possible solution.
A wagon arrived in the yard loaded with a huge steel ramp. I found out that it was an ice rink access ramp for a ‘Zamboni’ machine and that it had been returned to the yard for dismantling and was going to be scrapped.
Closer examination showed that all the tubing and guard rails were made from 48mm thick walled 316 grade marine stainless steel tube. I knew straight away that I had to find a use for some of it!
The uprights for the guard rail stanchions were fixed to the side of the ramp with clamps (also 316 stainless) and it dawned on me that not only was the tube perfect for supporting the pod roof, but that the clamps might well allow me to adjust the height of the posts. Here’s a close-up of the clamps;
The seed of an idea was planted and when the ramp was dismantled I ‘rescued’ four stanchions along with clamps and stowed them away safe.
Over the past few days I’ve been able to fit these four posts to the deck pod. I’ve drilled them through the watch berth roof and the aft section so as to give them better support and so that I could hide the clamps away for a cleaner look. It’s been a bit of a challenge but it’s worked.
As an added bonus the posts came with pin tops which has allowed me to drill holes in the roof and simply drop it into place. I’m going to drill these pins to take ‘D’ clips which will keep the roof in place.
All of this means that I now have a solid roof over the deck pod but one which I can quickly and easily alter the height of. I can set it to perfect standing head room for Gail and I, I can increase headroom if we have taller guests on board. In foul weather I can lower it to sitting height to reduce windage and increase shelter, and if we ever find ourselves in extreme conditions at anchor or at sea the whole roof can be easily lifted off and lashed on deck.
Having a solid roof also means that later down the road I have the option to add removable canvas screens around the pod, it will also make fitting covers over the two main cabin hatches easier.
The photo shows the roof sitting roughly in place.
There’s still a lot of work to do, the roof needs a bit more strengthening and glassing andI want to finish it nicely with gutters for rainwater collection. The post bracket positions also need strengthening and I need to come up with a method to seal the posts where they pass through the watch berth roof.
All solvable and I’ll tackle these jobs over the coming weeks but for now I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out. What do you think?