Wednesday 27 November 2019

Lazarettes | The Conundrum

While the floor boards were hardening off inside the house I started to think about painting the interior of the hull, ready for permanently refitting the floor boards.

At this point it became clear that there was a potential problem with the stern compartment. A glance at the hitherto largely ignored profile drawing #4 showed a small amount of buoyancy installed in this compartment.

The build manual, however, shows no such thing. In fact, the builder goes on to deck over the stern with no mention of solid buoyancy whatsoever.

I'm guessing that there is a mistake here, somewhere. Maybe the requirement for stern flotation in the prototype PocketShip was an oversight by the designer, or maybe the builder forgot to include it on the boat and in the manual.

Either way, it's an issue.

I looked at other builders' blogs and saw that they tackled this problem by creating what they call lazarettes, meaning dividing the stern compartment into two separate lockers accessible by the deck hatches.

This means that the buoyancy is sealed permanently into the space below the footwell sole. Some builders do this by fitting vertical panels between the footwell sole and the bottom of the hull, and some do it by fitting horizontal panels from the bottom of the footwell sole out sideways to the sides of the hull. Either way means that there is no access to the sealed space should there be a need for maintenance, repair or cleaning.

I thought about this for a few days, and decided to do nothing. I don't wish to have a permanently sealed area below the waterline anywhere in the boat, and having carefully built the stern compartment I didn't want to make compromise modifications on the fly.

So I will resolve the problem by installing a buoyancy bag underneath the footwell sole, secured by straps. That way it can be removed for maintenance, and requires no rework on the stern compartment.

And I can do this at any time. Problem solved.

Various sizes of buoyancy bag are available from Crewsaver here in the UK.

Onwards and upwards!

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