OK, before you get all over me about being in the "real" world, just give me a minute to explain ;-)

I bought a set of plans for the Joli boat from Philip Thiel. Unfortunately, this is not the right "season" in my life to really start building a boat. So, should I just wait and dream, or should I make some kind of forward progress?

My intent here is to keep a journal of my progress. I'll be using Google Sketchup to build my virtual boat. I'm sure that along the way I'll run across problems that need solving, trouble keeping on task, and moments of inspiration.

I'll include pictures and video as I progress. Click on any picture if you'd like to see it larger.

Maybe I'm crazy, but follow along and see what you think

Friday, February 27, 2009

Goin’ 3D and a Twin Bed

I’ve been working on my flat 2D plan in Sketchup and have started moving into that 3rd dimension. It has been fun to see my Joli start to take shape.

This process confirmed my suspicion that there is no good way to put single bunks in the rear of the boat. There would only be 12 1/4” of clearance from the top of the bed to the bottom of the frame, and this is with a bunk that is only 4 1/2” above the floor. If I add a cushion to the bunk, it gets tighter yet. Clearly this is not going to work.

If I go back to Phillip’s original design for the rear bunk, I can have 22” of space. This should allow plenty of vertical room even with a nice cushion on the bed.

As an added benefit, the twin bed could be 10 3/4” above the floor. This will probably be more comfortable to get in or out of. The twin bed also allows a dinette that can be full width rather than cut at an angle to help with traffic flow.

I am concerned about the width of the twin bed. Since my Joli is 6” narrower than the original and mine tapers to a tight radius towards the rear, there isn’t much width available.

We have a vintage camp trailer that I took some key dimensions from. Our twin bed in the trailer is 48” wide. It’s only 38 7/8” in the boat. I don’t think there is any good way to increase this without compromising the hatchway width.

Here are a few other dimensions from our trailer. These certainly aren’t set in stone but they are dimensions that we’ve lived with while camping in our trailer.

I’ll end this entry with a video tour of my boat. The first half of the video shows the single bunks in the rear. It then transitions to the twin bed configuration. There’s so much more to do, but I’m sure pleased with this chance to explore ideas and solve problems without wasting wood.

Larger Video

I may feature some web sites and books in my next journal entry. Keep an eye out ;-)

“Two weeks on the river and I was only fifty miles upstream. My wake, had it been recorded, would have revealed a slow, wandering track of curiosity – islands explored, old townsites discovered, and unnamed channels followed. I had left footprints on sandbars, and on mudbanks I had left the imprint of the boat’s keel. These things, the small unexpected adventures, are the best part of a journey.”

Sam McKinney,

from Reach of Tide, Ring of History

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