Installing the Floorboard

The Tango Skiff is a vee bottom skiff which means we need to install a floorboard. While the vee flattens almost completely at the transom, there is still enough vee in the cockpit area that getting around would be uncomfortable, if not treacherous, without one.

Full Width vs Partial Floorboard

The plans call for a partial floorboard which extends to roughly the middle of each bottom panel. It is not full width because, as the plans state, its primary purpose is to stiffen the bottom panels.

From a passenger perspective, a full width floorboard sounds better but comes with some compromises. First, it requires additional reinforcement to maintain its primary role of adding rigidity. Second, it raises the boat’s center of gravity several inches which, at least in theory, would make the boat more prone to rolling.

However, we mitigate the use of a partial floorboard by fairing the edges into the surrounding bottom panels. The floor gains a few additional inches of a level surface leaving only a small amount of vee exposed.

The Install

I began by positioning the floorboard in the bottom and leveling it side to side and front to back. With this done, I traced the floorboard onto the bottom to make it easy to put back in place.

I removed the floorboard to apply thickened epoxy around the edge and then placed it back. I did that wrong. With the shape already traced on the bottom, I should haveĀ applied epoxy to the bottom and laid the floorboard into it. I was rushing.

I positioned the floorboard within the outline and then laid barbell weights on it to secure it in place and ensure solid contact with the bottom panels. Next, I added thickened epoxy to the edge where the floorboard and bottom meet with the goal of creating a smooth transition between the two. The fairing process will take a few passes.

Installing the Floorboard
Fairing the Floorboard Edge in Multiple Passes

Once completely faired, I will fiberglass the entire cockpit floor – from front bulkhead to rear bulkhead with 50″ wide fiberglass cloth.

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