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Sliding storage box/step/berth extension   Total Page Hits: 379

Post Type: Technical/Project

Boat Part: Cabin/Storage

Date Modified: 02/05/2018 01:30 AM

Details

The cabin of my boat had a few shortcomings over last summer. First, storage is a bit unorganized. Second, my 3 and 5 years old girls had a hard time stepping down from the cockpit to the cabin floor. Third, when I slept in the quarterberth I found it wasn't big enough for my right arm (I came up with an ad hoc solution that only kind of worked).

So I took some scrap plywood and made a workable solution. It's from 5/8" Baltic birch ply, just because that's what I had laying around. Could have been 3/8, probably (although it's awfully easy to put together the thick plywood; lots of gluing and screwing surface).

It's just a rectangular box with a 1/4" ply bottom and removable top. I wanted it to roll smoothly in and out, so I put 3" rubber casters on the side away from the berth. I built those into boxes so that they could be raised or lowered if they really, really needed to be. Also so I could build it before finishing the measurements.

The side against the berth runs on a track. I experimented with a few things before going with making my own from 1" aluminum flat bar mounted on a piece of 1/4" plastic to make a T-track. I made the cars from the same plastic (Starboard, total overkill for this, but it's what I had laying around) and a piece of aluminum. The box has two of the cars, one front, one back. They slide extraordinarily smoothly. Plastic fantastic.

The box doesn't store away quite under the cockpit, but my centerboard winch handle runs into the centerboard trunk anyway, so the box isn't a big impediment to anything. I used a simple cylinder lock so that I could make it secure in the three positions (stored, step, fully out).

It seems to work well and there's a huge amount of satisfaction in making something useful out of scrap wood (and fasteners).

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