Previous Page -- INDEX -- Next Page

EZ Tunnel Race Boat Plans
Page Eight
Cockpit & Cowling

A bulkhead between the coamings at station four separates the cockpit from the fuel, the battery, etc. A tall bulkhead here will also help to stiffen this part of the hull.

This bulkhead can be attached to the aft face of the beam, or the forward face. I installed mine on the aft face.

Start with a pair of long glue blocks glued to the coaming.

I drilled two holes for wires and cables. You will notice that I didn't cut any cut-outs in the coaming aft of bulkhead four, so I can't run the cables and wires under the deck.

A few things to see here:

The bulkhead just installed, seen from the bow looking aft.

A pad glued to the floor just forward of the beam at station two. This is for the foot throttle.

Glue blocks up at the top of the photo are for the dashboard.

Beam at station three: Two 9/16-inch holes have been drilled through. These are for shackles that will be installed later as part of the lifting system, used to hoist the boat onto the scale at races. Non-racers needn't bother with these lifting points.

The "systems" compartment, between bulkhead four and the motorboard.

The 1.5" X 1.5" cleats surround the space for the fuel tank.

The 3/4" X 3/4" cleats on the tunnel plank and the bulkhead will contain the lawn tractor battery.

Staps for the tank and the battery will be added later.

The "crown" of the front cowling is formed by the curved top of the dashboard, the cowling bulkhead, and the ridge beam extending from the dashboard to the foredeck. (Photo taken from a Mini Vee project.)

The beam is 3/4" X 1".

The cowling bulkhead is traced from the dashboard, but does not need to be as wide. Locate it about 24" forward of the dashboard to make sure it doesn't interfere with your foot while operating the throttle.

I install the dashboard, cowling bulkhead and ridge beam with screws only -- no glue.

You will want to notch the corners of the cowling bulkhead to make room for the battens on the cowling hood, discussed below.

The ridge beam rests in a pocket formed by small piece of plywood on the forward side of the dashboard.

The forward end is angled to fit flush to the deck.

This cowling hood is made from 1/8-inch okoume marine plywood, which easily bends over this curve. 1/4-inch AC grade plywood will also bend over this curve. But other plywoods may not.

If your plywood is too stiff to make this bend, you will need to saw a series of kerfs (saw cuts) in the underside of the hood. Make your kerf depth no more than half the thickness of the plywood and space them 1/2-inch apart.

Try this on a scrap of plywood to get a feel of the effect and the process.

Battens on the underside of the hood stiffen the edges, and give you something to screw the hold-downs into.

The battens are attached 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch from the edge of the hood -- it depends on the thickness of your coaming plywood.

Hood hold-downs like these hold snuggly and allow quick access to the steering, throttle and the back of the dashboard.

These are available from various suppliers. I suggest Reid Supply Company

Hold-downs like these (also called draw latches) are not intended to function around a corner, so a little ingenuity is required. In this instance I used angle brackets, re-bent just a bit.

Here I used short sections of 1-inch wide aluminum bar.

You will also notice here that I've used foam weather stripping between the hood and coaming (foam attached to the hood). Otherwise, you'll have a paint-against-paint joint which will quickly wear due to engine vibration, creating finely ground paint that may stain other parts of your boat.

Previous Page -- INDEX -- Next Page