Monday, July 26, 2010

Bamboo Floor

The plans for Featherwind do not include building seats or a floor as it is a very simple light weight boat. I'm good with sitting on the floor and I like the space that is left available by not putting seats in. But I do remember sitting on the floor of a canoe and not liking it very much when some water would come aboard. So I decided to attempt to add a floor to this boat. The simplest light weight solution I could come up with is a bamboo floor. I think that the bamboo also adds to the Chinese junk theme I'm doing and I like the appearance of it. The floor is removable for cleaning or if it turns out I don't like this floor after all. This photo shows a view of the bamboo pieces laid out in the hull on top of the frames to get an idea of how it's going to look.

The bamboo comes from a roll of bamboo fencing purchased at a national chain store. This was the cheapest bamboo I could find and it comes in a four foot length which is just about perfect. My idea is to have the ends of the bamboo sit on top of the three frame pieces. This gets my butt off the hull bottom by a couple of inches and should keep me dry when a little water splashes in as the water will be below the bamboo. The diameter of the bamboo varies from piece to piece but is an inch or more in diameter. It's pretty strong and doesn't bend very much. The floor is in two sections, a front floor and a back floor. The bamboo's four foot length works perfect for the front floor but is just a tad shy in length for the back floor. I added a piece of wood or a ledge to the back frame to solve this. This photo is of that ledge on the back frame. I attached it with epoxy because I didn't want to drill holes in the frame to attach it with screws. It did support my weight, so far so good.

I also had to add two small ledges on the port and starboard side of the mid frame where the gussets are located as the gussets interfere with the bamboo resting on the frame. Hopefully the picture explains this better than the verbal. Here is a view of my two mini ledges. By adding the two pieces of wood I now have surface on both sides of the gussets for the bamboo to rest on.

Here's photo of the completed front floor. Besides the four foot lengths of bamboo I also used cross pieces of bamboo to reinforce the floor. Doing this felt like it added a lot of strength and stiffness to the floor. It's all tied together with light weight rope like a raft. The front floor fits nicely around the mast base.

Here's a photo of both floors completed. You may notice that the floors do not go all the way to the sides of the hull. I intend to add cushions to that space and decided running the bamboo all the way out to the sides is not needed. By the way, I don't actually plan to sit on the bamboo but instead on a flotation cushion or some other more comfortable arrangement.

This photo shows how the bamboo floors are attached to the boat. They are tied to the hull with a piece of rope at each corner of the floor section. To remove the floor I would only need to untie the ropes that hold them in place. The rope goes through the limber hole in the frame and around the bamboo. No problems with this arrangement so far.


  1. Making your house beautiful and environment friendly with bamboo floors

  2. Wood avens (Geum urbanum) - Not very excited about the leaves, but they ate some of the sample. I planted about 5 per paddock.
    plastic fencing