West Wight Potter, Page 2
All these modifications give us a much more usable boat, as equipment which is normally underfoot disappears into storage areas or is stored out of the way. Such work is by no means limited to small boats. But small boats have much more to gain from such arrangements and make cruising more pleasurable.
The cockpit offered many opportunities for improvement. First, I covered the after section with a 21-inch-deep deck that provides a convenient work space, a table, and a storage area underneath. Made of a flat sheet of fiberglass laid on cleats, its forward edge reinforced with a strip of 7/8-by-1'/4-inch oak, this deck is the place for fenders, spare gas, anchor, bilge pump, and spare lines. The front is screened off with a cloth curtain and the footwell is blocked off with a couple of lx2s to keep the gear captive.
Next, I increased the cockpit seating space. This required relocating the mainsheet cam cleat from the companionwayto the stern deck where it is easily reached but out of the way. This change also necessitated a 4-part mainsheet (instead of the standard 3) with the addition of one block on one side of the boat and one eye strap on the other. I then covered the forward area of the footwell with a grating of three lx2s. These extend the bridge deck 7 inches. The side benches were widened 1ĺ inches by screwing on a piece of 2x2 teak beveled to match the slope of the seat. Now the seats are wider and more comfortable, the clutter of the mainsheet is gone, and one can sit on the extended bridgedeck and row very easily. My 8-foot, collapsible, raft oars (Carlisle Paddle, P0 Box 488, Grayling, MI 49738. Phone: 517/348-9886) store easily inside. As an unexpected bonus, I can brace my feet against the stern deck.
The cockpit configuration required the use of side-plate oarlock sockets, angled for proper use, and attached to the outside of the cockpit coaming. I also installed a socket aft for sculling.
Editorís note: West Wight Potters are built byHMSMarine, Inc., 904 West Hyde Park Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90302. Phone: (213) 674-4540.