Making a Bed in the Cockpit: Part 2

With the frame cut to fit, it is time to glass everything up! 

Epoxy fillets go in the corner of structures you are bonding to smooth out the transition of the corner and increase the radius of the bend. If you didn't make a fillet, the fiberglass that goes over the corner would be forced to make a very sharp turn in the corner. This would stress the fibers and greatly decrease the strength of the corner's bond. The epoxy fillet solves this problem and makes the entire structure much more structurally sound.

Making fillets is really easy, check out the video below for tips that will walk you through the process.

Since the fiberglass needs the smoother radius bend to prevent fiber strain and breakage, you might be wondering why even use fiberglass? If you took the fiberglass out of the equation, life would be simpler! Right? Wrong, the bond strength of an epoxy bond is directly proportional to the surface area involved in the bond. Adding fiberglass tabbing adds a lot of surface area to the setup and makes the bond significantly stronger. If you didn't use tabbing, the bond area would only be the faying surfaces of the two pieces of wood your are bonding. By adding tabbing, you are adding the sides of the boards to the equation, greatly increasing the total surface area and subsequently, the bond strength.

Now, the bed rails are securely attached to the bed platform with properly made fillets and tabbing. The next step is to make the bed sit securely in place. If we get knocked down by a wave or a powerful gust of wind (the boat leans over really far and the boom falls into the water) the bed insert could come flying off its cleats and hit us in the cockpit. Getting knocked down is no fun, but getting hit by a giant piece of plywood during a knock down can lead to some serious problems.

Wooden hooks are being added to the front of the bed so that the entire structure can drop in and slide back into place. The bed will then be secured by a small dyneema line (because me) that will prevent the back from raising up and sliding forward.

With these two provisions, the bed will hold in place during foul weather while serving as a wonderful place to lounge as we stare up into the stars at night.

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