Fw: Cockpit seats

Minka of Southampton - Cruising Log
Edmund Wigan
Fri 5 Mar 2010 17:10
The promised gales have arrived but they are only giving 20kts in the marina. It is a good test for the duogen wind generator. The forecast is for the same again tomorrow.
The seats that I have wanted to fix to the pushpit have been in the planning for some time. I brought some materials from the UK that I thought would make a prototype.
This is the gap in the pushpit which is where the seat needs to go.
The first thing I noticed when starting on this was that the two uprights were not parallel. The little stainless loop proved to be exactly where I needed to fit a horizontal stainless steel tube to support the seat. That had to be cut off and the welds filed flat.
First I made the seat out of some teak which I had machined at home. You will note I have only put one screw in each plank as I had no confidence that this would work.
The next stage was to fit a horizontal tube to mount the seat on.
Did I mention they have to hinge up out of the way when not in use. The patent folding "T" joining pieces are very useful but I wasn't sure they would tolerate the uprights not being parallel. They are then clamped and little grub screws lock them in place.
The seat in hinged up position
The seat is fixed to the new bar with "U" stirrups.
The stops!
To hold the seat level when hinged down it was necessary to figure out how to do this. I had brought with me a few domestic door stops. The one on the left was the right length but unfortunately too wide to fit neatly on the timber support batten. You can see where the black rubber has made a black mark on the teak coaming when it was hinged down. The one on the right was too long so I cut it off but the rubber wouldn't fit. The white rubber is a spare plug from the bottom of the fridge. Unfortunately I only had one of these.
Seat in down position
It worked much to my surprise. I can even stand on it. The seat was too deep so I cut one plank off the back of it later.
The other side
This was slightly more complicated as the duogen fittings and the control ropes for the Monitor wind vane steering system could have got in the way. However, as you can see  luck was on my side and it all worked out ok. The control ropes pass neatly under the seat when it is down.
Both seats down
The job is more or less complete except I need to find a better solution than the door stops. Like all the external teak it will be left natural so it will soon go silver grey to match the rest. There are also a few corners to be rounded off.
The view
This is my eye level view looking forward from the starboard seat. As you can see it means I can see over the sprayhood without standing up. I can also steer the her from these seats with one foot on the wheel. How lazy is that. For a prototype it has all worked out well. I shall see how it works at sea before any modifications, but at least it works which was more than I expected.