Spread out over two evenings. I’ve been working on the bathroom, in particular installing the shower tray. Whilst it would have been possible to have laid it onto the existing plywood floor and just cut a hole for the waste, there wouldn’t have been a huge amount of headroom.
Although Amy and I, being fairly short, and used to a low headroom bathroom in Lucky Duck, wouldn’t have minded so much, we will have guests who are taller, and having more space to be able to properly get under the shower is always nice.
So we decided to lower the shower tray so that it was below the level of the plywood floor, making the edge of it flush with the floor, and giving lots of extra headroom in the shower. It also means that the tiled floor can be mopped into the shower tray, and any water pumped out via the shower waste pump. There is a 9″ deep bilge under the floor, much more than most other boats, filled with a double layer of bricks as ballast, so there was plenty of space to utilise.
The first thing was to cut a hole in the floor to accept the tray. Laying it down, I drew around it, and cut around the outline with a jigsaw. This took quite some time as the ballast is fairly close to the plywood floor. I chose an especially short jigsaw blade, and used the Bosch multitool to cut any particularly tricky bits.
Once the hole was cut in the floor (the cut out pieces being saved to support the shower tray) I could access the ballast. I took out all of the bricks that I could access, and cut another rectangular cut out next to that for the shower for the sum pump.
There is a keelson made of 45mm angle down the middle of the baseplate, and transverse 45mm metal stiffening ribs, along with the original cast iron knees. Once the area had been vacuumed clear of sawdust and brick dust, I was able to look at the area. There is a horizontal stiffening piece across the baseplate just behind where the shower will go. We plan on sealing along the bottom of it and infilling some drain holes cut into the corners to make a mini bulkhead which will contain any leakage from the shower, enabling it to be easily pumped out should that be necessary.
Some of the removed ballast was stacked up in the corner to correct a very slight list which removing it had caused, and this will be at the back of the bathroom cupboard out of the way where it can be easily removed or added to to correct the trim of the boat.
The plywood supporting the shower tray will be supported on one side by the keelson, which will have some small holes drilled and tapped through it to secure the plywood subfloor that supports the shower tray, but I’ve not decided how to support the other side. Any wood used might rot If it gets slightly damp around the bottom, requiring the shower tray and surround to be removed, so I’m trying to think of another way of supporting it.