Our delivery trip included bashing up the Chesapeake in gale conditions (35 knots but not too many waves as the fetch was minimal); a harsh way to get to know your boat. It didn't take long to realize that my feet were 6 inches from the floor and that every time I turned the wheel left my body would rotate right. The following week I built a simple a runt box. It was a temporary affair that worked well enough that I didn't revisit the subject for four years. Other PDQ sailors have similar runt boxes. It has become the standard cure.
I often cruise the cast-off piles at local marinas. A few years ago a Prout owner threw out a heavy 3/4-inch floor section of mahogany/holly laminate; solid wood in alternating strips. Nothing wrong for the most part, but there was split and some damaged edges. I took it home for the scrap heap. I've cut a few projects from it.
I cruise blogs, often seeing projects that spawn other ideas. An interior nav station project made me think of this. About 2 hours labor to trim to size, finish, through-bolt in some mahogany cleats for it to rest upon, and caulk into place with polyurethane.
I think it turned out very well, indistinguishable from a factory effort, perhaps better.
- Better footing that the box since it cannot shift
- Nothing can fall behind it
- An inch higher and a little wider
- More storage space
Epilogue: The old runt box has not been retired. It is a member of the crew and serves too many other purposes, among other things, supporting the pilot berth. It will retain a well-earned rank of honor.