Wooden Slipper Launch Wine CupHolders

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LoftyDave

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I am looking for advice as I have been asked to make some Wine Cupholders to attach to the sides of a 1930's River Thames Slipper Launch. Ideally these would not alter the boat but it would be okay to use Insert Nuts underneath the rim as these would not be visible once removed.

The boat rim is curved so each Wine Cupholder will need to be fitted for a specific position. The inside of the boat also slopes slightly so that there will be an angle approximately 80 degrees to take into account if the cupholder shelf fits under the boat rim. I will use contour gauges to create templates for routing the mahogany cupholders.

The rim is approximately 25mm deep.

If I use thumb screws from underneath then the cup holders would be flush with the rim. Either steel bands to fit flush with the bottom of the rim or use two pieces of mahogany to create a shelf below the rim and partially or fully under the cupholder.

If I choose to use clamps then the cup holders would be proud of the rim but I am not sure how to make a clamp. For example, I could use a steel band which wraps around the rim and a thumbscrew with a head to tighten onto the rim.

Or perhaps create a U shape mahogany cupholder to slide onto the rim and then a thumbscrew with a head to tighten onto the rim. I think the latter would provide a stronger clamp albeit more obvious.

In either case I could fix mahogany brackets which follows the contour of the inside of the boat

I hope that the above can be visualised together with the sketch below.

I would appreciate any ideas as the best method of fixing the cupholders.

Many thanks in anticipation.

David
 

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joshvegas

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stick a little dovetail cleat under the gunwhale, slide a matching holder on when they are needed?

the base of the dovetail acn be fitted to the boat allowing all the actual holders to be identical.

they just need to be a snug fit no need for clamps, a slight taper woud mean they still snug up after time?
 

peter-harrison

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Hi Dave, I think you might have problems with expansion if you used dovetails. I would go for the clamp idea. It seems to me that you could have a single holder to fit all positions if you scoop out the inner bit of the channel that fits over the gunwale, so that it only touches on the outer edges- as in the attached scrawl
 

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pe2dave

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Insert nuts 'under' the gunwhale, 'bolted' through with set screws?
Suggest you do a couple of mock-ups to get the angles right?
Sounds like a real nightmare of a job!
 

joshvegas

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i'd be a little wary of anything clamped against the top face, to make sure you don't scratch the varnish on what I assume is an antique boat? Equally you don't want to put anything on the bottom taht will pierce any finish. And bear in ind it doesn't have to be strong but people grab things on boats or stand on things getting in and out. What you don't want is that to cause any issues.

Also what are the drinking vessels? a wine glass holer would be pretty easy just with a bit of brass tubing to create somethign like the cocktail plate holder things.
 

LoftyDave

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Many thanks for all of the suggestions and precautions which I will experiment with. All the suggestions has merit on what is a tricky situation with limited space to fix the cupholders onto the boat.

@joshvegas This is a clever idea which if the dovetail cleat is tapered would reduce the expansion risk pointed out by @peter-harrison. The cleat could be fixed with set screws and insert nuts to enable the cleat to be removed when the cupholder is not required.

@whereistheceilidh This avoids the potential expansion of the dovetail cleat. I am worried that passengers might knock the cupholders and cause glass and wine to fall onto the deck. Perhaps if the cupholder piece is clipped to the L section this would reduce the risk of knocking the cupholder off.

@peter-harrison This would reduce the clamping area quite nicely. I had thought of facing the clamps with leather to provide friction and protect the boat but perhaps it would be better not to have a top clamp as @joshvegas noted.

@pe2dave I was concerned about using insert nuts but as these are under the gunwhale they would not be seen when the cupholders are removed. Fitting them would be difficult and using mock ups is a good idea. The benefit of the insert nut is that they can be removed and replaced with mahogany plugs.

The slipper launch was built in 1930 and receives an annual service where the varnish is touched up where necessary. Every 7 years the varnish is completely removed back to the bare wood and several layers reapplied. The single point of failure must be the cupholder to prevent damage to the boat. The boat can seat 7 people and accidents will happen! I had not thought of using brass tubing which would still be in keeping with the boat as there are quite a few brass fittings.

The owner has a good relationship with the boatyard and I will mock up the different ideas and we will show them to the boatyard for their advice.

I will keep you posted on our endeavours and show the mock-ups and chosen solution.

Your feedback has been much appreciated.

David
 

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