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A Perth Riviera #6 – to July 2013

On January 16, 2014, in Glen-L Styles, by Andrew

With the hull now the right way up, it soon became apparent that the largely pre-ordained sequence of events that characterised the hull building process had now given way to a far less structured world in which the only guide appeared to be the need to get as much in as possible before the deck went on and access became constrained.

The first step was to correct the fairing of the sheer which, in the upside down building world, was far from perfect.  The investment in a power-plane began to pay off as 40ft of sheer was brought to heel.

One of the key concerns for some time had been the clearance between the PCM ZR6 engine and the deck so it was decided that a test fitting of the engine should be done before any other work proceeded.  This also allowed the engine bearers to be fitted before painting of the interior.  A temporary prop shaft was rigged up using a 1″ diameter broom stick in order to get the alignment of the engine close to correct.

The engine was hoisted in with minimal clearance and a few nervous moments as 450kg swung in the breeze but, ultimately, it all settled in nicely and the alignment with the prop shaft seemed pretty close.  With the engine in place, the opportunity was taken to measure up for the prop shaft to allow early ordering.  But the concerns about deck clearance proved justified as the engine stood a good 4 inches above the deck crown.


Engine temporarily in the hull to check clearance and alignment. The extent of the clearance problem was clear.

Most Riviera builders seem to face this problem in some form or another.  Some have lifted only the deck crown while others have raised the sheer in order to retain the existing deck crown curve.  After mulling over the options, it was decided that raising the sheer was simply too big a job to contemplate and that, in any event, there were plenty of examples of these boats that had quite a high deck crown.

Due to the amount that the deck needed to be raised, it seemed best to raise the deck beam closest to the high point of the engine and then raise all others to meet a fair curve from transom to bow over the raised deck beam.  This meant making filler pieces for all the frames.  In the end, and as observed by other builders, the gap between the frames caused by the forward cockpit means that the crown does not really appear to be fair so perhaps a wasted effort.  Once the deck is on, this will become clearer I hope.


Painted a pretty blue and with an optimistic seat to test clearances.

The interior of the boat was now given a coat of resin and coats of paint which was sprayed on to ease the task of getting into the nooks and crannies.  The blue paint gives a nice clean look and, of course, hides a multitude of sins.  And in an act of extreme optimism, a mock up seat was constructed to begin to get clearances sorted out for the dashboard.  It also meant that the author was able to sit in the boat and dream of things to come.

The size of the engine and the resultant close fit under the deck meant that the hatch needed to be of the one piece variety and the framing for that was duly constructed.  The various angles, steeper because of the raised deck crown, meant for complicated cuts but no other difficulties.  The deck stringers were made using left over hull stringer material – slightly smaller than the plan requirements but (hopefully) not significantly so.  At the same time, and trying to emulate the Riva look, two holes appeared in the forward part of the hull for docking lights.

With the top of the hull making progress, attention now turned to the mechanical parts of the boat.  The rudder bearing and stuffing box were straightforward to install as was the propeller shaft strut.


Steering assembly, backing plate for strut and raw water input

A Teleflex helm and cable was obtained and, so I was told, the required kit to connect to a tiller based rudder.  When it all arrived, it certainly appeared to me that the kit supplied was more aimed at a transom mounted outboard rather than the inboard rudder but, at more than $200 for the kit, I was not in the mood to waste it, so a mounting beam was attached to the inside of the bearer to allow it to be used.  This caused something of a squeeze for the water inlet but not drastically so.  In hindsight, the mounting is probably over engineered – but live and learn.

The scoop for the raw water inlet to the engine was installed but a series of restrictions with the various filters that I could obtain prevented their permanent installation until the right location (clearing seats, etc.) could be found.  This was put off to another day.

A 100 litre fuel tank was constructed to order out of aluminium with the necessary senders, fuel outlets, returns and vents.  While “off the shelf” tanks were considered, in the end it seemed best to have the tank custom made which allowed for the PCM engine’s two fuel lines to be accommodated (feed and return), bracing to be located over the bearers and a mounting system to suit.

With mechanicals moving along, it was now time to address an aspect that had been put off for some time; the electrics.


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