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  1. #1

    Cockpit Mezzanine & Tuna Tube Winter Project

    Ok, so trying to get my final plans together for two pretty major wintertime projects on SOUTHPAWS. I'll be doing both these projects in tandem so only one single huge mess will be made on the boat. Hope to finish both projects off before april-ish.

    Be forewarned, these projects may upset the Hatteras purist, lots of chopping/cutting going to be happening, but in the end both projects are to make the boat more functional for us to use.

    Project 1
    Cockpit Mezzanine.

    Project 2
    Transom Baitwells & Tuna tubes.

    Still VERY much in the planning stages of both these projects. I have some comped ideas I'm going to be posting in this thread. I happily accept all critique and criticism (constructive) at this point in the project. So please voice your thoughts/opinions.

    Here is the cockpit basically as it sits today.




    Here is my fav layout idea so far. The goal is to have 3 refrigerated storage holds that can be used as refrigerated storage, freezer storage or fishbox. I've labeled what I feel each will primarily be used for.


    The mezzanine project's main goal is to de-clutter our cockpit. We currently have to carry a 250qt engel cooler (for fishbox), a 120qt drink cooler (for drinks) and a 25qt cooler (for bait) in the cockpit. With this mezzanine layout all of those coolers disappear instantly.
    SOUTHPAWS
    1986 52C Hull #391 8v92TA
    PENSACOLA, FL

  2. #2

    Re: Cockpit Mezzanine & Tuna Tube Winter Project

    Project 2 is transom baitwells and tuna tubes (Bait Socks).

    Here is an old photo of the cockpit from the yard, is the only pic I have from this angle so it will have to do.



    Here is a very rough comp



    In a nutshell, each corner will get an oval shaped baitwell that will also serve as twin super-bomb sized tuna tubes capable of holding 40-50lb yellowfin sized baits. Along the center transom will be a row of Blackfin size Bait Socks for holding smaller baits like blackfin tuna, bonito, skipjacks.etc.
    SOUTHPAWS
    1986 52C Hull #391 8v92TA
    PENSACOLA, FL

  3. #3

    Re: Cockpit Mezzanine & Tuna Tube Winter Project

    One question I do have is regarding coring material. What core material should I use for the mezannine top and the mezannine hatches? I will thru-bolt hinges where possible but inevitably there will probably be some that have to be screwed.

    In my head I was thinking 5/8" or 3/4" nidacore for the deck of the mezzanine, not sure what to use on the lids....?

    For the tuna tube setup I was thinking 1/2" nidacore with scored nida core to make the radius's.

    Will probably be using a non-blushing epoxy for the entire project. I know it's more expensive, but I'm familiar with the product and have become accustomed to working with it. If you guys think I should use fiberglass resin please explain why and what product exactly. Thanks,.
    SOUTHPAWS
    1986 52C Hull #391 8v92TA
    PENSACOLA, FL

  4. #4

    Re: Cockpit Mezzanine & Tuna Tube Winter Project

    Here is another comp of the mezzanine without all the blue lines. The blue lines on all these drawings signify the separation of the holds.

    SOUTHPAWS
    1986 52C Hull #391 8v92TA
    PENSACOLA, FL

  5. #5

    Re: Cockpit Mezzanine & Tuna Tube Winter Project

    Here is a mezzanine comp without any writing or colors, just the lids outlined.

    SOUTHPAWS
    1986 52C Hull #391 8v92TA
    PENSACOLA, FL

  6. #6

    Re: Cockpit Mezzanine & Tuna Tube Winter Project

    This is kinda the layout we are going for. Of course we won't have teak and it won't be this nice, but it def will not be a bubba job.

    SOUTHPAWS
    1986 52C Hull #391 8v92TA
    PENSACOLA, FL

  7. #7

    Re: Cockpit Mezzanine & Tuna Tube Winter Project

    Going to be a great project, not sure but I might be the only one here that's added a full mezzanine from scratch.
    We started by ripping out very nice fiberglass cockpit lockers. What made our storage part really work was cutting the deck out allowing extra depth.
    There's so many items to plan for, spent a year thinking about our project and still ran into some unexpected issues, must have measured 15 different mezzanines on boats and also had at least 50 photos from the internet to review.
    Some initial thoughts, the 52c cockpit isn't super huge (long) to begin with so you should think about the scale of everything. The Viking 50 and 52 mezzanines were very helpful although we kept everything straight. Also, you don't have a lot of height from the cockpit floor to the door sill which will limit you some unless you want to make the mezz deck level higher in front of the boxes stepping down to the door. Have scene this on a few boats and it can work.

    Not sure Nidacore is the way to go because you're going to want as much insulation as possible.
    What are you going to line the boxes with and what about insulation?
    Are they going to be refrigerated? Have a great source for both stainless liners and or wrapping them with copper and the refrigeration piece. We have 4 boxes, a pair of compressors, each handle 2 boxes and each of the 4 boxes can be a fridge or freezer, compressors work on air. or air and water. ! unit runs our bait freezer and drink box which is always on. the other runs a large box in the step and our bait box which is under the long side of the mezz deck.

    Sorry to be long.
    Have a few thoughts for you. Have you thought about placing the tuna tubes in the side gunnels instead of the transom?
    My reason for the sides would to allow you to put the live wells in the middle instead of the corners.
    On our the biggest mistake was not making the drink box taller, it's a few inches taller than the bench but could have gone up closer to the window level.

    Don't forget that masking tape is your friend for figuring out the layout.
    Please checkout our photos here on Sams, feel fee to send me a pm if you would like to speak.
    CRICKET
    1966 HAT50C101
    Purchased 1985 12v71Ns
    Repowered 1989 with 8v92TI
    Repowered 2001 with 3406E

  8. #8

    Re: Cockpit Mezzanine & Tuna Tube Winter Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Cricket View Post

    Not sure Nidacore is the way to go because you're going to want as much insulation as possible.
    What are you going to line the boxes with and what about insulation?


    Sorry to be long.
    Have a few thoughts for you. Have you thought about placing the tuna tubes in the side gunnels instead of the transom?
    My reason for the sides would to allow you to put the live wells in the middle instead of the corners.
    On our the biggest mistake was not making the drink box taller, it's a few inches taller than the bench but could have gone up closer to the window level.

    Don't forget that masking tape is your friend for figuring out the layout.
    Please checkout our photos here on Sams, feel fee to send me a pm if you would like to speak.
    Thank you so much for the feedback. So I'm understanding you did the mezz on a 50?

    This project has been rolling around in my head literally since I first stepped foot on the boat before we purchased it. I've walked many a dock just looking at mezzanines.

    Was looking to nida core just as the structural 'skins'. I'll be using a foam insulation of some variety to insulate the holds. I was thinking 2" of foam on all sides, is that enough? not enough?

    The side gunnels scare me on the tuna tubes b/c of the cockpit drainage channels. I really don't want to disrupt those unless I have to.

    The transom gunnel is VERY narrow on this boat compared to others like viking. I'll be cutting into what is there, adding 1 row of tubes and the overall width/thickness of the gunnel cap should be comparable to vikings without tubes. So I don't think we will really loose much there.

    Yes, all the boxes will be refrigerated. I'd LOVE to hear/see what you did and any sources you may have. I'd like to user plates where possible but b/c of the shape/lids on the fishbox I'll probably have to wrap it. I was planning on diy'ing the system and use it on water only. If there's a way to do air and/or water that would be awesome.

    I'd also like to hear how you cool 4 boxes on 2 compressors. I was planning on having 3 compressors (1 for each box). Can you independently control the temp of each box with your setup?
    SOUTHPAWS
    1986 52C Hull #391 8v92TA
    PENSACOLA, FL

  9. #9

    Re: Cockpit Mezzanine & Tuna Tube Winter Project

    CRICKET
    1966 HAT50C101
    Purchased 1985 12v71Ns
    Repowered 1989 with 8v92TI
    Repowered 2001 with 3406E

  10. #10

    Re: Cockpit Mezzanine & Tuna Tube Winter Project

    CRICKET
    1966 HAT50C101
    Purchased 1985 12v71Ns
    Repowered 1989 with 8v92TI
    Repowered 2001 with 3406E

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