As the exterior of the hull drew to a close, I was eager to get started on the sole (which in a house would be the floor).
I started by making a template of one half of the sole area which I found on my lofting. Next, I layed-out the individual boards which are curved and taper in width along their lengths.
As I had mahogany on hand, I went with that. It is strong, relatively lightweight, and complements the woods already used on the boat.
After each plank was fit and the desired gaps achieved, I connected them into panels using mahogany battens and copper rivets.
The 4 loose fitting panels will be easy to remove for cleaning of the bilge area.
After final sanding, I opted to use a homemade oil finish which includes oil, turpentine, and japan driers. This finish will allow the boards to keep their texture, and not become slippery like they would if I used spar varnish. It will also be easy to maintain, as it is a wipe-on/wipe-off application.
The oil really allowed me to see the rich tones of the mahogany, a nice contrast with the white oak hull. After a few coats and drying time, I set them in place. A total transformation of the interior!