September 29, 2010

Build a Dinghy: Part 32: First Launch

Launched the skiff as a rowboat today--I'm still working on the spars and foils. Here she is rolled out of the shop into the sun on the cart I built. I have clamped the oarlocks in place temporarily to see how the boat trims in the water before committing to their final placement. Brightwork is 3-coats Sikkens Cetol Marine Light. Topsides paint is Kirby Hatteras Off White; Interior Paint is Kirby Red Tint. Despite my efforts at lighting in the shop (ahem, garage), the sunlight revealed some holidays in the varnish I'll have to feather in. Small thing to a giant: I'm still pleased with the way she looks. Here, my Daughter Keira and I rolled her down the street to the beach, under the watch of Bart the Dog. The cart worked fine, and I'm glad I took the advice of fellow Wooden Boat Forum members to use a top-strap in addition to the notched "bunk." Here I am sitting on a milk crate--a removeable seat will be built once I determine the best location for it. Ideally, the stem and transom will just clear the water when my weight is in the right spot. Here, I am a few inches too far aft, and the transom is immersed. No good. Sliding a few inches forward, and the boat trimmed perfectly! With my two kids also aboard--one in the bow and one aft--the stem and transom just "kiss" the water. I marked the spot and will mount seat and oarlocks accordingly, She rows really nice , leaving a small, but purposeful little wake and seems to track ok. The 6mm ply bottom didn't oilcan as much as I thought it would--a pleasant surprise. I rowed around the bulkhead seen here and into the creek to cruise our community docks and met with a few wolf whistles and thumbs-up from some boaters on the dock battening down for the big blow that's due here tomorrow. My freind and neighbor Bill, an avid sailor, really liked her and met me back at the beach to see the boat out of the water. When he saw my cart, and the simple rope tie-down, he said," Wait here," and dashed off on his bike to his house. He returned with a small, ratcheting web trailer tie down to replace the line, saying: " Here, now I've contributed a bit to your beautiful boat." Real nice.Bill and his wife Jane both ended up coming to dinner and talked about rowing, places to row, etc. Now to build the sailing bits!

September 25, 2010

Build a Dinghy: Part 31

I had some cutoffs of the bronze half-round left over, so I shaped and fitted them to serve as transom capping.

September 8, 2010

Build a Dinghy:Part 30

Installed my stem band today. Made from solid backed bronze half-round. Cut and shaped with hacksaw and files. Drilled, countersunk, screwed and glued.

September 7, 2010

Build a Dinghy: Part 29

While the last coat of paint dries on the hullsides and with my cart built, I decided to start working on the skeg and stem guards. These are lengths of half-round solid bronze I purchased from Hamilton Marine. First they were cut to length with a hacksaw. Then the ends were beveled down with files to make them better looking and for streamlining. ( I dont have a pic, but the end that rests on the stem head was cut and filed into a spear-shaped point) Next, using a hammer, some heat and some "persuasion" I began shaping the bronze to fit the shapes of the skeg and stem resectively, bending the metal around the corner of each piece to provide good abrasion protection if (when) the boat gets dragged around a bit on the beach/shore. Then I drilled and countersunk holes for the bronze screws. Then I bedded the faying surfaces with epoxy thickened with cabosil and installed the skeg piece. I'll do the stem tommorrow. Here are two views of the skeg guard screwed and glued in place.

Build a Dinghy: Part 28: Small Boat Cart

Getting close to launching my Summerbreeze design skiff as a rowboat, while I work on the sailing bits. In any event, I need a cart to wheel it the 400-feet to the bay. Here's what I came up with. First, I scavenged an old bicycle, some U-bolts, a scrap of carpet, some pressure treated 4 " x 4" lumber and a piece of pressure treated stair tread that washed up on the beach. I purchased a length of 3/8" all-thread rod for the axle. I ripped the stair tread to a narrower size, and cut the threaded rod to length. The tread had handy recesses in which to hold the rod straight and secure. Next I flipped the board and measured and marked for the U-bolts, drilling the holes and then using a spade bit to countersink the nuts. I layed the axle in the groove and secured it. Next, I cut the 4" x 4" into two sections and attached scrap carpet as padding using monel staples shot from a T-50 stapler. I secured the padded blocks with galvanized deck screws from below. I used 4-by material since the skeg on my boat is 4-inches tall, allowing the blocks to hold the boat upright while the skeg fits in the slot between them. Then I simply slid the bicycle tires on and secured them with double nuts. I say "simply" but I had to re-tap the nuts for the coarse thread rod ( I tried to buy fine thread rod to match the nuts but couldn't find it locally.) As a finishing touch, I secured a length of web strapping to the blocks with ss screws and cup washers. The idea is these will hold the skeg. I intend to place the stern/skeg in the slot between the blocks and push the boat across the street. The strap will keep the cart in place under the boat. Here's the finished cart.

August 19, 2010

Build a Dinghy: Part 27

After the glue-up cured, I used a pull saw, rasp, files and sandpaper to cut and shape the oarlock pads to their final dimensions. Now to drill for the hardware--the oarlock socket seen here. This required a 3/4" spade bit for the center hole, where the locks go and a pair of stepped holes for the bronze, flathead wood screws that secure the sockets to the blocks. (The holes are stepped to account for the difference in diameter between the threaded part of a woodscrew and the unthreaded shank, just below the head. Here's how they came out.

July 10, 2010

Build a Dinghy: Part 26

Fixed the bike, picked-up the kids and it rained...so I got out of yardwork. Hence, I rushed to my bench, to start building the oarlock pads for my Summerbreeze Skiff. First, I cut some leftover chine stock into 10-inch long pieces and dry fit them together. Next, I coated the faying surfaces with straight epoxy; then buttered them with epoxy thickened with colloidal silica. I used wire ties to clamp the bundles together and a spring clamp to induce a little extra squeeze-out. Longitudinal alignment was achieved by eye, basically, as these 10-inch long blocks form rough stock for oarlock pads that will be 8-inches finished length. Hitting the road, so wont be back to this til next weekend, when, hopefully, I'll shape and install the pads and locks. Then all I need do is flip the boat and give the topsides two more coats of Kirby's. At that point it will be a completed rowboat. Of course, I'm building the sailing version.....but it will be nice to splash the boat while I work on the spars, rudder, tiller, and board.

Build a Dinghy: Part 25

My breasthook is laminated from two 3/4" pieces of teak --cutoffs I had laying around. The glue-up was fine, but I didn't want the end grain exposed on the aft edge. So I fitted this "fashion piece" out of douglas fir to cap the end grain. It matches the inwales.

July 6, 2010

Build a Dinghy: Part 24

Inwale Glue-Up I prepped by masking the boat, as I've learned that blobs of cured epoxy take more time to clean than to prevent. In this shot you can see the blocks, quarterknees, breasthook are ready to accept the rails. I dry fit them to be sure. During the dry-fit, I marked the rails so I would know where to apply a glue. I then slathered on thinned epoxy, to both the boat, and the rails, then buttered each with epoxy mixed with cabosil (colloidal silica), and snapped the rails in place. They stayed more or less put without any clamps, but I applied light clamping pressure to ensure good "squeeze-out." I let them cure for two days, then used block plane to tune everything together. Note that per the teachings of Greg Rossel, my rails display "virtual camber." That is, they are sloped outboard, giving a jaunty look. Much saltier than had I installed them horizontally. In this last shot, we see that I have planed the portside rail, but have not yet "tuned-up" the starboard rail, bringing the inwale, outwale, and spacer blocks into the same plane. Click the pic for a larger view.

April 29, 2010

Build a Dinghy:Part 23

Well, I started on my mast blank. I really need to sand the interior and get another coat of paint on so I can install the inwales, but I need this 10-foot long chuck of wood out of my way. So, I ripped a 2 x 6 out of the 2 x 12 of doug fir I had and then ripped that into a pair of 2 x3's. I pre-coated them with straight epoxy, then a mix with colloidal silica and slapped them together. Clamping pressure is light, using the solvent cans, and I achieved good squeezout. Once I clean up the squeeze a little, I'll clamp this lamination between two boardson which I stapled plastic sheeting so they wont stick. That should cure the slight misalignment seen in the pic. Getting there.

April 15, 2010

Build a Dinghy: Part 22

OK, now that I've got two coats of paint on the interior, I dry-fit my inwales. I clamped them along the spacer blocks and then used my shop-made bevel gauge, a'la Greg Rossel to take and mark the angles on the inwale stock. (Store-bought bevel gauges are too big for the tight confines of smal boats. This one, made from an old hacksaw blade and a rivet is "just right.")I'm happy with how these cuts came out and will now remove the inwales, soak them and clamp them in place. When they dry they will be pre-bent and ready for glue and fasteners.

April 13, 2010

Build a Dinghy: Part 21

My inwale spacer block and quarter knee installation came out fine. Prior to installing the inwales and mast partner, I painted the interior with a coat of Kirby's 'Red Tint." The paint was boxed by pouring back and forth into larger containers. Brushes are a Purdy sash style for cutting around the blocks and frame etc and a 3" Wooster brand recommended by Kirby. As you can see I had a helper: its her boat and she picked the color. Two more coats and then I'll install the inwales and partner. Sharp-eyed among you might notice that I forgot to mask off where the mast step goes. It gets epoxied in place, so I guess I'll have to "wood" that spot for good adhesion, yes? Exterior is white, the rails, stem, knees, teak plywood transom will be oil finished. I am debating what exact finish to use and so a question: Can I paint over Le Tonk, shop-mixed boat soup or tung oil?

March 27, 2010

Build a Dinghy Part 20: Ripping Spar stock and inwales.

Ripped the stock for boom and yard (square pieces) and for inwales. I use a skilsaw and a scrap aluminum fence tacked in place to guide the cuts.

March 26, 2010

Build a Dinghy: Part 19 Spar Stock

Here's a beautiful piece of CVG (clear vertical grain) Doug Fir from which I'll get out my inwales, as well as the mast partner, spar, boom and mast. This board is a nominal 2" x 12" x 14' and I picked through the pile to find the tightest grain and the least knots and pitch pockets.

Build A Dinghy Part 19: Fastening inwale blocks and quarter knees

Here, I spaced the inwale blocks evenely alongside each side of the boat--taking into account the eventual position of my oarlock pads. To make sure they were even on each side (remember, these are curved surfaces) I used a technique called "horning." This entailed affixing a length of string at the bow and running the other end to a block, then swinging the string across the boat and placing the other block at the same length of string. Sounds weird, but if you visualize it, its simply creating a "virtual" isosceles triangle (Thats the one with at least two equal sides.) I clamped the spacer blocks in position, remeasured, the set back and eyeballed everything. Looked good, so I taped off the mounting line. If your sharp eyed, you'll note that the blocks are set a hair higher than the sheer of the boat. This is to create some flare or camber. Once the rails are installed, everything will be planed down flush, creating a slight outboard crown. I applied straight epoxy to both the boat and the blocks. Then I overcoated with thickened epoxy and clamped the blocks in position. Since the temps were to drop into the 30's overnight, and epoxy likes at least 50 degrees to cure, I created a tent over the boat with a blue tarp. I then placed a pair of 100 W worklamps in the boat. This kept the temp on my glue-up at 61-degrees F in my unheated boatshop --er, garage.(LOL)

Build a Dinghy Part 18: Inwales

I've got 61 Hours in my Summerbreeze design skiff, though I started a year ago to date. Such is life. Here, I've cut 1 x2 lumber into 3-inch long pieces to use as the spacer blocks for my inwales ( rails that run along the sheer inside the boat, creating a sort of truss). Twenty blocks, all three inches long but for the two that support the mast partner: Those are 6-inches long. Cuts were made with precision using a simple stop on my bench saw. Rather than sand the end grain of each block one at a time, I clamped up a rack on my bench that secured the blocks end up. I then sanded the end grain of all of them simultaneously using a palm sander. Having no bottom, I simply flipped the rack to sand the other side.

February 14, 2010

Build a Dinghy: Part 17

Here are my quarterknees, almost finished, Just a few more swipes of the plane....

February 11, 2010

Coastal Waters Forecast for Coastal waters from Deerfield Beach to Ocean Reef FL out 20 NM (AMZ651)

Here's todays Wx for tesing boats at the Miami Boat Show. Today I'm running a Luhrs 37 Canyon with IPS and a Formula 400 Super Sport with Joystick-controlled deisel sterndrives from Volvo Penta. Lucky me.. the guys running smaller boats are gonn get killed. Check the forecast by clicking the link. Coastal Waters Forecast for Coastal waters from Deerfield Beach to Ocean Reef FL out 20 NM (AMZ651)

February 4, 2010

Recycling a Makita as a Boat Drill: Part 3

Here's the completed drill. Works great.I can plug it into a recptacle aboard the boat and never worry for lack of power. Its also lighter , not having the battery in the handle, which is advantageous sometimes, like when I use it to give the interior of my Regulator a mid-season wax. I even use it in the shop: I have a 12-volt power supply plugged in at my bench (this powers a VHF radio I use to chat with my fishing buddies when I cant get out on the bay) so I just use it as a corded drill. It took about a half hour to make--a lot less time than it took to post the process to the blog. Click Here for Part 1 Click Here for Part 2

Recycling a Makita as a Boat Drill: Part 2

To wire the Sealink plug described in Part 1, you'll need a small Phillips and a small slot screwdriver. First, remove the center screw holding the assembly together. Next, spin off the threaded tip, which conceals the fuse, and remove the fuse. Third, slip the slot screwdriver under the O-ring so you can grasp it and gently pull it off. Now separate the two halves. Step five is to remove the pair of Phillips screws holding the hold-down bracket and strain-relief boot. Remove both. After stripping your wires, loosen the screws for the wire clamps, slip the boot over your cable; Now insert the wires into the clamps paying attention to polarity. You can see where the positive and negative goes in the picture--or read the directions. Tighten down, pull to test the integrity, re-seat the boot and reassemble the works. Click Here for Part 1 Click Here for Part 3

Recycling a Makita as a Boat Drill: Part 1

A cordless drill is a must tool for the boatowner. No shorepower cord needed. I fit them with paint mixers, use them for making repairs, installing accessories, attach sanding disks, polishing pads....it's my most used power tool. But my while my trusty 14-year old 12-volt Makita still works like a champ, batteries for this veteran are now hard to come by. Sure I can get them on EBAY, or I could repack the cells. But since I have a couple other drills, I decided to make a boat-specific drill instead. Since this model is 12-volts, all I had to do was make a wiring harness to connect to my boats DC power supply. Here's how I did it, in about an hour, using scavenged parts from the nooks and crannies of my shop. Step 1: I stripped both ends of a 12-foot length of ANCOR MARINE 16-gauge duplex boat cable. Duplex has both the (+) and (-) tin-plated conductors already wrapped in a jacket. Its my preffered wire for any boat work because of the tin-plated corrosion resistance-- and its rated fire-resistant to 105 F. I crimped -on spade connectors that mated to the battery contact plates inside the drill on one end of the cable; on the other end, I wired a Marinco SeaLink 12-v plug. I like these Sea Link plugs as they are locking, have an LED on indicator, and are O-ring sealed. I have used them for over a decade and they work great--in fact this one here is scavenged from an old spotlight on which I replaced the cheapo factory plug. The light finally died after 8 years of use. It lived on three boats, but the Sea Link plug is still like new. So I cut it off, chucked in a coffee can of spare parts about a year ago, where it resided( preserved in sawdust) and re-used it here. In Part 2, I'll show you how to wire this plug. Click Here for PART 2

January 21, 2010

Eric Sorensen on Hull Design: Grady-White 230

Here's my good friend, marine consultant, journalist, and boating expert, describing the "why" behind the shape of the keel aboard a Grady-White 230.Eric's website and book are HERE.

January 17, 2010

Build a Dinghy: Part 17

So I deviated from the original plans, deciding to cut a rabbet in my rubrails in order to cover the exposed end-grain of the plywood at the sheerline. But...DOH...I didn't adjust the transom height accordingly. Now, I'll have to install a caprail to make up the height. Can't decide whether to laminate it from several thin strips, or simply bend one stick across the crowned transom and call it a day. Hmmmmm.......