Okay, every day for the past two weeks it has been over 90 degrees. This is uncommon for our area, which is normally a middle 80’s average, with a couple days a year over 100. Its been HOT. I find that when you have a boat, and it’t hot, you want to use the boat. This makes you want to have the boat finished to a usable point.
Completion can happen, but it comes with TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCES….
I planned on having it available to launch friday, so monday I started installing systems, and Shayne came to help precoat the boat with epoxy. Outstanding, I must say, on his part. The decks were finished out, and the filler was placed in the forward seating area:
The system installation is pretty simple, just time consuming. The kit I used was the No-Feedback Teleflex single cable setup. I wanted smooth, easy steering, low maintenance, and no struggling against prop torque.
The kit includes a paper template. When combined with tape…
I poked the holes, then Shayne and I went to town precoating EVERYTHING, knowing that the boat is going to go for a swim soon.
Wednesday included the assembly of the steering system, which had its issues. The cable I ordered is 2 feet too long for my locations. I ordered a 15 foot cable, as it was measured out to about 14 feet from one end to the other. This is what they reccomended, as I rounded up to the next foot when I had extra inches. Yeah, much too long. I did get it wedged down into the aft compartment though, so it might stay that way until winter.
The console end of the install was painless, but the cable does have to take a bit of a torturous route in. It not only turns with a tight radius to get to the wheel (within spec, but tight), but it also hits the deck in that area. It will cause some issues with the coaming when I install it later, but that’s for another day.
The console install:
I then worked thursday. This is where things went HORRIBLY WRONG.
We absolutely got our asses handed to us on shift. A good hot house fire mid-afternoon in the 100 degree heat, busy evening, and 5 calls after midnight gave us about 4 hours of total sleep. After work, I cruised over to the licensing office, received my HIN and license for the boat (0700 is my number, cool eh?) When I headed home, this boat needs to be swimming friday night (or sat morning), so lets get cracking, regardless of being tired.
I start on the fuel system, as it’s easy to finish out. First, the filler hose was ready, and I placed the filler neck in the precut hole. As I eyeballed the hose in place, I picked out my spot to cut, looks good. I laid knife to hose, then clipped the coiled wire that gives it support. Stretched it back into place, and realized the error.
THE $55 HOSE WAS 3″ TOO SHORT.
I used every word I could think of for carnal acts, bodily functions, blaspheming, and generally unpleasant language. I threw tools. In an attempt to make it work to have it in the water later that evening, I thought I could pull an inch off the nipple on the tank side, in its sealed compartment. As I gingerly twisted a short distance, I felt the nauseating pop of the hose slipping off the nipple, IN THE SEALED COMPARTMENT. I broke some unrelated items. I literally had to keep from crying. I have just given myself a full day of extra work. I now have to cut a hole in my seat tops forward. I have to buy a hatch that may not fit as flush as I would like. I hate myself.
I went outside for a moment, regrouped, and came back to the project.
The throttle assembly went in without a hitch. The cabling was easy enough, plenty of length, easy to install, messed around with cable length a bit, but it all worked out great. Except when the shop rerigged the motor, they left out the bushing that retains those cables…. ugh…. So I went to work making some bushings. They worked to a point.
After the steering and throttle were functional, I threw in my 3 gallon can from the tug. We were fuelled, controlled, and precoated. All is ready.
So then the wind blew. 30mph, gusts to 50mph. Severe thunderstorms. No Launch. I give up.
Saturday morning was warm, sunny, beautiful, light breezes, and the neighbors were headed out to get on the water. I think its time for sea trialing!
Broad daylight for the first time. This gives you a great perspective on the freeboard. Im 6’3″ and standing on the sole:
I must say, I was rather atwitter.
Over to the launch (we have a personal one for the neighborhood) slowly, as the boat isn’t necessarily well attached to the trailer, just a couple tiedowns over the transom. It just ever so gently backs in, so I popped in the boat, and Chris “beaverlover” Gielow finished the backing of the truck. Motor fires right up. Gently put it in reverse. It doesn’t move. Back in further. More throttle, doesn’t move. Ahhh, the tiedowns….. She pops up like a cork and drifts off the trailer without throttle.
This is a good day.
Working out the controls, making sure steering and all cables are kosher, trim, etc are all functional at the launch:
It’s all a go-go.
I cruise over to the house, pick up Chris, Dom, and Sean, then off we go!
Here is a shot showing the freeboard on the interior, as well as the seating in the bow and its reference to the rest of the boat. Also, you will note, as promised, SWMBO in bikini:
So here are the particulars on the sea trial (these will be reposted at forums.bateau.com ):
5 people, 3 gals of fuel in the aft storage area
full throttle: 25.5 mph by GPS
cruising speed 70% throttle: 19 mph
She runs away from her wake at 1/8 thtrottle, loses wake froth at 1/4 throttle, and has no hole, no strange planing movements, just slips from rest to any throttle setting comfortably. This thing is amazing. With a substantial load (2/3 of which were in the bow seating area) she left little wake, moved out with little effort, and plowed a substantial bow spray. It remains dry even with large chop and wakes, shipping only wind-driven spray. With the bow weighted, waves were so gentle as to not jar even a woman with back ailments.
The scuppers are not going to be a go as drawn, Jacques. With this load of people (about 900lb) the scuppers would be about 2″ below the waterline at rest, and about 1″ below green water when at full throttle. The decks would have been awash the whole time had the side scuppers been in place. I think the aft scupper is the way to go, through the transom, but let me know your thoughts.
The fuel vent is right below the gunnel, inside the port side cabinet. With this load, I probably shipped 1/2 gal of water. This is a blessing of the SNAFU on the fuel system, as I would not have seen this had I not screwed up the fuel filler hose. I think a ball check valve might work, in combination with high hose routing. Ill keep you posted.
2 people, plus food and drinks, 400lb payload:
full throttle: 27.5 mph
cruising speed, 70% throttle: 20.5 mph
When turning, up to 70% of full lock is okay at any throttle setting, but more than that will cause massive ventilation. The type of ventilation that stops the boat dead in its tracks until the throttle is backed off.
When light boat like this, she does pound at speed. Obviously we are only using the aft planing surfaces, so its essentially a 14′ flat bottom. Sean was beside us in his boat, and noted that at least 2′ of skeg is visible out of the water. We do not have fuel in the forward fuel tank at this time, but I am also considering putting in a water ballast tank forward (fat sack) for those rough nasty days, as this thing is a DREAM when the bow is in the water.
There are no rattles, no creaks, no funny noises at all. It sounds like a drum when it hits waves, with a nice quiet bump, no matter how big the slap.
It is a touch on the weight sensitive side abeam. A 200lb person can change the trim from one side to the other an inch or two when at cruising speed. Not a huge deal, esp once the seats are in place.
On the throttle, the boat moves in a relatively different way than I am used to. It’s a deliberate rush, not a quick jerk, through the throttle. She’s just too elegant to be in any hurry, but it gets to speed very quickly. There is no speed that I can find where she is uncomfortable or isn’t efficient. When light, there is barely a hint of wake at almost any speed.
When off the throttle from cruising, expect a little longer drift than most boats. It seemed to be so efficient that it just kept on sliding through the water without any power.
The water moves away from the sides at the transom in a way I will try to photograph for you next weekend.
There you have it, she’s been wet. It’s not the launch, but the sea trials are complete, the list of fixes is long and arduous, but that’s the nature of the beast. It will be back in next weekend when temps once again sneak over 100F. Until then, here’s a nice parting shot of her wake with 5 aboard, at about 17mph:
In light of the marathon read of the last post, I will keep this one a bit more to the point…
Im sure we all remember the tank fiasco. It was a depressing foray into the doldrums, a realization that major screwups happen. Here is proof that even a major bonehead move will not stop your project.
All that needed to happen was a quick run down to the House of Hose (yes, that really is the name of the joint), pick up ANOTHER $40 filler hose, bring it home, and get to work. One of the benefits of a boat that gets paint instead of varnish is the ability to fix problems without taddletale lines. A little filler goes a long way to protecting your boatbuilding ego.
I got out the saber saw, snapped the blade in half to prevent myself from cutting into the tank or any of the hoses below, drew some lines estimating where the hose fittings were, rounded off the corners with a pop can and a pencil, and went to town. A whopping 20 minutes later, the problem was solved, and we were back in business!
As I would be doing some epoxy and fiberglass work on the seats, I had some extra filler mixed up and just put the little bugger back together later on the next day. Eazy peazy.
While I had the fuel system on the mind, I remembered that due to the location of the fuel vent, and the lack of spray rails on this boat, I had a fair amount of water coming through the vent. To remedy this, I read a few pages, and figured out that I either needed a $30 p-trap type fuel system attachment, or I could just run a loop in the boat and protect it with gravity.
Done and done!
Hell, we are on a roll, lets do some other projects.
Another little project that needed doing was to precoat the compartments with paint before I close them up. The compartments are rather hard to paint through a hatch, so I decided to slob on a bit of paint while I had full days to work. The color is Grand Banks beige, which I find to have a bit of green in it. Love the color, used it in the rowboat with great results.
All the projects are moving fast, so I got into something a bit more involved. I planned on doing the seats per plan, but after using the boat a bit, I changed my mind and did the following mods: lengthened the port side bench to the console, thus it can be used as a lounge, ran the full back bench with a very small amount of added depth, and completely omitted the starboard bench. This gives the boat a more open feel, and gives a working railing for landing fish, hauling pots, getting into and out of the boat, and helps to trim the boat when Im alone.
First we rough everything in, getting a feel for what it will do:
Now that it is all set, we need to find a way to brace it in place so things don’t move around while the epoxy cures. I like clamps with any scrap stock, moved around until the tape measure likes it:
A little fiberglass tape and some epoxy precoating, and presto, we have seat boxes:
At this point, I had a shift of work to do, so I finished it out as best I could to use in the water. There are seat braces for each box, 2 per seat unit, to support weight and divide storage areas up. Mainly I wanted sturdy, sag free seats, but also wanted to use some of the 6mm plywood scrap as seats. Waste not….
It was toasty this weekend (94-96F), so she went back in the drink to test out the fuel system, the new trim angles afforded with the trim pin moved, a little ballasting change with 15 gals of fuel in it, and swimming. Everything worked flawlessly.
In our last visit, we observed the two long boards creating the seat profile, next, we need structural support. This boat is set up light, so we need to frame it to be strong.
In this shot, you will see the aft seat framing, most notably where a wedge was required. I boofed the cut a bit, but a wedge of scrap epoxied in place did a fantastic job of repairing it:
On the port side, the same was done:
What you don’t realize is that I had a pump failure on the last batch. The pump I used for the hardener decided to have a major mishap. The ball check valve in the bottom of the pump became lodged too high, and allowed fluid to drain both directions, halving the amount of hardener I added to the resin.
I literally pulled the frame out by hand, 3 days later.
Moral of the story, have extra pumps on hand.
After the major snafu with the fuel hose, this was boring in comparison. Easy fix, followed by some glassing.
Lastly, the decks needed finishing. The compartments have been painted previously, both aft hatch openings are in place, and all cable/hose routing had been finalized.
Dry fitting of the side hatches, with a 1/16″ gap or less:
Once those are placed, the aft panel needed some “manipulation”. Im not sure if it was due to the 4 stroke motor, the fact that it’s 50hp, or if the lines for the motorwell need to be revisited for more contemporary motors, but the aft edge was not going to work. No room for the motor. I had to get creative.
I cut out a panel to cover the area (twice, mind you. I measured the panel and cut it out to a measurement across the transom. The boat is beamier forward. Im an ass.) and laid it up in a dry fit. Measurements were pulled off the motor in various states of trim to find an appropriate gap. Once the gap was finalized length wise, I cut an inspection hole shape right at the motor.
This allowed me to measure the radius of the arc of the engine. Laying that down on the panel, then stretching it so that it hits the edges of the stringers/motorwell sides, I cut the arc, and laid it back on top for another dry fit:
Alright, lets glue:
I then prepped and cut seat tops out of scrap 6mm ply. Light, but I think it’ll be strong enough. No pictures please, no pictures.
I do have a little beef, there is a monster gap from the front of the motor to the E frame. This will have to be filled somehow, and might need to be addressed in the plans. Im thinking of a removeable, drop in cover that sits on battens. Not sure yet, still working it out.
As you, my loyal readers, have been watching this saga, this marathon, this epic, this odyssey of a build (is it an Iliad too?), what you didn’t realize is that my flip-flops were wearing out. You see, I have a pair of flops that I wear out and about, the nice flops. I also have the pair with epoxy on them, the shop-flops. I have been waking up for the past couple weeks with sore feet. I decided to get rid of the shop flops. I buy the Teva “Mush” flops, because they are soft, squooshy, and they love my feet in ways inappropriate in Utah. Unfortunately, that also means they wear out faster than a streetbike tire.
I have moved on, we are on to shop-flop pair #2 for this build. I had hoped the build would only last through one pair of flops, but we are not doing that kind of build here. This is a trudge, this is something that requires resolve….
Basically today is just a progress report. We have a big party coming up (Saturday, for those of you in the greater Spokane area, email me or post a comment if you want to attend!), which I had hoped to have the boat finished for. Uhm, nope. So I finished out the decks, the seats, rounded off the sharp edges, and got her ready for another weekend of use while unfinished.
Our photos day include the seats (which photos have been requested by several):
Forward, showing the now-completed consoles, rounded edges, and still unfinished bow seating area:
And the posterior for posterity shot:
I had begun the fairing process, one which I am growing weary of, as this is a big boat with lots of surface area. Carpet keeps creeping into my head as a salvation to all the sanding and filler application. This is the general process.
First we lay fillets in places we haven’t gotten finished yet:
Then we tape!:
Follow that with grinding off the selvage edge that keeps the tape together:
Now lets sand the buggery out of the whole stinkin boat. This step is required as I had done a pretty assy job of putting epoxy on the wood in a hurried attempt to play during the summer weather. It did the job, but it was an extra couple hours of sanding to fix all the drips and hooeys. Not terribly much fun, but at least its finished.
This morning’s task was quickfair (though the terribly astute may have already surmised this outcome, my dear Watson).
So currently it is curing. Due to the temps today, I will probably have to let it sit overnight. I plan to also fill the weave on the floor and do an overcoat tomorrow, as it can sit curing over the weekend.
While you are here, lets talk tools. Steering wheel pullers cost money. Alot of money. Renting them works, but is a hassle.
I decided to make my own with what was laying around the shop. All it took was a section of 2×4, longer than the diameter of the wheel, two clamps, and a single large diameter carriage bolt type screw. Drill the appropriate hole for the root of the screw, get good purchase, and drive it in. Be careful not to pull the outer ring off the spokes of the wheel, but in certain circumstances, its plenty strong to get a wheel off of a tapered shaft.