Project "build-a-boat" has officially commenced

Casting Call

Active member
G..U.. What type of hardware are using? Bronze screws/ring nails!! To bad you don't live closer. I have a lot of leftover fiberglass and hardware. Anyone wanting the above mentioned has to just show me the work in progress and you can have all for free. Well not for free! I just want a ride in your boat when it's done. GL Tony
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
Oy veh its been way too long since I updated this thread.

My project is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind where I wanted it to be - my hope of a June launch was dashed. I'm hoping to launch it sometime this year - so I have till Dec 31 for that... heh. Between work, weather, and project set backs I'm only 4 months behind schedule :(

I've run into a few setbacks with this project and learned a few things.

1.) Always check your math, ten times. Somewhere, during the early stages, I must've missed a decimal point or fraction or my dyslexia kicked in - because the hull, as it sits now, is 15'1" long, not 15'6". It is also 6'9" wide, not the 6'6" the plans specified.

2.) Double check hull shape before attaching bottom - once it's cut it's cut and you can't stretch wood.

3.) Buy more wood than you need. Save the trips to the lumber yard.

4.) Have an excuse ready for the fire marshall when they're called after you torch the boat in the back yard... ok not really.

5.) Pay attention to what board you're cutting - don't chop up an expensive piece of cedar to use as a spreader bar when you meant to use a $10 hunk of fir...


So I ran into a couple problems. First - the plans indicated that Doug Fir was fine to use for the chine and sheer clamp (longitudinal frame members) - maybe if it was possible in this day of crappy lumber selection to get clear grain fir - but the knots in the fir I was given kept causing the pieces to bust when I bent them to slip them in. Wound up plunking down $83 per board for clear grain cedar from Parr Lumber. Ouch. The cedar worked great.

So after slipping the chine and sheer in, and getting them faired down with a hand plane and belt sander it was time to attach the bottom. It *looked* flat from the side. After getting the bottom - three full sheets of 3/4" plywood - cut out and attached, it didn't look so flat. And it wast. The damn bow poked down further than the center and stern of the boat. Thought this was because we went with a 6'3" beam originally, when plans called for 6'6" - reason we went short you ask? Because getting the sides to bend out enough to go 6'6" felt damn near impossible and the side panels began making horrible cracking noises. We felt that was a sign to STOP trying to go wider. 3" couldn't make that big of a difference, right? Wrong.

So off with the first bottom. 3 wasted sheets of wood - and almost wasted $83 worth of cedar. (Did that once, mistakenly sliced 6'6" off a 16' plank of cedar when I meant to grab fir, thus ruining one of the really expensive boards). Three new sheets purchased, and replaced the expensive cedar plank. We had to get the boat wider to bring the side panels into the shape needed to correct the bottom. So out to 6'6" we went. It still wasn't flat. Reverse rocker remained. After much swearing and contemplating either cutting it up for scrap, or lighting fire to it - Tyler (youngfishtyler) had a brilliant idea. Attach ratchet straps to the stem and stern posts (a unique feature of this design) and crank them together. It worked - the panels didn't shatter, and finally the bow drew close enough to the transom to flare the sides out and rock the nose "up" and not "down" - thus giving a real flat bottom for the rear 2/3 of the boat and a very gentle upward rocker up front - like a Pacific dory. However, we had to go well past the 6'6" of the plans out to 6'9" to achieve this effect. A boat which was already very barge-like, really is a barge at this point. It's 5 inches wider than I am tall, and has a beam 44% of it's length. Going to have LOTS of room.

I also learned a few things about screw selection - namely if I ever have a project calling for deck screws again - box threads are the hands down way to go, and I'll be damned if I willingly buy phillips heads after being won over by torx heads. Standard thread screws don't bite and suck together as well as the box thread screws.

So at this point I've got the new bottom on, the boat is the right shape, and I flipped it onto the bottom to attach the butt blocks on the interior (these joint he plywood panels that make up the bottom - I was going to go with fiberglass but joints and forego the tripping hazard, but in the quest to speed up the build I went with butt blocks as the plans call for.) Since I had it over right side up - I installed the main thwart seat, to help stabilize the sides and take some of the stress off the temporary spreader board.

I am not planning on fiberglassing the interior of the boat - but I did encapsulate it in epoxy to help waterproof it. It took about 4/5th of a gallon of resin to coat the interior at this point. I still need to install a couple more frame members though - so I'm sure I"ll finish off the gallon completely before I flip it back over for exterior work. And silly me - I was planning this boat build out during the spring, when we had crappy weather, so I went with fast set resin since I needed that for the cool weather we had. Didn't anticipate not doing epoxy & glass work until August in 85-100 degree weather. Working life is all of about 5 or 6 minutes at that temp! That made for a lot of small applications and lots of mixing.

I hope I can get the boat flipped back over and at least get a coat of epoxy on the exterior before rain comes this way - not having a garage sucks. It hasn't been bad with the summer weather - when it has rained the wood has had time to dry before I got to work on it again - but up till now I've had to rely on Tyler for assistance and some weeks our schedules didn't mesh so hot. All the really hard work - physically - is done. My wife and I can flip the boat by ourselves if we need to. I'm sure I could do it single handed if I had to.

I still need to purchase fiberglass cloth to do the outside with. I still have 2 gallons of epoxy, but haven't purchased the cloth yet. I also need to get my paint (which means I need to finalize my color choices...) - plus pick up a trailer and motor(s) before it's ready to launch.

I'm also debating on adding another seat in the bow. It would help stiffen it up quite a bit, but I like all the room too. I'll probably build the seat.

For the costs I've put into this thing so far - I really could've picked up a nice used boat off craigslist. I'd toyed with the idea of this being just my first boat build - and maybe building a Tollman stitch & glue skiff down the road - but I'm seriously rethinking that. Maybe if I suffer a traumatic brain injury and forget the troubles building this one...

Over all it has been a fun, if frustrating project and I'm just anxious to get it finished and fitted out, then get it on the water.

Here's some pix snapped today, after I finished up my interior epoxy work.

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rogerdodger

Moderator
Most Featured
great update...I love that you are so committed to the project that to stay close to it, you set up camp around it (tent, camping chair, wading pool), LOL...with the boat located where a campfire might be...oh I get it, back-up plan! I hope the remaining work goes smoothly...cheers, roger
 

DrTheopolis

Well-known member
That thing is going to be a serious looker when you're done.

Probably too late, but I'm told Shure-Way has far superior lumber than most yards.
 

C_Run

Well-known member
Good thing it's you and not me doing this project or the fire would have happened already and I'd be perusing Craigslist. I try to go with that "measure twice ...cut once" adage but even that doesn't work for me sometimes.
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
Good thing it's you and not me doing this project or the fire would have happened already and I'd be perusing Craigslist. I try to go with that "measure twice ...cut once" adage but even that doesn't work for me sometimes.

That's the pisser - I think the deal was that the plans include three transom shapes - because the set includes drawings for a "16 foot" skiff, a "16 foot" sport skiff, and a 20 foot skiff. The original skiff and the sport skiff have slightly different transom and side panel shapes, and so the two boats have slightly different beams and LOA's - I think I wound up mating up the side panels of one with the transom with the other, thus not getting properly flared panels until pushing it out wider and pulling it in shorter than the plans called for.

The up shot is that this thing will have tonnes of fishing room for a 15 foot boat (15'1" exactly) and can be used (if it ever gets finished) to camp on, sleep in, or act as a landing craft should the Cubans, Chinese or Russians invade us ala Red Dawn style (original, not sharty remake.)

Still have some inner details to work out once it's done - like location of depth finder, rod racks, etc.
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
Work is still progressing. FedEx should be delivering my fiberglass cloth tomorrow. I have the wood completely encapsulated in a coating of epoxy - inside and out.

I've added a forward thwart seat - the boat needed a cross member of some sort to stiffen the bow and add to the overall rigidity and structural integrity - it was either this or try to build an storage compartment in the bow - and I've admitted to my own skill limitations and frustrations at this point and so I've elected to build the seat, rather than attempt to build covered storage. This is also partly why I've elected to go with railed gunnels rather than deck them off - while I could do it and have enough plywood to deck it - it's too much of a PITA and would be pushing what I can do by myself. Besides the railed gunnels are kind of traditional with a wood boat anyway.

I will be doing a short breast hook (bow top deck) after bending in the inside rail - essentially so I have something to mount an anchor cleat and navigation lights onto.

I've sealed up all the cracks with thickened epoxy on the interior of the boat - I don't want water to have any path of intrusion into the wood. I'll be doing some sanding before painting, as some of the epoxy did run/sag - and while it's cosmetic and doesn't really cause a problem - I don't want the boat to look completely half-assed when it's done.

The new seat really did stiffen the bow and makes the whole boat feel more solid.

I also deviated a bit from the plans as far as the four vertical frame members - the original design has these with the narrow side of the 2x6 attached to the sides and floor, and I decided that despite the boat being wider than my ex wife's butt - I didn't want to be banging my knees or rod tips or whatever into the frame members, so I turned them and put the wide side to the wood and just ran them between the sheer and the chine. Still added stiffness to the boat and won't get in the way of things. I don't think it's going to effect structural integrity in any way, nor do I think the two or three screws per member from the bottom in are going to be missed that much - there's screws every three inches or so holding the bottom to the chines plus a bead of epoxy on the inside, and the exterior of the joints will be reinforced with glass tape and a full exterior glassing. If she comes apart, 12 extra screws probably won't be the issue ;)

Now that glassing will be taking place over the next week, I've got to figure out how I'm going to paint it - some guys use house paint, some use marine paint, some automotive, and some cheap out and use spray paint. Finances will probably dictate how I go, at this point as I'm still saving sheckles up for a trailer, motor, and goodies like a new depth/fish finder, batteries, lights, etc.

I hope I can find a decent tiller control motor - though the craiglist prospects are kind of slim at this point. Same motors been posted for a month now - couple decent looking 20hp Mercs from the 70's / early 80's - but 20hp is said to be a bit under powered for these boats, guys on iFish and Wooden Boats say 30-35 is the sweet spot for planing and power and hauling people around. I figure a 30-40 horse tiller would be dandy (not to mention the max the CG says I can hang off the thing in tiller steer configuration)

I also want to throw an electric trolling motor on the back eventually, and I'm going to need to get new oars as well. Still undecided what to do for oar blocks - high density plastic or metal.

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And yes, I realize one of the sheer rails is about 3 inches short - measure thrice, write down your measurements, THEN cut. I'll probably add a short section to extend it before I finish it off.

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Going to hang one more support beam on that transom as well, about 6 inches below the bottom of the motor cut, and might fab up a "knee" to reinforce the transoms attachment too. The plans don't specify that it's needed, but show versions with and without it.

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GungasUncle

Well-known member
I may, just may have this in the water in the next month. Fingers, eyes, and toes crossed. Nice thing about Hagg opening all year round is that I won't have to wait until April to really get out and fish with this thing. I hope.
 

Raincatcher

Moderator
Hey, progress is progress and you're making it! It's looking great! Can't wait to see a pic of you and it on the water, maybe a little blood on the floor. :D
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
More progress today - interior construction is 95% complete. I got the last transom reinforcement installed, cut and installed the two interior sheer rails and stand-offs, ground down some of the screws that wouldn't sink flush with the wood and some that poked through the wood (butt blocks - joining "1/2 inch" ply together with a "1/2" butt block - but 1/2 plywood isn't quite 1/2 inch thick. So the 1" screws used to join them poked through an 1/8th of an inch. )

I learned a couple interesting things today too - stainless steel screws melt when ground down - and instead of removing material, I was more melting and shaping the offending screw heads. The screw head would glow red hot and flow in the direction of the pressure. I was also quite happy/lucky the sparks didn't set anything ablaze as our yard is dry grass, and the boat is nothing but flammable material. I did have the garden hose at the ready though, should a spark catch. Didn't need it.

I also learned that buying one box of screws when you run out is a sure-fire way to ensure you're going to be making a second trip to the store also. I ran out of 2 1/2 inch screws so I ran to Ace (actually Bi-Mart, then Ace because Bi Mart didn't have any stainless or coated screws rated for marine environments) - picked up one box of stainless 2 1/2 incher - of course the brand I got was on clearance, so I got the only remaining box of $11.49 screws they had - I cheaped out and didn't buy a 2nd box because the other brand was $20 a box.

One box of screws was enough to get *one* of the sheer rails in. I had 8 screws left over when done with that side. Of course when I discovered this, it was 4:40 - my wife & son wanted to go to the store with me, so it was 4:50 when we got out of the house - and I was going to try either Parr Lumber or Pro Build lumber yards - figuring they'd both be good options for the screws I sought - but of course they both closed at 5. So it became a trek to Home Depot in Hillsboro. Got back home just after 6. Hour and a half of daylight left, no problem. Rigged a rain fly for the boat, because it was raining steadily in Hillsboro. Dry when I got home, but I didn't trust the weather. Didn't get rained on until I finished installing the second sheer rail.

Bending the rails in by myself was interesting - felt like a chinese fire drill. The first went in easier than the 2nd, surprisingly. I damn near broke the 2nd rail in half - wood actually splintered and snapped off of the outside curve of the piece as I was clamping it into place. Thank god it's not structural! So I still had to get the bare wood sealed and water proofed - so the rain fly went up. By now it was getting dark, so I broke out a flashlight and a lantern, and got to mixing epoxy. The rain was sporadic sprinkles, thankfully.

So now everything is just curing - I was regretting buying the fast cure hardener a couple weeks ago when I was mixing and spreading epoxy in 90+ degree weather - but I sure was thankful for the fast cure stuff now that was in the 60's and kind of damp. It should already be hard now, and will cure up over night and should be unaffected by morning dew, if there is any.

If the weather is at least semi-cooperative, I'll flip the boat back over onto her legs and hit the outside with the sander, the grinder, and epoxy to make sure any gaps or holes are filled in and ready for glassing, and I'll hit the butt joint in the sides with 6" fiberglass tape to further reinforce that joint, same with the bow and where the transom and sides are joined.

Pix from today's progress:

One rail in

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both rails and the top transom support member installed

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The rails kind of compete for space at the bow - this will be covered by a piece of plywood eventually, to hide the ugliness and provide good place to mount nav lights.

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And finally - all the wood is sealed up (notice the color change between the first pic and this one on the rails)

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I just might leave these inner tails natural finish when I paint the thing - that clear coated cedar looks pretty. If it weren't for ugly butt joints, purple colored thickened epoxy filler in places, plus manufacturer's ink all over the plywood I'd consider leaving the whole interior clear finished, but it's too ugly for that. So it'll probably wind up being a light gray inside.


While at Ace I also picked up the huge eye bolt that will become my bow eye - it's not stainless, but that's OK. Depending on the patina it gets if/when it rusts I might leave it or at worst I can always paint it.
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
Couple additions I've made - at the stern advice from the wooden boat crowd on iFeesh - I added the ribs back in that jut into the center of the boat - so much for my less cluttered and less trippy space saving idea. Guess they were "mission critical" vs the "flat rib" approach I took. So now it has both.

Also added in the transom knee that I hadn't yet added when the pix above were taken.

Still to be added - two horizontal transom knees that connect up to the sides, and the breast hook (bow deck) to cover up the ugliness that is the terminus of my inwales.

I'm seriously thinking about leaving a truncated version of the "legs" on - maybe chop them down to about 8 inches in height, they just seem too handy for grabbing, or tying stuff off with. If I don't like 'em I can sawzall them flush and reseal the wood I suppose.

With rain forecast for wednesday and thursday (my days off, of course) I'm trying to get the fiberglass and epoxy on, but that money making thing called work has kept me busy the last couple days and I've gotten home too damn late to actually do the final sanding and begin the full fledged glass work.

I have finally gotten the 6" glass tape over all the bottom joints, as well as the butt joints on the side panels. I've also filled in all the little divots and seriously sunken screw heads with fairing compound - I've got to sand all that crap smooth and then I can begin the fiberglass work.

I'm on the hunt for a cheap / free boat trailer now that I can spruce up and get under this thing. Once I get the exterior painted and the boat flipped over for finishing up the interior I'm going to apply for my title/registration and get the sheriff out to inspect the thing. It feels sooooo close to being done, but so very far far away since I still have no trailer or motor prospects yet. Then again - I was planning the initial shakedown cruise to be at Hagg Lake, and the lake/park has been closed thanks to the forest fire now :( - might have to pick a different body of water for shakedown if the fire lasts a while.
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
Progress is hastening with this thing in an effort to beat the forecast rain this week (figures that my two days off, we're supposed to get soaked). I was able to get the exterior sanded this morning before work, came home and spent about 3 hours glassing the thing - started out in daylight but it got dark quick. Checking the glass job via flash light - I found a couple spots I wasn't super pleased with - the fabric got rumpled in a couple spots, I was able to mostly smooth them down as the fast cure epoxy was still a bit tacky - we'll see how they cure up in the morning though.

I also decided on my two primary colors, and purchased paint and primer today. The exterior of the boat will be a medium tan color - similar to the wood in it's natural state, and the interior will be a medium-light gray. I might pick up a pint of another color - say forest or hunter green to do the rub rails and maybe a spatter job over the gray interior. After doing some research and reading some interesting articles by a chemical engineer who happened to be a boat hobbyist, I opted not to spend $80 a gallon on "marine" grade paint, and I'll be using $30 a gallon Valspar Ultra exterior house paint over Kilz primer.

If I get home early enough from work tomorrow, I'm going to sand the bejesus out of the thing and get primer on it tomorrow night. Rain could come as early as Tuesday night - which is not boding well for me. I know we've had a dry, nasty summer - but I'm not quite ready for rain yet!

Got to figure out a few more interior tid bits - how and where to mount electronics, rod storage, oar block type and placement, and I realized that I gave my 8' oars away with the tin can boat, so I'm going to have to buy new oars too. Since this boat wound up 7 inches wider than plans called for, I'm not sure if 8 footers would be the right choice or not anyway- might need 8.5 or 9 footers if I wind up needing to row.

Some pix - of work from a couple days back:

Transom knee and rear ribs added
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Forward frames added
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Fiberglass tape on butt joints on the bottom and sides, plus at the bow where the sides meet the stem post.

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Had to do some surgery to a couple of the sheer stand offs - the wood split clean in two on two back to back stand offs, so they were epoxied back together and left clamped for a day.

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I'm anxious to get this boat finished, not only so I can fish from her and enjoy the fruits of my labor, but the project has left me with mixed feelings, high highs when things work right, and low lows when something did NOT turn out right, or needed re-doing, or when boo-boos happened. It hasn't been as enjoyable as I'd hoped it would be, and has left me feeling like I don't care to tackle another boat built down the road - I was thinking this boat could be a good family boat until I had the money, time and space to build a bigger boat - as I'd like to someday maybe have a 18 or 20 foot Tollman Skiff, but at this point I don't feel that's something I ever would care to tackle now. My next boat, if and when this needs replaced, will most likely be a welded aluminum factory boat.

One of the bright sides though, is that building this thing has really made my tool collection grow. I've had to buy a lot of tools, and have been gifted a few others that I needed but hadn't gotten around to buying. So that's a plus.
 

Raincatcher

Moderator
Projects like this never go as quickly or as smoothly as we envision them. You have been getting some great experience and it looks darn good. I'm sure you'll get it water worthy very soon. Keep the reports coming! :thumb:
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
More progress - the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to come into vision. Right now the boat has the 2nd coat of primer drying on it - I'm using Kilz2 primer. Once it's dry it'll get a light sanding and then a couple coats of Valspar Ultra exterior acrylic in tan and gray (tan exterior, gray interior).

Or more fun news, I picked up a motor for it today. I went with a 2007 Mercury 9.9 horse 4-stroke, manual start tiller steer model. I went shopping at Stevens, half expecting to buy the tiller steer manual start 25 horse they had on their website, but that motor was sold and the website not updated. My options, in my price range at that point were a lot of 9.9's, an ancient 20 hp Evinrude, or a 20 horse 4 stroker that was almost 10 years older than what I wound up getting. I'm honestly not expecting to set speed records, and most places I plan on fishing are slow-no wake waters or best navigated at no-wake speeds anyway - so getting a newer and more reliable engine over an older, bigger motor won out. The gent from Stevens test ran it for me in their tank, she started first pull every time even cold right off the shelf inside the showroom. After running the thing for about 10 minutes and showing that all the gears work he unhooked the fuel tank to run the carbs dry and I was almost floored at how long that little thing ran at a high idle with no fuel line - had to be pushing 3 minutes without fuel hooked to it. I don't think he was telling tall tales when he told me they're fuel sippers.

So now the only thing left to obtain to get the thing in the water is a trailer. It's proving a difficult task finding one cheap enough that is also big enough. Plenty of cheap trailers to fit a 15 or 16 foot boat on craigslist and the like - but most of those trailers are 2 feet or more narrower than my boat - the problem with building a behemoth boat I spose.

We'll see what I can get done tomorrow now.
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
Ok more progress updates:

I got the final coat of primer on the boat this morning and was able to begin top coating this afternoon.

The boat looked so good with 3 layers of primer, I was almost feeling buyer's remorse over my color choices:

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But once I got the first layer of topcoat on, I was more than happy with how it's turning out:

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While the primer was drying yesterday I reinforced the transom knee - I decided a single piece wasn't enough so I added another piece on either side to have a knee that is around 4.5 inches thick instead of 1.5.

I'm not going to do anymore interior work until the top coats are done and dried, and the boat is turned over for a final time. With all the rain, my yard is getting muddy and I don't want to dirty up the interior, dirty up my tools, soak my wood, or crawl in and out from under the boat over muddy ground.

While running errands today we stopped at Sportsman's Warehouse to price check a list of stuff I need to finish out and rig the boat how I want it, and it was almost depressing. The acronym "bust out another thousand" was applicable. And that wasn't pricing top end stuff either - that was little stuff like switches, fuse blocks, rod holders and bases... the most expensive single items were the trolling motor (which ranged from $175 for a 40lb thrust to $209 for a 50lb thrust, to $280 for a 55lb thrust model) and the fish finder - which was the least expensive bottom end gray scale Humminbird at $79.99 - I didn't bother pricing a battery through them because they don't have Optimas, and I'm pretty sure I can get a Deka lead acid marine battery through work if I really wanted.

Going to call and get a hull inspection scheduled for next week.

Sooooo clooose...
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
Final topcoat was applied this morning, and I purchased a trailer today. Trailer needs some work but it's the best one I've seen of the CL trailers I've looked at. It needs a tongue jack (there's not one on the trailer) and the hitch needs replaced - the locking mechanism was broken and fell out while I was looking at it, but again - this is a pretty easy fix. It needs new bunks - it was a roller trailer at one point and has two home made short bunks - pretty ghetto and rusted, besides the wood is shot and green shag carpeting doesn't do it for me.

So the trailer will get wire wheeled bare, completely reprimed and painted, the winch will get brushed and lubed, if not replaced. The tires don't look horrible - going to have the boss take a look and give his educated opinion on them. Was surprised the trailer came with a spare tire in the same condition as the two mains. Bearings looked OK but again - they're cheap and I'll probably just replace them to be safe. Guy I bought it from said it hasn't moved in 7 years, since right after he bought it (not sure why you buy something like this and immediately put it in storage, but people are crazy).

Trailer needs completely rewired as well. Easy to do though - the frame is bent I-beams and angle iron, not square tube, except for the tongue. And I've got two brand new light housings from my little tin can I used to have. $11 at Wal Mart gets me a new 30' long 4-flat connector wiring harness. Easy peasy.

It's all coming together :)
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
Forgot to add - Saturday was my birthday. My dad gave me a gift card to Sears, which aside from maybe some craftsman tools I wasn't sure sears had much for me, but sears.com is a trove of stuff - including a huge fishing, hunting and boating section. Everything from Eagle Claw to RL Winston rods, South Bends to Sages. I was debating picking up two Abu Garcia Black Max reels, then I found a Humminbird Piranamax 195 - which is essentially the color version of the last couple depth finders I've had, so I ordered it and it should be here next week. :)
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
More updates:

Trailer pix from the day I bought her

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Needs a LOT of work - new lights, new bunks, new paint, new tires, new bearings (at least pull and repack existing if they're OK) and either a new ball coupler or replace all the missing guts of the current coupler.

Yesterday was supposed to be final flip day. Yesterday was attach bottom shoes (long runners) day. Yesterday was also Royal F Up Day and "Screw What I Had Planned Day" I guess. I didn't see those two last bits on my calendar, but boy oh boy were they on there.

See, I didn't realize something, which turned out to be an important something. The transom on the boat, when cut out, was nice and flat and square. Once the sides, bottom, and knee was attached - it wasn't quite so square anymore, there's a very gentle curve from the center of the transom out to the corners. Had I noticed this yesterday morning before I attached the shoes - I would've saved myself a lot of heart ache, head ache, and frustration. I carefully measured the distances set forth in the plans for attachment of the shoes - ten inches on either side of dead center, thus the shoes should be 20 inches apart. My plan was to install them running parallel to each other to keep drag to a minimum.

Like I said, I measured, I made sure the first runner was nice and square to the transom, I laid out it's position with painter's tape, and commenced to drill 42 holes in the bottom of my boat to attach the runner. Well, 43 since one hole wound up too close to the transom and actually wound up drilling into the bottom side of the transom. Oops. No biggie though - that can be fixed and filled with silicone sealant, and the shoe would be bedded with adhesive sealant anyway. First shoe on, success!

Like I said before, I wanted the shoes to run parallel to one another, so I carefully measured and squared them up to each other - perfectly 20 inches apart at both ends, taped out the position, drilled 42 more attachment holes and voila! Both shoes on the boat. I was feeling happy with myself until I walked to the back of the boat - and something didn't look right. It looked very, very not right. The port side shoe appeared to be "off" - the forward end of it was closer to the middle than the starboard shoe. Out comes the tape measure to make sure things were square and proper distance between runners- check. Then it dawned on me - check the distance from the outside of the shoes to the outside edge of the bottom. Starboard shoe - 18.25 inches edge to edge. Port shoe - 24.25 inches edge to edge. Oooooh the curses I uttered. I could'nt just leave it - my boat would want to constantly turn in a big wide right hand circle - I hate driving in circles. Nascar races about send me into a seizure from boredom. It had to be fixed. My mistake was assuming the transom was still square when it wasn't.

Tyler was coming over to assist me - so we went to pick him up, then it was a stop at Home Depot for another 2x3 to cut a new shoe out of, since there was no way to drill holes to use the existing shoe at a new angle. Also picked up hardware, wood, and outdoor carpet to assemble new trailer bunks and brackets out of while there, and a pair of 1/4 inch dowels to fix my Royal F Up of the day. I about cried because fixing my huge mistake meant sanding off 3 layers of paint, 3 layers of primer, and sanding down to the fiberglass. I also had to drill the holes larger - from 5/32nd of an inch to 1/4 of an inch. The fix came by cutting dowels off into 3/4 to 1 inch (approximated) sections and pounding them into the holes. Once they were all pounded in, a new layer of epoxy was laid down, and the last of my fiberglass tape was laid over top, plus a piece cut from scrap to cover what the tape couldn't. This is again where I'm glad I bought the fast cure stuff - because I would still be waiting for the other stuff if I hadn't.

So yesterday didn't see a lot accomplished - the holes were patched up, the rub rail pieces were installed (Parr didn't have 16 foot long Hemlock, so I got 4 8-footers and did some fancy angle work to make a reasonably smooth joint, and that was about it. Tyler came back over today to assist again - but we had to stop at Home Depot for another dowel, this time a 1/2 incher because I managed to make yet another error with a drill. This morning after getting up, before going to pick Tyler up - I decided to attach the big eye bolts for rear tie downs and the bow eye - I measured carefully and gave myself what I though to be plenty of space - and drilled a big fat 1/2 inch diameter hole through the transom, through the port side stern post...and the angle of the transom I forgot to take into account left me with 1/4 inch too little space to get the washer and nut onto the eye bolt. More cursing, but not as bad as this wasn't a killer problem like 42 holes in the bottom of the boat would be. I adjusted my measurements, went 2 inches closer to the bottom and got both eyes attached, and managed not to nick any of the 50 or so screws holding the sides and transom to the stern posts on either side. I even got my bow eye installed without messing up any of the screws holding the sides to the stem together. Felt proud.

The first task of the day was to sand the now dried epoxy, removing the excess fiberglass, and prepping for paint. The lovely thing about Kilz primer is it's ready for a 2nd coat, or a top coat in 1 hour on a nice day like today. So primer was painted onto the big bare bottom section, plus the rub rails. While I was doing that, Tyler began attacking all the rust on my trailer with a wire wheel on a grinder. Slow, tedious work.

After an hour the primer was nice and dry - and being an impatient so and so (plus the fact that my Valspar paint is paint/primer in one stuff) I threw down a layer of topcoat - tan for the hull and light gray for the rub rail. This is when I discovered my wife likes to paint - she asked to help paint the bare spots. So on with the top coat - we let it dry for almost the 2 hours the can called for and reapplied (it was a nice day, and the first layer was very dry) a 2nd coat. Now, here's where I admit to being a bit lazy when I get home from work - I've been meaning for a week to get the rub rails pre-painted before attachment. It didn't happen. So they got painted on the boat - and well, some of that primer and paint made it's way off the rails onto the main, already painted hull. So there's some touch up work to be done, no big deal.

After letting the 2nd coat dry for couple more hours, and taking turns with Tyler on the grinder removing paint from the trailer - I decided to turn the boat over - figuring the paint can finish curing while I work on the rest of the boat. I'm already falling further and further behind schedule and I'm getting impatient. So we gingerly turned the boat over and set her up on blocks - when it was just a plywood and epoxy hull I let her sit on the ground directly - but now that she's pretty and painted, up on blocks she went.

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First order of business after the flip was to remove any bits of dowel sticking up beyond the floor - the last thing I need was to step on one and push it out through the fiberglass on the bottom! Tool of choice for this - my trusty Dremel with cut off wheel.

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If you look close, you'll see rows of dowels poking up through the floor, awaiting the cutting wheel.

After getting the dowels removed, I decided it was time to dry fit the motor:

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This lead me to the decision that just the doubled up 3/4 inch ply wasn't enough - I wanted a third piece to help fill the gap at the motor's foot, so we cut out a 10x12 inch piece from scrap, and I decided that proper application of this piece would be 4 heavy duty lag bolts and more PL Premium adhesive sealant. Off to Bi Mart for 1/2 inch diameter lag bolts, a staple gun I forgot to buy whilest at Home Depot, some staples (for attaching carpet to the 2x6's that will become my trailer's bunks).

Back home we set to attaching the new transom backer. Drilled holes - realized that instead of 4 4inch bolts, I should've bought 2 4's and 2 6's - as the attachment of the lower corners was through the transom cross brace. DOH. 4 inches of bolt just came flush with the surface inside. Remember, I'm not a terribly patient guy anymore - Bi Mart was closed, I had adhesive all over the insides of this 10x12 hunk of wood... so it was decided to bust out a counter sink bit and stick with the 4 incher and just remove a little material from that cross brace. In the end it worked out well. The new extra hunk of wood is going no where, and there's more wood to fill up the motor mounting bracket.

Going to paint this new piece gray, just to offset it a little bit.

Once the boat is on the trailer, I'm going to permanently attach the motor by adding a pair of bolts through the mounting bracket - this is mostly so there is greatly reduced chances of the motor coming off the boat when I don't want it too.
 
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