Project "build-a-boat" has officially commenced

GungasUncle

Well-known member
So despite me being able to screw up a wet dream this week - we did get quite a bit accomplished. I'll be grinding rust and paint off the trailer in my free time this weekend (my work week...) and doing some of the interior work on the boat as well. I have a good idea how to want to build out the pilot's seat now. i've got to glass over the dowel divots on the floor of the boat and seal that stuff up a bit better. Lots of sanding to do on the interior. Hopefully get some paint on soonish too.

Didn't get the Sheriff out this week to inspect - held off till next week because I had a feeling I would be behind schedule again. I was right.

I wish we had 4 more hours of daylight every day, and 8 days in the week so I could have enough time to finish this thing. Anticipation is killin me!


Ohyeah - I did finally decide on a name for this beast - it shall hence forth be known as the Half Fast - say the name fast to get what it really means ;) I need to get a decent stencil to get the name put on the boat soon.

I'm going to try finding a spray can color close to the boat's main color do finish the trailer in - and thought about rattle canning our Suburban (which looks like crap but runs nicely) to match and name it the "Half Fast Hauler" but my wife has reservations about that idea. We'll see.
 

rogerdodger

Moderator
Most Featured
Ohyeah - I did finally decide on a name for this beast - it shall hence forth be known as the Half Fast - say the name fast to get what it really means ;) I need to get a decent stencil to get the name put on the boat soon.

excellent name! I like it...
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
A bit more progress thus far:

Trailer is about half stripped of paint. Got the new guts for fixing the ball coupler in the mail on Saturday - have not installed this yet. That's on tomorrow's agenda.

Also got my depth finder in the mail yesterday.

My boat working plans for today were half torpedoed by my wife - she made some plans and it wound up killing about 3.5 hrs of afternoon today :dispirited: - so this morning I focused on building the pilot's bench seat.

I wound up making it 2 inches "shorter" - ie closer to the floor - than the other seats, as I intend when funds allow to add a seat base and install a folding, padded seat. The skipper deserves a comfortable seat, right?

With two reinforcement runners under it I got the seat stiff enough to stand on (tested with one single runner under it and it was too springy and wobbly feeling) - and it's the perfect height for sliding a 3 gallon tank under - there's actually room for a pair of 3 gallon tanks side by side under there.

And after looking over Roger's rebuild thread - I decided I liked having the FF close by and forward of the pilot's position, but I wanted the unit to be low enough to be protected by splashes, so I attached it to the end of the bench. I'm going to mount a fuse block under the pilot seat as well - really have no choice as I intend to put my battery/batteries on the other side of the boat, and the power cable for the FF is about 6 inches longer than the seat is long.

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Forgive the dark photos - I was so focused on getting work done I didn't bother with daylight pix today.

Right after I got the FF base installed it was time to head out for the wife's afternoon adventure.

Got home about ~4 PM - so I had roughly 3 hours of daylight left to burn. I decided that I'd get the corner "decks" on tonight. I was going to leave the stern posts long, but decided this afternoon that a long stem post was all I really needed, and that the stern posts might interfere with certain fishing activities. Off with their heads! I also trimmed the stem post down to about 7 inches above the gunnel - hacking off about 10 inches from it.

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Plenty long enough to loop a line around but short enough not to be interfere with the bow lights I want to use.

So triangular knee decks were installed. These were a real pain in the butt as the angles of the sides and stern cause the plywood to flex in multiple directions - I had to torture the wood into submission, and will have to shoot some filler along / under the very edges because I simply could NOT get the edges of the plywood to come flat on the outsides of the boat. The voids in the plywood also gave me some grief and contributed to this problem - expensive marine plywood probably would've been more cooperative. Or made more expensive firewood.

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You can see in the next photo (blurry as it is, sorry) that these things have quite a bit of upward curve to them. Lots of tension and energy stored up in these, if they snap it's probably gonna hurt like a lady dog if you happen to be standing by them or touching them...

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It was getting dark right about the time I finished sanding down the edges of the second knee (did starboard first, then port) - so I put the power tools away to be a good neighbor. I did bust out my cleats and just toy with positioning them:

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I did also decide how I'm going to store the rods - at least while the boat is underway, and possibly for travel depending on how bouncy they get:

Berkley plastic rocket launcher type racks. I picked one up at Bi Mart the other day (all they had was one, I wanted 2) - Bi Mart has the best price on these at just a hair under $12 per.

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I'm going to mount them at the outside ends on the rear side of the middle seat (hopefully that description makes sense) - that should leave plenty of room for 2-3 passengers sitting on the bench while underway and not interfere with the rods, while keeping them off the floor and out of harms way and clumsy folks (like me.)

Tomorrow I've got to get the breast hook installed at the bow, get the interior sanded and begin painting, then I can turn my attention back to the trailer and get the bunk hardware installed and hopefully get the bunks on. My goal is to get the boat moved from the blocks it is sitting on in the back yard, onto the trailer on Wednesday next week.

Need more daylight, and more days off during the week, I swear...
 

rogerdodger

Moderator
Most Featured
Cool, isn't it always the case that when you get near the end of a big project, all the little things left to get done take much longer than expected... cheers,roger
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
Progress today was slower than I wanted. I started work at 8:15 this morning - focused on getting the bresthook (bow deck) installed. My original plan was for this to be a single piece of plywood about 30 inches long. Of course, if you look at the inwale rail I have going on, you'll note that the rail angles upward and outward - there's nothing that could be considered "flat" about it. So 3 hours later between belt sander and jack plane, I've got the forward 30 inches of the inwale as flat as I could get it - I actually destroyed about 4 stainless steel screws in the process and put some gnarly dings in the blade of my jack plane. It still wasn't flat enough for the breasthook to be flat, but I figured that I could torture the plywood into shape like I did for the transom knee decks.

The breasthook was cut from the same piece of plywood the others were cut from - so I figured no problemo. Oh was I wrong. I snapped the first piece of plywood pretty badly. So, not to be deterred, I decided that a single piece that big, being bent in such compound angles was just not going to work, so I hatched a plan to segment it - into 9 inch wide strips. Working from back to front on the attachment, I began clamping the first piece on. There were some groans from the plywood, but 6 6" c-clamps got the wood bent, and allowed me to screw it down.

Removing the clamps I saw that the wood on the outer edge sprung back upward, and the screws didn't pull the plywood down into the sheer and inwale like I wanted. More clamping, tighten the screws, add a few more and... still could not, no matter what I did, get that outer edge to lay flat. I did put a dent in the bottom of the rub rail from a couple of the clamps though. DOH.

So I say "sod it" - I'll bevel the edges down with the sander when it's all done, fill the void with PL premium to seal it up, if it turns out not to work properly, or leaks, I can remove and replace it down the road.

So with one piece attached, I went to add a 2nd strip. SNAP. Okay, try again. SNAP. OK this isn't looking so good. Try attaching a piece at the front, right aft of the stem post - first try, SNAP. That was due to a void in the wood though. So with the front edge being a lot flatter, I try a wider piece - about 18 inches wide, and it went on much like the first successful piece, that is to say the edges won't lay flat.

So with two pieces in place, and a gap to fill, I try another piece to fill the gap. SNAP. Then inspiration hits - narrower strips. Instead of 9 inches, lets try 6 inches. SNAP. Okay, lets try 2.5 inches... SUCCESS on the first attempt with the shorty. This left me an odd size gap to fill though - wound up cutting one of my narrow strips down further - which snapped due to a void. At this point it was rip a while new strip out of a full sheet of ply (not a fun proposition) or see what I could do with the scrap laying about... so I filled the void with a couple pieces that were about an inch and a half wide.

I ran a stiffening board under the pieces, right up the center on the bottom. I don't have anymore cedar scrap laying about, so I wasn't about to try getting any of the junky, knotty fir to bend to make a cross member to attach beneath it.

I beveled the edges down, but there was still quite a gap because the edges wouldn't lay flat. I gooped up really well with PL premium, and we'll see how well it lasts. I might wind up cutting the breasthook off and re-engineering after testing. Or, for that matter, if the plywood doesn't hold up and snaps. I don't think I'd take the "lumberyard" part of the Lumberyard Skiff to heart if I were to have to build this boat again. Real marine plywood, while 4-6 times the cost of of construction grade underlayment plywood I used would've been a much better choice - far fewer voids, and just better wood overall. Chalk it up as another lesson learned.

After getting the breasthook completed - around 3PM or so (yeah, that's right, 7 hours I spent on the stupid thing making lots of match sticks out of plywood) I had to run to bi-mart because i'd snapped my last sanding belt. Got back, started sanding the interior and newly added wood in preparation for painting - was sanding my new pilots bench down, when the sanding belt caught a check in the top of the wood and ripped a 3" x 3" hunk out off the top two layers - another void in the wood. I used the last bit of epoxy I had fixing last week's screw up, so the big hole got sanded smooth and will just live there. It's right about where the seat base will go when I get a folding seat anyway...

By about 5:30 or so, we began putting the first coat of primer on the interior. Finished it up just as the last bit of daylight was gone, and dinner was done. I didn't even kick the tires on the trailer today. Oy veh. My tentative goal is to get the trailer bunks installed and the trailer ready to at least receive the boat by Wednesday. Heh, we'll see.

Sheriff wasn't able to come out today to inspect the hull - they will come out next week instead. Probably better off that way anyway.

Why is the home stretch always the one to take the most time?
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
Got the boat moved to the trailer today - was a scary, physically demanding process that took 6 people to do. Got to do some paint touch up now, and clean some mud off the sides and bottom.

The trailer still needs a lot of work - stripping some more old paint off, repainting it, replacing the winch line, new tires... I also discovered that I didn't properly estimate how far the boat would stretch past the bunks - I overestimated it, and so the winch pylon/bow cradle will need an extension. The trailer was set up for a 17 footer, but my boat is 15. Moving the pylon back to it's furthest position I"m still about 8 inches short of the bow cradle making contact with the boat.

Trailer bunks turned out well.

I purchased some accessories today - bi mart had a good price on Cannon rod holders - I bought the three they had, checked another store to find them out. I need at least one more for a matching set, plus some extra bases. Picked up the 2nd rocket launcher set I wanted as well, so now my vertical rod storage is taken care of. Picked up a folding swivel seat and base for the pilot's position.

Still more "stuff" left to get. Going to try getting the sheriff to come take a peak at it tomorrow. Kind of hoping for a test splash next week.
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
Got the sheriff out today to inspect the boat so I can register it.

Also hit the Hillsboro Bi Mart and grabbed two more of the Cannon rod holders (FYI they're selling for $16.99 and come with a base that has both side and top of gunnel mounting options) so now I've got 5. That will be plenty for this boat. Got the spray paint to get the trailer done, but did not get any paint on the trailer yet. Still need to grid the rest of the old stuff off. I'm hoping 3 cans of primer and 3 cans of paint gets the job done.

A stop at Home Depot got the mounting screws for the rod holders and the cleats - I'm kind of surprised that Cannon didn't include screws to mount the bases with.

We did get the interior painted up though - two coats on the sides and bottom, touch up on the exterior of the boat (though I don't think my wife hit the underside - moving the boat onto the trailer was a female dog, and somehow the bottom of the bow got scratched pretty badly.

So this weekend, if the weather allows (in other words, isn't raining before I go to work, or after I get home) I'm going to install the cleats, the rod holders, the depth finder bracket, the transducer, rocket launcher and pilot's seat, plus doing whatever I can on the trailer.

Pix from today:

The gap in the winch pylon - need to get an extension made

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Tyler helping to put the first topcoat on the floor

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First coat complete and let to dry (went and did the shopping while this coat dried)

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Profile view

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Tyler rolling on the last coat on the floor, we painted the seat tops the brown of the exterior as an accent color, so it wasn't so maddeningly monotone inside.

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The final product as it dries

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GungasUncle

Well-known member
Somehow the sheriff also got a different measurement than we got before - when we measured the boat for LOA after getting the bottom on, it was 15'1 inch - he measured it as 15'6" (which is actually the LOA the plans call for) - so I don't know exactly how he got that but that's what is on his inspection form, so I guess that is what the boat will be registered as (thus making it a 16 footer in the state's eyes)

Home stretch is in sight - I don't think it'll get splashed next week, but the last week of October for sure!
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
You would think I would've learned from last week's painting fire drill - the second coat we applied yesterday didn't dry. This morning I awoke to a huge heavy puddle of water in the middle of my tarp. Had to enlist my wife's emergency help to get the water off, peaked under tarp and all the paint was still wet, some 15 hours after application. Too much moisture in the air and the air temps dropped to quickly last night. DOH.

When I got home tonight, the paint had started to dry - it was in fact dry to the touch in a lot of places, but the constant rain today had my wife running out and bailing water every so often, but it sagged the tarp pretty bad and screwed up the paint on the seats. Thank god I got lots of paint left to fix that issue... it was going to need a 2nd coat anyway of the brown on the seat tops.

I had a slow day at work today, so I came home a bit early, stopped by Ace Hardware on the way home and picked up some PVC pipe, some elbows and 3-way joints and made a stand of sorts to fit inside the boat that would provide a peak for the tarp so water would run off instead of sagging and pooling up. Wish I'd thought of it yesterday, honestly.

I also stopped by Sportsman's Warehouse today and picked up a fuse block, a toggle switch for hooking up the lights, and some pre cut vinyl letters for the name, which I was able to get on after building and installing the previously mentioned PVC frame for the tarp.

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Since the rain and cold weather and wet paint has pretty much shot my ability to do much else this evening, I decided to tidy up my work space in the utility room and organize the chaos that is my work bench. Took a moment to snap a pic of the rod holders waiting patiently to find their permanent home on the boat.

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You would think I would've learned from last week's painting fire drill - the second coat we applied yesterday didn't dry. This morning I awoke to a huge heavy puddle of water in the middle of my tarp. Had to enlist my wife's emergency help to get the water off, peaked under tarp and all the paint was still wet, some 15 hours after application. Too much moisture in the air and the air temps dropped to quickly last night. DOH.

When I got home tonight, the paint had started to dry - it was in fact dry to the touch in a lot of places, but the constant rain today had my wife running out and bailing water every so often, but it sagged the tarp pretty bad and screwed up the paint on the seats. Thank god I got lots of paint left to fix that issue... it was going to need a 2nd coat anyway of the brown on the seat tops.

I had a slow day at work today, so I came home a bit early, stopped by Ace Hardware on the way home and picked up some PVC pipe, some elbows and 3-way joints and made a stand of sorts to fit inside the boat that would provide a peak for the tarp so water would run off instead of sagging and pooling up. Wish I'd thought of it yesterday, honestly.

I also stopped by Sportsman's Warehouse today and picked up a fuse block, a toggle switch for hooking up the lights, and some pre cut vinyl letters for the name, which I was able to get on after building and installing the previously mentioned PVC frame for the tarp.

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Since the rain and cold weather and wet paint has pretty much shot my ability to do much else this evening, I decided to tidy up my work space in the utility room and organize the chaos that is my work bench. Took a moment to snap a pic of the rod holders waiting patiently to find their permanent home on the boat.

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Looking good! Can't wait to see a picture of it on the water. Nice work.
 

GungasUncle

Well-known member
Still no splashy splash - I really wish Mother Nature would be nice and stop the rain nonsense for a couple weeks. Last Thursday I took the short break we got from the rain and re-painted the seats from when the last coat of paint didn't cure, and got ruined by the tarp that was supposed to protect it...

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Just to help the process along, since it was still very humid and cold - I spent a half an hour after painting warming up the seats with my heat gun. On the high setting it shoots out 1000 degree air, so for half an hour swept back and forth over the seats blasting hot air at them to get the wood and the paint warm and got it set up like it would on a 70 degree day.

Also - in the next couple pix you can see the PVC frame I built to help support the tarp. I have since had to reinforce these with some saw horses and rollers - the PVC frame sagged under weight of rain water.

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I was also able to get some paint on the bare parts of the trailer. Still need to grind a bunch of old paint off so the trailer looks funny right now. Still shopping for tires - I don't feel like paying more for trailer tires than I paid for my last new set of car tires.

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The color is lighter than I thought it would be - but that's OK.

On Saturday I met up with a fellow on my way in to work and picked up a 50lb thrust Minn Kota, and a group 24 battery. The small battery will do for now - maybe next summer I will add a 2nd battery, or replace it with a pair of 27s.

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I was concerned that the motor mount on the minn kota was not going to fit properly, as I "forgot" about that need when I put those triangle decks on the stern of the boat, and was lucky I had exactly enough room (and not a quarter inch to spare) for the electric to mount properly.

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Today was dead at work, so came home early and took advantage of the blue sky weather and got a bunch of rigging done - I installed all the rod holders, the aft cleats, and the cap'n's chair, and reinstalled the base for the fish finder. I didn't have enough daylight, nor did I feel quite comfortable enough to untarp the entire boat, so I did not get the forward rope cleat, anchor cleat, or either bow or stern nav lights installed.

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I did get some dry testing done on rod holder use though :)

I think I mentioned before, but the Cannon rod holders I got had dual-duty mounts, they could be mounted flush on top of the gunnel, or in the traditional side mount position. They do give you some interesting rod holder positions if you use side mount:

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Notice in the top pic I used the inside hole, which would normally be used if you mounted the base atop the gunnel. This positions the holder closer to the interior of the boat, and at a lower angle. I suppose this makes the holder more secure - almost zero chance of accidentally knocking the holder out of the base. It does limit you to either shallow straight out angle, or raising the rod tip in order to point the rod fore or aft. Fitting the holder into the traditional method provides more options for tip angle and fore/aft position. I do hope these Cannon holders break in a bit though - they've very sticky and stiff to adjust or place the holder in or pull it out of the base.

The other cool feature on these holders though - is that they're designed for three positions for the rod as it sits in the holder. If using a casting rod with a trigger, you can position the rod in the furthest out position, and the trigger actually locks the rod into the holder.

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Notice the trigger protruding through a slot in the bottom of the holder. Also - there's a scalloped area on top of the holder, just in back of the reel's position. This is for position two - you can rest your bait caster or spinning reel in the scalloped area. The rod isn't locked into place here, so probably not a great idea if you're fishing for big fish to use this position. Would be fine if trolling for trout or kokes though.

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The last position is the traditional place you'd use on other rod holders - and probably the most secure if you use the locking ring. This is where I would position the rod if I'm fishing for salmon/steel/sturgeon or any fish that is powerful enough to take off with a rod. I'd also use the lock rings if running place to place with the big motor and didn't want to bring the rods inside the boat while running.

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In the next pic you can see the rocket launcher racks - I tested these with different type/size rods in all the positions, and these should work a-ok for any gear rods I have. Of course they won't work with fly rods unless they have no reels, but ohwell. The fly rods can be laid on the floor under the seats or something, or left in their tubes until it's time to use 'em.

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Placement of the FF

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View from the cap'n's chair

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Doing some research I found I should be able to register my boat with an independent agent, and won't have to drive to salem. Active Watersports in Beaverton is an agent for OSMB, they can take my paperwork and issue me temp registration allowing me to use the boat before I get my certificate of number and title. I'm hoping to splash the boat first week of November at this point.

My boss is going to help me with some of the issues left on the trailer - got him on the hunt for decently priced tires, and we're considering changing up to 15 inch tires if we can find a reasonably priced set with the same bolt pattern and the right offset. 15s are a lot easier to find! He's also going to help me fix the issue with the winch tower - right now the plan is to add another center piece between the forward cross members and simply move the tower back, as he's got some scrap 3 inch channel iron and pretty good welding skillz. Oh, and I need to get off my arse and run the new wires and get the lights installed, but I can do that in a couple hours even if it's raining. I just wasn't too motivated because of the crap weather we had last week.
 
you may want to search ebay for trailer tires.
i got brand a new trailer tire mounted & balanced on a galvanized steel rim shipped to me for just under $100 each from a dealer on ebay with tons of them in stock.
 
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