…and color!

I got the first coat of color on the hull today!

The final push in on now. She will be floating before we know it!




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Centerboard Slot Gasket

Since I wanted my rowboat to sail also, a centerboard trunk was installed. With this I worried, maybe too much, about drag from the open slot when the boat is used for rowing. So I decided that I had to install a slot gasket to minimize that drag. Chuck Leinweber at Duckworks was kind enough to help me out with some Dacron sail cloth for the gasket, and I have in return promised an article on how I went about doing the job. I want to stress that I am no expert on the subject – this is the first time that I have even attempted it, but with a bit of internet searching and studying I feel confident that the job is really fairly simple, and that my example should serve well enough for others attempting the same project.

I started by marking out where the trunk logs are located and then marking those screws so I don’t hit them when drilling for the gasket strips. I chose 1/2″ aluminum strip that is 1/8″ thick for the strips, and 1/2″ X 6 stainless screws to hold them down. Of course part of the job was drilling and countersinking the aluminum strips for the screws – easy enough with the aluminum. The sail cloth was cut to 3-1/4″ wide in my instance, and folded in half  lengthwise to double it up. The fold goes to the inside of the slot. That puts the cut edges under the aluminum strips. I overlapped the gaskets about an 1/8″ over each other in the center of the slot. At the back end of the slot the gaskets are cut at a 45 to leave a little triangle cutout there – the idea is that something of a venturi effect is created when the boat is moving to suck water out of the trunk. Even though the board went up and down with no binding whatsoever, I cut a small slot across the width of the slot at the front of the board to close up that gap a little when the board is deployed. The screw holes going through the sail cloth were made with the point of a nail heated up on a propane torch, and the sail cloth was cut with a new utility knife blade in my knife heated on the same torch. This is to seal the edges so they don’t fray. I glued the sail cloth to itself where it is folded lengthwise so there is no space in between that fold that could balloon and fill with water and create unwanted drag.

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The whole job was quite easy and enjoyable, and really seems to have taken no time at all, especially since I was stopping to take pics along the way. The gasket will hopefully help keep down the drag from the open sloat, as well as keep little rocks and dirt from getting in the trunk and jamming the board. My board is a rather close fit in the opening so this is important in my instance. It only takes a small amount of sail cloth to do these gaskets – in my case a piece 7″ X 36″ was big enough. I’ll have plenty to replace them when needed, but I don’t think that will be real soon though. The aluminum strips look like they will protect the cloth pretty well.

I hope this little attempt at a how to article was helpful to some, and that I was able to explain how I did it well enough for it to be of use to you.

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Painting time

Painting has been started on the boat. First coat on the inside today using Kirby’s putty color. All brushed with a 3 inch sash brush – no roller. It’s my first time using this paint and it works very nicely. I thinned it just a bit with mineral spirits and a dash of Penetrol.

It took about an hour and a half to do.

I think I should be ready for a rowing launch by the middle of June.

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A quick rig test

I took a few minutes this morning in between the few  raindrops to throw the rig up, see how well it fit and looked. Of course this is not the finished product yet – the old lines are ratty and the sail is not set properly. Just a quick test to see how the mast fit the step and partner, and a bit of excitement dreaming of things to come. 🙂 The raindrops returned and everything went back inside for now… Oh yeah – and the boat has seen the light of day for the first time 🙂

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More progress

I know … sanding is kind of boring, but it is part of the process, and the sooner I get on with it – the sooner I can paint,  and get out rowing in this thing! I also got the mast partner in. And you can check out the centerboard case finished up – the hole is for a rod to push the board down, the rope pulls it up, and has a stopper knot so it can’t be pushed down too far. The hinge lets me get in there to adjust, or replace the hose friction system when the time comes.






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Rudder progress

Well, I finally made my decision on the rudder and got to work on it. I attached a small skeg to give me a landing for the hardware. I used these kayak gudgeons from Duckworks. They take a 1/4″ pin, and I used stainless steel rod for that. I purposely installed the gudgeons the way I did so that the rudder will not be able to float up, as I did not want to have to put lead in the rudder blade. I did not do a kick-up rudder because I don’t see me being able to put my weight all the way back there to push it down without fear of some sort of capsize. I’ll live with the fixed rudder and the possibility of grounding for now and see how it works for me before I consider a more complicated rudder assembly that may not even be needed. A big plus was I already had this nice mahogany rudder blade sitting around just waiting for me to find a use for it. It already had a nice foil shape so it saved some time there. Just had a few old hardware holes to fill, cut it to the shape I wanted, and some other minor work to get a ready-made rudder, sort of. Now that the rudder is under control I can finally think about putting the decks on the flotation compartments. Then I’ll be getting mucho closer to splash time!




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Centerboard trunk finale

The centerboard trunk went in today for the last time!

After much internal deliberation on just how to do it, I finally decided to epoxy it in. Thickened epoxy and #12 stainless screws every 4 inches through the bottom up into the logs. I screwed some cleats on the under side of the thwarts to support the trunk on that side rail also. The whole thing is pretty darn solid, as it should be…

That little rail with the half round holes has become my signature piece, I think. I put the same type thing on my last build. Other builder’s have had their signature peice so I might as well have mine too 🙂  – It will give me a good place to tie stuff in so it doesn’t get away should I capsize 😮

( I don’t know why the pics posted so small here — but if you click on the pic you can get a larger image and actually be able to see what is going on here)





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and more centerboard and trunk action

Still … working on this trunk and centerboard. 

I’ve got a lot accomplished this weekend on it all and it’s really getting close to finished this time. 🙂

Got the board shaped to a foil-like shape – not perfect – but much better than a square board I’m sure.  I started thinking of an alternative to putting lead in the centerboard. I just did not relish the thought of adding more – and maybe unnecessary – weight to the boat. I did some internet and Woodenboat forum searching and found this great idea for holding the centerboard down from floating up in the trunk. A lot of you know about this way I suppose, but I’d like to bring it to the attention of those who don’t – like myself – as a neat way to handle the problem. It is just a short section of hose let into a cutout in the board with a hunk of metal and a couple screws. It works by friction to hold the board down – all the way, or half, or wherever you want it. By turning the screws you can adjust the amount of friction – genius, I think. Why didn’t I think of that? It has the added benefit of helping to keep the board centered in the trunk as a bonus. I had to go buy the right diameter hose, so I went to HD – they had it in a ten foot length – nothing shorter. I only needed about three inches. So I figure even if I changed it out to a new piece once a year, (which is unlikely to be needed) I will have enough hose to last me for 40 years! I’m not sure about the boat but I’m pretty sure that I won’t be around in 40 years. I decided to use a rope to raise the board, and I’ll just have a rod on a lanyard tied in the boat to push the board down – a stopper knot on the raising rope will stop the board from being pushed down too far.

And now that I’m looking at these pics I’m thinking the bottom edge of the board should be tapered like the trailing edges are – what do you think?







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More trunk action

Still plugging away on the centerboard trunk. As with my last boat build, the trunk has been the most involved part of  the build… Lots of fitting and times putting it in and taking it back out. Soon enough it will go in for good. It’s not quite done yet in these pics, but you get the idea. And I’ve just got a centerboard pattern in there now – gotta make the board yet. She’s coming along though. Spring is coming too. If this boat is not ready I’ll just have to use the other one I guess 🙂



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Damn near set the boat on fire cutting the centerboard slot! – but it’s done now. I used the router with a straight cutting bit and some guides that I nailed into the bottom. The bit was well worn out and lots of smoke and embers even! – but I managed to get through it OK. The bit is toast now for sure. I would have run out to get another one but was afraid to leave it and maybe come back to a pile of ashes. Crazy. But all is safe now – no fires – and a pretty clean cut slot in spite of the bad bit. After lunch I’ll get the logs made up and after cutting two notches in the thwarts this thing will be close to finished. Haven’t started the board yet though.



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