Saturday, November 13, 2010

Year End 2010: Addendum (newest boat projects)

Here are my newest boat projects. I made mahogany louvered paneled doors for the companionway opening. They are oversized right now and the vertical stiles will probably have about 2" cut off each side when I can custom fit them to the boat in the spring. Should give another classic touch to the boat even when they are opened up against the cockpit/cabin wall.  I cheated on the construction a bit; I call it my Chinese manufacturing method. This is where the true woodworkers out there will cringe but instead of cutting complicated grooves with a router to fit all the slats in I just nailed them into the smaller vertical strips you can see using my nail gun with two 1" SS nails in each end.  It turned out actually to be quite sturdy. The slats are mahogany door stop that came already milled with a nice rounded edge on one side.

The second project is a simple mahogany slat floor for the footwell sole. It is already finished with 5 coats of urethane so that is why it is darker than the doors. I did look at making a traditional grate but I would have had to buy a $100 dado blade for my table saw to cut all the necessary grooves and plus construct a complicated jig for doing the cutting.

A couple of weekends ago we had a very strong winds on Lake Winnipeg where our cottage is and where "So True" is stored for the winter. Winds gusts were up to to 90 km per hour and the waves did a lot of damage on some shorelines. Several lakefront towns had flooding one or two streets in from the beach and part of a concrete/wood boardwalk was washed away on Grand Beach.  We decided to go check that "So True's" portable garage survived and were pleased to find out that everything was still secure. This gave us more confidence that the boat's winter storage should be uneventful.

I have had some very useful correspondence from Pete McCrary who participated in the first Pocketship fleet with his boat. As you may have read earlier I have abandoned my electric trolling motor auxiliary propulsion experiment and will purchase a small outboard in the spring. Pete has done a neat cutout on his transom to accommodate a Tohatsu 6 HP SailPro extra long 25 inch shaft outboard. He provided me with several photos and a couple of design sketches.

The drawing shows the propeller shaft of the 6 hp about 4 inches higher than as actually installed.  After installation the bottom of the shaft assembly is just about even with the rudder winglet.

He has also tested out a 2HP Honda and reported the following:
The prop was only about 8" below the waterline.  But she pushed us along pretty good at between 4 and 4.5 knots.  At first it was pretty choppy, but even when rocked by larger wakes the prop never spun out of the water.  It's just fine for day sailing.  For overnight cruising, I'd take the 6 hp for the extra range and margin of safety.
Our cruise was about 2 hours and we just ran out of gas 100 yards from the ramp.  Tank volume is just 1 liter.  We refueled with our spare gas can.  It looks like the extra 4 hp gets you about one more knot and right up close to the hull speed.  She might not make much [if any] headway against waves and a strong wind.
Based on his sea trials it sounds like that for my intended use the Tohatsu 3.5HP could be a reasonable compromise between the 2 and 6Hp models concerning both weight and power. I have not yet decided if I will use a cutout as Pete did or buy or make a motor bracket.