Navigation Lights Complete

Well, that is except for the transom light.  I couldn’t find a great place for a transom light, so I’m going to resort to using an LED flashlight velcro’d to the handle on the motor cover.  I don’t plan on motoring after dark very often, so I think this low tech solution will work just fine.  I’d rather attached the flashlight when needed than screw up the look of the transom by installing a light in an awkward location.

Take a look:

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These are LED bow navigation lights.  All the wiring is concealed and out of the way.

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I ran positive and negative back to the battery, through a toggle switch for easy on/off.  The wires running straight up go to the battery charger.  The black devise against the bulkhead is a 12V receptacle for charging mobile devices.  The charge cords will run under the bunk, up to the night stands and then plug into the electronic devices.  

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I mounted the navigation light toggle switch in the cabin isle way.  

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I purchased a Marinco battery charger from West Marine to keep my AGM battery topped off.  You can also see the quick disconnect for easy attachment.   

Summary:

I had a lot of fun soldering wires and learning a little bit about electricity during this project.  I’ve never done any of this type of work before.  It felt good to successfully wire up the lights and 12V receptacle even thought it’s such a simple job.  

Up next…the mounting of bow and stern cleats and chocks.  

Teak Hand Rails Installed

Ya baby take a look:

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I first drilled holes through the cabin top that matched the handrail spacing.  I used the hand rails as my measuring device.  I sealed the cabin top holes with epoxy prior to installation.

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I used 2″ stainless screws with fender washers from the underside of the cabin to secure the handrails.  They’re rock solid.

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I applied silicone under the handrails prior to installation and wiped up the excess with a rag soaked in alcohol.  Trust me, it will ooze out.

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The teak handrails really finish off the look of the cabin top.  The also provide an excellent hand hold from the dock and create an ideal place to attach fenders.

Summary:

Kilburn really nailed the look of this boat.  Hat’s off to his great eye and design work.  I’m so impressed with the overall outcome.  

Mounting Boarding Ladder

Check it out:

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I started by drilling oversized holes through the transom.  

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I then filled these holes with thickened epoxy to seal the end grain of the plywood.  These holes get drilled to their proper size once the epoxy cures, leaving an epoxy ring around the outside to seal out the water. 

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I then taped off the areas where I wanted non skid and roughed up the area with sandpaper.

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Instead of using 3M non skid adhesive, I choose to simply paint the area with non skid paint.  

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This stuff works really well.  You just add the non skid to the paint.  This is the same system I used for the cockpit and bow floor.  

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Tape removed, ready to install.

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And here it is all installed.  

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It took a few minutes to get the knots & lengths just right.  

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I made a mahogany wooden handle instead of the PVC handle called for in the plans.  

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Bennett and I came up with a simple way to secure the ladder in the up position.  We used shrink wrap on the lower portion of a carabiner to keep it from opening.  

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Inside of Port slosh well showing secured ladder lines.  

Summary:

It so much fun to see these little loose ends get wrapped up properly.  Boat building is all about the details.  Get the details right and your boat will be right.  I’ll now focus on mounting the cabin top teak hand rails.  

Final Touches to Motor Cover

From the onset of this project, I had a very distinct look I was trying to achieve with the motor cover.  It was just in my head, but it was somewhat of a vision.  When I was a small boy I saw a wooden motorboat with a wooden flag pole mounted to its stern.  That look has stayed with me for years.  Now at age 51, I have the chance to recreate that look on my own hand built wooden boat.

Here it is:

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I added Teak handles to aid in boarding from the lake.  Notice, they aren’t epoxied and varnished?  I’m experimenting with the maintenance of oil on Teak.  Also, Teak has so much resin in the wood, I’m not sure how well epoxy will bond to it.  These handles contained so much resin, it almost felt like I could wring them out.

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Basic stainless hinges from West Marine.

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Now, what’s that on the back?  Awe, that’s the stainless steel flag pole mount.

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I used a forsner bit to cut the foam for the flag mount bolts.

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I love the look of the US Yacht Ensign.  This flag measures 12″ x 18″.

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I drilled a 3/16″ hole through the flag pole to secure the flag.  I used nylon line to secure the flag.

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The teak pole is 24″ tall.  The bottom is turned to 1″ which fits perfectly inside the stainless flag holder.

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The flag holder angles aft for a soft look and uses a small set screw to secure the flag.  

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This photo gives you the proportion of the flag to that of the boat.  I think the proportion is just right.

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The taper on the teak pole is stunningly elegant and beautiful.  

Summary:

It’s very rewarding for me to see the final outcome of the motor cover.  I almost gave up on this step…just got impatient and frustrated with it’s design.  I’m so glad I stuck with it and finished this boat off with this key visual element.

Houston, We Have a Lid

It’s been long in the coming, but here it is.

Check it out:

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I added a small cleat (1/2″ x 1″) to the under side, aft end of motor cover to stiffen the lid.

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I added a small fillet under the lid on all sides.

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I’ll add a foam panel under the lid once the epoxy cures.

Summary:

I’m very pleased with the simplicity and strength of this motor cover.  I can’t wait to see it mounted to the motor well.  I’ll now focus on applying varnish to both the motor cover and loading ladder.   

Motor Cover Continues to Evolve

After consulting the finest engineer I’ve ever met, my dad (who isn’t actually an engineer) I’ve further simplified the motor cover.

Before, I had designed in 2 different hinge points, one at the base of the cover, the other at the lid.  This system allowed the lid to hinge upward when traveling and yet the entire box could come off if you needed access to the motor.  Pops scratched his head and said, why not hinge the whole cover as one piece?  It’s not heavy and that would reduce the need for 2 sets of hinges.  My reply:  Cuz then you’d loose access to the motor.  His reply:  How often do you need access to the motor?  Hummmmm!  Not very often.  Only if you have a dead battery or need to do motor work.  His reply:  Then why not just pull the hinges when needed?  Brilliant!

Now I can send back those $59.00 break away hinges from West Marine and buy a battery tender instead.

Check out the box so far:

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The inside corners of the motor cover got a rather large fillet with glass overlay.  I cut away the foam to accommodate the hinges. 

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After this redesign, I won’t need to install hinges near the top of the cover, just the bottom.  

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I added a small 1″ x 1/2″ cleat to the top and bottom of the front panel for increased strength.  

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Port side of the cover.  

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Starboard side of the cover.  The aft edge of the cover matches the transom angle. 

Summary:

When the motor hinges forward, the entire box hinges forward, raising to get out of the way.  I’ll use a tether to hold the box down against the raised motor when traveling.  When I need to pull start my motor, due to a dead battery, I’ll simply remove 4 screws from the front hinges and lift the entire box out of the way.  This shouldn’t be a very common situation, so I’m fine with removing 4 screws if and when needed.  Now the top lid can be epoxied directly to the side panels, making the entire box much stronger and more secure.  This is important because I plan to mount a boarding handle on the Port side to facilitate boarding.  I’m surprised how strong and light the cover feels.  I used 1/4″ plywood for the sides and top panel and 1/2″ x 1″ mahogany for all the cleating.  

Stay tuned for the motor cover lid and final finish pieces.

Adding Sounding to the Motor Cover

I can see 3 reasons to build a motor cover:

  1. to add beauty when looking aft by covering the outboard.
  2. to create a hand hold to facilitate boarding from the lake.
  3. and, possibly the most important of all, to make the outboard quieter.

I’d like to make my outboard as quiet as possible.  My strategy is to add closed cell foam to dampen the sound coming forward off the motor.  Glued on the underside of the motor cover, this foam is non intrusive, and out of sight.  The grey color is visually much more subtle than the standard bright blue you typically see and it matches my color scheme.

Check it out:

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This is a typical exercise mat from Walmart for $14.95.  These mats work very well because they lay flat and are 3/8″ thick.  They are made from closed cell foam making them 100% waterproof. 

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Using a Sharpie, I tracked around the parts of the motor cover.

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After tracing the parts, I cut 1/2″ inside the lines as not to crowd the edges.  

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I then made allowances for the hinges.  

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I taped off the areas that will not receive the Contact Cement.  

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With all the pieces ready to go, I pulled down the Contact Cement.  

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I used a throw away chip brush to apply the glue.  It went on smoothly and evenly.  

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After waiting 15-20 minutes, you can carefully apply the foam to the side panels.  The adhesion is instantaneous and secure.  Hopefully it will hold up well to the moist environment.  Time will tell. But, I’m only out 15 bucks if it all goes south.  I’ll take that gamble.  

Summary:

 I elected to add the sounding prior to assembling the cover.  Most of these steps are easier to accomplish flat on the bench.  I’m now ready to start assembling the parts and designing the top lid.  Nothing happens fast when I build a boat, but I’m pleased with how things are coming together.  

 

Motor Cover Trim

After 2 coats of epoxy on the side pieces, I was ready to attach the mahogany trim pieces.

Check it out:

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Side pieces of the motor cover.  The mahogany trim is 1/2″ x 1″.  Make sure you don’t build 2 left shoes.  The side panels need to be opposing.  

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All trim pieces were rounded over.  I left the plywood just a skosh proud.  I’ll trim flush with a router once cure.  

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This is the front angled motor cover piece.  I placed cleating on the back side to stiffen this 1/4″ panel.  The hinges will be mounted outboard of the cleating.  

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I tried to line up all the cleating for a neat fit.  

Tons of small iterations here…that seems to be the deal with boat building.  There’s always a lot of little steps that precede a big step.  Small daily tasks get the boat built.

 

Boarding Ladder w/. Hinges

The Heavy Duty SS Hinges finally arrived a few days ago.  Tonight, I got out into my shop to test fit the hinges and apply the final coat of epoxy to the boarding ladder.

Check it out:

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The hinge barrel needs to be cut into the mahogany for a proper fit.

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The lower step hinge is attached in a backwards position.

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After test fitting, I noticed the mahogany corners needed to be rounded to allow maximum movement of the hinges.  You can see the raw rounded corner in the above photo.  The hinges are loosely attached, but all alignment is correct.  

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After proper fit up, the hinges were all removed and another coat of epoxy was added to all the bolt holes, rounded corners and rasped areas.  

Summary:

Once cured, I’ll add another coat of epoxy to all the freshly cut areas prior to varnishing.  Tomorrow I’ll be back on the motor cover parts, adding mahogany cleating to the side panels.  Tons of little things to accomplish, but I’m making progress.  And, that is exactly how you build a boat.  

Motor Cover Layout

I’m finally feeling better about this silly motor cover.  I mocked up the height and angle using a level and angle gauge.  It’s actually been quite fun…but it sure befuddled me for a while.

Check it out:

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The wide angle lens makes this front panel appear huge.  

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It still looks huge, but trust me it’s not.  The above 2 photos might have been taken prior to my final height cut.  The front panel ended up being 9″ heigh.  The back of the cover matches the transom angle, the front of the cover angles also, but less aggressive.  

 

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These are the take-apart hinges from West Marine.  They will allow me to remove the entire cover for motor work or to pull start the motor.   Now you can see why I needed the horizontal mahogany strip of wood.  

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After mocking up all the pieces and milling out the mahogany edging, I got one coat of epoxy on all the parts.  It’s much easier to epoxy the pieces on the bench and assemble them later.  

Summary:

I feel like I’m rolling again.  After 2 coats of epoxy, I’ll put all these pieces together and begin working on the hinging top lid.  Just to be clear, there are 2 hinges to this cover:  1-near the base of the cover to remove the entire ensemble.  2-up near the top of the front panel, allowing the lid to hinge up out of the way when raising the motor for travel.