Data Sheets

Our Data and Plan Sheet series is made up of informative reference articles from the literature. For a modest price, Data Sheets contain information selected from our classic books or the periodical literature reprinted to provide specific information on a particular subject. Plan Sheets are for boat building projects and contain building plans. These items measure  8.5" x 11" and contain between 1 and 4 pages. Most of the Data Sheets and Plan sheets are illustrated.

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Guenther Garvey, The (Pub. No. 7878)

by J.R. Nowling

Old-timers along New Jersey's south shore are likely to tell you the little outboard garveys that prowl their shallow waters in all seasons of the year were named for a Frenchman called Gervais--but the younger genereration insists that Bob Guenther, a young masonry contractor at Beach Haven, rates most of the credit for the garveys popularity. Actually, the garveyis styled somewhat along the lines of the Barnegat sneakbox, favored by clammers and duck hunters for generations. Probably the most significant difference is underwater: the sneakbox has a rounded bottom, the garvey is flat side to side while curving very gently front to back.

2 page(s)

$3.50
How to Fiberglass a Deck (Pub. No. 7879)

by Bill Duggan

The best way to reduce maintenance on a deck is to cover it with a layer of fiberglass. If the craft is old but structurally sound, the glass will give new life to the deck and add years to its service. Not only does it protect the wood but it eliminates leaks and strengthens the hull, particuarly on sailboats. It also adds to the general appearance and increases the resale value of the boat.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Build a Split-Screen Snorkel Box (Pub. No. 7880)

by Neil Sander

With this secret weapon you can shoot photos over and under water at the same time, the way the pros do.

There's something spectacular about seeing under and above water level at the same time--showing botht he fish and the fisherman, or a boat's bottom and topsides--all in a single picture. To take such a shot, you might expect to need simply an underwater camera or conventional housing for one, but neither is enough. Water splashing against a cover plate immediately next to the lens will be out of focus and confuse the picture. Instead, you need a special enclosure that can give you a distinct waterline. Fortunately you can build one yourself.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Duck Boat You can Build, A (Pub. No. 7881)

by Jack Seville

In the dark, you paddle quietly. A hint of the sun’s rising shows on the horizon and water laps the side of your boat. Before you sits your Labrador, his ears alert. Between you and him lies a pile of decoys. You are on your way to one of life’s real pleasures . . . a morning of duck shooting. You set out the decoys and hide the boat amongst some reeds, camouflaging it. Then you arrange your shooting gear and hunker down below the gunwale with the Lab to wait for the arrival of the ducks. Every part of this experience is exhilarating. But perhaps most filled with anticipation of all the day’s events is the trip out in the duck boat. The truth is, however, that few duck hunters have a duck boat. Most think one too expensive to own or too heavy to carry or too complicated to build or . . . too something. Too many duck hunters settle for the best they can do from the near shore and never try to get out where the water is and the hunting’s at its best. Which is where this boat comes in. It's a design that solves the problems a duck hunter sometimes has with his duck boat. Copied from craft used by veteran hunters on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, the boat has several things that recommend it. First, AquaDuck it can be built inexpensively. Secondly, the boat isn’t awkward. Designed to hold one man plus one dog plus gear, she can be moved about by one man and carried on the top of a car. And thirdly, the boat makes an easy project to put together. Essentially an oblong box with a rocker bottom, construction materials are mostly two sheets of 1/4-in. plywood and a quantity of 1-in, lumber. The hull is compartmentalized into three watertight chambers, and there’s not a difficult curve in the craft. As a boat, she demonstrates a nice design. She can be rowed or poled with an oar, or powered by a 2- or 3-hp outboard, or towed to her station by another boat. The wide stance and flat bottom give her good stability—you can stand up on one of the side decks or the forward deck and not tip over. Yet she ranks high in maneuverability. And as a duck blind, the boat offers some thoughtful features. One of these is the grass rail that surrounds the cockpit and provides a place to stuff grass and reeds to make good camouflage. Ahd another is the cockpit itself, which is shallow but with a coaming all around. In use, you lie in the cockpit with feet at the transom and gun pointed aft. The coaming slants down toward the stern to give an unobstructed view.

2 page(s)

$3.50
Nor'Wester--A 15.5-Ft. Alaskan Type Kayak (Pub. No. 7882)

by Hi Sibley
Anyone handy with ordinary carpenter tools should be able to buld this light and sturdy Alaskan Eskimo-type kayak. The ornamental piece at the stem represents the head of a seal and serves a practical purpose as a handle for carrying to and from the beach, and the stern assembly also has a handle.

4 page(s)

$3.50
Make Your Boat This Twin-Engine Synchronizer (Pub. No. 7883)

You can make a twin-outboard synchronizer for under $10 that works as well as a $55 instrument, better than twin tachometers or your ears. When you tap into the hot tach leads (see sketch), AC voltage from each flywheel alternator meets at the light. The faster the bulb flickers the greater the difference in engine speeds. When speeds match, the bulb glows steadily if voltages are 180° out of phase or goes out completely if voltages are in phase. A switch limits the bulb’s use to extend its life.

2 page(s)

$3.50
Basic Sailing Rig You Can Make (Pub. No. 7884)

by Les Stanwood

For centuries men have harnessed the power of the wind to drive their boats. In many parts of the world, the youngest child or most primitive boat builder can put together a good sailing rig. Which is why it seems ridiculous that so many American boatmen have allowed sailing to become almost the exclusive pastime of the Yacht Club set. Inexpensive, serviceable sailing rig can be added to almost any small boat with a minimum of tools and skill. Perhaps the best rig for small boats—and small budgets—is a setup known as the sprit rig. You won’t see it much down at the marina but it has long been a workhorse for the world’s fisher men.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Basement Boat (Pub. No. 7885)

by Bob Whittier

Many boats have been build in basements. Its one of the things folks like to do over a winter. When spring comes, the boat is ready to use. Only problem is, some of those basement-built boats have remained right where they were built—or had to be carefully taken apart—because the builders couldn’t get them out of the basement. This Basement Boat has two great things going for it. And the greatest of these is that you should be able to get it out of the basement when you get it built. It’s designed to be taken out through a cramped space. But better, you can tell how to find out before it’s built whether you might have trouble with it. The second great thing about Basement Boat is that it’s a useful and efficient design. Jillions of 8-ft. prams have been banged out using standard plywood panels. The length of the plywood establishes the size. But when three persons get aboard one of these oversize bathtubs, the poor soul at the oars finds himself hemmed in like a shopper in the Christmas rush. Thus, making our Basement Boat just 2 ft. longer gives each passenger an extra foot of space. And it adds to the hull’s volume, making the boat appreciably more buoyant and safe. And a bonus! The 10-ft. hull fits nicely under one of the 35- to 45sq.-ft. lateen sails that come with sailing surfboards. Thus, no problem finding a sail. The beam of Basement Boat is on the moderate side. This enables her to slip out through basement bulkheads. It also enables her to fit between the fender wells of pickups, station wagons and vans.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Build this Underwater Aquaplane (Pub. No. 7886)

by Walter Morris

Taking a ride on this sleek little underwater sled is a lot like water skiing, but with more thrills. The photos below, taken at Silver Springs, Florida, show how it operatres. By moving the control surfaces you can throw it into a sharp bank, do a slow roll or even flip over and run upside down. As for diving gear, you can get by with simply a mask, snorkel and fins. Construction is simplicity itself. The use of wingnuts with carriage bolts makes it possible to take the quaplane apart for easy carrying.

2 page(s)

$3.50
How to Build Powered Trim Tabs for Your Boat (Pub. No. 7887)

by Milton Pierce

Here’s an easy way to eliminate the pounding your boat takes in rough water and get a consistently smooth ride.

You can imagine my consternation when I found that I couldn’t run my 16-foot aluminum boat more than five m.p.h. with a 75-hp. outboard. The boat performed beautifully on small lakes around my home in the northwestern part of New York state, and I had looked forward to family cruises and fishing trips on Lake Ontario. My first venture on the big waters was most discouraging. A brisk wind had piled up a rough chop. When I opened the throttle to normal cruising speed, the hull began to pound alarmingly.    At less than planing speed, the stern would plow, aggravating the pounding. Finally, about 5 m.p.h. proved to be the easiest on hull and passengers—-scarcely worthy of a 75-hp. power plant. A few discreet questions among boatmen and a little research turned up reassuring answers. The problem is commonplace and the boating industry has the answer: trim tabs. Installed on the transom of a flat, planing hull, the tabs lift the stern when they’re depressed. The bow will then be held into the waves instead of rising over each crest. The best systems allow you to adjust the tabs to the optimum angle while you’re under way. With trim tabs, a small boat performs more nearly like the deeperdisplacement hulls used for sailboats. For experimenting with my hull, I wanted an inexpensive way to make the tabls, and I decided on a motor-driven hydraulic pump and double-acting hydraulic cylinders--of the kind used to rais and lower an automobile's convertible top--as the means for adjusting the tabls. I found the parts for my adaptation in an auto wrecking yard, complete with hoses and a remot-control dashboard switch.

2 page(s)

$3.50
Convert Your Canoe to Sail (Pub. No. 7888)

by Clint McGirr

Few craft are simpler to rig or more adaptable to sailing than a canoe. They are also excellent for learning to sail. And fortunately, a canoe sailing rig is cheaply made. The, rig is easily assembled to the canoe and easily disassembled for storage or paddling. The only part permanently attached to the canoe is the mast step, a block of wood with a hole drilled in it to hold the mast butt. It is epoxied to the bottom of the canoe and in no way interferes with normal paddling. If your canoe has a beam of at least 30 in., you can convert it for safe sailing. Just keep the sail small so it doesn’t overpower the canoe. Compute a safe sail size by multiplying the canoe’s length by its width. This will give the approximate sail area. The rig here was designed for a canoe 16 ft. long and 2½ ft. wide. It contains 40 sq. ft. of sailcloth and is equilateral, each side measuring 9½ ft. It is a lateen rig.

3 page(s)

$3.50
How to Figure Your Planing Speed (Pub. No. 7889)

by Jim Martenhoff

Knowing the fully loaded gross weight of a planing boat, and the horsepower, allows you to compute the probable optimum speed—-assuming the engine is tuned and delivering its rated hp, correct propeller is fitted, and the boat is properly trimmed. Here is a nomograph that tells you what top speed you can expect from your boat. If you know the hp, all you have to do is figure the gross weight, fully loaded.

2 page(s)

$3.50
Winter Cocoon for Your Boat, A (Pub. No. 7890)

by R.P. Smith

If you are a sailor who prefers to keep his boat where it may be worked on during lay-up or if you’re near sheltered water where you winter afioat, you might try our trick of building a plastic house for your boat to protect her from the ravages of the weather. Leaves, dirt and organisms ranging from bacteria and algae. to the fungus that produces dry rot thrive in a dirty boat filled with rain water. Plain Jane, our 12-ft. all-purpose utility is kept shipshape with a plastic winter cover which doubles as a shelter cuddy for getting out of the elements when duck hunting or fishing in nippy weather. Unlike a cumbersome tarpaulin or huge plastic cover, this cover can be put on in seconds. It will not sag, won't fill with water, won't leak and can be put up in sections, depending on how much shelter is needed.

2 page(s)

$3.50
How to Build a Bubble System for In-Water Storage (Pub. No. 7891)

by Raymond A. Palmer

Why pay more for dry storage during winter months when for little money you can make your own portable wet-storage system?

Each year when winter winds begin to blow and temperature falls, wet-storage advocates gain new adherents. Formerly, the last week of October and the first days of November were busy with cruisers being hauled from the water and rolled onto storage platforms. The violent movement of a boat on a cradle as it’s pulled from the water and racked onto the storage skids causes more damage than an entire season of cruising! Hulls suffer from drying out and seams may need recaulking. Winter covers must be put in place to protect from snow and ice. This means continual checking, adjustment and retying of tarpaulin all winter long. Add to this the ever-present possibility of theft or vandalism and you wonder whether a boat is worth having at all! Four years ago we decided to join the wet-storage gang. We had a good floating dock with an all-weather roof which covered the boat and the surrounding walk. There was plenty of electric power dockside to heat the craft when winter work was needed. We did tie a thin sheet of plastic over our hard top to keep it clean and protect the paint. We did not remove the batteries since they could easily be checked and recharged aboard. Besides, battery power was needed to run the automatic bilge pump protecting us if we took on any water during the winter. Perhaps, the advantage that appealed most was the privilege of going aboard without having to set up ladders and untie covers. Our next step was to acquire a bubbler. We could purchase the complete package with all the controls or we could assemble our own. We chose the latter but didn’t start from scratch since some of our neighbors had experimented with their own designs. We used their experience and what we had read about winter stortge and began our own project.

2 page(s)

$3.50
How to Get Close to the Dam Fish (Pub. No. 7892)

by Warren Transue

If you're not allowed near the turbines or if the fish lie beyond your normal casting range, try this technique for 'motor casting' to the big ones.

Right next to you on shore is a husband-and-wife team, with the belled poles wedged in the rocks, their lines way out. They much sandwiches and sip beer while waiting for the jangle of that bell. And near them on the rocks is a queer-looking contraption they call their “boat.” There are quite few of these “sturgeon boats” in use on this stretch of the Columbia River about a thousand feet down from the Bonneville Dam, and it is these homemade affairs that get the hooks to where the big 6-to-13-foot sturgeon, weighing hundreds of pounds, lie far below the tumultuous surface created by the gates of the dam.

2 page(s)

$3.50
Build this Cockpit Galley (Pub. No. 7893)

Any small-boat owner is grateful when he can dream up a scheme that will let him get more use from his limited floor space. The skipper of the craft shown did just that when he custom-built this cabinet. It provides a compact cooking center, a storage locker and a companion helmsman’s seat. Lacking standing headroom and adequate walking-around space, the cabin was ruled out as the place to locate a galley. But once it was decided to put the galley in the cockpit, two conditions had to be met: It had to be compact, and it had to be out of the way whenever shipboard activities shifted to fishing, skiing, skin diving or cruising. The design shown meets these requirements because the center becomes a seat when the lid is closed. For user comfort, you can add a flotation cushion. Swing open the top and the galley is immediately ready to use. The molded fiberglass drainboard and sink is equipped with a combination spigot and pump attached by hose to a 5-gal. jerry can stored inside the cabinet. The sink empties through a fitting in the side of the hull via a rubber hose. The interior of the galley cabinet may be outfitted as desired to facilitate storage of cooking utensils and other kitchen supplies. The storage locker is convenient for similar storage and is within easy reach of the chef’s hands. The skipper used the original cabinet cupboard to stow life preservers which often are crammed into inaccessible corners of cabins.

2 page(s)

$3.50
Build this Pontoon Boat (Pub. No. 7894)

by Harry Wicks

For all-out water fun, safety and economical operation, a pontoon boat is a hard craft to beat. The version shown in this plan sheet is intended for protected waters, and although substantially built, the lightweight materials it is constructedof provide great load-carrying ability without excessive weight.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Build the Quacker (Pub. No. 7895)

by Hal Kelly

A Nimble Lightweight Skimmer for Duck Hunters

Duck hunters have long sought a duckboat of a particular kind—one that can be used in shallow, shallow water. The problem is severe in tidal flats. Man and partner (400 lbs.), man’s best friend (80 lbs.) and gear (25 lbs.) go out to a blind at high tide when there’s 4 ft. of water. Then they want to come home, but the tide’s low and there’s only 4 in. of water. Solution: The Quacker, the shallowest-draft duckboat ever. And it’s pushed by an air motor. With a 67-in, beam, 12-ft. 4-in. length, 16-in, transom height and 3-in. draft, the craft won’t easily tip. It has a storage box (lined if you want) for guns and ammunition, and another for decoys and downed birds. The electric start, 12-hp. Susquehanna air motor pushes the craft to 12 mph, and if you fasten 1-in, angle irons to the outer bottom battens, The Quacker becomes a great ice or snow boat. On ice it should hit 30 mph, so attach a levertype ice brake so you can stop it.

2 page(s)

$3.50
One-man Car-top Boat loader (Pub. No. 7898)

by Lloyd M. Polentz

Loading and unloading our 14 ft. aluminum cartopper used to be such a nuisance that it hardly seemed worthwhile taking it along on camping trips. This simple boat loader solved all our problems and turned out to be better suited to our needs than any of the commercial loaders we have seen. We wanted something that would allow us to load and unload the boat without having to unhitch our camping trailer. This automatically ruled out all rear-loading designs, It also had to be compact and “self-storing,” not some special device we would have to erect each time we wanted to use it and which would take up precious storage space in car or trailer. The design we finally came up with is basically just a plywood platform equipped with a 2x4 loading bar. The bar has a pivot at one end and a caster on the other. A simple latch locks it parallel to the side of the platform during the first part of the loading process.

2 page(s)

$3.50
Build this Floating Lawn Chair (Pub. No. 7899)

Mount a patio chair between pontoons and you have the perfect rig for escaping from the heat. For even more fun, hang a fishing motor on it.

If you're looking for hustle or hurry, forget it. This low-power lounge is strictly for loafing. Basically, it’s just a folding aluminum chaise bolted between two pontoons. A stubby 2x8 transom board behind the chair back will take any of the smaller fishing motors, giving you power to putt-putt around the shallows. A steel bracket installed on the motor in place of the steering handle provides for both steering and throttle control through levers mounted on either side of the chair. However, the motor is really just an optional bit of luxury. You’ll have almost as much fun simply floating around near the dock or paddling lazily along the nearby shore. The powered version can be built in a couple of weekends. Forget about power and you’ll not only cut the cost but be able to do the whole job in a day or so. The pontoons are made of Styrofoam sandwiched between 1/2-in, marine plywood. To dress up the appearance, the exposed foam edges are covered with vinyl decking secured with epoxy.

3 page(s)

$3.50
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