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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Troubleshooting an Outboard that won't start (Pub. No. 7900)

By Henry B. Notrom

Nothing defeats a boatman quicker than an outboard that refuses to start. Before you yank your arm off pulling the starter cord, or kill the battery on an electric start, take a few minutes to troubleshoot the problem.

3 page(s)

$3.50
How to Winterize a big Outboard (Pub. No. 7901)

by Henry B. Notrom

Preparing a large outboard motor, 40 hp and up, for winter is not as hard as you might think. Here’s how you do it and save money
.

Many owners of outboard motors in the 40-hp and larger class pay good money at the end of every boating season to let someone else winterize and store their engines. The size literally scares them from doing it themselves. However, a large motor is just as simple to service as a smaller engine. And the only problem, size, is easily taken care of by buying or building an outboard stand.

2 page(s)

$3.50
Towing beats Rowing (Pub. No. 7902)

by W. S. Kals

Half a gale was building a tough sea the night the motor quit.

The 18-foot boat was only 400 yards from the safety of a breakwater. But wind and current were against the skipper. He was being blown out toward the middle of a turbulent sound. A larger cabin cruiser nosed out of the harbor and spotted the distressed boat. The captain tried desperately to throw a line to the smaller boat. But the seas were running high, and it was impossible to get close enough. Whether you boat in heavy seas or in calm water, at some time you’ll either need a tow or be asked to tow a boat in distress. Everyone should know the basic towing practices, and how to get a line between the boats. But who throws the line to whom has always worried some boatmen. Some say that if the rescue boat throws a line to the distressed boat, the rescuer becomes liable for anything that happens to the boat in tow. This is not so, according to marine insurance experts. Liability generally rests with the distressed boat. The only time there’s a question of change in liability is when a boat captain attempts to tow another boat without a request for assistance. A request for help can be given verbally—-”I need a hand”—or by signal. As a matter of courtesy, though, the distressed boat should provide the tow line. Should the line fray or break it’s not a loss for the skipper who’s helping. Towing a boat and getting a tow line rigged can be tricky. How to do it in different situations is explained in the next three pages.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Build this Double-Deck boat port (Pub. No. 7903)

by Hank Clark

Here's an idea for a project that can be tackled in any number of different ways, depending on your location, boat and the amount of money available.

This deluxe boat port with its roomy sundeck high above the water was originally just a pair of rock-crib piers jutting out from the shore. They were rigid and strong enough to support the roof/sundeck structure with no problem. Thus, if you don’t have a dock, you can easily split the work into two separate projects by building the foundation rock-crib dock one season and adding the roof sometime during the following year. If you already have a similar dock layout but it isn’t strong enough to support a roof, it’s possible to build the roof structure independent of the dock. The supporting posts can either be pointed and driven into the lake bottom or cut square so as to rest on flat cement blocks or flagstones laid on the bottom. They can be secured to the existing dock with lag bolts at the inside corners of each crib. Tailor dimensions to suit the contour of the lake bottom and the size of your boat. If you want still more protection, just add walls and you have a boathouse.  

2 page(s)

$3.50
In's and Out's of Electric Starting, The (Pub. No. 7904)

by Henry B. Notrom

If your electric starting system is acting up, chances are the starter itself isn't to blame. Knowing what can go wrong is half the battle.

Here's just one big difference between your electric-starting outboard and the smaller manual-starting engine you probably traded in on it. When the manual starter, you provided the pull power needed to get the engine revving. With the electric-starting engine, the pull is provided by the starting circuit. When you turn the ignition key, electricity is fed to the starter by the battery via the solenoid. The starter is nothing more than an electric motor which converts the electricity it receives to mechanical energy. The electricity spins and sends forward a shaft in the starter, at the end of which is a gear called the pinion drive. This engages the flywheel causing it to spin and start the engine. Once the engine starts, the pinion disengages, the starter comes to a peaceful halt and it lies at rest until needed again. It's as simple as that.  In spite of this, however, trouble can develope in the starting circuit. There are generally only five possibilities to check out.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Winterize Your Outboard (Pub. No. 7905)

by Henry R. Notrom

Planning to use your motor this winter? Here's how to set it up for cold-weather operation.

This may surprise a lot of summertime skippers, but many people north of the Maxon-Dixon Line run their boats right through the winter. Actually, there's no real reason why your outboard should go into storage the minute the weather turns cold. It'll troll just as well under freezing conditions as it did back in July. And on a crisp clear December afternoon, even a plain old boat ride can turn out to be a lot of fun. It's like a two-cycle sleigh ride.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Troubleshooting Remote Controls (Pub. No. 7906)

by Henry B. Notrom

You're more likely to have trouble with the cable than the box, but here's the A-B-C procedure for finding out what's wrong and how to put it right.

The great thing about trouble-shooting remote controls is that they're relatively simple gadgets. Nine times out of ten, you can locate the cause of a malfunction by checking a couple of critical areas. The key to finding out what's wrong lies in following a set and orderly procedure. With so many different remote-control units on today's market, however, it's impossible to give specific trouble-shooting information on every single one. Thus, we'll cover the possible areas of failure in any control and let you apply this to your particular unit, wheter it's single or dual-lever, mechanical or electrical.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Build this Carbon Arc Welder for Little Money (Pub. No. 7907)

by Paul Scott

Actually its hard to tell just how little you can build this useful tool for because the components you'll need to construct this versatile, resistance-type welder are standard items that can be bought in almost any hardware or electrical-supply outlet. The welder is versatile indeed, for although it weighs less than a pound and is only 14-in. long, it nevertheless places a heating potention of better than 10,000 degrees F. at your command. Just plug the welder in any 110-v.a.c. outlet, adjust the width of the arc, and you'll be able to braze, weld or solder most metals found in the home boatshop.

2 page(s)

$3.50
Troubleshooting Your Outboard by Ear (Pub. No. 7908)

by Henry B. Notrom

Don't turn a deaf ear when your engine tries to tell you something. Lean to understand its complaints and you can save a potful of money.

Like waves slapping the hull or wind whistling past the windshield, the quiet purr of a well-tuned outboard is a sound your ear tends to ignore. It's part of the normal background noise of boating. But let that engine start missing or knocking and suddenly it drowns out everything else. It's like a cry for help. Being able to understand your engine's distress calls can save you time, trouble, money, or all three, depending on just how serious the problem happens to be. Often it's something minor--just a matter of tightening a bolt or resetting an adjustment--but it may be an early warning of a critical malfunction.

4 page(s)

$3.50
How to Fish with a Sky Hook (Pub. No. 7909)

by Kenneth A. Anderson

Illustraton by Dana Rasmussen

Kite fishing is an ancient Asian art that's catching on here. With kits you can 'cast' as far as you want--if the wind's right.

Have you ever stood helplessley at the edge of a lake watching bass pop the surface about 100 feet beyond your casting range? Or maybe you know where big catfish lie beneath naccessible rocks offshore. Then kiting may solve your problem. Tie a leader to your kite string and fly the lure to the fish. You'll need a bait-casting outfit, some rather stout line, a few weights, live bait or artificial lures and a kite. Almost any kite will do. But since it may get wet it's better to choos a kite with plastic or cloth covering, rather than paper. A paper kite usually has had it if it goes in the water.

2 page(s)

$3.50
Starting a Stubborn Outboard (Pub. No. 7910)

by Henry B. Notrom

There you sit in the middle of the lake. You've been fishing, it's getting dark and you want to go home. But your engine won't start.

Cheer up. According tot he outboard manufactuerers, a little simple trouble-shooting will solve your problem in nine out of ten cases. The question is, where to you begin. There are some 20 failings that can keep an outboard from starting, so you'll have to follow a logical, step-by-step procedure to find the one troubling your engine.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Make Your Own Fishing "Spoons" (Pub. No. 7911)

by C.L. Howard

An expert fisherman tells how to make these sure-fire bass and steelhead lures. All you need is a kitchen spoon, tin snips, a file, a drill and some paint.

Most fishermen have a sizable investment in fishing lures. Many of these lures are of the spoon variety costing a dollar or more apiece. When a lure is lost--especially if it's a favorite--a rather pained expression crosses the angler's face. But now you can have all the 'spoons' you want for less than 10 cents each. No need to fret if some are lost in the wees or high branches of trees. Fishing spoons are easy to make and exceptionally cheap.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Auto/Marine Conversion Question, The (Pub. No. 7912)

by Sam Rabl

We have received quite a number of letters asking our opinion and advice on installing an automobile engine in a boat. We have often stated that it could be done satisfactorily and on several occasions have been severely criticized after doing so because such and such a contemporary magazine devoted exclusively to boating condemns the practice. We have read articles in these magazines that have actually made us afraid to ride behind the auto engine in its native element! Let us analyze this situation and see why the boating magazines will condemn the installation of an auto engine while hundreds of auto engines after several years of use ashore will go out and earn a living for some poor tidewater fisherman. We will find part of the answer in the costly ads carried by the marine motor manufacturers in the pages of these magazines, yet, paradoxical as it seems, we will find a small sprinkling of ads for conversion parts for auto engines in the same issue that condemns the practice of using them! Let me say at the start that if I had a free choice between auto and marine engines I would choose the marine, but this would not stop me from putting a converted auto engine in my boat until such a time as I could afford a real marine motor. Auto engines were designed for a specific purpose, just as were marine and aviation engines, but auto engines have flown, and aviation engines have driven boats, so there you are! My first piece of advice on the installation of an auto engine in a boat is to install as few home-made conversion parts as necessary to make a satisfactory installation. It has been my experience that it is the conversion gadgets that give the mostt trouble. Most of the fisherman installations use only a water pump and a universal joint. These installations are going out daily and doing their stuff in a manner that disproves for all time the old bunk that an auto-engine will not work in a boat. All the rot that has been written on the subject can be nullified by one visit to any fishing village and hearing the fishermen brag of their Fords, Chevvys and Buicks, and they are not talking about their cars but their boat motors.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Silver Bird--A Speedy Icemobile (Pub. No. 7913)

by J. Julius Fanta

Silver Bird is a speedy motor iceboat racer that will give no end of safe pleasure and thrills. Neat and compact, the craft has two cockpits with seating capacity for three, including the pilot. The body of this icemobile is stream-lined and mounted on a frame supported by four runners. Double steering runners in front increase stability and maneuverability more than a single rudder. A notable feature of Silver Bird is its unique, quick-acting brake, which is easy to operate without physical exertion. The weight of Silver Bird is about 600 pounds, depending on the engine.

4 page(s)

$3.50
Collapsible Pneumatic Raft (Pub. No. 7914)

by Bertram Brownold

The raft illustrated measures fifty-four by fifty-four and one-half inches when in use and can be rolled into a cylinder fifty-four inches long by eight inches thick when being transported or stored. It is made of a platform of ash strips superimposed upon, and tied to, four inner tubes each of which measures twenty-seven inches in diameter when inflated. The ash strips measure 54” long, 2” wide and %“ thick. There are twenty-two of them and they are spaced one-half inch apart, being held together~by two ropes.

2 page(s)

$3.50
How to Keep an Old Deck in Good Condition (Pub. No. 7916)

Nowhere about a boat does age or neglect show as quickly as in the condition of the deck and cabin top, while nothing spoils her appearance or detracts from a boat’s value more than a cracked canvas deck or a poorly cared for wooden one with leaking open seams. Keeping any deck in shape is a problem. A canvassed deck or cabin top kept painted with the same high gloss deck enamel which looked so well when you bought your boat will invariably develop minute cracks or checks within three years time. No amount of subsequent sanding and painting will entirely obliterate these; indeed as time goes on and the paint film becomes thicker the cracks will grow deeper, reaching down into the canvas itself and in many cases causing leaks that will make either patching or complete replacement necessary.

4 page(s)

$3.50
Build this Low-Cost Aquaplane (Pub. No. 7917)

Why not an aquaplane—a trailer to hitch behind your outboard boat?

If you think there’s sport in piloting a light composition racer over rippling water ahead of a kicking 2-cylinder job, you’ll get the real thrill of your life riding an aquaplane behind it. Everyone who has ridden both boat and aquaplane invariably chooses the latter when breath-taking fun is desired. A variation of the surfboard, the aquaplane is buoyant and, therefore, can be much more easily handled at low speeds without unexpectedly depositing its rider in the water. Due to the simplicity of the craft’s construction, the outlay for materials is trivial.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Build this Simplified Canvas Kayak (Pub. No. 7918)

by Hi Sibley

To attain maximum speed with minimum effort, most kayaks are built very long and extremely narrow, so that the lines actually resemble a toothpick. The narrow ones, however, are not easy for the amateur to handle. The one to be described is a much more stable type, having several inches more beam and not so much length. The weight and actual displacement compares favorably with the faster craft. Throughout, this kayak is also designed for simplicity of construction, being identical at both ends, and the roomy cockpit exactly in the middle. Thus frames can be made in pairs, and are spaced the same distances apart. Stem and stern are exactly alike; this enables the passenger to paddle in either direction. In narrow waters, or when one is in a hurry, it is not necessary to swing the craft around—not an easy task in limited space—instead, the passenger simply changes his position from one end of the cockpit to the other. This kayak incidentally, will carry two comfortably.

4 page(s)

$3.50
Conditioning that Good Engine (Pub. No. 7919)

by Charles R. Peyton

The necessary steps in preparing your motor for the winter lay-up are as follows: First, drain all the water out of the cooling system, as in Fig. 1. For simplicity of illustration, a single-cylinder engine is represented in diagram, and the principle involved is the same for all types of marine engines. Next, disconnect salt-water intake, attach a hose, immerse it in a bucket of fresh water and start the engine to pump through and flush the entire system, cylinder jacket, piping, etc. Run several buckets through (Fig. 2), and finish up with a quart or so of kerosene. This will leave a protecting film in the cast-iron jacket as well as in other parts of the cooling system (3). A good marine engine will last twenty years and more if given proper care and is overhauled every year. The photograph illustrates a sturdy one-cylinder that has had exceedingly rough going and yet, after an annual overhauling runs better each succeeding year—and with negligible expense for replacements.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Shooting Sun and Stars with a Sextant (Pub. No. 7920)

by Sam Rabl

Why get lost? Navigation is really easy to learn and will make you a real sailor.

Generally, when the subject of navigation is broached to most small boat owners, they conjure a vision of complicated instruments, complicated tables and a picture of the navigator as a super-human mathematician to whom Einstein is a rank amateur. There need be no fear on the subject of higher education being necessary to understand how to get around on the sea and know at all times just where you are, when you consider the fact that very few of the captains in command of the world’s steamers today had any higher than a high school education. The most complicated problem in navigation uses mathematics no higher than trigonometry, and most of the problems can be worked with simple addition and substraction. In fact, all the problems necessary for small boat navigation may be solved by the latter method.

4 page(s)

$3.50
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