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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Build a Jiffy Skiff (Pub. No. 7921)

Great for the kids in the swimming pool.

The principal defect of back-yard built boats is that they leak, and the skipper frequently comes home with wet feet. But here is a craft just as dry as the living room floor, and it is easy to make. Ordinary pine lumber is used. The bottom consists of two nine-inch boards with a chine piece all the way around except at the bow, where the stem is to fit. With the aid of a plane and plenty of sandpaper, the chine and bottom boards are fitted perfectly flush. Binding tape augmented by a liberal amount of marine glue used over all joints will keep Junior’s, shoes from becoming even damp.

1 page(s)

$3.50
How to Moor the Small Boat (Pub. No. 7922)

by Sam Rabl

Insuraance statistics of marine casuallties show that over forty per cent of damages paid are caused by bad anchor devices. Many an owner will lavish money on expensive fittings for his boat and then through either ignorance or a desire to save money on an accessory that is not visible will trust her future to inferior ground tackle. There are as many kinds of anchors as there are boats; they range from the humble block of a discarded auto motor to the expensive bronze anchors of the folding type.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Care and Repair of Inflatables, The (Pub. No. 7923)

by A.J. (Jib) McMasters

Inflatables are very popular. The reason for their success is several-fold. They’re relatively inexpensive, easy to store, tough and long-lived (12 to 15 yrs.) and easy to maintain. But like everything else, they last longer and perform better if you treat them right. Boatmen who have not had experience with inflatables often wonder whether the boat won’t pop if they hit a sharp object. The heavyweight cloth used in the top brands is ripstop nylon which, of course, is rot-free. The water-proofing is a neoprene/hypalon mixture which has demonstrated long life. There is only 2 to 3 lbs. of pressure in the tubes so even if they’re slashed with a knife, the air only oozes out. In water it is almost impossible to damage an inflatable. It is around shore that problems occur. Heres how to take care of them.

1 page(s)

$3.50
Pram with Wheels, A (Pub. No. 7924)

by Bob Whittier

Putting wheels on a pram won’t help it traverse the water. But it can help a lot in getting the pram to the water. And when you put a pair of handles on the other end you can trundle the little vessel right down to the water’s edge like a wheelbarrow.

1 page(s)

$3.50
Basics of Brazing, The (Pub. No. 7925)

by John Capotosto

When solder won’t stick it but you or your equipment aren’t quite up to welding, you can braze. Brazing produces joints on metal parts that are almost as strong as welds but that take a lot less heat. Since you aren’t working with a puddle of molten steel, brazing also is easier and safer. In fact, the technique is quite similar to soft soldering, only you use a bit more heat and the filler is silver, brass or bronze wire instead of lead-tin solder. Newly introduced torches put brazing within the capabilities of home builders. Done right, a brazed joint in stainless can have a tensile strength of 133,000 lbs. per sq. in.—stronger than the base metals. And, unlike welding, brazing can join dissimilar metals. You can’t weld copper to cast iron or copper to steel but brazing them is easy. You can’t even weld dissimilar steels—tool steel to carbon steel—but they braze. Brazing also is good for malleable iron castings—in fact, any metal that melts at a higher temperature than the brazing rod. About 800°F. Since you braze at temperatures much lower than the melting points of the parts, you don’t have to contend with distortion and warping, two factors that plague even skilled welders. Beginners have it harder.

4 page(s)

$3.50
Converting a Rowboat to Sail (Pub. No. 7926)

by Albert S. Jetter

If you have a rowboat and want to turn it into a sailboat, the job is fairly easy. A boat about 8 ft. long is ideal. If yours is a little smaller or bigger, you can still use the instructions we give. The dimensions on our drawings are for approximate guidance only. But stick to the 7- to 9-ft. range so you won’t get into the design complications that come with something larger. Think of the conversion as a project broken down into four steps — daggerboard and trunk; rudder; mast and boom; rigging, sails and fittings.

4 page(s)

$3.50
How to choose Binoculars (Pub. No. 7927)

Good glasses can be highly useful to the outdoorsman and boatman, whether purchased new, or second-hand, maybe in a swap. The important word is “good,” for bad glasses are an abomination. Yet there can be a difference of perhaps $20-$30 between binoculars that to a casual eye seem virtually identical. Naturally you’d want the less expensive pair. Sometimes they can be as good as the more costly glasses. Sometimes not, and you’re better off paying extra. How do you tell the difference?

4 page(s)

$3.50
Guide to Sandpaper and other Coated Abrasives (Pub. No. 7928)

by Ray Hill

Coated abrasives. All boat-builders call on them. Knowing which type and grade of abrasive to use, and how to use it, can spell the difference between a finished job that looks rough and amateurish, or one that’s super smooth and professional. A coated abrasive, regardless of its shape (disk, sheet, drum), is a single layer of abrasive grain bonded to a flexible backing on which an adhesive layer, the “make coat,” has been deposited. Before it dries, the abrasive grain is implanted in the adhesive; then a second adhesive layer, the “size coat,” is deposited over the abrasive grain to further anchor it to the backing.

2 page(s)

$3.50
Make your own Take-Along Custom Rod (Pub. No. 7929)

by Bob Stearns

You'll have one that exactly fits your suitcase, and it'll be styled to suit your taste.

If you’re like most fishermen and must travel to get to the water, you’ll find this compact, customized suitcase rod particularly handy. You needn’t bother with the usual long fishing-rod storage and shipping tube or case—just pick a length that will be most suitable for stowing in your bag or backpack. Almost any rod, even your present ones, can be converted into a compact model by means of fiberglass ferrules, but the best rod of all is the one that is designed from scratch for this purpose. The technique is quite simple and can be used for spinning, baitcasting and fly rods. Don’t try it, though, with graphite rods or rod blanks. The ferrule systems that fit together sections of graphite rods are complicated.

4 page(s)

$3.50
Sharpenings Secrets of a Pro (Pub. No. 7930)

by John A Juranitch

You can get a razor edge on all of your tools and knives by following these simple steps.

Considering how long people have been using sharpened edges, you’d think we’d know a lot about them. But most people—even professionals in the field—don’t. I’ve seen men who have been sharpening knives for half a century and still have little idea of what they’re doing. We’ve found that the largest meat-packing companies in the world don’t know what to tell new employees when it comes to sharpening. Before I get down to the secrets of sharpening, let me tell you some of the things we’ve learned that aren’t true. First, despite what you hear to the contrary, fine manufactured hones are far superior to the natural ones. That’s not to say that natural hones are no good; they’re just highly overrated.

4 page(s)

$3.50
What the Country Needs: A Good 5c Chisel (Pub. No. 7931)

by Earl L. Pringle

You can make these lathe turning tools from cut nails and pieces of dowel.

Most model builders eventually need a set of small wood chisels—whether it be for fine inlaying, carving or turning miniatures. For years, I’ve been searching for the right kind of steel to make my own and finally decided to use flat, hardsteel 8d masonry (or cut) nails. These can be found at your local hardware store or lumberyard. Buy 1 lb. along with three 3-ft. lengths of 1/2-in. diameter dowel. Happily, you can make a fairly complete set for less than one store-bought chisel. They are quick and easy to make, as can be seen in the photos. It took me about three hours to make my assortment of 20 different sizes and shapes.

3 page(s)

$3.50
Building with C-Flex (Pub. No. 7932)

by Bill McKeown

There are some outstanding new ways to build yourself a boat these days. Quicker, easier and better than many methods of the past, they are particularly suitable for constructing one boat at home. True, you can make a mold and pop out faster, cheaper hulls, perhaps. But complications and government requirements of building boats for sale are best left to the professionals. A “one-off” method like that described here is preferable for a handyman. (Coast Guard booklet 466, Safety Standards for Backyard Boat Builders, is also worth getting from the U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, D.C. 20590. It covers hull identification number and safety requirements.) This Data Sheet gives some tips on using this flexible material.

4 page(s)

$3.50
Benchtop Vise for Tricky Holds (Pub. No. 7933)

by Richard M. Gutter

A pair of pipe clamps and scrap material make this super holder.

My benchtop vise was originally made to hold picture-frame molding for routing. It proved ideal for holding the thin strips of molding, since it supports them securely along their entire length at a convenient height. It also serves as a sort of production fixture for turning out a number of identical pieces quickly and easily. A pair of pipe clamps (perhaps you already have them hanging in a corner of your workshop), several U-bolts, a pair of eyebolts and a couple of boards are all it takes to make the vise. It can do a job equal to many on the market which cost considerably more. If you buy the pipe clamps and the needed hardware, the vise will cost about $20. If you already have the clamps, about $5 worth of hardware will put you in business.

2 page(s)

$3.50
Fit Out for Making Money (Pub. No. 7934)

by Hank Lake

Ever think of lowering the coil of your metal detector down into the water on a long extension cord so you can look for sunken treasure? As soon as the idea occurred to me two years ago I looked around for an old boat and bought her off-season for $150. She was a fine old wooden 23-foot Chris-Craft with an inboard engine. The cabin had already been removed and the boat used as an open fishing craft. In the spring I overhauled her, and changed her name from Leaking Lena to Sand Pebble. Working the waters along the coast of Staten Island, N.J., and New Jersey, I would drift and check the snag-infested shallows around old piers with the magnets, using the detector off sandy beaches. So far I’ve raised propellers, shafts, heavy brass fittings, tool and tackle boxes with watches, coins and rings in them, ships’ wheels and a great variety of fishing equipment that can be sold to marine stores and flea market dealers. An interesting source for sunken treasure is the Descriptive List of Treasure Maps in the Library of Congress, 45 cents from the Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. My total cost for boat and equipment was $347. In just one month I earned more than that.

1 page(s)

$3.50
World's Deadliest Lures, The (Pub. No. 7935)

Years of fishing all kinds of lures have convinced me there is one that outfishes them all—the spinner. It comes in various shapes and sizes and many look like nothing fish feed on. Yet it’s deadly. It took me a long time to discover why the spinner is so effective. It came to me one morning trolling for rainbow trout in Lake Placid, N.Y. I was using one of those 2-ft.-long chains of spinner blades anglers call Christmas trees. I had tied on a foot-long leader and a No. 6 long-shank trout hook baited with a mghtcrawler. The water was clear and the rainbows were feeding on Mayfly nymphs. I was trying a short line behind the prop. I could see the big spinner 2-ft. under the surface and was studying its action. Suddenly, a sizable rainbow dashed out of nowhere. It ignored the spinner and went straight for the nightcrawler. Then the truth hit me. That trout had been attracted by the sounds the spinner blades made and not by their flashing or by the worm. It’s a fact that a thrashing-about by a swimmer or hooked fish attracts sharks from long distances. Why wouldn’t the sound of spinner blades attract game fish from afar?

2 page(s)

$3.50
Convert to a Cruiser with Canvas (Pub. No. 7936)

Put a top and curtains on any boat, and you’ve added a cabin—the best season stretcher around.

Check any waterfront lineup and you’ll find a fine variety of ways to stay out of the sun and rain. Not every boat is suitable for adding a sail, but any craft can use canvas to become a convertible and change an open cockpit into a shelter. Even a sailing surfboard skipper can drape a sail over the boom and create a tent of sorts for overnighting on a beach. You’ll see runabouts with fold-back tops, sun shelters above flying bridges, covers on open skiffs and sailboat cockpits, pop-tops, Bimini Tops and Navy tops. The trade refers to all this as “canvas,” even though the material may be vinyl, plain or cloth-backed, a canvas-like synthetic such as Acrilan, or even—and it is still useful—genuine canvas duck. Buy a new boat and you’ll be offered a list of “canvas” options. Here's some ides for doing your own.

2 page(s)

$3.50
Secrets of successful Winter layup (Pub. No. 7937)

by Bob Whittier

Every boat requires tender loving care this time of year ashore as a head start for trouble-free days afloat.

There is still no such a thing as a "maintenance-free” boat, but there are many new and easy ways to minimize the work involved this time of year. When most boats were made of wood and needed a lot of upkeep, the early fiberglass builders fighting to gain acceptance for their new material liked to claim that their revolutionary hulls required no care at all. It’s true your fiberglass or aluminnum boat does not require the tedious annual caulking, sanding and painting of wooden craft, but it does need attention. Yet the “no care” notion lingers on, and it’s depressingly common to see badly neglected boats sitting out in the rain and snow in back yards and marinas. Boats and their equipment rarely wear out from hard and steady service as do cars and washing machines. Instead they often suffer from long periods of idleness; a control lever or hatch hinge in constant use is less likely to corrode shut than when not in use, and a hull speeding through the water doesn’t give weeds a chance to grow and harden on. But let your boat sit ashore untended for several months and you learn the value of proper layup.

4 page(s)

$3.50
How to Build a Fishing Machine (Pub. No. 7938)

by Bob Stearns

Any dedicated angler would like to own a custom-built craft designed specifically for his favorite type of fishing. The problem with that concept—especially at today’s high prices and interest rates—is primarily a matter of money. Custom fishing rigs are expensive—fishing machines are luxuries. Not necessarily. Anyone with the skill to use very basic woodworking tools can, in a matter of a few weekends, convert a basic utility craft into a first-class fishing boats at a cost that is surprisingly low. Not long ago, a friend and I did just that. In four weekends, and at a cost that (if adjusted for expected inflation by the time you read this) was less than $225. Obviously, I’m not including the initial purchase price of the basic boat, engine or trailer. I’m just talking about the wood and hardware needed to make it work.

4 page(s)

$3.50
Fixing a Hole in a Metal Boat (Pub. No. 7939)

by Bob Stearns

If you own an aluminum boat and use it extensively, odds are that sooner or later it will develop a leak. And if rivets were used in its construction—especially below the waterline—odds are that one or more of them is the source of the leak. Aluminum flexes in use, and rivets in the area of stress work loose. Water begins to seep in, gradually getting worse. Unless you’ve cracked a chine or otherwise damaged some critical structural part of the hull, you probably can repair the boat without resorting to a high-priced shop to do the job for you. This includes not only leaky rivets, but punctures and holes (or gashes) as well. Just because the rivet installation leaks doesn’t mean the rivet has to be replaced. If it’s only loosened slightly and isn’t bent or deformed—and hasn’t enlarged or deformed the metal plates through which it passes—it probably can be tightened.

4 page(s)

$3.50
Cannon You Can Make, A ! (Pub. No. 7940)

by Hal Kelly

Get a bigger bang out of your boating days and nights and be the star of any boat parade! Build yourself a jumbo carbide cannon. Ours looks something like the naval cannon from Fort Ticonderoga that played a big part in the American Revolution. Unlike those heavy and dangerous great guns, this one is light and safe . . . but almost as noisy. The secret is to make the barrel from standard PVC sewer pipe sections and fittings. So instead of several tons of cast iron, touchy black powder and the resulting danger and mess, you’re dealing with light plastic and carbide. Shooting and construction are both easy and simple. The parts cost us less than $100 and construction time was three hours.

2 page(s)

$3.50
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