Boatcraft & Fitting-Out

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Chart Stowage Solutions (Pub. No. 5075)

(Includes plans for  4 chart cases and desks)

From the instructions for the first case: It is almost impossible to keep a chart flat for working after it has been rolled or folded for some time. Thumb tacks, weights or what not are of little avail, so, if the charts are to be ready for use on a cruiser they must be kept flat and worked on a flat surface. A vertical chart file will provide for filing the charts flat and can be raised to a horizontal position for working where it forms a chart table of suitable size. The largest charts are 26 inches by 48 inches, the other varying according to locality and the scale used. Collect your charts, lay them together to best advantage and make the case 2 inches wider and 3 inches higher than the largest one with a depth of 2 inches. Perhaps it might be advisable to make one reinforced fold in the largest ones for convenience in case size.

20 pages, 1 plate(s)

Rebuilding Boats (Pub. No. 5195)

by William D. Jackson

Tips for rebuilding and improving 12 to 26 foot ouboard or inboard boats.

Can you get a good buy in a used boat--one which is not quite suited to your needs? Thi smight be a good investment if you plan and make your own alterations. The acquisition of a sound hull eliminates the patient labor necessary to construct a boat, and with little extra material the hull may be adapted to your purposes. Heres' how to get started.

9 pages

Installing a Small Air-Cooled Inboard Engine (Pub. No. 5219)

by J.A. Emmett

Little air-cooled engines offer a solution to the power problem of the owner of a small boat who wants the economy, simplicity, and dependability of an inboard engine without its drawbacks in the way of weight and cost. Models from 1/2 to 5 horsepower can now be had from several different manufacturers at reasonable prices; they may drive direct, have a one-way clutch to permit starting the engine at the dock, or be fully equipped with clutch and reverse gear to give maneuvering ability under power. Weights range from under 100 lbs., for the small size up to 200 lbs., for a fully equipped five horse motor. Then there are the new high-speed lightweight models developed along the line of an outboard motor power head but with transmission arranged to run through the bottom of the boat which weigh as little as 42 lbs. for a 21/2 h. p. size.

8 pages

Power Your Boat With a Converted Model A Engine (Pub. No. 5273)

by Orville G. Bolstad, Consulting Engineer

(Or use the same principles to convert a modern overhead valve engine).

In looking around for an auto engine to convert for marine use in the 16 ft. runabout I was building, I pictured in my mind a rugged, reliable 4 cylinder motor of about 50 hp. Immediately it reminded me of the time, 15 years ago, when I had used a Ford Model "A" motor in a propeller-driven sled over the snowbound roads of North Dakota. Remembering how well this motor had served me, with the sled loaded down with cargo and the motor turning hour after hour at 2400 rpm, I decided to use a Model "A". And the plan worked. It doesn’t pay to turn the motor any faster than this, as 2400 rpm is about the peak of the power curve.

12 pages, 2 plate(s)

Round-Bottom or Vee? (Pub. No. 5302)

by B.B. Wood

A remarkable paper on the power requirements of the two general types of runabouts. The test curves and text matter are of vital importance to the designer or the skilled owner.

16 pages, 1 plate(s)

600+ Tried-and-True Boating Tips & Small Projects (Pub. No. 4901)

Every conceivable aspect of motor-boating, sailing, rowing, fishing, etc.

Five volumes of our earlier booklets combined into one convenient Handi-Book. Now fully indexed for easier reference. All the good things that work and small projects from the early days right up to today. (A few of these are the very popular tips which appear in our Handi-Hints pop-ups and on our Tip-of-the Day links from other sites).

166 pages

Some Designs for a Galley (Pub. No. 4905)

A wide variety of good ideas for galley design in the small cruiser.

30 pages

Gadgets and Gilhickies (Pub. No. 4910)

A great collection of gadgets and ideas for both sail and motor boats.

102 pages

Fiberglass Top for the Open Outboard, A (Pub. No. 7011)

With modern plastic materials—Styrofoam, fiberglass and epoxy—you can make your own lightweight top and, by enclosing the sides with polyethylene or plexiglass and the cockpit with vinyl- or neoprene-impregnated nylon, convert your boat for overnight use.

After a season’s cruising with the family aboard, the average skipper has, no doubt, thought of several improvements he’ll want to make in the boat during the winter layover. One good addition for cruising comfort would be to build a cabin top. A top will convert an open boat into an overnight cruiser, provide shelter during a rainstorm and shade passengers from the hot sun during the summer. The cabin top shown here can be built as a single piece or can have the cockpit extension cover; either way it will add immeasurably to the usefulness of an open runabout and its ultimate trade-in value when you decide to go for a larger boat. The drawings do not give dimensions because your particular boat will determine how large the top must be; each skipper will have to make it fit his own boat. General construction and only those dimensions which are standard for certain items are provided.

2 page(s)

Fiberglass Flying Bridge Shelter Top (Pub. No. 7012)

Several new developments in plastics and fabric materials are now available to yachtsmen interested in improving or maintaining conventionally constructed boats.

These products include new polysulfide rubber seam compound and adhesives, new urethane, epoxy, vinyl and polysulfide synthetic rubber coatings and foamed urethane plastic boards; all available in the boating market place. Among the many inquiries I receive are always these two questions: “Are these plastics hard to use?” “Can I do the job?” And my answer is this: If you can handle the paint job on a boat, if you can cover the cabin top with canvas, if you can build a hatch cover, then you can handle plastics. The approach may be a little different but the materials handle in much the same way as those you’ve been using. Liquid plastics are like varnish. They look like varnish, they feel like varnish in the brush and they will run like varnish when applied so that you must handle them in the same way. The difference is that they will not cure (or “dry”) unless you add something to the plastic when you are ready to apply it. You sometimes have to add a little thinner to paint in order to use it, so what is really difficult about adding a little catalyst to cure the plastic? The only refinements are: 1. The correct amount of catalyst to add. 2. Plastic will dry in the pot in about 45 minutes, unlike paint which will dry on the surface of the job in a few hours but will only skin over in the pot. With plastic, you have to use the batch into which you have stirred the catalyst within the dry time and you have to wash out the brush in order to save it from becoming a plastic solid reinforced with brush hairs.

2 page(s)

Building Fiberglass Ruders and Spinnaker Poles (Pub. No. 7013)

The use of fiberglass in boat construction is not limited to hulls and superstructures. Interesting new practical applications are being discovered every day.

The problems of wood construction of yacht rudders have always been well known, but fiberglass-reinforced plastic at last offers the solution.

4 page(s)

Build a Fiberglass Sink for Your Boat (Pub. No. 7014)

The difference between a boat and a yacht is often in her appointments. Why not build a one-piece fiberglass countertop and sink as the show piece of the galley for your boat?

Plan the counter-top and sink combination to fit the space you have in your boat, but remember that the stove can be a pull-out drawer affair, under the counter, which will save room on the Counter-top for drying dishes or mixing salads. The mold is simple to make and should not scare anyone off who can glue boards together and sand and paint same.

2 page(s)

How to Build a Fiberglass Icebox (Pub. No. 7015)

Now that the techniques of fiberglass construction have reached a stage where it is relatively easy for the average boat owner to build some of his interior accommodations of this versatile material.

It’s high time you gave that old, rusty, landlubber ice-box, chopped up to fit the space, the deep six and build a rust-proof, modern job out of fiberglass. Lay down that belaying pin, mate; it won’t cost a fortune. In fact, the cost will surprise you, it’s so little in comparison to what you’d have to pay for almost any other material. It’s cheap, it’s easy to build with, it’s the most efficient of materials and you can tailor it to fit right into that spot where you’d like to have an icebox. And if that’s not enough, it will look better than a professional job and be as modern as tomorrow, besides. All you need is a little plywood, some pieces of Celotex for insulation, a few yards of fiberglass boat cloth and a quart or two of plastic.

4 page(s)

Build Your Own Fiberglass Refrigerator (Pub. No. 7016)

Heres a project for the winter months when the boat is in storage—build a refrigerator.

Modern life being what it is, refrigeration is practically indispensable. There are two essential parts to a good refrigerator: the mechanical cooling system and a perfectly insulated box. There are many electrical refrigeration units on the market especially designed for use on boats, which run from either 6 or 12 volt batteries and there are a few which can be switched over to shoreside current when the boat is at her own berth. Several of these units are offered by manufacturers and they are also being shown in boat shows around the country. The refrigerator box you can build yourself and it will be better insulated than most home refrigerators if you use foam plastic insulation as directed in this piece. More important—you can tailor the box to the space allowable in your own galley and the cost will be small compared to buying a commercial refrigerator.

2 page(s)

Leakproof Cockpit of Fiberglass, A (Pub. No. 7017)

Are you tired of that leaky cockpit? Soggy ropes in a damp lazaret? Water dripping on the quarter berths? If you are, replace the old dog with a fiberglass cockpit.

It will be light and will provide more room below, yet be roomier on deck because it can be molded in one piece and suspended from the deck. A fiberglass cockpit is fairly easy to build and install; if you follow the plan outlined by the accompanying drawings you can channel the water through the built-in gutters into-the scuppers-in the cockpit well.

2 page(s)

How to Build a Boat Landing on a Muddy Shore (Pub. No. 7018)

Rot-proof fiberglass sandbags and logs of Styrofoam provide a solution.

Many boatmen do their boating in areas where facilities for landing are sometimes no more than a muddy marsh or a crumbling sand bank washed away by the river day by day. Most of these waterways never saw anything more than a canoe until the boat trailer came into general use. Alongside facilities for the new crop of boats are non-existent; they are generally too expensive for an individual to build if he uses conventional means to improve his waterfront area. I became literally bogged down in this problem not long ago when I spent a weekend with a friend at his hidden retreat. He had frontage on a lake, but we had to wade hip-deep in mud to get to the boat he anchored there. After we got aboard, carrying our clothes, we had to take a swim in deep water to clean up. And we bad to repeat this performance when we landed back at camp. Well, this was all right when I was a young lad of 30 or so, but now. . . We decided to try to find a solution. What we came up with was effective and cheap, so I think it fruitful to pass along to you.

2 page(s)

Plywood for Interiors (Pub. No. 7028)

When the planking is finished the boat is only one-third finished.

The other two-thirds is finishing the cabin and interior and other miscellaneous items. So if your design is such that you cannot use waterproof marine plywood for the hull you certainly can take advantage of it for interiors. It seems that most of the articles recently written cover its application to hulls omitting almost entirely the interior. Therefore this question is certainly a timely one and it is hoped that these few notes may guide others building or remodeling the interior. You don’t need special designs to use waterproof plywood for the inside. Every boat can use it profitably and almost to the exclusion of old fashioned methods because almost everything is a flat surface or simple curve. It certainly isn’t like trying to bend compound curves.

2 page(s)

Building a Plywood Cabin (Pub. No. 7029)

The sides of a light plywood cabin can be built without any separate frame as the different plies running at right angles hold it together and support the top much as a frame would be expected to do where a single thickness of wood is used. However, where the design calls for very large windows so that the cabin sides are mostly cut away, leaving little support to the top, it would seem to be a good plan to provide a framing piece of oak between windows or where ever there is room for it. This could be an oak batten about 1/2 inch thick by 2 inches or more wide, securely fastened with screws or bolts.

2 page(s)

Ramp Docking for Your Boat (Pub. No. 7032)

by Mel Berg

Here’s an inexpensive way to keep your expensive boat high and dry and out of trouble when your back is turned.

A ramp dock for your expensive fiber-glass or metal boat will keep the craft in good condition, protecting it from the hazards of dockside mooring, from damage caused by floating debris, and from the pounding, rubbing and scraping of high waves. The ramp mooring has additional advantages: your boat will be cleaner, there will be less waterline scum, and your boat will always be dry and ready to go. When the boat is parked on the ramp dock, its rear drain plug can be opened to let rain water run out instead of bailing or pumping the hulldry, an annoying procedure which is necessary when you use floating moorings. The ramp dock is a boxlike, two-section, angle-iron frame 18’ long and 4’ wide, supported at each end and in the middle by 2” pipe standards. The two 9’ wooden top deck sections are built into the angl-eiron frame and the dock is complete. This type of dock construction allows the entire dock to be removed from the water for winter storage or in case of high water, or for any other reason.

4 page(s)

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