Boatcraft & Fitting-Out

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Repairing Damage to Wood (Pub. No. 5628)

In a world of tough fiberglass boats that make the boater’s life much easier, there are still plenty of dedicated lovers of wooden craft. Beside the warmth and character of wood, older wooden boats can be purchased at bargain prices. And many people are more than willing to pay the price of sanding, caulking, and repainting for the amenities they obtain in a tradi—tional carvel, strip-planked or lapstrake hull. For most, It is a labor of love, a rite of spring that is part of the fun and romance of boating. Wood boats, however, can be demanding. Problems have to be taken care of promptly before they become bigger problems.Here's how to do it.

20 pages

Applying a Boat's Name (Pub. No. 5629)

(Painting, Gold Leafing and Carving a Name Board)

Applying the name to a new craft is one of a boat owner’s proudest moments. It allows an individual’s imagination or sense of humor free rein. But then comes the problem of applying the name to the craft’s transom, or on the topsides aft if the transom is occupied by twin outboards. If you have the confidence and skill to do the lettering yourself, you have more latitude in designihg the name and style. But for most people, the safest way to obtain the best results is to transfer letters which are available from a marine or art supply store. This, however, still demands some planning and design. There also are wooden, plastic or metallic letters that are applied with brass fasteners. But these often have a tendency to get broken and fall off. Here are several better ways to do this pleasant task.

10 pages

Installing Transducers for Depth Sounders (Pub. No. 5630)

(Transom-mounted, through-hull mounted, and inside-hull mounted, as well as the indicating instrument.)

Here are the relative benefits of these three types of mounting, together with complete details on the best way to install each.

22 pages

Simplifying Short-Handed Sailing (Pub. No. 5631)

Most trailerable cruising sailboats, mostly those in the 20 to 25 foot range, skippers often find the most challenging conditions. Many of these craft are Spartan in their original equipment. Many of their owners have family crew members who are either inexperienced or a little light for the job. And, too, some venturesome skippers enjoy the solitude and, sometimes, splendor or occasional harrowing experience of cruising alone. For the do-it-yourselfer who likes to be in complete control, there are a number of projects that can make short-handed sailing easier with-out leaving the cockpit.

17 pages

Improving Economy and Performance of Power Boats (Pub. No. 5632)

Fuel is precious—do not waste it! That is the message beamed to boaters and they should heed it not only for the sake of economy, but also to conserve a dwindling energy supply. For a number of reasons, however, the idea of saving anything appears to be repugnant to many who follow a “throwaway lifestyle,” so let us approach fuel saving from another angle—a way to make your favorite recrealion more enjoyable. And that is a fact—-you can get more fun out of boating and save fuel at the same time.

28 pages

10 Ideas for Cockpit Covers-Awnings etc. (Pub. No. 5637)

In addition to cockpit covers, awnings and windows, there are a couple of designs for useful demountable tops for small outboard or inboard boats. Here's an excerpt from the description of one of these: A DEMOUNTABLE TOP, FOR OUTBOARD OR INBOARD. Plans herewith is shown a collapsible top for an average open boat with outboard or inboard motor. This top (for an outboard) consists of six pieces for complete coverage and live pieces to run boat, allowing for motor flap which would let in very little rain and no spray. For an inboard it consists of four pieces, running or standing, fore and aft zipper openings on inboard being used if desired. For stowing, the biggest item, the ridge board, is the easiest. It stows in bottom of boat under rubber mat. Two stanchions for outboard nest along stem at bow and the one rib for inboard nests in with canopy. Other canvas folds into a small bundle (12 by 12 by 3 inches) for stowage anywhere convenient. There are no screws, bolts or nuts or pipe threads to screw. Everything lies securely in place during the roughest storm. The outfit takes not more than three minutes to install. This top has resulted from considerable experience in boat fishing. This top stows conveniently, is quickly and easily set up and demounted, and absolutely weather-tight. It can be fished from while covered and the boat can be run with front and rear zippers opened to suit. The canopy is easily pulled in place when the sun is too hot and the zipper triangle allows for air if desired.

24 pages, 2 plate(s)

How to Design and Build Berths and Dinettes (Pub. No. 5639)

A variety of designs for convertible and fixed berths and dinettes. Here's an excerpt from the discussion of pipe berths; (the berth any experienced sailer will choose over any other if given a choice.) "Almost any type of upper berth which swings into position for use may be included in the pipe berth classification, whether pipe enters into the construction or not. The conventional pipe berth forms a back rest for the lower berth which serves as a seat by day. For comfort the berth must be longer than the occupant, not less than 30 inches wide and must not sag appreciably before morning. However, available space will determine the dimensions."

36 pages

How to Lay and Repair Canvas Decks (Pub. No. 5640)

After many paintings the deck paint builds up quite a thickness for a paint film. Often this paint film is made up of several different brands of deck paint, one over the other. This in itself tends to accelerate the checking for no two manufacturers make their paints alike and one composition is likely to be more flexible than the others or it may expand at a different ratio to the others. One paint may dry harder and with less flexibility, or one may be exceptionally flexible. A harder coating under or between or over more flexible coatings is sure to cause checking. The small hair checks grow into cracks which seldom stop short of the canvas and sometimes the canvas is cracked as well. Too thick a coat of any paint or old paint that has stood in a partially used can and formed a thick skin is very likely to crack. Deck paint should be well brushed out and rubbed into the under coat, not laid on like enamel or varnish. Many coats of paint on a deck are not necessary for the paint to crack. Deck paint takes a terrible beating. Besides being walked on, it must withstand anchors and all sorts of gear along with continual exposure. The Summer sun is really hot at times and draws oil from the paint at the expense of flexibility. When this hot deck gets a sudden splashing of cold sea water or a sudden shower, the paint is contracted so quickly that there is not time for it to contract as a whole. Consequently, it checks in spots and exposure to sun and weather extends and deepens the checks into real cracks.

28 pages

Aerodynamics of Yacht Sails, The (Pub. No. 5713)

by Edward P. Warner and Shatswell Ober

The work described in this report is the outgrowth of a series of wind tunnel experiments on sails made at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1915 to 1911 and of sundry attempts on the part of the writers to find relations between the performance of sails of a yacht and the wings of an airplane.
The work was done in the summer of 1913, being under the direction of the writers with the assistance of Messrs. John R. Markham, W. Laurence LePage, and James B. Ford. The yacht for the full-scale experiments was furnished by Mr. John S. Lawrence. He and Messrs. Livingston Davis, W. Starling Burgess, and others aided greatly in the course of the work through their experience and interest. The Marconi-rigged S class yacht Papoose was used in all the full-scale experiments. The yacht was fitted with racing sails of the usual cut, the leach being made as flat as possible. The mainsail ran up the mast on a track, and therefore pulled off from the centre of the mast at all times instead of being free to swing around the spar as it could if it were on hoops.

31 pages

How to Make a Boat Dock (Pub. No. 5728)

by Jerry Geerlings.

Building a dock for your vessel isn’t tough but there are tricks to it. Pre-fab units may be the thing for you or locally available materials may be best. Here a registered architect tells you how.

Your first step in planning a boat dock is to ask plenty of pertinent questions from plenty of experienced people in the locality where you want to build. Find out what has been the most successful construction; by this I mean life of construction in relation to cost of installation and upkeep. Ingenious pioneers and predecessors in the locality will have found out which native logs make the best piles, what preservative is advisable, and always of great importance, the best means of driving the piles in spring, and of pulling them out in autumn. Maybe there is a mutual-help community project to put up and take down the local docks. You may find that it will be less expensive in the long run to buy pre-fab metal piles, and a few accessories which tie together adjacent dock sections, than it is to build the entire dock of wood. Some of the pre-fab piers are so readily assembled that it is reported two persons working for two hours can erect a length of 30 feet, and disassemble that same length in one and one-half hours.

11 pages

Mounting Hardware on Fiberglass (Pub. No. 5735)

by V. Lee Oertle

Extra hardware on your boat will enhance its beauty as well as its utility. But mounting handles and chocks on fiber glass requires special know-how for a perfect job. To be an expert, just read this

When you buy a new small boat, especially an outboard, you probably will not notice the scant hardware included in the purchase price. The excitement of the moment can fade rapidly, however, the first time afloat. You pull up to a dock to refuel, the mate jumps onto the dock and starts clawing the smooth, tractionless fiber-glass deck, searching in vain for a handhold. In desperation he grabs at the steering wheel or the windshield bracket to stop the violent pitch and roll caused by the wash of other boats. You then begin to realize that a bow handle is not always quickly or easily grasped—and this is about the only piece of hardware included with the bill of sale. You want to tie your boat for a moment—but there are no mooring bits, chocks or cleats. The rise and fall of the boat bumps and scratches the new beauty of your boat, and you cringe at the lack of side bumpers. The freshly salted small-boat skipper mentally starts to file a list of accessories to install at the earliest opportunity. And it will be a wise investment from the standpoint of functional efficiency and increased evaluation of your boat through these improvements that add beauty and safety to the craft. What hardware you finally purchase will depend, of course, on your pocketbook, your taste and your particular need. The tools you’ll need to install this hardware are more standard, and include a small portable power drill, a screw driver and a handsaw. Since a great many new boats are of fiber-glass construction we shall deal here with the methods of installing hardware on this type of craft. Plywood and metal hulls require much the same treatment; but due to the extreme hardness and slick surface of fiber-glass hulls, the beginner boatman may encounter more difficulty in drilling holes and placing screws.

8 pages

Our Floating Patio (Pub. No. 5744)

by Jean Lyon

Here’s a dock with plenty of pluses— it’s easy to build and will not wash away

A floating dock is a necessity for any cottager who enjoys utilizing the river for cruising, fishing or just his own convenience. High water and debris will not unexpectedly remove or disturb this kind of dock, for it rises and falls with the water level and rides with the current. When a cottager wants his boat or boats to remain level, his live—bait box always in the water, a clean place to load or unload friends who are boating, a suitable place for families to sun bathe, or just a quiet place to sit and fish, his dock is there. On a lake or river, where there is little rise and fall over a period of time, a stationary dock can be satisfactory. However, on many other rivers the water level may vary considerably and the spring ice floes must be considered. A floating, well-anchored dock is the answer. The floating dock also solves the problem of the swiftly rising river fed by heavy rains far up the river basin. On some inland rivers dams are still raised and lowered to furnish power for miilraces for hydroelectric power or water power. What may be a placid inland river one day is sometimes a rushing torrent within a matter of hours. Heavy objects, even stationary docks, are sometimes swept downstream. A securely cabled, floating dock will rise with the river and fall as the water recedes, but will remain firmly anchored to the river bank.

8 pages

Covering Decks with Fiberglass (Pub. No. 5785)

How fiberglass can be used as an alternative to canvas in sealing decks against leaks, and adding to structural strength as well.

Many letters have come to me on fiberglass construction. They have come from all parts of the United States and some from Canada and they all ask many questions about the material and its applications. The questions most often posed were: How can I use fiberglass on my present boat? Would it make a better covering for cabin tops and decks than canvas? What are its insulating properties and non-skid values? Will it bond with wood without heat and high pressures? Fiberglass is ideally suited for covering wood decks and cabin tops and while providing armor plate protection will, in addition, add considerably to the structural strength of the boat.

12 pages

Multi-Purpose Docks are Easy to Make (Pub. No. 5872)

by M. Robert Beasley

Take a standard-sized piece of plywood, a couple of old 55-gallon steel drums and a few hours of time, and build this dock.

8 pages, 1 plate(s)

Tips on Transporting Your Boat (Pub. No. 5888)

by Weston Farmer

Here's some good advice from a renowned naval architect on the best way to transport your boat; car-top or trailer.

8 pages

Ways to Repair or Replace Rigging (Pub. No. 5892)

Many different fittings have been devised to attach wire rope to a turnbuckle.

12 pages

How to Lengthen Your Boat (Pub. No. 7702)

You can lengthen your old boat inexpensively and quickly, and you’ll gain the comfort a big boat affords.

Certain types of sail and power craft are perfectly adaptable to being lengthened. Another three or four feet in length added on adds not only to the appearance of the craft, but also considerable deck space. In many cases, lengthening solves the problem of building a new and longer boat, thus eliminating the job of starting from the keel up. The work of lengthening your craft might seem a major operation, but it is a comparatively minor one alongside the task of building an entire hull. It is just the thing to do these days, when a larger boat is needed and when goodly quantities of lumber and fittings are practically unavailable, because of defense priorities. Craft without an overhang or a fantail—those with blunt sterns from the waterline up—can be lengthened to good advantage. Building a fantail on such types is safe and practicable, and does not appreciably disturb the sail and rig. The increased length aft enables you to set up a permanent backstay, so that yott can come about without slackening or hauling-in sidestays.

4 page(s)

Add a Cabin to your Boat (Pub. No. 7703)

You can save yourself a lot of grief from the weather by adding a permanent cabin to your runabout for very little money.

4 page(s), 1 plate(s)

How to Make a Real Ship's Wheel (Pub. No. 7705)

by Hi Sibley and Don Selchow

One of these handsome yacht wheels is for marine use; the other makes an attractive wall decoration. Both are well designed and require only a lathe and scroll saw for their construction. Mahogany Pilot Wheel For Wall. Note: It would be a good idea to build the decorative version first to work out the "kinks" before tackling the real thing and perhaps wasting expensive teak and/or mahogany. The photo on the right shows the decorative wheel, which will lend an attractive boaty atmosphere to a room, especially if the marine motif is carried out in lamps, ash trays, etc. Spokes are lathe-turned, and the rim is made up of 60 degree segments cut on the scroll saw, then assembled with casein glue and brass screws. Finish with stain, filler and two or three coats of top grade spar varnish.
Substantial Yacht's Wheel. This wheel on the left is the real thing, and calculated to give long, hard service. The rim is of hardwood, built up in sections of 60 degrees each, as in the decorative wheel. Spokes are lathe-turned from 3/4xl-in. stock. Wheel is assembled with casein glue and Everdur screws. Brass flanges clamp spokes to spool and serve as a hub for shaft.

2 page(s)

Make Your Own Hole Saws of Any Diameter (Pub. No. 7708)

by Alvin Youngquist

The home made saws illustrated for cutting holes up to 12" in diameter were developed for cutting lightening and ventilating holes in boat frames, but can also be used for a variety of purposes. The cutters shown cut through 3/8" plywood; however, by turning the stock over and cutting from the other side, it will cut through 3/4" stock. The saws can be used in a hand drill press or an electric hand drill, or electric drill press. The saws are easy to make, and save a great deal of time if there are a number of holes to be cut.

1 page(s)

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