Boatcraft & Fitting-Out

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Its Easy to Make Your Own Sails (Pub. No. 7836)

by J. Julius Fanta

Sailmaking isn’t a difficult craft. For the cost of materials alone you can fit your boat with a suit of well-cut sails, by following these simple sailmaking rules.

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Make Your Own Sailboat Fittings (Pub. No. 7837)

by George E. Basich

Generally, the first department in which the average sailboat builder thinks he can economize, is in the brass fittings. He comes to this conclusion after a hasty perusal of a boat supply house manual. By the time his boat is ready for fittings, his construction budget has shrunk considerably. It is therefore no occasion for wonderment that so many well-built boats are floated with c1umsy, ugly, dull accessories instead of the more conventional marine fixtures. We, too, faced this same problem but our boat was far too beautiful to be trimmed with any but the brightest brass. We decided to make our own.
Take a look at this other Data Sheet while you are at it! Accessories for your Boat

2 page(s)

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Easy-to-Build Pier, An (Pub. No. 7850)

by Hi Sibley

No pile driver is needed to build this inexpensive pier with its high-and-low-tide float, as a sturdy concrete base supports one end of the telephone pole “backbone” and the wooden outer support can be floated in place and set up in a sandy bottom by a couple of swimmers. Length of the telephone pole depends on slope of the beach.

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Proper Design of Sheaves for Use with Wire Rope (Pub. No. 7860)

by Herbert Macmillan

Wire rope is used in rapidly increasing quantities on modern yachts—for standing rigging of all kinds, as well as for operating ropes. Operating ropes mean those ropes which move over sheaves and drums, such as halliards, topping lifts, anchor ropes, etc. When a wire rope constantly bends and straightens out over sheaves and drums the metallic wires gradually become fatigued and sooner or later the individual wires in the rope start to break. The length of service of any type of wire rope depends upon the proper design of sheaves and drums. The highest grade rope which it is possible to manufacture will have very short life if used improperly. This cannot be pointed out too strongly since most operating ropes on yachts are used with equipment which was never designed for wire rope. The purpose of this article is to explain how service life may be materially increased by proper design of sheaves used with wire rope yacht rigging.

4 page(s)

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Table of Moorings (Pub. No. 7862)

by W. B. Moores

This table of mooring and buoy sizes is based on a safety-factor of four and considers the sort of anchorage, length of the boat, weight of mooring and size of rope, chain and mooring-buoy.

1 page(s)

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Ingenious Main Halyard Latch Locks Sail Aloft (Pub. No. 7863)

It is generally acknowledged that the principal force acting upon the mast of a sailing yacht with the so-called Marconi rig is one of pure compression. It is desirable to reduce this compression as much as possible and also in big rigs, where the various strains are very great, to eliminate wear and strain on the wire halliard which experiences exceptional local stresses where it bends over the sheave or sheaves in the mast. In the big America’s Cup class yachts, where all these problems are acute, successful devices have been designed to reduce the compression on the mast and the strain on halliards by locking the mainsail aloft, once it is set. These devices have varied in form but all have been similar in principle. All have provided some sort of hook or latch aloft into which the headboard, or a link on the headboard, could engage and settle back into secure locked position, relieving all strain on the haliard but the halliard’s own weight. Locking the mainsail aloft, in some such way, cuts any compression caused by the mainsail and its halliard in half. The one shown and described here was designed by A.E. Luders, Jr., of the Luders Marine Cosntruction Co., Stamford, Connecticut. It is highly ingenious, quite simple, and as far as we can see, absolutely foolproof. It is operated entirely by the main halyard.

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Experimenting with Yacht Lines (Pub. No. 7865)

by S. A. Vincent

A practical article on testing and towing models to determine the bestforms of underwater body. This data should be of interest to every yachtsman

The only sure way of developing the lines of vessels to fulfill all expectations by the amateur is by trial and error. Good judgment is not to be belittled, but even the best of naval architects are not perfect and it is rarely that a design is so fine that it cannot be improved upon. To build a special series of full sized vessels, whether they are motor boats or battleships, each varying slightly in a definite way from the other and so find the best hull form, would be unduly expensive. Fortunately it is possible to build small models at a comparatively moderate cost and from these the exact performance of a full sized vessel can be predicted with mathematical precision. For years, all naval vessels and most merchant vessels, have been designed following extensive model experiments. It is only rarely that yachts or motor boats are designed from such tests and this will be understood when I explain that it costs several hundred dollars for one model to be built and tested.

3 page(s)

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Pump Tilt to Trim Your Outboard (Pub. No. 7870)

by Walter B. Chandler Jr.

You can make your own power-tilt mechanism for very little money.

Most outboard engines have pin holes to allow adjustments that fix the angle between your lower unit and the transom. Now the larger motors have standard or optional power-tilt arrangements to permit tilting up your prop when you’re beaching your boat or running in shallow water, trimming your lower unit for the best angle when getting up on plane and trying for the most speed or running on an even keel with various loads aboard. But if your older outboard doesn’t have a power-trim kit available, you can make your own as I did. Basic parts required are a hydraulic power pump, hydraulic cylinder, lower tilt bracket and upper tilt bracket.

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Bargain Guage for Gas Consumption (Pub. No. 7871)

by Robert D. Stearns

Ease your outboard’s offshore energy costs with this $3 jug test.

Fuel costs make knowing the gasoline consumption of your outboard more important than ever. If you can figure out in advance your most efficient cruising speed, miles per gallon and range of action on a tank of gas, you’re sure to increase your boating safety and enjoyment. Most large outboards burn about one galion per 10 hp per hour at full throttle. A 100-hp mill uses up approximately 10 gph wide open, but a 10 percent reduction in rpm can cut gas consumption by 20 percent, while an 80 percent drop in rpm may mean a 35 percent gas saving. These averages apply generally to planing hulls riding over, rather than through, the water, but they can vary greatly from boat to boat with different-size motors and loads. It’s certainly worth the small amount of time and expense, using the method shown here, to determine what your fuel requirements really are. Almost any outboard with separate fuel tank can be tested; with adaptations the system should also work for inboards.

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Electric Power Aplenty for the Small Boat (Pub. No. 7873)

By William L. Hensley

Take a small boat like mine and add a radiotelephone, a spotlight, a cabin fan, an electric bilge pump, a depth finder, a few extra cabin lights, and you’ve got a problem: where to get the electricity to run them all. Sure, my boat’s engine has a conventional generator/storage-battery electrical system, but that was designed, primarily, to power standard electrical gear and supply current to the starter motor. It just can’t supply enough juice to keep all my electrical auxiliaries purring happily. Solutions? Two are obvious: Add an independent battery to power part of the equipment. The hitch here, of course, is that this battery must be carried ashore frequently for recharging. Or the existing electrical system must be beefed up by substituting a heftier generator, or—better yet—an alternator. But this is only a partial fix, since the improvement is effective only when the boat’s engine is running. Switch off the engine, and we are back where we started. The best solution (and the one I finally settled on) is to install a ship’s-generator system, driven by a small auxiliary engine. The unusual thing about mine (seen in the pictures), is that I built it myself mostly out of junk parts.

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Find the Best Prop for Your Boat on Paper--First (Pub. No. 7874)

By Jim Martenhoff

Most boatmen understand that propeller pitch determines their boat’s performance. Too little pitch and the prop spins wastefully on an over-revving engine. Too much and the wheel (prop) slows down as the engine labors valiantly to drive it. You can play around with props on a trial-and-error basis, trying to find one that will match your boat’s hull shape, weight, and engine output. But that’s time-consuming and can be costly unless a dealer will lend you props to experiment with. Using two simple rules of thumb I’ve developed over many years, you can do the experimenting on paper with simple arithmetic .

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Polyfoam Swimming Raft (Pub. No. 7876)

This durable and unsinkable swimming raft can be assembled in just a few hours with simplest of tools. The core of the raft is two billets of "Dyfoam," expanded polystyrene foam that does not absorb water.

1 page(s)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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