Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trip to Armstrong Millworks

Well it was time to go to Armstrong Millworks in Milford, Michigan and select the African Mahogany for the decking on the boat.  Good friend and Squirt Builder Art Atkinson volunteered to tag along and help me with selecting some great boards.

When Art was ready to re-saw his wood for the deck on his squirt he used his shop bandsaw to resaw his wood and he said that although his bandsaw did a good job, it was a painfully long task. I have basically the same bandsaw so I selected the easy way out and asked the guys at Armstrong's to resaw and sand the boards to the 5/16th thickness that I needed. Looking back, this was a great decision. The boards turned out great and now they are almost ready for installation. I will still need to run the edge on the jointer so I have one straight edge and then rip the boards to the correct width. Bottom line: Armstrong Millworks is highly recommended by me and others. I have been getting my wood supplies from them for years and they have always been great people to work with.

Dennis Armstrong

Adam is planning the rough wood
Adam and Dennis are resawing the 16' X 10" Mahogany
Art Atkinson lending a hand with the sanding
Ted Gauthier happy with wood grain

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sub Deck Milestone

 My big milestone this week was to epoxy the sub deck onto the top of the boat.  I used 1/4" Okoume Marine Plywood for the sub deck.  Once again my brother Gary came over and spent the entire day.  A very good friend Dave Pohl helped out for a good part of the afternoon.  We had a great system set up with one guy mixing epoxy and then spreading it out, drilling, countersinking the holes and then putting in the 3/4" silicon bronze screws.   Now that the entire sub deck has been installed, I will need to get the overhanging material trimmed flush with the edges so that the stainless steel bumper rails will fit properly along with the cabin areas so they will accept the trim molding.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Making the Sub-Deck

I was able to get a lot done on the project this Saturday with the help of my brothers Joey and Gary.  They are always there when I need them.  Most of the winter I had been working alone on the boat and did not need their assistance but now it was time to start handling large sheets of 1/4 " marine plywood.  Sometimes when you have more people working on a project it does not mean that you will get things accomplished twice as fast but this time we were really able to make good use of everyone.  Yes, I could have done this part of the project by myself but it would most likely taken me several days and not near as much fun.

The large square wood blocks where used as a washers to support the screws so they would not pull through the plywood under stress.

On Sunday, I took everything apart and flipped the decking over.  Everything received a coat of epoxy.

There is still a lot of work that will need to be done with the sub deck.  All the seams will need to be glued and clamped with epoxy.  The screw holes will all need to be drilled and countersunk to the correct size.  This will take time because I want to be sure that I have as much done in the cockpit area as I can before covering the deck.  It will be much easier to do it while the deck is open than to crawl under there later.  I will also need to do a little bit of fairing in one or two spots where the sub deck did not lay down as nice as I expect.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Steady Work and Making Progress

I have been slow to update my blog because there is little to show for all the work that I have been putting into my boat project.  I have been working on something almost every day.

Rebuild and paint the shifter control selector:  I cleaned, polished and painted the shifter control center and then installed all new cables.  I started to look at the control cables that I received with the used motor that I bought and found that the old cables were all rusted.  After giving it a little thought, I think it was best to just replace them with new and not worry about them breaking.. A safety thing for me..

In the photo below you can see the shifter all painted and put in its place.  Also the radio was installed by cutting a hole in the mahogany and mounting the brackets.  Here you can also see the red courtesy lights that I installed for a total of four LED strip lights.  The walls will have upholstery that is yet to be installed.

The wiring project on the boat was much larger than I ever imagined.  I am amazed how much wire is in a simple boat.  I now have about 80% of all the electrical installed and tested but most of it still needs to be secured.  I used a brother label maker to identify each end of each wire and then covered the label with clear shrink tubing to secure them in place.  I also did this when I built my airplane and the time it took paid itself back many times when you need to do repairs.  

The switches in the first picture are: 
Top = Key switch
Left of the switch panel is a little button switch that is for the courtesy lights
On the Switch panel from left to right are:  Horn, Anchor/Nav, Stereo, Bilge Pump1, Bilge Pump2.

Everything is connected and working but not secured

Volt, RPM and Fuel Gauges

Installed supports in both the main and passenger cabin areas around the deck.

 I made two speaker mounts that I installed just under the front deck.  You will not be able to see them when seating in the boat.
The Steering system has given me my biggest head ache and I have spent so much time and money trying to resolve this problem.  The problem that I have been having is not getting enough right and left turn of the motor.  In the photo below was an attempt to install a splash well mount steering system.  In this setup I used an 11' steering cable.  I was not happy with set up so now I am attempting a linkage type steering system that will be mounted above the deck.  The Linkage type steering required a 12' cable and a linkage arm.  It will also require me to build a custom mount. In my next post, I will show some photos of that setup and let you know how things work out.