Saturday, May 14, 2016

Hydro: Video

We cut down the transom 3 inches and this totally eliminated the cavitation.  Now the boat can hit the top end of this motor.  It is just a 9.9 hp Johnson, but it moves.  The hull should be able to handle up to about a 35hp.  that would be exciting.  We are keeping our eyes peeled for any motors in the area that we could land.  For now this is super fun.
Here is a video of me leaving our creek...

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Hydro: Launch Day!

We found a great throttle cable at Marine Consignment in town.  This afternoon we hooked it up to a hand lever.  We may move to a foot pedal, but for now it works well.
Once this was completed, the boat was ready to launch.
Oriental has a nice State Wild Life Resources boat ramp in town.  We had the boat launched in minutes and it performed great!
The handling is tight and the ride is dry.  We did have some cavitation, so we will be lowering the motor and adjusting its angle.  But that is another day.
Here are some photos...

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Hydro: Top Sides Paint

Today we flopped the boat over.  The weather was perfect for painting. Low humidity and sunny with a mild breeze.  We were able to get two coats of Interlux Perfection White on the top sides.  We mixed in a little Interlux #216 spray thinner.

It looks great.  Tomorrow we will be able to reinstall the steering gear, mount the engine and strap down the tank.  The only remaining issue will be the throttle linkage.  We will address this next week.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hydo: Paint finally!

The fairing of the hull is close enough for now.  If we love the hull and want to mold it, we will put in another week of fairing.  The weather is warm and we are ready to try it out.
Yesterday we primed the hull top and bottom with Pre-Kote by Interlux.
Today we sprayed on Perfection White by Interlux on the hull's bottom.
After a day or two to harden, we will flip it back over and spray a couple of coats on the top sides.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Hydro: Scuppers

This weekend we cut holes for the port and starboard scuppers and glassed it up.
Since this area will most likely be constantly wet, we took extra care in sealing up the holes.
After the holes were cut, we saturated the raw ply with epoxy.  The transom is made of (2) 3/4 ply wood epoxied together.
Next we cut thin wall PVC tube to line the holes.  The tube was abraided with sandpaper. The tubes had a slightly loose fit so we wrapped the tube with glass tape, saturated it and twisted it into place.
We left the tubes slightly long.  This allowed us to wrap the ends with carbon fiber tow and press it into the seam with a screw driver.
Today the lamination was hard so we sanded the tubes flush.  It looks like a solid connection. Over the season, we will monitor the integrity of this joint.
This is the sanded flush starboard scupper.
This is the glass tape and CF tow we used to wrap the scupper tubes.
This is the interior view of the port scupper.

Stern view showing the new scuppers.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hydo: self draining cockpit/false bottom

Back to work on the hydro.
While it is looking like and ugly duckling, it is getting very close to launch day.
Today we took a big step forward by installing the false bottom.  There are 3.5 inch tall framing members set longitudinally supporting the hulls exterior.  By installing an elevated floor, we will be able to have a self-draining cockpit.  This is a huge quality of life improvement in boating.
We will be able to leave the hydro in a slip for periods of time and not worry about it.
To accomplish this, we cut limber holes on both port and starboard sides of each of the cross members.  These were glassed.
Because the boat will sit with stern down when at rest,  all the limber holes drain to the stern sections of each pontoon.  In the photos, you can see the 6 inch diameter deck ports we cut into the walls of the cockpit.  Any water that makes it into the interior of the hull will end up in the accessible area of the pontoons.
From midship forward, the pontoons are totally filled with 2 pound foam.
This open space in the rear of the pontoons will allow some storage but is mainly for inspection and off season drying of the hull.
The newly installed floor will keep any uninvited water out of the hull's interior.   Next we will mark the appropriate spot for scuppers. After these are cut and glassed, we will be ready for paint.
The surface is getting closer to fair.

Cross member with limber hole visible.
The false bottom is 1/2 osb glassed on all sides.  It is screwed to the cross members.  The glass tape is not so much structural but is primarily used to keep the water headed to the scuppers.
The floor is in.  After paint, the deck plates will be installed.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Boating and Camping: Hammocks Beach

The beautiful spring weather got us in the mood to get outside and camp.  We looked up State Parks and found wonderful
Hammocks Beach State Park.
Here is the Google Sat view
It is a fantastic place.
It is a barrier island right next to Bogue inlet.  There are strong tidal currents to be aware of.  There is only primitive camping.  Three of the 14 camp sites are boat in only.
From google maps sat view, it looked like #14 would be accessible with our skiff, so we reserved it.
The island has many sea grass shallows behind it and the water is very thin.  Most folks arrive on the island either on the ferry that stops in the middle of the island or by paddle craft.  There is about 1 mile between the mainland Park center and the island.
The boat-in sites are spectacular.  This is the most scenic campsite I have ever seen.  We had 2 days of peace a quiet, other than the wind in the live oaks.
Totally worth a the trip.

There are lots of great shell to be found.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


It is a great day to be tied up to a dock or inside reading.
There is a gale going on.
(The U.S. National Weather Service defines a gale as 34–47 knots (63–87 km/h17.5–24.2 m/s or 39–54 miles/hour) of sustained surface winds.)
They were above 40 and gusting higher.
Here is a link to the Town Dock wind gauge:

Visiting boats at the town dock

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Marine Consignment

I was unhappy with the block type I had on hand for the turn in the cable near the stern.  It was the type that feeds through a wall.  It would be good for running a line under a deck.  We want the cable exposed inside the cockpit.  So, I stopped at Marine Consignment in town and found two perfect Schaefer blocks.  They will work well.
Marine Consignment is always fun to poke around in.  It is somewhat chaotic but there are aisles of great boat parts and great books.

Marine Consignment
Broad Street,  Oriental, NC.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hydro: Steering

We are anxious to keep the hydro moving forward. So even though it is too wet and cold for the needed glass work, it was a good day for a run to West Marine to pick up some needed parts.

For the steering we picked up 20 feet of 3/32nds stainless steel wire.  Some assorted swage fittings.
We also got some paint and 2 6inch deck hatches.  These will allow us access to the back of the pontoons.  Good for a little storage, but mainly to keep the interior of the hull ventilated and inspectable.

Here is the thin wire we will use for steering control.

In the bag

We are using a 4x9 inch piece of Starboard for the steering support.  We drilled a snug hole that supports the shaft and acts as a bearing.
The battens we used to form the cockpit fairing will eventually be glassed over.
At some point, we will flip the hull over and do this work then.  We will also address any needed fairing on the underside of the hull and paint the bottom.

Because the shaft and the drum are steel and we are in a salty environment, we sanded the part and coated it in epoxy.

Monday, January 25, 2016

House building: raising the walls

The Hydro is waiting on more epoxy and warmer weather.  We have been building our house.
Here is a clip of a wall raising and some images of the project...

House Elevation: Allison Ramsey Architects

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Hydro: Junk yard Steering

We are trying to keep the cost of the hydro in check so we are fabricating the steering system out of found parts.  (Found in our garage)
To date we have spent about $400 out of pocket on the boat.
Of this, $330 was on glass and epoxy
The balance was on the steering wheel, seat and deck parts at Oriental Consignment.
We are using a cable system to turn the motor.
It is comprised of the wheel, a shaft. a bearing plate, a cable drum and 4 blocks to lead the cable back to the port and starboard sides of the motor.
The shaft is a 5/16ths steel tube we had.  The bearing plate is a front spring strut cap out of my son's 1984 Porsche 944!  He replaced the front struts with Bielsteins and he is happy about that, willing to let the old parts go.
The cable drum is a 4 inch hole saw bit.  This was welded onto the shaft at the appropriate position.
Not only will this provide pulling force on the motor, it also provides a useful backing plate to bolt the steering wheel to.
Today we screwed the bearing plate to the front bulkhead. We added a bit of Starboard behind it to prevent wear through.  We also added a cross strut of mahogany 1x3 that will support the wheel end of the assembly...
The Porsche strut cap is our shaft bearing on the front side.

Here is the hole saw which will allow us to roll stainless steel cable in 2 directions to  both  sides of the motor.

The shaft is about 2 feet long.

Here is the mahogany strut to support the front of the assembly.

A front bearing is still needed.  It could be as simple as a piece of wood with a  snug hole in it.

Good Hydro water!!