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Update

Well, I haven’t updated this in quite a while, but I have finished my boat.  Well, I should say that the boat is usable, but perhaps will never be 100% finished. About a week after the last post, on the 28th of July, I launched the boat. Rather than deal with dissembling the boat, transporting it to the river, then reassembling it, and so on, I simply took some 4×4’s, cut them down to a suitable size, and then lashed the boat together. Though only 5 feet wide, I was able to row it around a bit.  Some of the boat is not even painted, as I add or change parts every so often but haven’t painted them.

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The maiden voyage involved rowing the boat around a sort of river harbor. The beams are cut down 4×4’s and I hadn’t painted the top side. I was done building.

Registering it was a pain in the butt. I ended up making 3 or 4 trips to the county clerk, getting it appraised by some dealership, and making several calls to the Tennessee Wildlife Agency, but I got it done.  The good news was that I was able to use it while waiting for the application to be processed.

Primary propulsion comes from a 6HP outboard, though I really think 2 or 3 would have been enough. At any rate, it will move around 8 MPH. I mounted it to the aft beam, but it wants to twist pretty badly. I’ll post how I solved this problem. Mounting the engine required all sorts of adjustments to the boat, and I’ll probably make adjustments in the future as well.

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With no engine or sails, I simply rowed around a bit.

We found a cheap boat trailer on craigslist, and now use that. We were able to widen our boat to 7 feet. I grabbed some electrical conduit and made a 15 foot mast. Last trip we had the mast up, but still had not made a sail. Instead I made a sort of sun awning which made our trip pretty nice. No photos right now as my camera died.  I will instead use a film camera and include some photos in the future.

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Yeah, I was still building it even while on the water.

Two trips ago I was motoring up a river and we struck a submerged log, damaging the port side rudder and fin. It was a pretty substantial hit but the boat took it well. Then it sat for quite a while until I could decide how I wanted to repair the damage.  I ended up tracing out a new portion from my set of plans, and epoxying it to the stump. I did not repair the rudder yet. I did coat the new fin part in epoxy, but have not painted it yet either.

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Now wider, I paint the new decks. The 4X4’s are really easy to work with and one can quickly change the width of the boat by switching to longer 4×4’s.

Today I made a main sail for the boat. Making the sail was something that filled me with dread. I was sure I’d screw it up, and since I’ve really only seen the usual triangular main sails, I thought long and hard about just doing that. However, I was looking online and found a photo of some guy in Bangledesh sailing up a river with a sprit sail rig. His sprit was a bamboo pole and his sail was a little more than a bed sheet. Ah, screw it. A few hours later I had a poly tarp sail proudly flying from my boat.  I’m not using marine hardware, just some home depot pulleys. Since the boat, mast, and sail are not according to plan, I just threw it all together. Hope it sails but we’ll see tomorrow maybe.

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This was probably our 2nd or 3rd motor trip. I was sitting pretty low in the boat and had I been sitting up, I might have seen the submerged log. Note the tiller extension, which is a part off a jogging stroller. Several parts of the boat were thrown on from whatever I had laying around as I tried to solve engine mounting problems and the like.

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Around 7 inches were smashed off. The repair was not too difficult thankfully.

 

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