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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.

Hitia 17

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.

Hitia 17

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.

Hitia 17

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.

Hitia 17

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.

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



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