Monday, November 30, 2009

Windshield Brackets Arrive

I am really happy with finding "Lake Shore Castings" in Erie, PA through the Glen-L online builders forum. The folks at Lake Shore cast these aluminum windshield brackets made to order. Similar original and reproduction vintage brackets can go for $400-600 on ebay so these are a real steal at 100$. I'll have to get them chromed but I am really excited to have found these. They will really finish off the vintage look I am going after. You can cut your glass to any curvature or height you desire. I think I will be using lexan and not glass though.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Winter Enclosure

It's been getting cold around here which has basically brought the boat building to a stop. Too cold for epoxy to set.
I have been pondering different options for being able to fiberglass and maybe paint the bottom of the boat during winter. After looking into heated storage units I decided to just insulate and enclose part of my garage. Hopefully I can heat the area around the boat to the 70F that is ideal for fiberglassing. I have one electric infrared heater so far, I'll see how much it heats the area tomorrow, I may need a second heater though.

My wife calls this my "fort." My father-in law says I should put up a sign that says "He-Man Women Haters Club."

Tasks over the next week are just in prep for fiberglassing. Today after I built the enclosure I began rounding the edges of the boat. This is done so the fiberglass cloth sits smoothly against the wood as it rounds the edge. A blunt edge would not allow the cloth to round the corner and stay attached to the surface, so I am told. I still need to take care of some high and low spots on the hull then it will be ready to glass. Im pretty nervous about that step.
Rounded edge...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

John's Monte Carlo

I just returned from a work trip in central FL. I stopped by John A's Monte Carlo project. His boat is HUGE! The Monte Carlo is 24ft compared to my Zip at 15ft. This boat will have a 454 inboard engine in it. John is building in a corner of his hangar in a plastic enclosure with A/C so his epoxy doesnt cure too fast in the Florida heat. This also helps keep the dust off everything else in the hangar.

As you can see the boat looks great!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Engine!!!

Finally!!! I found what I hope will be a reliable, trouble free, great looking motor for my Zip.
I had been searching ebay and craigslist almost daily for short shaft engines for months. I found an ad that said "outboard motors for sale" on craigslist. After clicking it the ad said 7.5 and 40 hp short shaft motors for sale. No pic of the 40 but the 7.5 looked very nice. I emailed the fellow and he emailed me back a few hours later with pictures of a great looking 1975 Mercury 40 short shaft and control box. He said it ran great and had very high compression and that he had restored it after finding it in great condition in long term storage. It has elec and manual start.

I went up to Wadsworth, OH near Cleveland to see the motor, a 5hr drive. I looked the motor over. The wiring was in excellent shape the motor was VERY clean and freshly painted. The control box was in great condition. Then we started the motor and it purred along at idle both in and out of gear and the throttle response was instantaneous. It sounded very healthy and strong. We agreed on a price and did the paperwork. Then, loaded the motor into the bed of my truck and sat it on a sleeping bag for the ride home. This morning I made a stand for it and its ready to go! I really like the look of this motor, I am quite excited!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Transom Band Template

Today I did lots of sanding on the forward bottom of the hull. Still have just a little more to do but ran out of daylight. No more boat work will be happening until late this week due to training at work.

In between sanding I made a template for transom bands out of aluminum. Now I just need to drill some holes for the screws that attach the band to the boat. After the boat is flipped over and the side planking at the sheer trimmed to size I will know the exact length I need to make the transom bands and then can make the real ones out of stainless or maybe aluminum. I dont know enough about metal to know which to use. I'm thinking aluminum chromed would be ok for fresh water but stainless polished may be about the same cost???. I wonder if I could just do polished aluminum for fresh water, that may be cheapest.
If anyone knows of a machine shop around Indy that can do some trim work like this for me email me. I also need someone who can tig weld and fabricate a cutwater at the bow of the boat.
Here is a picture of the transom band template taped in place on the side of the boat.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The past two days I prepped and permanantly attached the last piece of planking. Today I began trimming the overhang.

The fit is good. I've got a bit more trimming to do with the sander and need to fill some spots but I am glad to have finished this part before winter, it has been great weather here for boat building lately. Unfortunately, I have been out of town for most of the good weather and about to go out of town again for several days next week and the forecast is for mid forty degree weather when I return...darn.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Planking fitting done

The fitting of the bottom forward planking is finished. The final plank is ready to epoxy/screw in place for good then the excess will be trimmed but I am out of time tonight and will be out of town the first half of the week. So I will epoxy it in place when I get back.

My friend Scott Black stopped by on friday and we went to lunch but first he had to check up on the progress with the boat. You see Scott is responsible for getting me into this mess. We used to just happily play with radio controlled model airplanes and boats but about 4 years ago Scott emailed me a link to the Glen-L website and planted the seed of building a full size craft into my mind. I ohhhed and ahhhhed over the pictures on the site for years while in college. After seeing the Glen-L site I made it a lifetime goal to build a wood boat sometime before I die. I had no idea I would do so this soon but Scott and I were at lunch one day this past winter and Scott was talking about how he had all these pojects like the Glen-L boats the he wants to do but life and 3 kids tend to get in the way. I too wanted to see Scott build one because his r/c models are works of art and I know he could build a stunning boat with his craftsmanship. It was clear that Scott would not be building one soon with his large, active family and all his other interests. I started looking at my life and said, "Its now or 25 years from now"-- I have the garage space, the spare time, the supportive wife and hopefully enough funds. I ordered the plans for the Zip soon after that lunch and its all Scott's fault! Thats my story and I'm sticking to it. Scott has his own great website for all types of hobbies especially r/c. You can visit it here

Here is a picture Scott took of me and the Zip before lunch friday. BTW, thanks for lunch Scott but I called you so youre supposed to let me buy!

Today I went by a boat salvage yard here in Indianapolis. "Indy Boat Salvage". The place has been here 35 years and so has the manager because he is the only guy that knows how to find the parts that have accumulated among the place, its not exactly organized nor is any salvage yard I have ever been to. Anyway, I keep meaning to stop by but never do, today I did. The place is huge, maybe 8 acres. I looked at some old motors, some steering wheels, some trailers and some hardware.

I came home from the salvage yard with this. A vintage bow handle for 10$. I'll get it re-chromed when I get the windshield brackets I just ordered chromed. It goes on the very front of the deck of the boat and the handle is used to help pull the boat on the trailer or manuever the boat around when beached, etc. If I end up not using it I'll sell it on ebay or give it away at next years "Gathering"

The salvage yard was fun, I want to go back soon and rummage around some more and see what else I can turn up.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Forward Bottom Cont'd

Slow progress lately. I was out of town for 4 days this week and today began screwing the final forward bottom planking in place. The weather has been holding out nicely. I hope to epoxy this piece in place on saturday since I will be out of town again the first half of the week.

I did order some 3 piece windshield brackets online from the hotel this week. They are a steal at 100$ but must be chromed at my expense. Still cheaper than the 500$ ones which are the only other ones I can find. They take 3-4 weeks to get since they are made to order. Here is a link to pictures of the brackets.
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