Sea Knight - Fibreglassing

Prior to putting the fibreglass on, I had a some low spots about midway that needed to be filled and faired so I could get the back half on the bottom as straight and smooth as possible.  However, it turns out I am not that good at fairing and filling and for a while there thought I had done more damage than good.  I am happy to report though I did manage to get thru it and I even expanded some of my vocabulary.


Shop cats and epoxy

Pete the Cat under boatTransom on, bottom braced, I attached the frames and the stem.  With the frames in place, it's easy to see where the bottom bevel needs to end up, and I could see that I'd been pretty generous when I cut the bottom out.  I left plenty of stock to trim away, and it looked like I'd be planing forever, but it turned out to be less of a job than I feared.  I stropped my plane, put some music on, and planed happily away; got a little carried away, evidently, because when I checked the bevel at the fourth frame, I found I had gone too far.  The first stumble is painful, but plywood garboards will bend enough to compensate for the dip in the bottom bevel, and I'll just have to hope that people are too polite to stare at my bottom and snigger.

1956 Helton Wood Boat

Hello All!!

My father, brother-in-law, and I have recently started this project of restoring a 1956 Helton Wood Boat that my father has had sitting in his yard for some years Tongue out.

We decided to start from the bottom up with the original Tilt O Matic trailer...

Tilt O Matic top part This is the top of the Tilt O Matic trailer. This is to be sanded, Phospho treated, and then painted an International Red since my father is an "old" engine and tractor buff Laughing.


This used to be an old 50's Green which had all but coroded away. Fortunately the green is still on the boat and looks in pretty good shape to keep.

Steel Wing Straps and other Steel parts

I started by laying out an ordinate table for the GA35A415 Long Coot (LC) wing at 75 inches long.  This information gave me a maximum wing thicness of 11.244" at station 26.25", or 35% of wing chord length.  Subtracting 1/8 for each wing skin gives me a maximum main spar height of 10.994 inches.  This is the outside dimension the spar is to be made. 

Traditional Polytarp Sail

OK, so blogging the build didn't work so well, but I have built the boat, and it does float.

Anyway, much talk on this and other forums about polytarp vs. traditional sails.

So here I have a few photos of the finished sail, at some point I will dig out the photos of building it too, if anyone is interested.

I built my sail using polytarp, double sided tape, and gaffer tape - no sewing. I built it by cutting the polytarp into bolts the way other sail materials are usually supplied, and then broadseeming it in the traditional manner.

Long Coot Amphibian: Starting the wings

So the garage is built, but still needs some items... The camper is on hold for now... I am proceeding to start construction on the wings.  This is where Molt Taylor suggested starting the Coot, and since the Long Coot is going to need a new wing anyway, this is a great place to start.  The wngs take up less space than the hull or the camper, and I can work on them as I finish other things necessary around the shop. 

The Coot wing chord is 5 feet and the Long Coot chord will be 25% longer, 6.25 feet long.   Using the basic idea of increasing the length by 25% and increasing the weight by 50%, puts design gross weight at 2800 and the overall length at 28 feet.  Using a designed empty weight of 1800 leaves 1000 pounds of usefull load.  Rounding weight up to 3000, gives a useful load of 1200 pounds.  So 3000 is the desiged gross weight.  The standard load test of 3.8Gs would give a test load of 11,400 pounds, and load testing a the utility category of 4.5Gs puts the test load on the completed wing assembly at 13,500 lbs.  At this rating the wing will be overbuilt by 18.4%.  A nice overbuild for safety. 

Sea Knight - I've Got a Hull

Took the bottom panel off, through some epoxy on it and screwed her into place fairly easily, I guess sitting in that position over winter did help some.

Bottom Panel

Need to clean up the bow section a bit so I can have the next bottom panel over lap the first one. 

Bottom Panel

To assist with the bends on these two bottom pieces at the bow I left towels on the wood for a few days pouring hot water on them in the mornings and evenings.  I would some heavy duty straps to help bend the wood to get it into place.

Bottom Panel

Glass Bottom Boat build in Belize

We are building a glass bottom boat in Belize to be used in a new tour company.  We will take people on tours out over the reef.  Belize is home to the second largerst reef in the world and is spectacular.

I will try to post pics that will document our progress as we build this boat.  It is 30' x 12' and will be constructed out of Belizian mahogany. We will use the cold mold method or a modification of such.

Norman Eiley is my main man in Belize and has been building wooden boats since he was 13.  This is my first boat build ever.

This first photo is of our 1/30 scale model.

Time Lapse Video

Here's a time-lapse video showing the past couple months here as we've started building a new 39' wooden picnic boat:

Cold-Molded New Build Underway Here in Maine

A view of the cold-molded process of traditional wooden boat building: the molds are being set up to build the hull over. The hull will then be flipped right-side up, taken off the molding, and placed on the keel for the rest of the work.

Best Marine Epoxy

My favorite epoxy? Progressive Basic No-Blush Epoxy

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