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Utah OB20


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Paul.  Your comment is appreciated.  The fairing and finish came out much better than I expected or hoped for.


The flip was a nice milestone, too.  The after-flip celebration was cut pretty short, though, as the reality of the rest of the work left on this project became apparent.  A couple dozen bilge compartments are staring at me with lots and lots of nooks and crannies to fillet and glass.  Sure wish I had been a little more diligent (and agile) in crawling under and cleaning up squeeze out during the side planking.  Plus, time to start thinking seriously about fuel and electrical systems, flotation, engine, etc.


The actual flip went quick and easy.  I studied several different approaches and finally went for simple.  I inserted large, loose fitting eye bolts at each end of the boat where I guessed at the balance points, cut it loose and hoisted it from the jig, spun it and set it back down.  Long straps fastened to the shear clamps and tossed over the boat helped us control the rate of rotation.  Once set up, it took only a few minutes.  Drilling into a freshly finished hull was a little unnerving, but one hole will be filled and covered by the engine and the other will probably be one of the drill-fill-drill holes for the bow eye.


I'll post a couple of photos; one is actually a video, which I'm not sure will open.  It's not too good anyway.  My sister took it and I didn't brief her on what to do.


Really enjoying this build.








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Carter- Your boat looks great! There are a lot of things yet to finish but you can stand back and see a beautiful creation as it will look in the water. Looking forward to seeing her as she gets closer to launch. Does she have a name yet?


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Thanks Ken. Nope, still a boat with no name.  I was thinking it would be presumptuous to be considering names this early and could possibly tempt the boat building god's into sending another obstacle my way. 


I love the photos of Rosie, especially the ones of her cursing up through the islands. Besides beautiful, she looks safe, capable and cozy.  You have created a real treasure there. 

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  • 1 year later...

Utah OB20 update. 


I have been able to move several things forward since flipping the boat many months ago, but last spring Joan and I decided to take the time to visit as many of Utah’s highest mountains as we possibly could.  We’ve always been pretty avid hikers and had been on most of these peaks at least once already, but this was special, and we felt very fortunate to be able to do it. 


So, we did.  We hooked up to our little CLC teardrop camper and spent most of the summer camping and hiking…rather than boatbuilding.  Along with the boat photos, I’ve included a few pictures from those hiking trips.  Please forgive me, if they are too far off subject: I realize this is a boatbuilding forum.


Once upright, she revealed (the boat) two or three dozen bilge compartments needing glass and epoxy to make them waterproof.  Somewhat difficult work, as it’s all about bending over and working below your feet.  Next, the bunk tops went on and were painted and I faired, sealed and painted the interior.


Fairing the hull exterior was the hardest job for me so far, but building and fitting the foredeck beams was the trickiest.  But they’re done now and so is the kingplank and the carlins.  The decks will go on soon.


The other day a friend who had never been in my shop, or knew anything about my boatbuilding project, visited and after studying the boat with fascination for several minutes finally asked, “Are you restoring this boat?”.








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Carter- You seem to be taking a sane approach to boat building. Doing some other things for a break is a great idea. Looks like a great time. Beautiful pics.

Your boat looks beautiful as well! Looking forward to seeing more pics as she progresses. Since I have a bad memory, I think all the work is well worth it!!



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  • 2 months later...

I have a couple of items I could use your comments on. 


The gas tank is installed longitudinally beneath the cockpit floor of the Outer Banks 20.  The plans call for a 35 gallon tank, but based upon the way I intend to use the boat, 25 will be more than enough.  After taking delivery in the 25 gallon model, I learned that it does not have baffles, but the 35 does.  Should I expect the boat's handling be effected by gas sloshing around in a 25 gallon tank with no baffles?   Enough to bother with shipping it back?


I used Interlux 2-part Perfection paint on the hull exterior and planned to use Interlux 1-part Brightsides everywhere else.  I'm now second guessing that idea, particularly on the decks, cabin and cockpit tops.  Any comments the long-term durability of the Brightsides in this application? 

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Hi Carter,


I am enjoying your build, you are doing a great job.


I retrofitted the 35 gallon tank under the cockpit on my OB20 hull #1 that chick built. I did not see any baffles in it, nor was I looking for baffles because I was under the impression that they could not fit them in a roto molded tank. I have not notices any issues from the lack of baffles.  Chick had installed a 15 gallon tank on the port side aft. I recently chopped the tank up to remove it from the boat to get rid of some superfluous weight and give more room for fenders etc.. I can assure you that there were no baffles in it.


The 35 G tank is long and skinny and has all of the plumbing at one end including the fuel pickup and gauge float.


It would seem that the obvious way to install the tank would be to put the plumbing aft to to keep the pickup in the fuel as it will be trimming by the stern while planing. Being a contrarian I installed it the other way. I don't like the idea of sealing the plumbing under the cockpit sole and I did not like the idea of a raised hatch in the cockpit sole. I cut a kidney shaped 6mm lexan hatch that was rabbeted into the sole which I seal with mastic that I can pry up when I need to work on the fuel gauge or plumbing. Being forward, it is under the pilot house. I can see the plumbing without having to open it up.


My rationale was that if I am careless enough to run the fuel that low she will drop off the plane and force me to run her at sub planing speed which will give me the longest range to get to a gas pump. I ran her down to about 1/4 tank so far without issue. Another issue is that when planing, the fuel gauge shows less fuel than I have. If the tank was reversed, it would read high underway. I get a reasonable idea of the fuel level at rest.

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  • 4 months later...

Thanks Graham,


I appreciate the tips and the encouragement.  I'm sure you have noticed I'm loving building this boat.  Over time, I have realized (accepted) that it's not really a "project" at all, but a hobby, which makes it more fun for me.


Apparently you're on Carlita's Next Adventure just now.  You seem to be a guy in the right place in life to do some of the things you've wanted to do for a long time and still have the motivation and ability to do them.  Good for you and good luck on those adventures.


That's a nifty little inspection glass you've made for the gas tank fittings. 


I have decided to stick with the 25 gallon tank I have.  I plan to install the battery(s) in the aft locker, but ran conduits and made accommodations for them up just aft of bulkhead #2 just in case it looks like she'll set better on her lines with a few pounds forward.


I was just beginning to fillet and glass the bilge compartments when I last checked in.  Since then, I've added some rigid foam flotation and installed the side decks, cockpit floor and the aft seat/locker.  I just ordered the steering gear and wheel and will dry fit the engine soon.  I have a fairly new Mercury 4 stroke 40, which will go on initially. 


I'll attach some photos. 





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  • 1 year later...

A few weeks ago I was on the phone with my ninety-something mother-in-law when she asked how that boat was coming along.  I told her, "Mary, its looking more and more like a boat every day'.  She came back with, "Carter, it looked like a boat three years ago".


She's right, of course, but I'm getting closer.  And having more fun now, than when I started.  I'll post a few pictures, but don't have much in the way of captions...it's pretty obvious where I'm at and where I'm going.





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Thanks for the comments guys and especially for noticing the ‘swoosh’, as you called it Andy. I wrestled for a long time to come up with a design that I liked to conceal the plywood scarf on the wheelhouse. Echoing the curve in the coaming was the final solution. 


This winter I’m looking forward to doing some electrical, engine and engine controls work that I had hoped to do last winter...or was it the winter before?

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  • 2 months later...

 A bit of a sidebar on my OB20 project.


The plans show details of self-made hinges for the forward cabin deck hatch. My first thought was "Why would anyone spend the time and effort to attempt to make something, when they could simply go out and just buy it?".  My next thought was "I don't believe I just said that".  


Thinking back on it, my last metalworking project was in Mr. Tinsley's Metal Shop Class (1964) in high school.  Funny name for a metal shop teacher, huh?  Graham said "A simple and sturdy hinge could be made with minimal tools". Easy for him to say.  Feeling a little more than just a little bit intimidated, I studied and studied what I considered to be his not-so-simple plans, bought some 1/8" aluminum and got after it.  


Good decision; it was actually fun.


Like most simple (and elegant) designs, the journey from start to finish is not usually simple, or particularly easy.  There are some remaining tweaks and more correct screws, bolts, etc., I'm pleased with the outcome and sure glad I chose to tackle it.



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Thanks guys, your comments are appreciated. 


Ken, yes I'm very excited about going boating this spring.  I had been concerned about finding enough water for that, but the atmospheric river causing so much chaos in California, has been bringing lots of beneficial snow this way.


Thanks, Dave.  Nice design on those hinges, huh?  As I was working on them I was both wishing they were stainless steel and grateful they weren't.


Gray Duck, I'm glad you asked about toe rails and rub rails, because I'm not sure what to do.  I certainly get the need for rub rails along the shear, but what about toe rails?  Isn't preventing things from rolling off the deck their only function?  Also, what material to use for those items?  Several years ago a friend who owns a large millwork plant gifted me with a ton of Sapele wood.  Does anyone know if Sapele can be treated like Teak...as in left untreated, or perhaps oiled?  What I have is offcuts from projects, so they are small in dimension, but mostly 16' long.  Would untreated Sapele with (or without) a half round SS or bronze strip be acceptable for rub rails? 


Another thing, the deck/topsides joint where a rub rail would attach is not flat.  I'll attach a photo to illustrate.  Should I grind it down to make it flat, or is there some way to relieve the backside of the rub rail like door casing and base molding?


Hey Steve, you already have a nice boat!  Besides, as long as my son stays on my good side, its doubtful this boat will ever be for sale.


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