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The Building of Old Codger


Chick Ludwig
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Scott, I also built a couple of airboats back when I was a kid. Powered with a Wen-Mac .049. A lousy motor! Switched to Baby Bee .049. Much better. The Wen-Mac had to have sewing machine oil squirted into the ports to give it enough compression to start. Poor thing was worn out. Like you, they scooted around on the grass. I wasn't near any water big enough. Only puddles. I guess this was before my mom would let me ride my bike to the water. I eventually mad something that I put wheels on and ran them all over the street. Tried to aim them at my friends! I built dozens of model planes from kits and scratch built. Both U-control and free flight. I was too unco-ordinated to fly the U-control without crashing, but a couple of my buddies, the "Bergy Brothers", who were twins, real names were Bob and Bill Linberg, would fly them for me. I could make the free flights fly. We chased them all over the neighborhood on our bikes. One of the Bergys worked for weeks on a beautiful stick and tissue free flight. It was a big rubber power model that he put a Baby Bee in. It was a 50" wingspan Taylor Cub. We took it to a local park to fly it. It really flew well. Caught a thermal headed several blocks toward Tampa Bay. We chased it all the way. Last we saw it, it finally glided to a landing way out on the horizon! I mostly always could get these little motors started. If I couldn't, one of the brothers could. I don't remember which one. He had the "touch". He loved the diesel engines that no one else could make run. We all had bruised and cut fingers. No "real man" would ever use a stick to flip the prop. I still build models, but today the are r/c.

 

Steve. "So, pack up all the boats and family and move over here to God's Country. ' Didn't you say that was where wind went to die' "? Hmmm, I guess God didn't want me in real (salt) water. It's purty and cool up in the mountains, but way far from that real water. That's why I added, " Well, it would be if the mountain joined the sound and Atlantic ocean."

 

Id like to get 6-7 hours a day in, but life is always getting in the way. Besides, my poor old body often wears out sooner than that.

 

Oh-oh....Miss Debbie just called me for lunch. I'll be back later with a couple of pictures.....

 

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Lunch is over. Here's the pics I promised. First one is of my latest clamp storage scheme.

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Next ones are of the finished hatch coamings.

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Now I gotta go drag out Mr. Planer and plane up some more poplar to finish the hatches, c'way guides, drop board retainers, and misc. other trim. Oh yeah, gotta make patterns for the cushions, too. A lady from church that used to be in the upholstery business is gonna make 'em for me.

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Steve, I had the cushions made without any piping on the edges and without flare to fit the hull. The foam was actually two layers. The bottom layer was 1 inch stiff foam, and the top was 2 inches of regular softer foam. Best cushions for sleeping that I've ever had. The new boat will be made the same way. The covers had the zippers on the edges rather than on the bottom. That way, the covers could be turned over if they were ever damaged or stained on the top. Of course, the foam was switched and the covers now were on the opposite sides of the boat. Probably never happen, but didn't hurt to have the option.

 

The ones I had made for Summer Breeze were $600. I thought that was too much. I'd be curious to know what yours will be.

 

Be sure to have a V-berth filler to give yourself more "elbow room".

 

 

 

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Now I remember seeing that nice retainer running the perimeter. I hadn't thought to do that. Do you think it's necessary? I'm trying to keep her light as possible. To retain them I was planning on extending the main berth cushion about 4" under the rear deck with individual cushions extending the rest of the way. These could be removed for backrests when just lounging below. The fronts of course would butt up together to prevent them from sliding towards the center and yes I made the filler board and plan to have the cushions for filling in there.

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What to do---what to do---what to do??? It's time to get started on the windows/ports. I bought a piece of 1/4 inch plexi to make the aft window. I was gonna use a salvaged opening port that I have for the forward one. Here's a picture. I don't think I like it. The opening port looks too big, and doesn't follow the top and sheer line so it looks awkward. The aft one looks too big, too, but I drew it that way to kinda match the size of the opening port. What do you my faithful reader, think? I know that the lines drawn are really faint and hard to see. I'll go over them with a marking pen if ya want.

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Plan - B would be to make the big window smaller and cut out a similar but smaller plexi for the forward window.

Plan - C would be to get some elliptical ports from B&B like they make for the Core Sound, Mk-3s.

Normally I want opening ports on my boats, but it's cool enough on the mountain lakes that I shouldn't need them.

 

So, what do y'all think? Suggestions appreciated.

 

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I've found that side opening lights are only good at docks or beached. But at anchor, your fore-hatch is going to be your main ventilation source and yours looks setup for venting success. You may want to build an inch or two of overhang somehow in the top hatch so things don't get wet in the rain, because now that your a stink-potter (we forgive) you've got no boom to rig a rain-fly over. 

 

I'm with Amos, the ovals look great.

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Thanks guys. I like elliptical too. But here's a Plan - D. It could have the forward window changed to an elliptical. These would all be rimless. They would be attached from the inside, lapping the plywood cabin side and bolted in place. The edges of the plexi would be smoothed and torch-polished.

 

Steve, I've always appreciated my opening ports. It was nice to have the breeze deflected down onto my face as the boat "sailed" at anchor. I never had a problem with leaking. Back in the day, when I worked at various yacht builders (Morgan, Heritage, Irwin, Gulfstar, Endeavor, Southern Yacht, Southern Sails) , we used plastic opening ports successfully. The more expensive ones of course. There will be a Bimini top that extends back over the hatch a few inches. I agree that the forward companionway, especially with the hatched propped up part way, will funnel plenty of air below. I could even fabricate a fabric "hood" to keep rain out.

 

Anyway, here's a picture of Plan - D.

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While waiting for y'all to finish commenting on the windows/portlights, I finished the drop board retainers. Why does it take sooooo long to do this stuff? Oh, yeah, I know. Gotta measure twice and cut once so we don't get back into another predicament that has to be fixed. Remember that little nugget of wisdom from our earlier discussion? " There's never enough time to do it right, but always time to go back and fix it." So, here's the retainers. Still gotta make the hatch sliders for the aft hatch, and blocks to mount the hinges on for the front hatch.

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In case you're wondering what those little dark spots are running up the retainers, they are the bungs covering the screws. I like to do them with contrasting wood colors. These are walnut, while the retainers are poplar. Just my opinion, but it's my boat after all. So there!

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Everyone seems to be talking looks.  What are the side lights supposed to do?  I would answer that first.  I don't see any need for ventilation unless you plan to sit at a dock, as Steve points out.  Your last mock up with the 2 fixed lights would give some good views and lots of natural light.  Damned because its all connected.

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Thanks Dave. Looks like that last picture is about it.

 

I've been thinking about what to name the boat. I was going to call it Lost Cove, but I just haven't been comfortable with it. Several folks in my life have referred to me lately as an Old Codger. That's really growing on me as a good name for the boat. So, unless one of y'all has a better suggestion, Old Codger is it. Of course, I reserve the right to change the name right up to the point when I go to the sign maker to have the name cut out of vinyl.

 

So, things are beginning to wind down on this build. What's next? Probably need to get the "old tinner Starcraft" fixed up. New floor, side panels, etc. Miss Debbie has been campaigning for that. I've also considered cutting Turtler in half. You know, so each half is light enough to load on the top of Big Blue, our Ford Explorer that we haul the camper with. We've been using the flat-back canoe that was my last project, but it really doesn't have the stability or room in it that I want for what we do with it. Those, and several other ideas that have been rattling around in what's left of my "old codger" brain.

 

Well, time to leave y'all now . We gotta get back to church to deal with a mess of young-uns in Vacation Bible School. So, as one of my heroes, Red Skelton, used to say,"God bless, and good night."

 

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