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Core Sound 15 #162 — Building the “Norma T”


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Here is a picture of the twisted gudgeons, post-incident.  The bottom rod bent back some, so the top rods lifted out of their gudgeons.  That allowed the bottom rod to twist to the side, but because it had a pin in it, it stayed in the gudgeon, motor attached and running.  All the gudgeons are now replaced with heavy-duty ones, and all the rods have holes for pins.  


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Well, as noted, 8 yrs in retrospect, there might have been a notch in my transom too.

Over in Michigan now w/ daughter and a bucketful of fine relatives.  Moored in a slip at white lake, near muskegon.  Fotos of happy sailors to follow soon.

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On 7/9/2021 at 7:47 AM, Thrillsbe said:

I’m interested in seeing how your motor mount works out.  Do the mizzen sheets still foul it?  This is a big annoyance to me, and I’m looking for a solution.


I sailed tonight… my first time of participating in a race.  As I took a photo of rounding a buoy for the first time I realized it was a good photo of the mizzen sheet and motor on my repaired motor mount.  On a weird low-wind jibe the mizzen sheet did get a bit tangled.  Other than that, it stayed clear. 
(I put a ring on the sheet with an elastic cord to the sprit but the cord seems a little thin to do what I wanted it to do and I haven’t replaced it yet.)

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  • 2 weeks later...
5 hours ago, Steve W said:

Is that mizzen sheet double ended? If so, I like that, When hiked up on Skeena, it's tricky to adjust the mizzen sheet, but that would solve things......

Nothing beats having both main and mizzen sheets going to the center thwart and a swivel block/cam cleat for hiking out. The sheets are always in front of you, with a swivel they allow leading directly at you, the elevation matches hiking for easy cleating and uncleating. The main sheet can be in your lap for quick release.  My mizzen is single ended and uses a traveller. My main sheet is double ended with each swivel out board of the mizzen mast on the thwart to provide the same effect as a traveller and it gives me the 2:1 advantage.  With experience, if it didn't bother me to have the only end some times to lee, and some times to whether, single ended would be fine. It works well from both ends on both tacks. 


When the wind picks up, nothing makes me feel more comfortable than having the main sheet in my lap, cept maybe my toes under the hiking straps. Even if I don't use either, it is knowing how quickly I can react that gives me the comfort.

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New “Outboard”

I spotted somewhere an ad for a Temo 450. It’s about $1,600.  (This was posted to YouTube a year ago.)



This was kind of joked about in another forum thread (I’ll find it.)  This drill powered device runs around $50. 


I suppose the $1,600 device make the silly cheap device seem more legitimate.  It’s a temptation. I can see that it would be great fun for the grandkids to operate and useful (perhaps) around the dock. 


Looking around, I spotted a hand-powered version. ?



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I’ve been busy traveling and camping with family for the past few months and very busy building my ski boat when I’ve been home.  But, while waiting for paint to cure I’ve had some time to just play around at home with my Core Sound 15.  I’ve been trying to make secondary halyards work smoothly to raise the sails out of everyone’s way for boarding or maybe for motoring in. Instead of laying the sails on the seats or floor I’ve wondered how to raise them out of the way a bit with a “topping lift” setup.  My son and I started experimenting with this last October but didn’t have time to finish the details before winter storage. 

One problem I encountered with raising the sprit with a second halyard (while the sail is on the mast) is that the sprit is also pulled forward and the pin keeps coming out of the clew loop, making things kinda fall apart.  I added a little stretchy loop that I can pull over the clew loop when wanting to raise the sprit. So far (in my yard) it seems to work well. 


I left a tail on the loop that I can easily grab to pull it past the end of the pin to quickly put it on and take it off. 


I tried using the reef ties to bunch up the sail but a bungee cord wraps the sail more nicely.  I will continue to explore options with this approach. 

I also realized, while playing a bit with reefing the sails, that I could just slip the reefing clew-loop right over the one already in place. I was taking the lower loop off first and then placing the sprit pin into the reefing clew-loop. That would let the aft end of the sail dangle down… a bit irritating.  

Another little project… I noticed that the dock line to my bow eye needs to be secured inside the boat when under way or it can dangle into the water… get caught and in time pulled right under the boat without my noticing (yup, it happened a few times). I installed an inexpensive cam cleat onto the forward bulkhead and it provides a nice easy way to secure the line. 

I should have recorded a video ? of me trying to “fix” an issue I created when I added a thick backing block last year under my oarlocks.  The block was too thick and the oarlock pin didn’t go all the way through. It was an error on my part. In the interest of adding strength I created a problem. I’ve thought a long time about how I might fix it.  I wanted to be able to place a washer and hitch pin at the end to secure the oarlock from coming out… sort of like this:


(I will push the hitch pin all the way to the round section so it doesn’t catch anything when the oars are being used.)

But, to do that, I somehow needed to remove some of the thickness of the backing wood, at least a half inch. But, it is glued under the deck and inside the inwales. NOT VERY ACCESSIBLE. 


I have a “chainsaw” disk for my small grinder… effective at removing wood and rather sinister looking. 


I’m a big guy trying to contort myself in a way to access this hidden spot while also being able to see clearly AND while being in total control of this rapidly spinning tool (a LOT can get cut very quickly with a chainsaw… and flesh is no match for a slip.). A video of me trying to do this would have been quite entertaining.  This video sort of illustrates what my task was like:

But, I managed to accomplish what I set out to do and the oarlocks will now effectively stay in place. ?


Meanwhile, my ski boat is alllmost ready for controls installation. The decking goes on after that. 

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On 8/1/2021 at 7:18 AM, Thrillsbe said:

they shouldn’t lift out while rowing, if your blade angles are correct.

Don, I tried rowing while standing late last year… just to try it (I saw someone do this in a video… it looked interesting.)  My first attempts felt awkward and after a couple dozen strokes I lifted the oar too much, pulling it out of the socket… and the little plastic insert popped into the water… it disappeared. That was irritating. 

User error, no doubt.  I haven’t rowed a boat since 1980 and I’ve never used rotating oars.  I suspect, as suggested, that I angled the oar wrongly and the downward deflection of water pushed the oar up and out of the socket. It’ll take more than a couple dozen oar strokes to get the techniques. 

So, I started to think about ways to prevent the oarlock from being lifted out (so I don’t lose the plastic insert again) and I came up with adding a washer that would keep the oarlock in the socket… and a small hitch pin to keep the washer in place.  I think I like my solution.  So, that’s my story.  Errors sometimes demand a “fix” to avoid more user error. ?

And, today… FINALLY!!  I am adding a white stripe across the Joe’s transom to match the color scheme of the Norma T.  Tomorrow, I can stop in at the marina to arrange for their installation of controls, electronics, and motor. Yay! ?




AND, with favorable weather tomorrow, I shall take another try at “stand-up” rowing… and at one-oar sculling (over the transom.)  And, I s’pose I should develop the skills of using rotating oars. ?

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Don’t stand up.  Get used to rowing the correct way.  Face rearward. Find a landmark over the transom that points you in the correct direction.  Occasionally, glance over your shoulder, to make sure you’re not going to hit something.  
Offcenterharbor.com has an excellent series of how-to videos on this, but they require a subscription.  I’ll email you one of them.  The lesson is taught by Maynard Bray, who has a long history with Mystic Seaport, Woodenboat Magazine, and Offcenter Harbor’s website.  Let me try to paste the link here (instead of email).


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Roger Barnes uses a sculling oar over the stern (standing, facing forward) for maneuvering.  For distance, he uses two oars, facing rearward.  I just use my oars for both, when I’m using them.  In truth, I either motor, or sail into the dock.  (Sometimes literally, into the dock! )

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I’ve had a set of five foot roller bunkers for quite a while but I’ve not had a chance to install them yet. My ski-boat build is in the shop for controls/motor installations so I finally have time available. 

Before I installed the longitudinal bulkheads in the start of the Norma T build, I scribed and cut the bottom curve onto a 1x6 piece of pine to have for later. So, using that piece, I marked a couple five foot 1x6 boards and cut it to receive the roller bunkers  29541F89-F196-46FA-A238-DE66ABBCB770.thumb.jpeg.35ab9aded19e65380790d3e6cba60dbc.jpeg



The roller bunkers are straight so I needed to pull it down to the curve shape. Now the bunkers are screwed and bolted to the shaped board  205B2AEC-AC9F-4668-8B8B-F2A402CC56A5.thumb.jpeg.0588f8e1552344cc9d8b839e5bf82de2.jpeg


I rarely have a reason to use my cable winch so I was happy to use it to raise the bow off the trailer (using the grandkids’ swing rope ?.). A couple saw horses are supporting the back. 


And it’s ready. 


I tried a couple launches at the boat landing. Rather than having to do some strong pushing the boat off the regular felted bunkers boards, the boat rolled off on its own into the water. I even need to hold it back with the bow line so keep the launch controlled… MUCH easier. 

Even though I tried to match the boat’s bottom curve, only two or three of the six rollers actually touch the bottom while the boat is on the trailer.  I think I will try mounting the roller bunks onto the original bunk boards to see if there is more roller support. (The felted bunks that came with the trailer are not as stiff as is a regular board… they have more give and they might work more effectively than the curve I cut into the 2x6 boards. 



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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/9/2021 at 12:11 PM, Paul356 said:

and all the rods have holes for pins. 

Paul raised a good point with his Duckworks motor mount.  I’d been thinking about this for quite a while, and a few days ago, I decided to give it a go… drilling a couple holes into the bottom of the rods to add a couple more hitch pins for security.  I really thought the steel of the rods would simply resist my drilling attempts. (I’m not much of a metals guy.)  A little persevering did the trick and, I think, has improved the motor mount. 


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