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


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Roller Bunks, Revisited

In a short while after installing the new roller bunks onto my trailer, I decided that the wood I used (previous post) made things too high. So, I took things apart again and drilled holes into the steel brackets to make the roller bunks directly attached (without wood.)


I still wanted to make the steel channel iron that supports the rollers match the bottom curve of the boat rather than simply rely on a single roller to bear all the weight (the channel iron was straight.)  THAT took some doing, to bend the channel iron enough in a number of places to produce a curve and keep it when the pressure was released.  A few different approaches finally yield enough force to permanently bend the steel and I believe I accomplished (enough) of what I was trying to do.

An old clamp of mine didn’t make it. 


But, the roller bunks are at a better height now. AND, the boat just rolls off the trailer at the landing.



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A Few Additional Items

I’d been thinking about building a bed platform for the rear cockpit area (I brought up the issue in this thread.)  Finally, I had the time and inclination to begin. With some measuring, a few “bulkheads” were made from leftover pieces of okume plywood. Those would go across the cockpit, resting on the keel batten and much of the floor, and still allowing water (if there is any) to move along the keel and not pool up. 


The three bulkheads were screwed together to cut slots for the cross pieces. 




The first cross piece was cut from the kit’s temporary bulkhead that I had tossed into the attic (until there was some use for it.)



When cutting the center cross piece from this plywood, it occurred to me I should cut off a corner to help ease it into place. But, OOPS ?, I cut the wrong corner.  Ok, first, cut off the correct corner.  Then, I guess, it’s a little repair to make (the cut-off corner is screwed into place until I epoxy everything… then it will be glued.) ?





Onward. Three cross members were made, again from leftover wood. 


For setup, I’ll assemble the most aft piece first and then place the rest of the supports.  With this approach I won’t need to permanently install rails along the cockpit edge. 



Now to cut several rectangle shapes for the area between the seats, using leftover plywood pieces from my current boat build. The pieces are weird shapes ? but I got three of the four pieces this way. 






BUT, the fourth piece will need to be cut from a new full sheet.  (Trivia… I bought the wood for my current ski-boat build from B&B and to get the plywood fitting into my van for transport home I had Alan cut little squares that fit around my van seat’s mounting pylon… Alan hoped “I wouldn’t rue the day” with those notches, but things have worked out as I planned.)



So, I now have a bed platform available for Norma T.  


The disassembled pieces fit nicely into the smaller forward cockpit space nestled up to the centerboard trunk. 



I’ll add little lips to three of the platform pieces to make them fit together more securely and I’ll epoxy coat everything… later. Very little wood was left over from this project that was fashioned out of my boat-build scraps.  I love using up wood that I purchased. 


While being such a busy beaver, I did a couple other little jobs that I wanted to get at. First, I had picked up a strap-type boarding ladder that needed some way to attach securely to the transom.  Since I sometimes lean my back onto the transom when a lot of people are aboard, I didn’t wasn’t a metal hook or eye sticking out.  I ran some rope through a piece of 18 mm ply (the darker wood) and then bolted the wood to the transom. The ladder is easily stored away and can be quickly attached for sailing… in case it’s needed.  I’ll try it out… someday. 



My third little task was to create a one inch spacer to raise off the thwart my alternative mainsheet camcleats.  The riser makes it much easier to set the line into the cam cleat. I really like having these additional cleats for a passenger to use when managing the mainsail while sitting in the front cockpit… or when I am sailing solo and sitting right behind the mizzen thwart (that way, I don’t need to reach behind me to adjust the mainsheet in the original cleats along the inwales.)

A few more little building tasks are now done… well, except to epoxy the bed platform pieces.  Perhaps yet this year, I will try out the bed platform with an overnight on board. ?


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  • 5 months later...

I know… not part of the B&B stuff here… but, my son has taught himself to do some beautiful crafting with wood to support his boat interests.  To propel one of his 3 cedar strip canoes he made another paddle.  He said it started out as a “beater” paddle from scraps from another paddle build.  Then, it started to turn out nicely with his spokeshave work so he put on a nice oil finish… and then drilled holes for a cribbage board for the campsite. I wish I could “post” the soft, velvety smooth finish on the handle and shaft. ?. I know some of you folks would appreciate seeing this hand-made project. 


I gave him plans for a lapstrake sailboat (not B&B) that he’d like to build someday.  I’ll keep nudging him toward considering the new B&B Lapstrake kit.  ?. We’ll see. 





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Ted— A friend of mine tried something similar for boat reentry.  Her feet kept swooping underneath the boat.  I suggest that you try out your ladder in shallow water, before you do an official capsize test.


I love the tinkering you’re doing.

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The trick with that kind of ladder is to keep your feet under you.  It requires some strength and concentration but it can be done.  It's a different activity than climbing a ladder, more like balancing on a slack line.  Work your way higher until your waist is at the funnel, then flip foward into the boat.  

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