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Al Stead

New member and hauling question

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Hello all,

My name is Al and I am in the process of lining up everything to start building a weekender.  I have done a fair amount of self taught woodworking (mostly because I'm too cheap to pay someone) from building dog sleds to the  house I live in.  I live in Duluth Mn. right at the tip of Lake Superior.  Sailing ships have been a particular interest of mine since I was a little kid.  Now I want to build one, even if it is pretty small. 

Because I live in the land of 10,000 lakes, I expect to be able to use it quite a bit when the water isn't solid.  I would like to take my little ship everywhere I go and plop her in any interesting body of water I come across.  So, my question is if I haul her all over the place, what kind of problems am I likely to encounter and what should I do to prevent them?  Also, I intend to sleep in her on the road so I don't have to pay for a motel.  Some of my trips may be lengthy.  For example, I have a hankering to see the Great Slave lake in particular. 

After reading this list for most of the winter, I am delighted with the level of expertise available and the feeling of community.  This list feels right.

Al Stead

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Al yur are not the "Scandinavian Killer Diller, that Hot Shot from Duluth...."? Sorry, I couldn't resist, it is part of an old song by a guy who used to do comedy records up there about 100 years ago.  I think his name was Jimmy Jennson or something like that, Ya sur...

Any way welcome to the madness.  I am a troll by birth and ran back and forth up there a lot on the Hi Line when I was in the service out at the Forks.  I have a Vac that I have pulled quite a bit.  Last time from Fla to Az then up a dirt one lane mountain road.  No don't ask why.  And I can tell you these boats trailer quite well.  I have the keel resting lightly in a keel box on the trailer frame with most of the weight on two bunks running up each side almost the full length of the hull.  Being much heavier than the Wkndr I opted for dual axils but many folks trailer Vacs just fine with singles.  What you want to watch for when trailering is chafe from the rigging.  The metal stays and blocks, and even the lines are going to move about and tend to wear off the finish and eat into your pretty wood if it can.  Structure wise these are pretty tough boats and you should only have to fabricate supports for the boom and mast to trail her where ever.  There are lots of ways to accomplish that task on the board and the other.  Again welcome aboard Al.

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The Weekender is a very easy boat to trailer, and then quickly launch.  You'll learn that you need to bungee everything down so it doesn't chafe as Craig said.  And if you use a strap that you rig from side to side be sure to twist it so it doesn't vibrate and rub through your rub rails!

You don't need a tilt trailer because the Weekender floats off the trailer so easily.  Most of us bought used trailers, but you may be able to find a place selling inexpensive new trailers.  Buying used trailers means you almost always have to replace the electrical and the bearings in the wheels.  I found it cheaper to buy new trailer hubs with the bearings already in them from NorthernTool.com than it is to buy just the bearings at the local chandlery. 

You can sleep in a Weekender, especially in a camp ground, but your feet extend into the space under the seats.  The panel joiner on the bottom can be a problem too, so plan on using an air mattress rather than just a foam pad.

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Al, welcome! I did not build a sail boat, but a Micro Trawler. I have it on the Duluth Superior harbor most of the time. 

Are you planning on attending the Lake Peppin Mess About? There will be several Weekenders there, and the trailers that they have as well. There is a post from Bill Paxton on this board about it, with a link and some photos of last years gathering as well. 

Again, welcome to the board.

Stephen

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Thanks for the quick replies,

I was thinking about wear and tear on the hull bottom from road vibration, but maybe that isn't too bad.  The other thing I was thinking about was should I make a cover for her, or just let her get wet on a rainy day behind the truck? 

I race sled dogs, so I have a dog box on my pickup that I made out of MDO which seems to be holding up pretty well, but the road grime and wet are a problem.  I used good quality topside paint, but I don't think it was made for the kind of gunk that gets thrown up from a wet highway. 

Stephan, I used to work loading 1,000 footers on the ore docks.  The harbor is a great place to mess around.  I expect to spend my earliest days there until I get some skills. 

Al

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Its hard to get a cover that will stay on while trailering.  You usually have to have quite a few snaps and a very snug fit of the cover.  The boat does get dirty while being exposed though, so if you are going to trailer a lot, and travel far, it might be worth it.  The shops around here do custom covers for $600 to $900.

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Also - consider putting in a cockpit drain.  I put mine into the keel while building the keel and it's nice to not have to worry about rain-water building up.  There's drawings on the Stevenson web site.

As usual, I didn't do things they way they suggested, but used a length of galvanized pipe http://www.floatingbear.ca/WeekenderBuildLog.htm

When I (finally) launch - hopefully later this summer, I'm also planning on taking the plug out in safe conditions and see how low the boat will go giving me an idea as to whether it would be a good idea to remove the plug if the boat gets swamped.

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Also - consider putting in a cockpit drain.  I put mine into the keel while building the keel and it's nice to not have to worry about rain-water building up.  There's drawings on the Stevenson web site.

As usual, I didn't do things they way they suggested, but used a length of galvanized pipe http://www.floatingbear.ca/WeekenderBuildLog.htm

When I (finally) launch - hopefully later this summer, I'm also planning on taking the plug out in safe conditions and see how low the boat will go giving me an idea as to whether it would be a good idea to remove the plug if the boat gets swamped.

I offset mine to starboard a bit so I didn't have to go through the keel, and used a standard "dinghy drain" fitting I got from West Marine (complete with plug).  It worked well (water buildup was a chore every time it rained, even when covered ... I can never seem to get anything water tight!)

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Consider buying those foam puzzle pieces that go on the floor.  They make a great removable floor covering for our boats that cushion your knees and build up the floor height making the panel joiners less of a problem.  Put some berber carpet on top and you have a very comfortable but still firm floor.

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Wow, thanks!

I hadn't thought about the cockpit drain.  I guess that would be a must have on a wet highway.  I figured to carpet the cabin, just haven't given it too much critical thought.  I wonder if outdoor carpet might be a good choice.

I don't expect that I will have to take the sails off just to haul her to the local lakes, but should I take them off and stow them for a longer trip?  I've been thinking about maybe a sock laced over the mast and boom with the sail still attached.

On another note, I have a lumber rack filled with straight grain and clear white ash and oak left over from my sled building days.  It has been sitting on a rack in my pole barn for 25 years, and I was wondering if it was suitable for spars and other bright work.  If I can use it, my costs for the boat should be significantly lowered.  I have started making some blocks with it, with mixed results.  It is 5/4 rough cut varying from 6 to 9 feet. 

Al

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I don't expect that I will have to take the sails off just to haul her to the local lakes, but should I take them off and stow them for a longer trip?  I've been thinking about maybe a sock laced over the mast and boom with the sail still attached.

Here's how my Weekender B'liss travels fully rigged: Mainsail tarp drapes over the folded mast and boom and strapped with bungees attached to the tarp; velcro straps seal the fore end to the mast. Sheets are gathered at the boom and gaff crutch aft and led into the cockpit. Jib is left hanked on the forestay, folded and stored on the foredeck. Boat tarp is held down with drawstrings at the hem and held down by more bungees; there's a slit on starboard for the mast and is closed with more velcro.

The set up has kept water, mud and dust--also prying hands--out of the boat while on the road. Hope this helps.

trailertarpsxb0.th.jpg

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For my local sailing, just down the street, I just used multiple ties around the main sail.  One advantage of the Weekender is that the boom and mast sandwich the sail in when stowed, so its very easy to tie it off.  You do want to use enough bungees that you aren't allowing the sail to flap too much in the wind!

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Would you like to go for a sail in a Weekender, Al?  Join us a the Lake Pepin Messabout and I'll take you for a sail in mine.  There's also a good chance you'll see other Weekenders and a Skipjack. 

You can get a good idea of what the weekend is like by reading the article on Duckworks.  http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/08/gatherings/pepin/index.htm

The event website can be found at http://tinyurl.com/23aeq2

If you are in the early stages of building, there's nothing like a messabout to jump start your experience.  You can look at dozens of home built boats, pick up new ideas, and get great tips from other builders.

Bill

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My weekender has literally thousands of miles under her keel.. on the highway.  2 trips to florida from illiniois. 1 to kentucky lake,  1 to Okoboji in northwest iowa 1 to table rock lake, 1 to Lake monroe in Indiana, and a lot of local trailering.  I have also camped in the boat on numerous occasions. 

The suggested "keel box" on the trailer works great with 2 bunks to support the hull and a winch stand and roller for the bow.

Yes for travel and storage, you want a cockpit drain. 

If you're gonna camp in the boat.. I'd make the cabin top at least 3 inches higher..  and raise the rig accordingly..

I am 5' 9" and find that a couple more inches would have made it possible to actually sit up in the cabin instead of always crawling and reclining. 

It will also make entry and exit easier when the mast is folded down.. no easy feat.

You can still make the stock mast but put a block a few inches high inside the mast box... I have probably a foot of false mast in my box with no ill effect.

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