Thursday, July 13, 2017

Pascagoula Diamond Bottom Catboat

We are looking for any information on Diamond Bottom catboats built and raced in Pascagoula in the 1950s. Mr Olson (sp?) was one builder who worked at Mike Fletcher's shipyard. We know of several that were built ROSE, REBEL, DRIFTWOOD, MOONLIGHT, TROUBLE and BLACK CAT. By description the bottom was planked athawrtships and the sheer lengthwise, with only 6 inches or so of sheer. Built from cypress. Centerboard with a barn door rudder.

Possible that this is a similar design, lines by Chapelle.

Please post a note here if you have info or send us a private message on facebook Small Boat Restoration.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

St. Jacques Log 11 Jul 17 Mast Thwart Install

11 Jul 17:

Fastened the mast thwart ledgers with #10 silicone bronze screws from below, into gunwale.

Centered up the hole in the last thwart 1 1/2 inches aft of the hole in the stem mortise, per sprit rig specifications. Then made sure the mast was plumb to port and starboard. Marked position of thwart and mast collar with pencil, taped the collar into place. Clamped the thwart and drilled holes for 1/4 inch bronze carriage bolts. Took off the thwart and attached the collar with #10 silicone bronze screws fastened from below.

Needed to trim the carriage bolts, here is our bolt trimming jig. Cut off the bolt with a metal blade in a reciprocating saw. The tip here is to put the wing nut on first, then cut the bolt. That way when we unscrew the nut it recuts the bolt thread. The other tip is to be very careful of any sharp slivers or burrs left over after cutting, we sand those down after finding bandaids.

Drilled a pilot hole close to the top of the mast for a beehole, left room for an eyestrap for pennants and the like. Then drilled a 3/8 inch hole for the 1/4 inch sail lacing line.

Stop knot for the sail lacing and 3/8 inch holes for the belaying pins. One for adjustable snotter line and the other for downhaul. One or the other will be used to keep mast snug in the step.

Log of St. Jacques.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

St Jacques Log 09 Jul 17 Mast Thwart

09 Jul 17:

Cut out a mast collar for the thwart, trimmed thwart to fit inside gunwale. Cut out thwart ledgers.

Log of St. Jacques.

AMF Minifish Spar Length

Information for AMF Minifish owners. The boom and gaff (commonly called spars) are made from the same specification materials as the Sunfish, but they are shorter. They measure approximately 12 feet 4 1/2 inches. The mast is also the same material as the Sunfish but only measures 9 feet.

Material: 6061-T6 Aluminum Alloy
Mast -
Style: Round Tube
Finish: Clear Anodized
Length: 9' (3.05 m)
OD: 2-1/4" (57.15 mm)
Wall Thickness: .083" (2.11 mm)

Boom and Gaff aka Spars -

Style: Round Tube
Finish: Clear Anodized
Length: 12' 4 1/2" (4.17 m)
OD 1-1/2" (38.1 mm)
Wall Thickness: .065" (1.65 mm)

Just add wind and water!

Friday, June 30, 2017

St Jacques Log 30 Jun 17 Belaying Pins

30 Jun 17:

Port Townsend Foundry made us some beautiful belaying pins. They be used for the downhaul, snotter and sheet. And for capturing prizes on the bay...

Log of St. Jacques.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

St. Jacques Log 29 Jun 17 Sprit!

29 Jun 17:

Finally got a sprit shaped. We took a 1 1/2 inch blank and eight sided it on the table saw. Flipped the spar jig and turned it into a spar bench. Used our new Stanley Number 52 spokeshave to take the edges down to round.

Cut a line for a shoulder with a dovetail saw. Roughed out the inner edge of the shoulder with a quarter round file. Cut a 1/4 inch taper about 2 feet back.

4 sided taper for the pins on ends, rasped off the excess to a rough round shape

Sanded 120 grit with the random orbital sander then hand sanded.

TotalBoat Wood Sealer then Gleam Marine Spar Varnish.

Log of St. Jacques.

St Jacques Log 28 Jun 17 Sprit Moaning Chair

28 Jun 17:

Wow, as great as the mast turned out, the sprit has been a pain. While the mast was 2 1/2 inches, the sprit will only be 1 1/2. Turns out that extra inch in diameter makes a big difference in how flexible the sprit is on the spar jig. We went through not one, not two, not three blanks before we abandoned the router sled method. The first couple I thought were cut too close to diameter and there was no room for error. Those got tossed into the boat hook handle pile. For the third attempt I cut the blank to 2 1/4 inches, but it was still too bendy, plus we got some green lumber that wanted to crawl all over the place. It developed a nasty kink about 1/3 from one end. More boat hook handles I guess!

The Log of St. Jacques.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Lapstrake Boatbuilding Volume 2 by Walter Simmons

Simmons, Walter. 1980. Lapstrake Boatbuilding Volume 2. Camden, ME: International Marine Publishing.

Excellent information on lapstrake methods, we used some sprit details on our build of St. Jacques. Simmons covers some common problem solving and shares thoughts on building boats for aspiring professionals.

Small Boat Library.

Sunfish Coaming Rivets or Rivnuts

Update 28 Jun 17:

The Sunfish coaming or splashguard is held on to earlier models by machine screws and riveted nuts (rivnuts) or by rivets on later models. you can tell by whether there is a slotted screw head or a rivet head. Sometimes coamings come loose, leak, are broken or need to be removed for repair and restoration. Here is a Sunfish damaged by Hurricane Sandy, it has rivets that you can see in the coaming remnants and fractures around the deck holes where the rivets pulled out.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Here is a Sunfish that has clean rivet holes on the deck. The owner is cleaning up old silicone and a makeshift screw and wall anchor repair.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Rivets can be purchased from a Sunfish parts house like Yankee Boating Center and installed with a rivet gun, available from your local hardware store. The demonstration holes in this piece of particle board are 1/4 inch.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

The rivet is inserted into the gun and then the barrel is placed though the coaming into the deck hole.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Squeeze the rivet fun handle, keeping rivet flush against surface. As the rivet shank is pulled the barrel will expand inside the hole. Continue to pull the shank until it snaps under pressure or will pull no further, gently rock rivet gun back and forth to shear top of shank if needed.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

Here is comparison of a pulled rivet on the left vs new rivet. You can see how the barrel is shortened and expanded, filling the hole. It will expand below the deck on a Sunfish and anchor the coaming, the collar of the rivet holds on the top and the expanded barrel holds on the bottom.

From Small Boat Restoration 2013

This is what the rivet looks like on top of the hull and inside the hull.

From SBR 2013

From SBR 2013

1960 to mid 70s boats had closed end rivet nuts (rivnut) and 10-32 x 3/4 inch stainless steel machine screws to attach the coaming. The rivnut had a small bead of sealant that prevented water from leaking inside the hull.

From SBR 2013

Closed end rivnut seen from inside the hull.

From SBR 2013

If the screws are frozen, soak them with penetrating oil for a few days. Give them a few light taps with a screwdriver and hammer. Tighten slightly then back them out.

From SBR 2013

1st Gen splashguard.

2nd Gen coaming aka "The Mustache."