Have old GordyNash rowing shell worn thin at stern

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Squidly-Diddly, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: SF bay

    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    Have old Gordy Nash rowing shell worn thin at stern but still barely 'intact'. A sliver seems 'loose' and will move if I poke it. I think I got this boat as the stern fiberglass was "used up", and the boat was JUST beginning to take on water though the thin spot though the cracks.

    The bow is also worn but not as bad.

    This boat was made from two molds, upper and lower, and mated with a approx 1 1/2" semi-circle around the rail similar to a sunfish.

    I guess I will need to get into a full-blown fiberglass repair...with careful sanding and feathering, they the build up, then lots of careful sanding a shaping.

    The boat is 21' long and 30'' from extreme outside rail to rail, and about 18" wide at the flat bottom with BARELY a droop at the stern.

    I got this boat "as is" for super cheap complete with sculls and seat ($150) and because it is little wider than a Maas Aero, and unlike the round Maas, it has that semi flat bottom which should make it reasonable to just sit in at times with actively balancing. Might also be enough displacement and stability to take a smallish passenger.

    Unlike newer boats, the out-riggers are simple stainless steel tubing(7/8" outside dia. with 1/16 thick wall) with female mounting amid-ship and brace from the oarlocks towards the stern where the tubing is flattened, and the two braces bolt to a single steel bracket on the deck just aft of the cockpit.

    I'm working a getting a digital camera!

    The advantage of this, for my purposes, is that this can be quickly and easily 'taken down' as it is only secured by 5/16" bolts(that I plan to replace with cotter pins), making the boat easier to cartop.

    Now, back to my stern repair....as stated above the stern has only the faintest hint of a droop and the bottom has a flat section 19" wide and tapering fore and aft nearly the entire length. I've seen Alden shells of the same size and they have far less flatness and far more droop and almost a mild elongated skeg.

    I wouldn't mind adding a more assertive and more pronounced skeg when I'm repairing the stern, especially since this boat design is about 20 years older than even the older Aldens, and the flatness of the bottom makes me question its tracking. For all I know there WAS a mild skeg and it just got worn-off dragging on sandy beaches.

    I'll probably seal the stern with duct-tape and take her out for a test row.

    Maas boats have channel built into the stern with a 'break away' skeg held only by silicone caulk. I can't decide between doing 'major surgery' and adding a channel(my old Maas had wood built into the stern under the fiberglass into which was the groove for the skeg) or building up a fixed skeg. I'm thinking a using a piece of wood to give it shape if I go with fixed skeg.

    My fear is since the stern is already worn down thin if I add a fixed skeg I will need to add a lot of glass on the side to keep it from getting 'punched through' the first time it takes any sort of hit. I would be nice if I could access the inside of the boat at the stern but all I have is a 4" round hatch at the cockpit.

    The problem with any fixed skeg of any size is it becomes vulnerable especially when manhandling the boat.

    Finally, the sliding seat rides on skate board style wheels riding directly on two flat surfaces in the cockpit formed in the upper mold. I 'dry tested' it and I'm pretty sure I'll be adding some aluminum extrusion tracks from Maas and some of their little wheels, if I don't use other alum. extrusions and other wheels.

    Other than all that, I think this boat has real potential as a reasonably fast and reasonably stable rower AND the "semi-circle" joining at the rail of the upper and lower even means the boat could be used to make molds for other boats fairly easily?!?!?!!

    More modern shells like Maas seem to be 'one piece' with foam sandwich, possibly made from a two piece mold. Not sure actually how they do it.
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