JoeBoat Alana

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by sharpii2, Nov 1, 2020.

  1. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 2,249
    Likes: 329, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 611
    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Another progress report.

    I now have the outside of the bow transom glassed to the bottom.
    After completing this, I went ahead and painted the bottom panels, on the outside, painting the below waterline portion of them dark brown, while painting the above waterline portions tan.

    I then righted the hull and try fitted the seat rails.

    I had to notch them to fit in over the first bottom butt joint. I did a reasonably good job, not intending that part of them to touch the bottom. I was quite happy to see that they had a relatively good fit against the bottom, considering that I cut them months before springing in the chines. For this, the lofting worked quite well. Now, they are painted and ready to go in permenantly. But this will have to wait until I have installed the mast partners and the mast step.

    Before that, I had to "justify" the deck. That means plane and sand it until it ended at the sides. This took a lot of work, because the sides were not perfectly straight (new growth lumber).

    After completing that task, I added almost 200 bamboo pegs, made by cutting up siskabob skewers I bought at a grocery store. These are what I call my sheer prevention pegs.

    I have since glassed in the inside of the bow transom to the bottom. It came out somewhat messy, but I think it is strong. It seems that the resen was too runny, and I was constently pushing it back up hill to fill the weave of the fiberglass.

    My next task is to install the mast partners and the mast step. This is a job I have been dreading, because I need a really good fit for the mast going through them. The step fastens to the bottom panel directly, so it needs accurately cut bearers to hold it to the bottom and parallel to the deck.

    Attached below is a photo of the seat rails sitting in place, with the seat sitting on them in its most likely position. The mast partners are sitting on the deck at their approximate location.
    Also attached is the drawing for the mast partners and mast step assembly.

    seatrails.png MSTEP.png
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  2. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 2,249
    Likes: 329, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 611
    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Progress Report.

    I have now finished installing the mast step and mast partners.

    This wasn't as difficult as I had feared.

    The problems were:

    1.) How do I cut holes in the mast step plate and the mast partner plate that accurately fit the mast. This would seem like a simple task, as the mast is simply cut with a two-dimension taper. It should have a simple retangular shape. I should only have to get the width and length measurments at the partner region and the step region and simply cut them out on the given plates. Buit the mast section is not a perfect rectangle. No. Not even close. The saber saw, I used to cut it out with, was too small, and its blade was not stiff enough. So, instead of cuting dead vertical, It tended to follow the grain of the wood and tucked under, to cut at an angle.

    2.) The mast step plate is to attach directly to the bottom sheet, by use of three bearers (I added a fourth one). Thease bearers had to match the curve of the bottom and support the mast partner plate, as to keep its top parallel to the deck.

    I spent a lot of time thinking about how I was going to solve these two problems. I guess this is the lot of novice boat builders such as myself. More time is spent thinking than actually building. I had to come up with a way to use what I had, and to work around the problems I had created.

    To solve the first problem, I decided to make cardboard templates for the partner plate and the step plate. First, I cladded both regions wit thin cardboard from a cereal box. This was to allow for the wood swelling if it got wet. Next I cut four strips of the same cardboard to make picture frames around the step region and the partner region. Tese four strips were taped together so the fit closely, but could slide reltively easily. I then placed these picture frame templates on the respective plates and traced the mast section shape from them onto the plates. I then crudely cut the holes with my saber saw. I also had to cut such a hole into the starboard side deck. I then used the blade from my hack saw to cut a slit from the edges of the holes to the traced line. After that, I made a sanding block that could fit in the holes and further expand them as need be. After about an hour or two of work, I was able to slip both plates onto the mast. I then lined the partner plate up with the hole in the side deck and held it there wit two sheet rock screws. I then "justified" the hole in the deck with the hole in the partner plate, so the hole had nice vertical sides. I used two layers of 0.25 inch plywood for both the partner plate and the step plate. So the hole for the partner plate was 0.75 inch deep, and the hole fore the step plate was just 0.50 inch deep.
    I tipped the boat over onto its starboard side (after turning it around), I was quite pleased when the mast slid into the partner hole, but with a relatively snug fit.

    Next came the dreaded mast step bearer problem. I had a choice. I could get the offsets for the step plate bearers from the lofting (which I still have). Or I could take them directly off the region of the bottom sheeting they were to attach to. Because the bottom gave me a bit of a fight going on, I assumed its local curvature in that region was not fair (I was right). So I decided on the second option. But I had never done such a task before. The first thing I did was to cut a cardboart strip that was the exact height as the timber I was using (it is 1 x 2 nom. It's supposed to be 0.75 inch by 1.50 inch. It is not). This strip was the length of the bearer plus room to add a perpendicular strip. This strip was to be the exact height of the bearer at its tallest end. I then drew five vertical station lines onto this strip. I then cut another strip and marked it with a single line which was as far from its end as the bearer was high (at its tallest end). I "C" clamped a piece of plywood that was reasonably straight to a nearby frame, to use as a referrence point. I then had a crude instrument to take the local offsets with. As I held its one leg to the bottom, keeping this stip as parallel to the referrence point as I could. I used the other strip to put a mark onto four of the five stations.Those marks would be my offsets. I then took my bearer timbers and drew station lines on them to match those on the cardboard strip. with yet another strip of cardboard, I transfered the offset marks, from the cardboard strip they were on, to the station lines on the bearer timbers themselves. I then freehand sketched the curve on the timbers and cut them to that curve (it was nowhere near fair). Next, I screwed the bearer timbers to the step plate wit two sheet rock screws each. After some sanding, I was able to get all four bearers to fit against the bottom sheeting. I then screwed this assembly to the bottom, with the screws running in from the outside. I used only two.

    Then, came the dreaded test. Would the mast fit into to both holes. To my absolute delight, it did!

    I ended up using 12 screws to hold the mast step assembly to the bottom. I installed them all, even though I was going to take the whole thing appart. I would need that many to insure I got a tight glue joint. These are only to be used until the glue is nearly set. They will be replaced, after the glue fully cures, with 0.25 inch pegs (which I have made from dowel stock) I will need a total of 36 of them to complete the job.

    Attached below are pictures of the mast in place, with the dry fit, and with both plates finally glued into place.

    Thios is the last trully structural job on this boat. The rest will be fitting it out then painting it.

    MSdry.png MSinstd.png
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  3. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 2,249
    Likes: 329, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 611
    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Final progress report.

    I have now passed my first test. Would I be able to get the hull off the project table with no outside help. I found that the hull weighs about 80 lbs by weighing it while it was on the project table.

    It turned out that, yes, I was able to get it safely off the project table an onto the floor.

    My next task was to make the rudder lift line (the rudder pull down line was already made). After that, I had to figure out where the home made oar locks were going to go.

    I did this by sitting in the boat (which acted like a ridiculously long rocking chaire) and adjusting the seat until the boat was more or less level. Then, using a piece of pvc pipe I had laying around, I mimicked the sweep positions for a typical stroke. Once the forward facing one was found, I installed a n oar lock there.

    I then considered installing one on the opposite side, for forward facing rowing. Then, I could make an identical short sweep, and use the pair as really short oars. But then I thought of trying to move the seat so I could face aft instead of forward. I found that I didn't need to move it anywhere near as far forward as I thought I would. This gave me an interesting Idea: Why not place the second oar lock aft for aft facing rowing? This is what I did.

    If need be, I can always build another pair of oarlocks if the short-sweep experiment doesn't work. Or I can move one of the ones I have forward or aft.

    (see attachment below)

    While the boat was still on the project table, I tried out the lee board hook, which is nothing but a wooden "L" with a eye screw in it. I found that, even though it doesn't hook under the deck flange, that it holds quit firmly, but will quickly release if the lee board pivots forward or aft. This is what I was after. I am delighted.

    The boat is now finished. I need only to build the short-sweep, which I have just finished designing, and it will be ready for its first outing. But I have to figure out how I am going to carry it on top of my car.

    I will not be making any more posts on this thread until the boat gets its first taste of water. This may have to wait until next year.

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  4. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 2,249
    Likes: 329, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 611
    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    One more progress report. This one is the final one, I promise.

    Because it started getting chilly outside sooner than I expected, I decided to put the boat away for the winter.

    It now sits in my hallway, on its side (just as I planned).

    See attachment.

    The sails, spars, and appendages are all stowed inside, and I can still get down my hallway with reasonable ease.

    While putting th boat away, I also put away the tools. But before I did that, I put them all on top of the project table and photographed them.

    See 2nd attachment.

    There are:
    five 3 inch "C" clamps,
    a pair of scissers,
    a pair of pliers,
    a hammer,
    a 4 in 1 screwdriver,
    a hand drill,
    2 spline weights,
    a surform plane,
    a 1/2 inch chizel,
    a box of nitrile gloves,
    a keyhole saw,
    3 home made sanding blocks,
    a ruler/square,
    a 12 foot tape measure,
    a hack saw,
    a 25 foot extension cord,
    a Nikita saber saw,
    a 3/8 inch reveersable drill (plug in),
    a box of 1 1/2 inch sheet rock screws, and
    a 36 inch stainles steel yardstick.

    I also used two 2 x 4 foot project tables of my own design.

    tuuls2bild.png BoatStowed.png
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  5. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 2,249
    Likes: 329, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 611
    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Just thought I would post the boat fully rigged for the first time.

    As you can see it set up on the lawn between my house trailer and that of my neighbor.

    When setting it up, I had some trouble getting the mast past the three parallel slings and then getting those past the halyard cleat. I guess every task is more difficult to do when doing it for the very first time. I also had trouble with the sail outhaul lashings coming off their pegs. This is going to have to be fixed before the boat goes in the water next weekend. The last thing I need is them coming off their pegs when the sail is fluttering. This would make the sail nearly useless.

    I have had it on top of my car. Not having a roof rack, I used four boat cushions to support the upside down boat. Everything is held on top of the car with five ratchet straps, two on each end and one over the bottom of the boat to keep it from lifting. I found that roof of the car did not oil can under the weight, probably because the weight was more on the corners of the roof than the center. Also, the load is well distributed. I think the wide side decks facilitated this, as was my plan.

    I took it out on the road, last weekend. There didn't seem to be any serious problems. But I am leary about taking it out on the freeway, where it will suffer hurricane like winds.

    Next weekend I will post a picture of it strapped to the top of the car.

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  6. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 2,249
    Likes: 329, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 611
    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    1st Voyage Report

    BtLoaded.png BtSailing.png

    I. Performance

    With this little boat, one must learn to walk and chew gum at the same time.

    I found that it was difficult to steer because there was no way for me to tell which angle the rudder was turned. I often found that it was turned hard over to the point that it's blade was flat against the transom. This is because, with this boat, I sail facing forward. The rudder is controlled by a line that attaches to a yoke arm, runs all the way up to the bow transom, crosses it, and then runs back to the other yoke arm. In order to see which way and how far the rudder is turned, I have to look over my shoulder and turn my upper body. At the time I need to do this the most, it is not practical. This is because this boat turns very quickly, much more so than I expected. So, by the time I find out where the rudder has turned, I am way off course. I found this very frustrating.


    I was apparently able to make the boat go to windward without the leeboard, but this came at the expense of a lee helm. It is possible that I could have moved the seat further back to get the sail’s Center of Effort far enough back to get at least less of a lee helm and maybe even a slight weather one.

    As for the leeboard itself, the hook line worked satisfactorily. I found I did not have to adjust the bow lanyard, as the hook line held it at its selected fore and aft position. It still served it purpose of preventing the leeboard from getting lost overboard. On several occasions, it did just that. It was easy for me to reach over the side and grab the line and retrieve the leeboard when it came loose. I was not able to determine the correct fore and aft position for the leeboard, because I was sailing in light winds which seemed to constantly change directions. This and the fact that I had to move it to the other side of the boat every time I changed tacks, made this all the more difficult.

    The sail seemed to work OK. It never fluttered, but there was not much wind that day. How well it actually performed, I was not able to determine due to:
    1.)the problem with the rudder,
    2.)the constantly shifting wind, and
    3.)my inability to accurately determine which direction the local wind was actually blowing

    I had no problem with the sail blocking my forward view, while the boat was on a starboard tack (the mast is on the starboard side). This is because it is hoisted high enough for me to see under it, and there is no jib. I also was pleased to find that I had easy access to the halyard without badly affecting the fore and aft trim of the boat (this was one of my main design goals).

    It turned out that I used the wrong sweep lock, so it ended up being turned backwards. But it still worked well enough to get me back to my starting point, despite my problems with the rudder. I’ll have to make sure I set it up right the next time.

    I found that getting on board was easy, from a beach launch. The rudder tilted well clear of the bottom. And the yoke kept it from turning in that position. So, once the rudder was set up and tilted forward, it was easy to slide the boat into the water stern first. Then, I simply stepped over the bow transom and walked back far enough for the boat to float free of the beach (another major design goal).

    I experienced no evidence of the boat being too tippy. Standing up in seemed to be no problem. It did heel somewhat from a brief gust, then scooted along nicely. I had no sense that the boat was about to flip.

    II. Rigging


    It took approximately 20 minutes to set the boat up, once it was on the beach. The most difficult part of this was stepping the mast. In order to do this, three parallel slings, and two one-point lacings must be slid up the mast past the halyard cleat. This took a little concentration but was not all that difficult. This was only the second time I had rigged the boat.

    A major problem was getting the lazy jack loops to stay over their pegs at the masthead. The aft one’s loop slipped off and slid down the mast a bit.

    III. Loading and Unloading

    I found that getting the boat on to the car and fastened down takes about an hour. Hopefully I can shorten this down to 45 minutes. A lot of this time was standing around and figuring out what to do next. The boat cushions made a better than satisfactory stand in for roof racks. I found the car roof did not bend inward even after the six straps were tightened down. Also, it was easy to slide the boat up on top of the cushions, with the boat nearly 90 degrees to the car (something I could not do with roof racks). Care must be taken to make sure the cushions do not slide across the roof when the boat is being slid on top of them. This was done by putting a small rug on top of them, and closing the car door on a portion of this rug to hold it in place.
    Once the boat is on top of the car, the four fore and aft straps must be attached to frames of the boat. Once this is done, the boat can be turned to line up with the car. I had boat pointed stern first. Once this is done, the cushions can be adjusted so each bears a portion of the boat’s weight. Then, the four fore-and-aft straps can be attached to the car and tightened. After that go the belly straps, which go across the hull. These are installed with the car doors open. Once tightened, I noticed no problem closing the car doors.

    The boat is unloaded stern first. It is turned approximately 90 degrees after the straps are unfastened. The heavier stern is walked back from the car until just a small portion of the bow rests on the cushions. The stern is then set down, and I get under the boat to lift the bow. I walk it from the car by pivoting the boat clear of the car. I then set the bow on the ground. Then, I turn the boat on its side.

    IV. Moving the Boat on the Ground

    I found the boat too heavy and off balanced for me to carry (It weighs approximately 100 pounds, including the rig, rudder, and leeboard). I had to devise a means of moving it on the ground. The method I chose was rollers. These are 20 inch long pieces of PVC pipe that are about 2 inches in diameter. I wish I made them 30 inches long. Once the boat is on one roller, it is relatively easy to move it in a straight line. Turning it becomes a bit of a problem. Perhaps I will get better at this with experience.

    It takes about as long to unstrap and unload the boat as it does to load and strap it on, about an hour each. Moving it and setting it up can take another half hour. So this particular trip took about an entire day. During this period, I got only about two hours of sailing time. Part of this is because I met with my sister and her husband who wanted to see the first voyage (they are from out of state). To do this, I ended up having to do this test sail almost 50 miles from where I live. Because I didn’t dare use the expressway, it took me about an hour to get there. I also had to report to work for my shift after all this was over.

    V. Small changes considered

    The first minor change I would like to make is to put a “tiller dot” on the steering line, on its mid-length where it crosses the bow transom. Then, I would know how far over the rudder has been turned, and in which direction. This would cut down my frustration level considerably.

    Next, I want to set up a small flag at the bow, so I have a better idea of which way the wind is actually blowing. I might even put a narrow strip of shopping bag just below the flag, to detect lesser winds.

    Finally, I'm going to sieze the foreward and aft lazy jacks together, so they will stay on top of their pegs better. I considered making the pegs longer, but am afraid of them being too vulnerable to breaking.

    These three small changes alone would likely go a long way towards improving my sailing performance (along with more practice). Only then will I get a fairer assessment of the boat's performance capabilities

    VI. Big Changes Considered

    I am considering cutting the leeboard flange off and rounding the top corners to put an axle trough the leeboard and the boats starboard side, so it can be more like a centerboard. This axle could be nothing more than a long, quarter inch bolt. This bolt would pass through a reinforcement added to the leeboard, the leeboard, the hull side, and a reinforcement added to the hull. It will then have to extend about 1 inch past that. This is so the wing-nut, which holds it on from the inside, will have plenty of room to loosen before it comes off. The plan will be to remove this leeboard when the boat is moved on land. This way, I'll have a choice of which side to tip the boat onto. Otherwise, I will be stuck with just the port side.

    I am also considering making a cart, so I can move the boat more easily on land. The first thought is a two-wheel chassis, which the boat can be strapped to while on its side. This would put a side deck flange within easy reach to grab onto to pull the boat. This would enable me to move the boat a considerable distance over land when it's off the car. This cart would have 20 inch bicycle wheels.

    Another approach would be to make a single 20 inch bicycle wheel dolly, which would attach to the pintles This would take up less space, but would require two hands to balance the boat on top of it, with the boat upside down. This would require me to walk backwards when moving the boat.

    VII. General Assessments

    I was able to store the boat in my trailer and move it out to my car and place it on top, with no outside help (First major design requirement)

    The rig, the rudder, the rudder yoke and the seat were able to be housed inside the boat, even while it was on the road (Second major design requirement). The leeboard and the single sweep could not safely ride there (a disappointment).

    Despite its unusual design, the sail seemed to work OK. This unusual design made it possible for me to reach the halyard without upsetting the fore and aft trim of the boat (third design requirement).

    I was able to step onto the boat over the bow transom without getting my feet wet (a design bonus)

    The short-sweep worked satisfactorily despite not being set up quite right (a forth design requirement). This spares me from needing a pair of longer oars, or having the awkwardness of having to use a paddle.

    But because of the difficulties in using the rudder, and the light ever changing winds, I was not able to accurately assess the sailing performance.

    All in all, I'll call this boat a very qualified success. I will need much more time to get to know it.
  7. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 3,373
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Sharpii2 why not use a simple tiller arm with a hiking stick attached in the conventional manner? You will then have the "feel" of the rudder as well as positive control of steering.

    I suggest using two leeboards, one on each side, so that you will not need to transfer the single board. That'll be a much safer way to go when in crowded water or in tricky winds. You can attach the boards, in the Bolger fashion, with a short piece of rope. You can ignore the weather board and it will merely trail along harmlessly while the lee ward board does its job.. There are times when it gets really busy while sailing a small boat. The fewer parts you must attend to, should be a primary aim.

  8. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 2,249
    Likes: 329, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 611
    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Minor Changes Made

    Upon further examination, I discovered that the rudder tipped up a good deal when I tried to steer it. I discovered this with the boat out of the water and on its side. As you can see, there are two lines that control the fore and aft tilt of the rudder. These are between the two ends of the steering line. The top one tilts the rudder up. The bottom one tilts it down. This one is not attached to the rudder plate, but passes through it from the inside, then goes accross it to pass through it again to end at the shock cord. This way, the rudder is protected from bottom strikes, but is still easy to tilt up. The inside ends of both lines have knots in them, which are trapped between two dowels, to hold the rudder in its "up" or "down" tilt. For one to be used, the other must be released.

    I found that the hold down shock cord did not have enough tension on it. To put more tension on it, I shortened it by about six inches. This seems to have helped a lot.

    Next, I installed the "tiller dot".


    As you can see, it is on the tiller line, where it crosses the bow transom. Whichever side of the transom it appears on is on the same side of the boat a standard tiller end would be on. If it appears on the lee side of the transom, that indicates a lee helm. If it appears all the way at the windward side or leeward side of the bow transom, that indicates that the rudder is hard over.

    The next change I made was to make a wind direction indicator. Usually, these are placed on top of the mast. But the mast on my boat is so close to me that I would have to really strain to look upward to see it. So, I decided to mount it on the bow instead. This way, I can keep it in view while I watch where I'm going. Assuming that the wind, going up over the hull, does not mess with it, it is in a very convenient location.

    It is made out of some scraps from the build along with some 5/16 inch dowel I had left over. It is not permanently mounted to the deck. It gets removed when the boat gets put away or loaded on top of the car. It also comes apart, so the dowel gets separated from its base. Then its less likely to get damaged when I put it in the kit bag. Its flag is nothing but a strip of shopping bag. The dowel goes through a hole in the deck, after passing through the base, to hold it in place.


    Finally, I fixed the problem with the lazy jacks by siezing them together (no picture). This seems to have helped a lot in keeping them looped over their short pegs at the masthead.

    As for replacing the steering lines with a tiller, I have decided not to do that. The main reason for this is that this boat was designed to be sailed with the sailor facing forward. A conventional tiller would need to not only be much longer than usual, but would have to be offset a great deal as to not be blocked by the sailor. If I ever do decide to abandon the steering lines, I will make a push-pull stick which will attach to one of the arms of the rudder yoke. This in effect will be an over grown tiller stick, with the actual tiller pointing sideways instead of fore and aft. If I do that, I will probably make the stick out of 1 inch pvc pipe. It is lighter than a wooden one would be, stiff enough to do the job, but flexible enough to avoid breaking.

    As for the leeboard situation, I have decided to stick with the system I have now, at least until I figure out where the best fore-and-aft placement for the leeboard is. One reason for this is pure stubborness on my part. The other is that this boat can switch from wind propulsion to muscle propulsion very quickely. In crowded situations, I will simply use the latter. This is not a racing dinghy. So quick maneuvering under sail is not a big requirement.

    But if I do choose to change my evil ways, I will go with a single, fore-and-aft pivoting leeboard, rather than having to build (and stowe, and transport) a second one. I have realized that I can use the one I already have by simply installing it with the top flange facing outward. I'd need a handle to tilt it down and up anyway. And the flange, which extends past the vertical edges, could serve as such a handle.

    This is it for now. I will post again after my next sail.
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