Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve.

The clock is ticking away the final hours of 2016. I, for one, will be happy to bid this year farewell, and begin anew in the morning. Here's to 2017.

In the meantime, what is an amateur boatbuilder to do on New Year's Eve? Why not drill holes in a perfectly good transom?

Hey...why NOT drill holes in a perfectly good transom? That sounds like a GREAT idea!

Okay, okay.... there's a little more to it than that.

Back in July, I had begun to consider bolting the boat motor to Perseverance's transom. The strain on my back from mounting and dismounting the motor on every trip to the lake was becoming a bit much. However, I hesitated, due to some questions that arose regarding weight distribution and the towing dynamics of my trailer. Simply put, I needed input from someone with more experience.

At the G10 Boatbuilders Gathering in September, I got exactly that. A fellow builder who I know and trust took a closer look at the whole setup with me. We decided that the axle on my trailer is far enough aft that adding a little more weight to the back of the boat doesn't significantly affect the tongue weight. It helps that I have a small 8hp motor.

Essentially, we unhitched the trailer with the motor still on the boat. Even with the front wheel jack extended a little higher than "towing" height, the trailer did not tilt back, at all.

So, today I decided to mark the end of 2016 by drilling holes through the transom so that I can bolt the motor to the boat.

I started off slowly, with a small diameter pilot hole. Due to the proximity of the motor's mounting brackets, I was unable to use regular-length drill bits. Fortunately, I had a few longer ones left from drilling the hole for the bow eye.

First drill bit for the pilot hole

Initial pilot hole
And, we're through!
Now, for a larger drill bit...
...and a larger diameter hole...

...all the way through the transom.
Now, for the 5/16" drill bit.
So far, so good.

Pilot hole on the port side.
And then, a larger hole.

All done.
After the holes were drilled, I removed the motor. I will need to seal the inner diameter of the holes with epoxy before reattaching the motor.

The transom has gotten pretty scuffed up after several trips to the lake... mounting and dismounting the motor, etc. I have debated on adding an outer motor board, just to absorb the wear and tear, and protect the transom. However, I don't think I will. The scuffs are really just cosmetic blemishes, and the motor covers most of them when it's attached.

Besides, the scuff marks give the little boat some added character.

Scuff marks on the back of the transom

There are also scuff marks on the top of the transom, where the paint and primer have both been worn away.

Motor board on the inner side of the transom
Just for fun, I also set out the miscellaneous parts for the Zip so I could get them all in one photo for the first time...

From front to back: Stem & Breasthook Assembly; Frame # 5-1/2; Frame # 4; Frame #2; Transom Knee, and Transom.

Alright, then. By my clock, we have six minutes left to go. Goodbye, 2016. Hello 2017.

Happy New Year!

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