Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yaquina Guide Boat - Redux

This story is just about over. For now.

As you know the Yaquina River Guide Boat has been a design/build project with results that have been less than stellar.

Well, perhaps that is a bit harsh. It's not that the boat has performed poorly, but that the design was not up to expectations.

Following some rather dramatic design changes (after market) we see Doryman tentatively coaxing this sliver of a vessel to behave like a lady.

She has a temperament.

But this time, the skipper stayed aboard and the vessel shipped not a drop. The new outriggers are manufactured from a set of barn door hinges with a mahogany overlay, so when not in use, they hinge entirely inside the gunnel. The overall span of the oarlocks is 44 inches which proved adequate for a set of eight foot oars.

The boat now has a flat bottom, if you want to call it a bottom, a foot wide amidships, which has provided some stability. A plus is the reserve buoyancy of the extra chine. Each chine edge has a very distinct release point though - and woe to he who violates that boundary. Turning is the most difficult maneuver (well, possibly tied with disembarking from the darn thing!).

Rowing forward with one oar while sculling aft with the other is a formula for disaster, so turning is a slow, deliberate effort. It worked best to keep the pivot oar in the water and feathered slightly while pulling evenly, with no sudden motion, on the driving oar.

Next time out, I'll bring some ballast and also some pads for my knees. It would help stabilize the boat if pressure could be applied at the gunnel as the boat heels, in the fashion of guiding a horse with your legs.

Hopefully using this boat will become easier. As it is, there will be no long distance rowing. It takes every muscle in the body to keep this vessel upright and trim. A good workout in a very short time!

She pulls very easily and in fact does not like aggression in any form.
A lady with a mind of her own.

The day was brilliantly sunny and unseasonably warm for January. When that happens around here, the humidity is just about 100%, as the sponge that is our local winter environment dissipates. That is why, in some of the shots on this page, you can literally see the air.

Makes for some nice pictures, no?



Brandon Ford said...

Very nice! I like the way the outriggers turned out. Those oar locks look pretty trick too. Just the thing. I can hardly wait to try it out.

Mary: The pictures look especially nice. The fourth one could win some prizes.

doryman said...

I had some trouble with using the hinges - clamped them on and stared at them for two days. They seemed just too rustic! But they have grown on me because they work great. Poor Mary thought none of her photos would turn out since it was a brilliant day and in fact some of them were not so good. Kind of counter intuitive this photography thing.

Bursledon Blogger said...

Michael, glad to see she's turning out well, I especially like the hinged outriggers - I've been pondering how to do some on Gato Negro and have read about using barn door hinges but have always been put off by what they might look like - yours look good

doryman said...

Forgot to mention...

The oarlock base was inspired by a very nice hinged set being developed by Clint Chase back in Maine.

I'd much rather have those, cast in bronze, but I'm sure the budget will not allow.

doryman said...

The hinges are sandwiched between two pieces of mahogany where they join the hull, which allowed some thickness to drive the screws. I didn't want bolts showing through on the outside.
The outboard part of the hinge has one layer of solid mahogany about 10mm thick mounted on top.

But they still look like barn hinges.

I had the rowlocks in the piles of stuff out in the shed and they worked perfectly. The furthest outboard hole in the hinge is drill out to allow for the bolt, which is screwed down very tight with lock nuts. The tall bolt has plastic spacers that allow for adjustment in height. There is a wood wedge glued to the gunnel where the hinge lays to adjust the hinge so it lays flat and horizontal.
The whole kit is glued together with copious amounts of urethane caulking, so will not be coming off anytime soon.

More pictures at Doryman on Flickr.

chnookie said...

I like the oarlocks. How do they perform? Does it feel like there is much "slop" in the hinges when you put rowing pressure on them?

doryman said...

I was concerned because yes, there is play in the hinge pin. I suspect that even though the hinges are galvanized, the hinge pin is not, so one day I will probably drill the old pin out and replace it with a stainless bolt. Hopefully that will tighten it up.

The play in an oarlock system is not overly critical, except that it causes extra wear. There is naturally a bit of play in the oarlock itself and additional flex in the hull. Of course minute amounts of energy are lost in those extra movements, but we hardly notice. That's what causes that "kerthunk, thunk" sound that is so meditative in rowing.

John said...

Good evening Doryman I follow your blog with interest (and those of Mary)
Have you any further info on the Dory being made in the snow in England by George Waite (April2010??)

Regards John

doryman said...

Hello, John,
It's good to meet the folks who drop by. I was just thinking of George recently, myself.
I'll see if I can find some contact info for him and drop him a line.

Anonymous said...

Thanks DoryMan It will be interesting to see her afloat.

Regards John