View Full Version : Joy in the Engine Room

07-26-2001, 02:08 PM
I gotta crow. Neigh, express relief.

Mounted the instrument panel, plugged in the wiring harness, wired up the battery, flipped on the master switch, turned the switch key, pressed the start button with the compression valve held open...

Guess what! Why, the little Yanmar spun over just like it had been planned that way.

Last big hurdle out of the way. Initial wetting planned for Aug 8 or 9. (Announcing it to keep the pressure on self.)

--N http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/biggrin.gifrm

Alan D. Hyde
07-26-2001, 04:26 PM
Great news, Norm. Go to it.

Fair winds and following seas,


07-26-2001, 05:05 PM
So where are you going to sail it Norm--you must have a lake near by--give me the name so I can find you on the map---I'm a geography buff.

ken mcclure
07-26-2001, 08:34 PM
Go Norm! I'm right behind ya! Well, maybe not right behind...more like 2 years behind.....

John B
07-26-2001, 11:04 PM
hose running into bucket, raw water feed into bucket, run motor, check water spitting out back?

Great news Norm.look forward to hearing about the launch.

07-27-2001, 09:07 AM
Ya know, John, I've been thinking about doing that. Didn't even occur to me until I got the water system all plumbed in that it might be possible to do so. Thought I'd have to launch first.

Norkse, if you can find Cunningham Lake on the north edge of Omaha on you map it's a bigger scale map than most but that's where I'll launch, 'cause it's close. A little bigger lake is Branched Oak Lake about 15 miles north west of Lincoln. We're talking Nebraska here. Son Lynn lives near Madison Wisconson so we may try Lake Mendoda. Lake of the Woods up on the Canada border has much appeal, and friends at Friday Harbor in Puget sound beckon. Some place down on the Gulf Coast might look pretty good come winter. We have the boat and big ideas. Now it remains to be seen if our old bodies have the will.


07-27-2001, 09:30 AM
I'm lookin ---I've got a map and a big magnifying glass---Puget and the Gulf sound great.Would you bring me and some others up to date---what type of boat? To lazy to search the old posts. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif

07-27-2001, 10:35 AM

I just finished packing the stuffing box. One step closer. Came in to the house to order out a wrench for the stuffing box nuts. Channel locks just don't seem proper. Anyway....

Prairie Islander is a 20' gaff rigged cutter built to Iain Oughtred's Farne Islander plans. He drew the plans specifically for McNulty Boats but he included the plans in the edition of his catalogue that I have. I'm told they are not in the latest edition. Anyway, as he says in his catalogue, the plans were not drawn for an amature builder. I bought them anyway. Love at first sight and all that. It has been a struggle at times but thanks to good friends on this forum I think the thing will at least float one of these days. Then all I'll need to do is figure out what all those strings I've hung on it are for and learn how to sail. Life is gonna get interesting if I should live so long....


John B
07-27-2001, 06:26 PM
Norm, you know those threads... dumb and dumber and Franks one about the sort of things not to do ? One of the worst is running the boat down the ways, turning the key and finding out something doesn't work with the motor. And not spitting the water is a fairly common one. I had an impeller go on me one year so that it would pump but not prime for example. I change the impeller every year now .
Plus it's incredibly satisfying to fire it up, run it for 10 minutes if you like, check for leaks, get smug.... all that.

07-28-2001, 04:07 AM
Launching? http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/eek.gif Have you given any thought on how to get her back to the surface?

Be prepared Scout.

[This message has been edited by LAMESS (edited 07-28-2001).]

Rich VanValkenburg
07-28-2001, 06:48 AM
Beautiful job, Norm. From the looks of the forestay, that's a pretty healthy sprit. Is there a centerboard, or is it ballasted?

07-28-2001, 12:01 PM
Rich, the bow sprit is nine and half feet long from Samson post to the tip. The centerplate is a piece of mild steel 1-5/8" thick. That sucker weighs about 435 lbs. I installed it by jacking up the boat, rolling the plant under on a dolly and lowering the boat to it. It took a while to figure out the winch system for raising and lowering it. Someone suggested a worm drive trailer winch which stays put when the crank is released. Works just fine but it will make single handleing a bit more of a challenge.

The rest of the ballast is two mild steel bars, about 3" x 5" x 7' set on either side of the centerplate. Each of them weighs a little of 400 lbs also.


07-29-2001, 04:51 PM
Good Show Norm, Down the Missouri!---down the Mississippi!---out across the Gulf to the "islands in the sun"---and all you have to do is trailer her a short distance to the river and your on your way---don't forget the "potata" salad.

Very nice boat, Norm! Was this you first round bottom build? Did you find planking her slow and difficult?---its that constant changing bevel you have to plane in for a good fit( a lot of eyeball work) that has me thinking I should just build(if the day ever comes)a flat bottom, slab sided, ply boat such as a sharpie or a skipjack with cabin(24- 28ft ) (john atkin has drawn one). From all the reading I have done on the sharpie, it's a very fast sailer. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/smile.gif

07-29-2001, 07:52 PM
Norske, Yup, this was the first round bottomed strip built boat unless one counts a couple of stripper canoes.

The nice thing about epoxy is its gap filling ability. The planks are western redcedar, 5/8" x 1-1/2" so even at the tightest curve of the hull there was not much gap and then only on the outside. I didn't bother with the bevel though one might want to if the hull were to be finished bright. On a nice warm summer day I could get two strips on a day on each side, more on a hot day. Started at the deck edge and worked toward the keel using 1/8" hardwood dowels as nails to keep the strips in line and if there wasn't to much stain, pulled together. This is the fifth summer so technique is beginning to fade from memory.


Jeff Robinson
07-29-2001, 11:08 PM

Your boat is beautiful - I loved this design when I first saw it in a McNulty ad a few years ago. I never thought to order plans, the design was always going to be too big for me and my rudimentary boatbuilding skills. Fantastic for you and for us that you were not daunted.

Lelia (my wife) and I are building a Golant Gaffer - 18 feet of gaff cutter with a full keel, designed by Roger Dongray. We also used western red cedar in the hull, tongue and groove as per speed strip. We glued and nailed to the plywood frames, and left the boat nails in the boat. It made for more security (in our minds at least) but I have destroyed two plane irons on the nails into the deck shelf, on planing the shelf and hull down to match the deck beams ...

She also is designed for an inboard diesel, but I wimped out on that, on the grounds of cost and time. I heard an estimate of 200 hours for installation of engine and all ancillaries. Does that sound about right? I am thinking about a small outboard, or a big sweep, for our gaffer.

Being a full keel, we had 630 kilos of lead to hang of the hull - that caused a few headaches, but we completed that part of the job about 2 weeks ago. The boat is trailerable but we will need deep water off the ramp to launch her, or a crane. Since we finished hanging the keel we have been working on the interior (weekends only) and still hope to launch for the coming southern summer. The plans and the documents that came with them are very complete, and have made what is a big job for a couple of rank beginners, into something manageable.

How do I post a photo?

And another thing - "Lake of the Woods by the Canadian border .. " - is that the Lake of the Woods that Tim O'Brien wrote about? Or was that a purely fictional setting?


07-30-2001, 08:53 AM
Greetings, Jeff. Beautiful boats, the Golant Gaffers. I couldn't consider a boat with full keel 'cause unless I want to sail in a "muddy midwest slough" we'll have to trailer. As George Beuhler told me on the phone when I was inquireing about his smallest cruisers, "What the hell do you want a boat like that for in Nebraska."

Two hundred hours seems excessive for a small engine like the Yanmar 1GM10 unless perhaps one goes into the job as ignorant as I was. I did five hours of noodling to every hour of actual work or something on that order. Probably took a week just to figure out where to put the fuel tank and a month to select and install the battery. The instrument panel and wireing harness is prewired. Just plug it in. Run a #4 ground from the battery to the engine block and another from the positive to a switch to the starter and the wireing is done. But, deciding where to put the instruments took a year and a half. Plumbing in the fuel and water is also simple enough. Now if one includes boring for the shaft log and building the structure for the engine mounts in just the right place.... Well, time does tend to get away.

Next time around it'll be easy. Yeah, right.

Price is a serious consideration but I made the decision for an inboard on an irrational emotional basis. People tell me they build Stephenson Project "Weekenders" for less than the engine cost. Second dumbest thing I did since I retired.

But, I get euphoric just sitting here thinking about the uses we can put this boat too if we will jist get off our lethargic old duffs and do it. You know what leaditus is? That's where the iron in yer blood changes to lead and settles in your rear.

I don't know about Tim O'Brien's writings. Someone here will.

Best wishes.


Oh, yes. How to post pictures: First you put them on a web page on into one of the free online photo services. www.nikonnet.com (http://www.nikonnet.com) www.ofoto.com (http://www.ofoto.com) www.snapfish (http://www.snapfish) and others. Several of us here use www.photopoint.com (http://www.photopoint.com) but they started charging and seem to be in the middle of a shakeup.

When you get the picture on line you then copy and past the URL of the picture into a forum message and put on the left and on the right of the URL text with no spaces, i.e. URL .

If that doesn't work I'll always think it should. We want to see pictures of your project.


Jeff Robinson
07-30-2001, 10:05 PM
Fine clear instructions thanks Norm.



I hope I have attached 3 photos from April, just after we turned the hull over (she is still though awkwardly propped on a couple of "temporary" legs). The interior is now almost complete and awaits paint, and then the deck/cabin goes on. More photos will follow - I borrowed a digital for these photos and newer photos are still on film.


Ed Harrow
07-30-2001, 10:21 PM
Norm, you continue to be an inspiration! If you get out to Woodville you can splash Prarie Islander in Lake Whitehall. We'll plop my cannon on her foredeck to deal with the idiots. Congratulations, again. Ed

Jeff Robinson
07-31-2001, 01:15 AM
Nah, can't do it, on Nikonnet. I copied the URL and encased it but the URL is over several lines in the "Reply" box - does this affect it?


07-31-2001, 10:32 AM
The URL:


The URL with the trick


Don't know why youRL is so long unless they like me better than you.


What I did was get the picture I wanted to include here up in nikonnet. I then right clicked with the cursor on the picture and selected "properties". I copied and pasted the URL that was displayed by properties. Don't think I made that explisit above. If a firs you don't sexceeed....

[This message has been edited by NormMessinger (edited 07-31-2001).]

07-31-2001, 12:32 PM
Well, dang! But, I learn stuff every day. Now what I'm thinkin' is the image from nikonnet showes up just fine, and it did, in the, make that THE, forum until one logs off and disconnects from nikonnet after which ya can't get back to the image without signing on again. I must have figured that out once before 'cause I still perfer PhotoPoint. http://media5.hypernet.com/~dick/ubb/frown.gif


DOUBLE DANG! I proceeded to thest the above hypthisis. now the picuture shows up as intended without logging in to NikonNet. Beats the heck out of me.


[This message has been edited by NormMessinger (edited 07-31-2001).]

Jeff Robinson
07-31-2001, 08:18 PM
Trying again


Long view


Jeff Robinson
07-31-2001, 08:20 PM
Getting better, just cocked up the suzes this (that) time.


07-31-2001, 09:53 PM
I don'd know what is going on Jeff. I had my NikonNet picture up two different times today and everyother time I've checked all I see is the work Image in a block.

Screw NikonNet!


Jeff Robinson
08-01-2001, 01:29 AM
Ohphoto ..




fingers and toes and eyes crossing ...


Jeff Robinson
08-01-2001, 01:33 AM
Size?? (suze??)


Mike Field
08-01-2001, 01:58 AM
Well, I'm sorry Jeff, but none of your postings gives a picture on my screen. Nor does the URL that Norm copied and put up. Even copying and pasting the URLs you'd used in your messages was no good -- they automtically diverted to their index page and told me I had to log on.

Time to give Nikonnet the Big A, do you think?

Jeff Robinson
08-01-2001, 02:27 AM

In between trying to look industrious at my desk, I put up some Nikonnet photos, some of which worked for me the first time through and subsequently disappeared, and two sets of Ofoto photos, which all worked but fooled me with sizes. But one is up and of a decent size in my last message I think. I hope.

Try to look past the squalor in my garage/boatshop - the boat looks a little better now as interior has been fitted and deck beams go in/on and the hull to deck join cleaned up. These photos are from April - I have some more recent ones but they will need to be scanned and operated on before I can upload them to Ofoto.

My apologies for having been a pain in the bum while I sorted this out ...


Mike Field
08-01-2001, 02:54 AM
I hate to tell you this, Jeff, but even that last one is nbg I'm afraid (although others may perhaps be able to see it -- any comments from anyone else?)

BTW I don't consider you to be a pita over this, but the photo companies, who apparently can't get it right for the rest of us.

John B
08-02-2001, 07:52 PM
Two things I did when I fitted my new motor a few years ago was to put in really good sight glass type fuel filter and raw water filter. I mounted the water filter so that I can see whether the water is pumping without going to the stern."Yes" is the answer, I have forgotten to turn the water on once. The automatic look at the sight glass had me diving for the seacock before any damage.

The trap fuel filter has been worth its weight in gold and catches most before the stock paper filter has to do it's work.

Good insurance I felt.

Rich VanValkenburg
08-02-2001, 08:34 PM
Jeff, (and ya'll)

I originally tried to post photos here through Ofoto, but it wouldn't work. I addressed this to their customer service people, who then sent me this reply--
btw, I chose to pay Photopoint their dues and make it painless here.


Thank you for contacting the Ofoto Customer Service Team.

Ofoto provides photo sharing and printing services to allow our
customers to create and share private photo albums with family and
friends and to order prints. Occasionally we find that other web sites
encourage people to use our service for other purposes, such as hosting
images for use on those third party web sites. In addition, we have
recently received a number of complaints from copyright owners,
asserting that some individuals are posting copyrighted material on
those third party sites using the Ofoto service. For these reasons,
Ofoto now blocks access to images being posted on third party sites,
except those sites run by our partners. We apologize if our decision
has caused you any inconvenience.

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding your Ofoto
account or the Ofoto service, please let us know.

Will Wright
Ofoto Customer Service Team
Ofoto - The Premier Online Photography Service
Customer Service Email: service@ofoto.com
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