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Thread: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

  1. #666
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    I had the boat out today and had battery problems. They were a used set gifted to me and I've no idea how old or used. So, I am shopping for new batteries.
    But, while I had the boat in the water, I decided to try out the oars and see how she rows. She moves nicely, but is certainly heavier then anything I've rowed before. But, with the 8' oars, I was able to get her up to 3.2 mph. Not bad for an old guy.
    The very stout oars I built didn't seem that heavy (5.8 lbs.) in my shop, but sure felt heavy on the water! Perhaps a good winter project will be building a lighter set.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  2. #667
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    New batteries make all the difference!

    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  3. #668
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    I fiddled around with three different props today. First was a three bladed R/C airplane prop. At just 2 mph, there was so much vibration, I stopped the test.
    In the shallow water by the launch ramp, I was able to leave the boat in the water and change props. It was under water, of course, but I could see what I was doing and it worked out.
    I changed to the two bladed R/C prop I used the other day. At full throttle, I hit 6 mph, but lots of vibration. Throttling back to 5 mph helped, but still more vibration then I want.
    Changed over to the regular 3-bladed trolling motor prop and things smoothed right down. No vibration and a top speed of 5.4 mph.
    I'm thinking that the R/C props, not being built for this use, were flexing quite a bit under the load or were unbalanced.
    Still more experimentation to come, but if I have to settle for 5.4 mph, I can be content with that. It's a nice relaxing speed. Of course, that was in a dead calm. I'll try the boat on a windy day and see how she does with her nose to the wind.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  4. #669
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    She is beautiful! Congratulations on a job well done.

  5. #670
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Have you tried the 2 bladed trolling motor prop that is probably available? I have both a two and 3 for my 50 pound motor. Both work well, in different conditions, though the 2 is better in weedy conditions.

    A gorgeous boat, beautifully made.

    Best regards, Irv

  6. #671
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by Irv Mac Dowell View Post
    Have you tried the 2 bladed trolling motor prop that is probably available? I have both a two and 3 for my 50 pound motor. Both work well, in different conditions, though the 2 is better in weedy conditions.

    A gorgeous boat, beautifully made.

    Best regards, Irv

    Thanks!
    I've got the two bladed trolling prop and tried both that and the three bladed trolling prop on another boat before I modified the 80 lb. thrust motor for this boat. The three bladed prop produced a bit more speed, but not much. I'll try the two bladed again and see what happens.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  7. #672
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    A little blip in my design for the way I mounted the motor.
    You'll remember from way-back-when, I designed a motor mount tube to have the motor shaft come up through the hull and support the motor. Here's my sketch from back then.



    The top of the tube is at least a foot above the waterline. What I never considered is launching from a trailer when the boat, on a steep launching ramp, is at quite a steep angle. From the time I back the trailer in, jump out of my Jeep and push the boat off the trailer, there it sits with it's arse deep in the lake. During this couple of minutes, a couple of cups (500ml) of water manages to spirt through the top of the tube and drain into the bilge. No big deal, I just have to lift the floorboards and sponge the water out at the end of the day.
    Oh well, a good way to keep the dust down in the bilge.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  8. #673
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Rich, for your launching issue - Could you possibly clamp / tape a couple of the soft grout sponges around the motor support tube to
    contain the inrush of water, then squeeze 'em out after launch - you could leave them with the boat for cleanups as you motor around.

    Rick

  9. #674
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye54 View Post
    Rich, for your launching issue - Could you possibly clamp / tape a couple of the soft grout sponges around the motor support tube to
    contain the inrush of water, then squeeze 'em out after launch - you could leave them with the boat for cleanups as you motor around.

    Rick
    The area now is very hard to reach and requires removing the screwed down aft kingplank. I figure there's also water in the bilge from me getting in and out of the boat, so I have to sponge the bilge anyway.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  10. #675
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    could you fill the tube with grease and make a seal to keep the grease in?
    that would make it water tight...

  11. #676
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    I came up with a solution to my launching problem. I had bolted a 2x12 plank on top of the front of the trailer frame with a keel roller bolted to that. This supported the bow of the boat but held the bow high up when launching, making the stern dip down into the water. (Another section of 2x12 plank with another two keel rollers support the keel further back.) I now have the front 2x12 section bolted under the frame, leaving a lot more room for the bow to drop. Instead of a keel roller, I now have a removable brace held in place with Velcro. Removing this at the launch ramp and giving the winch strap some slack allows the bow to drop, thus launching at a more level angle. I also bolted upright guides on either side to the trailer to help corral the boat into the right position when retrieving the boat. These two improvements have helped a lot.

    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  12. #677
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    It's almost embarrassing the amount of attention this boat is getting from the public. I've built a lot of boats and people will, once in a while, tell me it's a nice boat, etc. But, they were the types of boats people were used to seeing. Skiffs, canoes, etc.
    This design is something not seen very often and people are drawn to it. What's it made of? What makes it go? (The absence of oars, sails or sound has them guessing.) Did you build it yourself? My ego is getting a real workout. Every time I pull up to the launching ramp or beach it at the local state park, I've got the curious walking over to take a look. They obviously see in the design the beauty I first saw when someone here on the Forum pointed it out to me over two years ago.
    One of the best was yesterday when I was returning to the launch ramp. The state highway runs parallel to the lake shore at this point. As I'm coming into the ramp, a group of Harleys are coming down the road. They see the boat out in the lake and all give a big thumbs up as they go roaring by. Whoever designed this boat over 100 years ago really knew what they were doing!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  13. #678
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    The attention is well deserved! She's a beaut.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  14. #679
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    I agree with Garret - any boost to your ego has been well-earned and is well-deserved - A beautiful, well thought out build
    I eagerly await each picture you post --- Thanks

    Rick

  15. #680
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye54 View Post
    I agree with Garret - any boost to your ego has been well-earned and is well-deserved - A beautiful, well thought out build
    I eagerly await each picture you post --- Thanks

    Rick
    Well - the 2x2 on the trailer just above ain't all that exciting... I bet Rich is happy that launching is better though!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  16. #681
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Well - the 2x2 on the trailer just above ain't all that exciting... I bet Rich is happy that launching is better though!
    Hope this is better then the 2x2!

    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  17. #682
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Much! But I get that the 2x2 is all a part of it - just had to rib you a bit.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  18. #683
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Man, Rich, that boat is gorgeous! I was google-cruising around looking at steam launch sites when I happened to see an old thread where you mentioned that building an electric launch was in your future. Well done!

    Jeff C

  19. #684
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by leikec View Post
    Man, Rich, that boat is gorgeous! I was google-cruising around looking at steam launch sites when I happened to see an old thread where you mentioned that building an electric launch was in your future. Well done!

    Jeff C
    Thank you, Jeff.

    I'd also like to thank one and all who gave me encouragement and advice throughout the course of researching and building this boat. It wouldn't have been half the fun or come out half as good without you!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  20. #685
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Beautiful workmanship, Rich. I just watched the video again and was reminded how the video picks up more sound from water lapping the hull than from the sound of the motor.. Cool. I have not heard a word from the fellow over in NY state who bought mine, hope he is enjoying it.
    Last edited by Oldad; 08-14-2017 at 02:37 PM.

  21. #686
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    I had my first 'oops' moment with the boat today. Drove 12 miles to a different lake only to find the steering cable too slack to use. Luckily, I hadn't launched the boat yet. Of course, I had no screwdriver with me to access the area... Rats. Repeating the words I spoke at that moment would get me banned. Suffice it say, I was not pleased.
    Back home, I took off the steering access panel on the aft deck. The turnbuckle for the steering cable had loosened itself up, probably vibration both from trailering and from the motor. Guess I didn't tighten up the lock nuts enough... Anyway, it's now re-connected, lock nuts are snugged down and now taped.

    Note to self: Make up a small box of tools AND PUT IT IN THE BOAT!!!!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  22. #687
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post

    Note to self: Make up a small box of tools AND PUT IT IN THE BOAT!!!!
    I learned this one from my dad. If the boat was being trailered, there was a toolbox in the back of the car, and a small box of tools stayed on the boat at all times.

  23. #688
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    The launch is spending it's first night outside. It's been in my garage all summer, but I finally bought a tarp to throw over it.
    "Hey! Excuse me, but what am I doing out in the driveway and that stupid Jeep is in my garage?!"

    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  24. #689
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Gorgeous Rick.

    Maybe nylocs on the turnbuckles, and perhaps a bit of greased backer rod around the motor shaft?


  25. #690
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Gorgeous Rick.

    Maybe nylocs on the turnbuckles, and perhaps a bit of greased backer rod around the motor shaft?

    What is greased backer rod? Not familiar with it.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  26. #691
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=what+...w=1344&bih=706

    Backer Rod is an extruded round, closed cell, low density polyethylene foam material with a skin-like outer texture. It is highly flexible and compressible for easy installation.

    In this case it would perform the same function as the "stuffing" in a stuffing box, but it wouldn't be under as much compression, just about none at all in fact. If you will be sliding the unit up it will just pull out. The grease is just so that it doesn't bind when you steer.

    If you look around enough you may be able to find a cable gland that will fit.


  27. #692
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    I'll give that backer rod stuff a try. Since I redid some things on the trailer, the boat enters the water at a more level angle and I no longer have water coming it. However, the backer rod could cut down on the little bit of vibration that exists.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  28. #693
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Rich,

    I am a bit of a 'tail end Charlie' visitor to your build thread but had to say that is one fine looking boat and a beautiful finish. I only hope that I can get somewhere near that quality on the boat that I am building.

    I was intrigued to see your video and watch it glide through the water with that gurgling sound. What a pleasure it must be to go out in her. You must have given her a name by now but if you hadn't then it would have to be 'Tranquillity'.

  29. #694
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    Default Re: 14th Star: 18' Palmer Fantail Launch

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Scott View Post
    Rich,

    I am a bit of a 'tail end Charlie' visitor to your build thread but had to say that is one fine looking boat and a beautiful finish. I only hope that I can get somewhere near that quality on the boat that I am building.

    I was intrigued to see your video and watch it glide through the water with that gurgling sound. What a pleasure it must be to go out in her. You must have given her a name by now but if you hadn't then it would have to be 'Tranquillity'.
    Thanks! It is a pleasure to motor along almost silently. I'm able to have regular conversations with passengers and enjoy the sounds of nature instead of a noisy fueled-engine.
    And I do believe that the finish on your boat will be just beautiful!
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

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