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Thread: Skookum Maru

  1. #1016
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    Regarding the towing-eye backing-nut, you can replace it with a lifting-eye nut.


    Then you can tie that to a couple of plates/bolts farther aft, under the deck, at the sheer, with cable and small turnbuckles.

    Dave
    Agreed - that's a really nice solution to distributing the tension forces on the stem. However my concern with the bow eye is less with it pulling through or with the stem failing than with the strength of the casting itself. It's a pretty little thing but the waist at the bottom is a weak point. It was designed for a moderate pull on a painter or a trailer strap, not plowing into a wall of green water at 7 kts. I doubt that it would stand up to much twisting or sideways force on the casting itself.
    - Chris

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  2. #1017
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    OK. 'spose you get 2K force per side - 4K total. Way more than enough & I bet the bolts would break first - not to mention damage to the hull.

    Towing my 9' dinghy - even at 6 knots or so, I can pull the dinghy to the boat hand over hand. I ain't superman, so what's that - 200lbs or so? For sure heavy seas will bang it about harder & this boat is heavier, but I'd think you'll be fine.

    Love to hear from someone with more boat tech background than I though.
    That's pretty much my thought as well Garret. I can haul in our dinghy while underway. It would probably be more of a chore with the Whirlwind but I'll bet I could do it. So normal forces are a few hundred pounds. But that goes up significantly if it's pulling against solid water. If the tender hits a big enough wave it's easily going to put several thousand pounds of strain on the towing rig, as would also be the case if a dinghy flipped or filled with water. But if that does happen then I expect that something else is going to fail before the pad eye. Probably the hull itself and there's nothing I can do about that. Good seamanship is the best prevention here in any case. Ok then.
    - Chris

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  3. #1018
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    That is a very cool little runabout you got.

    While thinking about hardware you might add or replace, think about how best to raft up to Skookum Maru overnight at anchor. That could be tricky.

  4. #1019
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    I redid my backstays on my sailboat kinda like that with saddles bolted together back to back either side of the deck. with backing plates on both sides.
    The rigging screws are on the deck go to the backstays, and then another rigging screw below deck goes to the next stringer down the hull, spreading the load.
    No movement in 10 years since with a couple of tons of constant load.

  5. #1020
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    However my concern with the bow eye is less with it pulling through or with the stem failing than with the strength of the casting itself. It's a pretty little thing but the waist at the bottom is a weak point.
    Not only the waist, but the through bolt is also a potential failure point. I've removed several bow eyes on older boats and all were compromised. If the bolt is stainless steel, crevice corrosion is highly likely. I would not trust it for any use without, at least, pulling it and taking a good look. I'm sure that you can find a new one that will look nice. You don't have to keep the old "vintage" one.

    Jeff

  6. #1021
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by _QB_ View Post
    That is a very cool little runabout you got.

    While thinking about hardware you might add or replace, think about how best to raft up to Skookum Maru overnight at anchor. That could be tricky.
    Yes, we are finding that there are a number of logistical challenges with managing a large tender. Like how two people can launch the tender at Shilshole, moor it somewhere, put the trailer back in the driveway at the house, get the car and driver back to the marina, bring the tender to Skookum Maru (or vice versa), hook up the towing line and secure the tender in a position suitable for departure, leave the dock safely, and then let out the tow line after we are out of the marina. Lots of moving parts there. But one thing that might help, Tory had her first lesson in boat handling with a professional captain today and absolutely aced it in every way! Docked the boat three times with not a scratch, spun it in circles, made VHF calls... I could not be more proud. She still has a ways to go before she will be comfortable doing it on her own but that day is going to come soon.

    Anyway, we will work out the details of launching and towing one way or another. As for rafting the tender at anchor, that's a good point. I had sort of envisioned, well, just... rafting it? Couple of fenders over the side, pull the tender up alongside and tie it up reasonably tight so it won't bang around. This guy seems to have it worked out.



    However after thinking about it a bit and considering the hardware requirements I do think we might want some better attachment points aft as well as the towing eyes forward. The cleats on the Whirlwind, like the bow eye, are very pretty but not all that sturdy (and not through-bolted). So there's that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Slacko View Post
    I redid my backstays on my sailboat kinda like that with saddles bolted together back to back either side of the deck. with backing plates on both sides.
    The rigging screws are on the deck go to the backstays, and then another rigging screw below deck goes to the next stringer down the hull, spreading the load.
    No movement in 10 years since with a couple of tons of constant load.
    You sailors with your rigging knowledge! I do like this approach. I'm going to install the pad eyes but may also do some sort of tension arrangement on the bow eye.

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    Not only the waist, but the through bolt is also a potential failure point. I've removed several bow eyes on older boats and all were compromised. If the bolt is stainless steel, crevice corrosion is highly likely. I would not trust it for any use without, at least, pulling it and taking a good look. I'm sure that you can find a new one that will look nice. You don't have to keep the old "vintage" one.

    Jeff
    Yes, good point. I do not trust that eye at all. It may get replaced sooner than later but pad eyes first.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  7. #1022
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Maybe use something like mooring whips for bringing the dinghy alongside?

    Some homemade ones - kinda rough & the guy doesn't cleat lines often, but maybe some food for thought:

    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  8. #1023
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Tory had her first lesson in boat handling with a professional captain today and absolutely aced it in every way! Docked the boat three times with not a scratch, spun it in circles, made VHF calls... I could not be more proud.
    That is so very excellent. Congratulations to the soon-to-be co-captain.

    Anyway, we will work out the details of launching and towing one way or another. As for rafting the tender at anchor, that's a good point. I had sort of envisioned, well, just... rafting it? Couple of fenders over the side, pull the tender up alongside and tie it up reasonably tight so it won't bang around. This guy seems to have it worked out.
    A RIB's hull is one big fender, makes rafting a lot easier. Caution extrapolating to your hot-molded wood launch.

    And keep in mind almost anything will work in calm conditions. But when the anchorage gets lumpy and ship and boat are trying violently to explore their degrees of freedom independently, stuff happens.

    I like Garrett's suggestion of mooring whips. That would be ideal -- air-gapping the two boats. An interesting engineering challenge to make it easily storable, deployable, and strong enough.

    The best arrangement we hit on with Skookum Maru was to tie one of our inflatable kayaks athwartships up against the swim platform, and then the dinghy snug aft of the kayak. Quiet and secure. But that was just a 9 foot fiberglass dinghy.

    --Paul

  9. #1024
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Yes, the "one big fender" thing has its appeal. I was thinking more about several big fenders but the whip concept might be a good option to have as well. I don't love the PVC pipe approach for a number of reasons - although it's clever and cheap - but I wonder if something could be done with fiberglass sail battens? Could mount pockets for them under the cap rail or maybe on the swim step... Battens are tough, springy and easy to work with. Hm. More thought needed there.

    Preparation of the Whirlwind as a tender is moving forward. I bought parts to add a fuel pump to the old Evinrude so we can use a modern gas tank. And the parts to add towing eyes at the bow and eye bolts at the stern are waiting in will-call at Fisheries right now. The plan is to get all the new bits installed this weekend. We will see how that goes.

    Took a few minutes to walk the dog around Shilshole this afternoon. While the marina is mostly wall-to-wall fiberglass boats there are a few wooden ones in the mix. And the queen of them all is Blue Peter:



    My wife used to work for a scion of the McCurdy family, which commissioned Blue Peter and owned her for generations. I believe that they sold the boat a decade ago but she is still in her slip on A dock looking Bristol.

    And while I was walking back to Skookum Maru I saw a familiar little cruiser come in and dock:



    Nicholas has Puget Belle looking very sharp, although like any conscientious wooden boat owner he will tell you all the things that he still needs to do to make her perfect...



    (No, I can't see anything that needs to be done from that photo either). It was great to see her looking so good!
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  10. #1025
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Progress on the whirlwind. Turned this scrap of 12mm meranti ply...



    into mounting and backing pads.



    Not the highest expression of the woodworker's art but functional I think. Then...


    .
    ...a tense moment, but we amateur shipwrights have nerves of steel. We do not flinch in the face of destiny! (Ok, I may have flinched just a little). But it all came right in the end.





    And then repeat for the other side.



    I think that will work. They are just test fit at the moment though. Still need to round off the edges and seal them. And then the question is whether to epoxy the backing blocks in place. Probably a good idea...
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  11. #1026
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    The Wichard padeye is a good idea, their stuff is load rated so you have a pretty good idea of the strains they can take.

    i think you may want to rotate them though, so the bail falls fore and aft, they would better take the slack and tightening from you towing bridle.

  12. #1027
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schweiss View Post
    The Wichard padeye is a good idea, their stuff is load rated so you have a pretty good idea of the strains they can take.

    i think you may want to rotate them though, so the bail falls fore and aft, they would better take the slack and tightening from you towing bridle.
    Thanks Paul. I did consider the orientation a bit before putting them on. There is some discussion on it above. Rotating them so the pull is in the “right” direction would make them stronger but even in this position I think they are the strongest part of the towing setup. I expect that the hull would fail before the pad eyes. And in this orientation there will be less tendency for the bails to press the towing bridle snap hooks into the hull when pulled, since the angle of the bridle would pull them in. But this is all seat of the pants engineering and I would certainly listen to other thoughts here.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  13. #1028
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    … and now I’m second guessing the way I have the pad eyes oriented. Sigh. It would be a bit of a project to rotate them though. I might try them they way they are before permanently installing the backing pads at least.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  14. #1029
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Well, I am just going from what my pants seat tells me, so big grains of salt recommended.

    We did work up a bridle and tow line for one of our San Juan 48 builds. The owner specified a 15’ Novurania RIB with 70 ho Yamaha. The Novurania came from the factory with a 3 part bridle that hooked into the bow eye as well as Wichard padeyes further back on the hull sides. The padeye bails rotated fore an aft. This boat and tender would regularly be doing 22 knots in Georgia Strait.

    But, as you say, the Wichards are plenty strong and should be up too the dynamic accelerations of towing.

  15. #1030
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    I think you're right on orientation, Chris. If you rotated them 90 they would have a tendency to flop "open" when not in use. Since they're the weak link in the system I think what you've done will be the best in the long run.

  16. #1031
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schweiss View Post
    Well, I am just going from what my pants seat tells me, so big grains of salt recommended.

    We did work up a bridle and tow line for one of our San Juan 48 builds. The owner specified a 15’ Novurania RIB with 70 ho Yamaha. The Novurania came from the factory with a 3 part bridle that hooked into the bow eye as well as Wichard padeyes further back on the hull sides. The padeye bails rotated fore an aft. This boat and tender would regularly be doing 22 knots in Georgia Strait.

    But, as you say, the Wichards are plenty strong and should be up too the dynamic accelerations of towing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    I think you're right on orientation, Chris. If you rotated them 90 they would have a tendency to flop "open" when not in use. Since they're the weak link in the system I think what you've done will be the best in the long run.
    One nice thing about the Wichard pad eyes is that they have a rubber pad that provides enough friction on the bail that it will stay wherever you put it regardless of the orientation. So that's not a concern. But still, I stewed over the orientation issue for a while. And honestly I wasn't happy with any part of the work that I did yesterday, which didn't help. So today I picked up the towing bridle from Skookum Maru and brought it back for a few tests.

    In the vertical orientation the pull on the bail and the fasteners is almost entirely in shear:



    Which is not the strongest way to rig a folding pad eye, according to no less of an expert than the late Brion Toss (http://briontoss.com/index.php/2019/...es-the-winner/). But on the other hand the bridle does run cleanly forward in that orientation.

    Then I rotated the pad eye and tried it in the "correct" orientation:



    It works, and I expect that it's stronger that way, but the angle of the pull pinches the snap hook against the base of the pad eye, which is also not a good thing. Wichard specifically recommends against it, I assume because of the leverage that it creates against the bail. Plus I just didn't like it based on some obscure, and likely fallacious, shade-tree engineering, "looks wrong to me" criteria. No good answer either way but given that the amount of force required to break the bail when pulled inline with the pin is almost certainly more than the hull or towing bridle would withstand (that snap hook would definitely fail first!) I decided to stick with the way I had it.

    However I was still not that pleased with the mounting and backing pads I had made. Too thick, awkward looking, and I worried about hard spots. So today I splurged on half a sheet of 6mm meranti Aquatek and made new ones that I am happier with.









    Much better. Just need to seal them and epoxy them in place. I will likely need to put wood screws at the tips to hold them down while the epoxy sets but that's easy enough.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  17. #1032
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post


    Much better. Just need to seal them and epoxy them in place. I will likely need to put wood screws at the tips to hold them down while the epoxy sets but that's easy enough.


    A wise person I know once said, "Life is short. Go boating now!"


    Looks plenty stout to me.
    Last edited by BBSebens; 08-02-2021 at 02:22 PM. Reason: word choice
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  18. #1033
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by BBSebens View Post
    A wise person I know once said, "Life is short. Go boating now!"
    Yeah, I keep trying Ben. Somehow life just dumps me back on shore each time. Sigh. But progress is being made. Got the mounting pads sealed with epoxy last night. Fixed the shift cable yesterday as well. And I started the fuel pump conversion. Just waiting on the fuel pump I ordered to arrive to finish that up. Going to strip some paint so I can glue on the mounting pads next and then I think the tender will be done for now. And our sublease on the temporary Shilshole slip is up this week so we need to go boating or go home, one way or another. Guess we will probably go boating then.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  19. #1034
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    [QUOTE=BBSebens;6496362]A wise person I know once said, "Life is short. Go boating now!"


    I first saw this little poem on a customers’ boat about 35 years ago, always wished I had copied it down (this before cell phone cameras). About 10 years ago I was delivering a San Juan 48 to Newport, RI and while cleaning up the boat struck up a conversation with the dock neighbor who had a lovely custom trawler. He invited me aboard, and there on the bulkhead was the same poem! I copied it down, not wishing to lose it. Here goes:

    “Go Cruising now my Brother”

    On an ancient wall in China
    Where a brooding Buddha blinks,
    Deeply graven is the message:
    It is later than you think

    The clock of time is wound but once
    And no man has the power,
    To tell us when the hands will stop
    At late or early hour.

    Now is all the time you own,
    The past a golden link,
    GO CRUISING NOW MY BROTHER,
    It is later than you think.

  20. #1035
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    True words, but to me the admonition that “it’s later than you think” speaks of regret, and a haste to cram in as much as possible before the curtain closes. One imagines Poe’s raven croaking it at the window, or perhaps muttered by an old and peg-legged sailor, as he stumps off the quay and vanishes into the fog. Which is to say it’s a bit dark. I like my little exhortation better. A gentle reminder that our time is not unlimited, but without all the doom.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  21. #1036
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Another dock walk find at Shilshole. Ama Natura, a boat that I have loved from afar for years but have never seen in person until today, moored at the guest dock.







    She's quite the design. There was a full write up about her in Passagemaker a few years ago. Worth a read:

    https://www.passagemaker.com/cruiser...gemaker-part-i

    https://www.passagemaker.com/cruiser...gemaker-part-2
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  22. #1037
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Lovely boat & great story! I like the details on biodiesel.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  23. #1038
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Lovely boat & great story! I like the details on biodiesel.
    Yes. Ama Natura was the inspiration for much of my musing on eco-upgrades for Skookum Maru. Which I have not given up on. Although buying a 50's era two stroke outboard does rather take us a step backwards in that area. There was a complete 10hp-equivalent Elco electric outboard setup for sale recently on Seattle craigslist. Motor, batteries, charger, regulator - the entire package. It wouldn't take us anywhere fast but it would sure be nice to glide silently and cleanly ashore for those 5:00 am dog walk excursions. I was very tempted but I think I have maxed out the boat toy budget for a while so I passed and it looks like someone else snapped it up. Oh well, maybe next year.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  24. #1039
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    We’ll probably all be switching to biodiesel here one of these days.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  25. #1040
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by jsjpd1 View Post
    We’ll probably all be switching to biodiesel here one of these days.
    I hope so Jim. Despite the challenges of bio-fuels I do see them as a step in the right direction. I would run biodiesel now if I could work out the logistics issues of purchase and transfer. Doing it by hand in 20 gallon increments would be possible, if a bit slow, but our marina prohibits fuel transfers at the dock so I would have to work out some way to do it from inside the boat. Which may also be possible now that I think about it. Hmm.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  26. #1041
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Biodiesel is great. My brother has run cars, boats & tractors on it & it not only smells hugely better, the engines run smoother & quieter. Sure, you have to change some fuel lines, but that's no biggie. The real issue is getting a consistent, quality source. That problem is why I haven't used it much.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  27. #1042
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Biodiesel is great. My brother has run cars, boats & tractors on it & it not only smells hugely better, the engines run smoother & quieter. Sure, you have to change some fuel lines, but that's no biggie. The real issue is getting a consistent, quality source. That problem is why I haven't used it much.
    There are a couple of good sources here in Seattle. The issue here isn't supply, it's transfer and storage. There aren't any fuel docks that pump it so you have to buy it from a shore supplier. And you can't transport or transfer it in large quantities (more than hand-carry) due to various permit requirements, insurance requirements and other regulations. I could get a fuel dock to supply it as a custom order but there is a minimum quantity of 500 gallons. Skookum Maru holds 300 gallons and that's at least a year's supply - or likely more like two years at the rate we use it. While it might be possible to stabilize biodiesel for storage there are challenges and I'm not about to test long term storage techniques with $2000 worth of fuel.

    But I've been thinking about it. Right now we have nearly full tanks. If we run off of the starboard tank until it's empty we will have the port tank full of petro-diesel as a backup. We can then take on smaller quantities of biodiesel in the starboard tank. Say 20 gallons to start. That's relatively easy to carry in 5-gallon cans and gives us a way to experiment with biodiesel without a huge commitment. I can rig up a way to pump it into the tank from inside the engine compartment which will eliminate the spill risk. I need to at least inspect the fuel lines and confirm that they are compatible with biodiesel but even if they need to be replaced that's not a huge project.

    Anyway, something to try this winter or even next spring depending on how long it takes us to empty the starboard tank. We have other fish to fry at the moment. Trying to get everything ready so we can leave this weekend. At the moment we have no idea where we are going but I guess we will figure that out at some point.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  28. #1043
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Ok, back to the Whirlwind for a moment. After some internal debate I've decided to glue the plywood towing eye pads to the hull with thickened epoxy. Initially I was reluctant to make a semi-permanent modification to the hull but I guess I've kinda done that already by drilling a bunch of holes in it, so in for a penny, in for a pound. But I have questions...

    1. I want to use the pad eye bolts in the mounting holes to secure the pads in place while the epoxy cures, but I will need to be able to get them out afterward. Is Vaseline the appropriate thing to use to keep them from getting glued in place?

    2. I am also planning to use the pad eye bases to ensure that the mounting holes are aligned correctly during the glue up. Was thinking Vaseline on the base and a layer of plastic wrap underneath to prevent adhesion. Yes? No? Is there a better way?

    3. I'm planning to paint the bottom this winter. Ideally I'd like to just leave the pads coated in epoxy until then but that does mean there will be a few weeks of UV exposure (say six weeks total). Is that something to be concerned about? Is it worth giving them a coat of paint or varnish in the meantime?

    Any other advice?
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  29. #1044
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    I use toilet ring wax on screws and parts to keep epoxy from grabbing them, so far that works. I would not worry about UV for 6 weeks. Epoxy does not UV damage that fast, it will not affect the bond area at all.

    -Rick

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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by rgthom View Post
    I use toilet ring wax on screws and parts to keep epoxy from grabbing them, so far that works. I would not worry about UV for 6 weeks. Epoxy does not UV damage that fast, it will not affect the bond area at all.

    -Rick
    Ah - perfect. Thanks Rick. And good point about the bond area. I neglected to mention that I sealed the plywood with epoxy as well, and that's what I was more concerned about. Ok then!
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  31. #1046
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Sheesh Chris - it's simple. When you tow the boat home after a weekend cruise, just pull it up to the pump & fill 'er up.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  32. #1047
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    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Garret, I was thinking more along the lines of an old aircraft drop tank, filled with fuel to make a fuel-submarine, and towed in alongside Skookum in the dark of night for a stealth refueling. . . ( Yeah, I know - the nonsensical ravings of a lunatic mind !!! )

  33. #1048
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    5,134

    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Sheesh Chris - it's simple. When you tow the boat home after a weekend cruise, just pull it up to the pump & fill 'er up.
    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye54 View Post
    Garret, I was thinking more along the lines of an old aircraft drop tank, filled with fuel to make a fuel-submarine, and towed in alongside Skookum in the dark of night for a stealth refueling. . . ( Yeah, I know - the nonsensical ravings of a lunatic mind !!! )
    Lol. And this is the crowd that I go to for advice!
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  34. #1049
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    41,055

    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    Quote Originally Posted by cstevens View Post
    Lol. And this is the crowd that I go to for advice!
    No one ever said you got good advice here... However, both options we listed are possible, though maybe not likely.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  35. #1050
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Seattle, W.A., U.S.A
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Skookum Maru

    I'd guess that you could pull up to the west wall in the terminal and use 50 gallon drums to fill up without raising any eyebrows.

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