Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gittin' 'er done

Well, it's about time to wrap this puppy up and move on to the next madness. I ended up flow-coating the edges of the bottom and the areas that were patched. Probably should have just done the whole bottom, but the rest of it didn't need it, so...

The new ends came out pretty snappy.

The inside of the damaged hatch doesn't look any prettier, but it's a hell of a lot tougher now. As with much of the boat, I had to stop somewhere.

But the gunwales are pretty goddam sweet.

And I really like how the grain came out on the white oak oarlocks.

A couple more bolts and she's outta here.


  1. Cool grain on the oar-locks. Actually, cool work everywhere. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Beautiful. How long had the graphite coat been on the bottom and how much stronger do you feel that made the boat?

  3. Great work! Are those chines fiberglassed over? They look fairly rounded. Thinking about that option for my boat but the drift boat guys say "no way". Thoughts?

  4. Helen-
    We started doing a flow coat of resin with graphite back in the '80s, and some of that bottom may date back as far as that. It does seem to make for a slicker bottom when you're crashing over rocks. Not as slippery as the plastic sheet bottoms some folks screw onto their bottoms--but we've found those to be rot traps. But WAY slicker than an aluminum bottom, which can grab rocks and stick to them.
    The chines are rounded and the entire inside and outside of the hull are glassed. That's fine in a boat built this way (like the Tombigamy) --a sort of stitch-and-glue, filleted and glassed in the classic WEST (Wood Epoxy Saturation Technique) system. The theory is that the wood core is totally encapsulated by the fiberglass and protected from water; and the true strength of the hull comes from the inner and outer skins. The fallacy in using this system for a whitewater boat is that the exterior skin is inevitably beaten and bruised, which leads to some degree of porosity of the skin, which leads to wet wood that cannot dry and can only rot.
    But a traditional ribbed boat has a lot of screws or boat nails through the hull. Water inevitably moves into and out of the wood. An exterior chine strip nailed or screwed on serves buffer to protect the chine seam. But fiberglassing these boats serves to trap the moisture in the hull. So hybridizing an old ribbed boat with the modern WEST style of building often leads to issues like rot. That might be what your drift boat guy is telling you.

  5. Brad - on the third picture from the top there appear to be a couple screw style access hatches on the side of the boat that would be at or below the waterline. What are they, and why?

  6. Those are self bailers made from sprinkler head covers. Scott, the owner came up with that and said it works quite well.