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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Boat changes

My boat build project finally got a bit of attention after too much neglect. I'm building an Ooze Goose in my driveway.

The inside got a good coating of epoxy to seal the wood. The outside was coated using a brush. That left a lot of drips that will need sanding later. I used a roller on the inside and I'm happy with the results. It had been years since I used a roller on a boat as my my last attempt has left a lot of air bubbles. I'm happy to say that todays results were much better. In fact, I regret not using a roller on the exterior.

While rolling the epoxy on, I had some ideas about changing the rest of the design. Instead of a centerboard piercing the hull, how about a couple lee boards on the outside? Eliminating the centerboard case will allow a bigger rowing seat. That would also translate into more cabin space.

Lee boards are not everyone's cut of tea, but would make sense for the way I want to sail. If the centerboard hits an obstacle, the boat could come to a screeching halt, possibly breaking something. The lee boards would kick up and pivot out of the way. Very useful for skinny water sailing.

So what's the downside? I'm sure it would look less elegant than Michael Storer's original design. Wandering too far off the design could get me into unforeseen trouble. Then there'd be no one to blame but myself. Still, everything considered, I'm very tempted to make the changes. No sense in building your own boat if you are afraid to customize it to fit your needs.

In a few days I'll have to pull my Oday 19 out of the lake and do some work on her. My lovely wife and I plan on heading south sometime in October, so that boat needs attention too. There's nothing major wrong with her, but I've a laundry list of little improvements.

There are only so many hours in the day, so the Goose project might get put on hold before it's completely finished. However, my goal is to at least have it set up for rowing before we head south. The sailing rig can wait until spring.

At any rate, it feels good to be working on boats again.



  1. If lee boards are what I think they are, they would make sense over the centerboard for sailing shallow water, and extra space is ALWAYS welcome in cramped quarters of ANY kind. Safety is always the most important thing, of course, and even that seems in favor of the lee boards. I've always wondered if a centerboard has ever hit a solid rock and cracked the hull?

    1. Last winter a homemade cat hit a rock about 1.5 miles away from me. The centerboard case popped out and one hull flooded. Boat US was right there on the scene and everyone was Okay.

  2. Leeboards sound like an excellent idea! I would recommend you consult some of the late Phil Bolger's books on the subject. You will want to mount them forward of where the centerboard is designed for.

    Phil Bolger has a variety of different ways for mounting leeboards, and very informative reasoning for the different methods, as well as what not to do with them (be very careful with toe in.) You may already be familiar with his books, in which case disregard this comment. If not, a world of possibility could be awaiting. The library is likely to be the easiest place to find those books.

    1. I've been a fan of Bolger for years. I've a good strong point forward of the centerboard location that should do the job.

  3. I do wonder though if lee boards are a KISS solution...

    1. It's a toss up. I'm building two lee boards instead of one centerboard. However, that give me some redundancy which is good. Avoiding the centerboard simplifies some interior construction.