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Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory

Posted by Sandy 
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
December 02, 2016 05:49AM

Another shot. I was messing around with the chain falls. I wanted to guess where the balance point of the boat was. I was only off by an inch. It almost wants to balance level. A 4 Lbs. ball peen hammer in the front leveled it out.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
December 02, 2016 05:54AM
I just need to finish up the transom and I will have confidence to remove the strong backs. This is the first boat I've built, so I might be over cautious on the steps I take to move closer to completion. I dunno.

I still have lots of grinding and welding. at least I am no where near getting tired of the project. I find myself enjoying more each time I get to work on it.

This shot really shows how the gunnel smoothed out the lines of the boat.

Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
December 09, 2016 03:20AM
Been super busy on these holidays. Haven't had much time to update the thread. I'll get after it soon. I promise.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
December 09, 2016 02:31PM

Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 17, 2017 11:06AM
Made quite a bit of progress. 80% finished with the gunwales. Will be moving onto the floor after that. I still need to make up some eyelets for winching up the boat onto the trailer.

This is how it sits now.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 17, 2017 11:10AM
Had a set back with the spool gun. Was having hella bad time getting decent welds and was going thru tips like a mofo. I was actually starting to doubt my welding abilities.

Turned out is was this little bitch of a part. Thru processes of elimination, I was able to figure out that the drive motor was bad. That motor looks about the size to power a Lionel train. It cost way more than a Lionel train:(

Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 17, 2017 01:24PM
A seats and interior design note..........................from Sandy

The Beavertail has a symmetrical bottom. It has the same bottom width 36" from the center of the boat fore and aft. That gives it a lot of flotation in the rear so the transom stays up out of the water even with a passenger standing or sitting behind the rower.

Most drift boats (at least those that are not square ended skiffs) are adapted from traditional Oregon-style dories where one or two passengers sat on the front seat side by side with no one behind the rower. There were reasons for this.

A) that's how Oregon bait and lure fishermen traditionally fish anyway, with their lines angling downstream in front of the boat, with the oarsman rowing backwards just the right amount to make everything drift properly.

B) Two passengers side by side on the front seat with no one behind the rower concentrates the payload as close to the middle of the boat as possible--as close to the boat's center of gravity as possible. That makes the most nimble and most stable boat in dangerous white water. That is the ideal white water configuration.

So, what does this all mean? Nearly all boats whether wood aluminum or glass are built this way even though they often don't get used that way. If you put a passenger in the rear they don't trim properly. The transom sinks down and the front rears up and they don't row well. The Beavertail is one of very few exceptions. It used to be the only one.

The HD has a traditional design. I wanted it to be a hotrod white water boat. But I ALSO wanted it to be able to handle a rear-seated passenger. To do that I made the front deck area smaller than other boats and pushed the seats further forward. The handles on the oars should just miss the back of the front seat by only a few inches. Then you get to have your cake and eat it too. You get the old way and the new way all at once.

Several customers have ignored that issue. They built an HD with a big front deck with the rower's seat a bit back of the boat's middle, perhaps because that's what they were used to. Several HD builders made that mistake because they built my HD hull and then tried to copy Jason Cajune's interior. Then you get a boat that does not row well if anyone ever sits behind the rower.

The locations I suggest for oar lock pins and seat placements are not written in stone. All can be adjusted a little for what ever reason. But not too much. You might end up with a boat that doesn't row well. At least when used with a rear-seated passenger.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 17, 2017 01:25PM
I love this boat. This aluminum HD. I want one.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 17, 2017 02:22PM
Ill get started on another one right away.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 17, 2017 07:06PM
Oh man! Looks great!! Nice job.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 21, 2017 01:58PM
Made some progress on the chine trim. It really makes the boat look complete.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 21, 2017 01:59PM
Another pic.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 21, 2017 02:01PM
One last pic. Won't get any time to work on it until next week. If I had half a brain, I would just go steelhead fishing instead of working on this boat. Supposed to have a january thaw next week. High 30's.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 21, 2017 03:21PM
The chine molding is an interesting subject. What you have, I think, is just about right.

Old fashioned framed wooden boats typically have a 5/8 x 1 or 1-1/2 inch wooden 'chine cap' screwed down over the joint between bottom and side panel, on top of a gob of caulk or glue of some kind. Some framed boat builders put an aluminum bumper strip on top of the wooden chine cap. Those composite chine strips are so fat they create a large amount of drag when ever the boat gets sideways to a strong current. Which causes the boat to dip down on the upstream side. Wooden boat rowers refer to that as "chine dip." The fatter the chine strip the worse the chine dip.

Chine dip rubs me the wrong way. I really dislike boats that lurch sideways down at unpredictable times.

Fiberglass boats typically have no chine strip at all. Fiberglass boats with a widely rounded chine tend to be less prone to chine damage and they produce the least chine dip, when sideways to a fast current. But wide radius chine boats don't track well. They tend to be squirrely, often slipping or sliding left and right in boiling currents--instead of tracking straight ahead. And to row backwards from point A to point B you have to aim the transom directly at your intended target. For instance, to get a wide radius boat a little further from the bank you have to point the boat at right angles to the bank and then row backwards. And then turn parallel to bank again when you get to where you want to be.

Boats that have a sharp chine bite into the water more aggressively. You can make a sharp chine boat slide out further from the bank without pointing it at right angles to the bank. Sharp chine boats hold a line better in big water too, so you aren't constantly turning and rowing turning and rowing. That's what they call "tracks better."

Aluminum boats with a molding like yours are the best halfway compromise between a round chine and the chine dip you get on a wooden boat, which has a chine molding that is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too fat.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 23, 2017 04:26PM
Thanks! Its been a great experience. Its looking like I will be building another when this one is done.

Learn me on oar locks. Those things are all over the place price wise. Do I get the oars first then get the oar locks?

I'm all ears.


Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 23, 2017 09:51PM
Buy the oars first? Not really required. Most oarlocks can be tightened up a bit if needed. With a clamp or a small sledge. I suppose they could be spread a bit too but I've never had to do that. They usually come a bit too wide if anything.

I like the Cobra oar locks. You'll want 9' foot oars for the HD. I like the old hickory Smoker lights. I'm 68 years old and my 9' foot oars I bought in 1979 and they're still going strong. I broke one once but I fixed it with resin and spirally wound tape. They'll outlast me. But they are expensive now. I had a pair of 8-1/2' foot smoker lights stolen out the back of my pickup truck 4 years ago. It's lucky I didn't find the guy. Murder comes with serious consequences.

Most people buy graphite tube oars with plug in plug out graphite or wood tips. They're fine too. Dan Lohmiller here in Bozeman Montana, who is co-owner of the River's Edge Fly Shop builds his own oars. Hollow wood shafts with hand laminated tips. Dan built one of my boats when he was just out of college, about 400 years ago. From a stack of parts I sold him. He's a better wood worker than me now.

I like to carry an extra oar and an extra oarlock with me at all times. Especially on camping trips. I have three piece plug together oars for the extra oars I own. On desert white water trips in May many of the people I go with take two extra oars per boat. In the midwest you probably don't have much big water, so broken oars are less likely. Desert white water is opaque brown so you don't know where the rocks are. And shit happens, like getting an oar tip stuck between two rocks at high speed, when the boat is loaded down with passengers and 5 days of camping gear. When that happens something breaks. Damn near every time.

For what it's worth I always carry a sharp knife too, and leave it open below the rower's seat. If I snag an anchor rope I want to be able to cut it RFN. Anchors aren't supposed to drop in fast water but sometimes they do. I met some new friends a month ago at a New Year's Eve party that own a plastic boat they sank once--when the anchor rope came loose and dropped in a big wave run on the Yellowstone. And then snagged and then pulled the transom down. So then the boat filled with water and sank. All in about 4 seconds or less. Somehow they got the rope cut and eventually got the boat back but it took all day. Was quite a story.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 24, 2017 12:44PM
I was looking on Ebay, they have quite a few vintage ( means used) oar locks. Would you have any fear of buying used oar locks?
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 25, 2017 01:54PM
Not sure what to say. There was a guy who hand cast oarlocks locally, here in Bozeman a while back. They looked fine but the brass was soft and the stems were a bit too easy to bend.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 25, 2017 11:18PM
What I meant to ask, do oar locks wear out? From what I can see, the locks don't really wear out, but the sockets that they live in can get sloppy. Do you agree? I'm new, so I don't really know for sure.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 25, 2017 11:45PM
Yes absolutely. Good oar locks never wear out. The sockets are replaceable. You can buy factory made 5/8
inch oarlock sleeves in various places. I make my own.............I think it's nominally 1" PVC that has a 9/16" inch inside diameter, that I bore out to 5/8" inch for oarlock block liners. Rough up the outside. Bore a 7/8" hole in the block and glue the sleeve in place.

I use PVC water pipe that has a vaguely 9/16" inch inside diameter. You need 5/8" inch so I put it in the drill press and bore it out with a 5/8" twist drill. A good 5/8" twist bit costs about $30 dollars. I've had one forever. Sharpened it many times.

That same PVC water pipe has a 7/8" inch outside diameter so I typically drill the pipe out to 5/8" inch and then drill a 7/8" inch hole in a block of wood and mount the PVC sleeve in that. You could do the same with a block of aluminum.

Most oarlocks squeak a little if they aren't oiled. WD40 only lasts for a few days. I slobber the oar lock stem with vaseline and it doesn't squeak all season.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 26, 2017 12:08AM
Good info! Thanks!
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 29, 2017 10:57PM
One of my good friends dropped an anchor like that in the rapids on our local tailrace. Had clients in the boat wearing waders, thank God they made it to shore. Had to wait for the water to drop out to retrieve the boat the next day! Clacka had the foot release, spring had gone bad, and it dropped out without notice, snagged like an emergency break! Mass exodus. Fishermen down river scored some nice gear the next day, enough to outfit 3 fishermen. He was an experienced guide, just didn't make time for his boat maintanence because the season was in full swing. He taught me a major lesson . . . safety first!

Thanks a bunch, Captain E. M. I miss you, bud.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
January 30, 2017 02:50PM
Great story! It really makes the point that accidents can happen at any time.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
February 01, 2017 12:18AM
I'll have some pics to add hopefully Thursday night. For some reason my new phone is being a bit when it comes to loading pics.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
February 01, 2017 02:49PM

Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
February 01, 2017 03:06PM
Looking at these oar locks. Can you tell me if they would be money well spent?

Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
February 01, 2017 06:12PM
I don't like those closed circle oarlocks. If you have rubber stopper bands on the oars you'd have to put the oarlocks on before wrapping the oars and never take them off.

RE> the photo above that didn't show up
You could send me that photo as an email attachment and I'll stuff it in there.
sandy D O T pittendrigh A T gmail D O T c o m

These aren't cheap but I like them. You shop around and find a better price.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
February 01, 2017 06:44PM
How would you install your oars. At the blade end of the oar is obviously a blade and at the selected location somewhere along the shaft will be oar stops to prevent the oar from sliding down and out of the oarlock. You could certainly install your oars on through these oarlocks prior to installing the oar stops. It however would be inconvenient and perhaps dangerous to have an oarlock that couldn't be sprung apart in case an oar sticks on downstream side it is very handy for your oar to pop out of the oar locks.

Take a look online for Cobra style oarlocks. NRS or Northwest River Supplies carries them and they or other similar oar locks are available in several places. Please note that the oar locks are 2.375" in diameter allowing for the rope wrap on most commonly used oars to fit. They are also made of an alloy that will allow a jammed oar to spring them open with breaking in most cases. This style of oarlock has been in use in whitewater boats for several decades.

I am enjoying your boat build. It doesn't have to be wood to be on the river! I have rowed a couple of aluminum boats as well as numerous fiberglass boats. The river and fish didn't care.

Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
February 01, 2017 07:45PM
There were many selections of oar locks on eBay at a much better than new price. I think I saw some Cobra units a well.

Sandy, I'll send you my pics to your email. No matter what I do, I can't get the pics of this new phone small enough to load on your site.
Re: Kirk's Aluminum Honky Dory
February 02, 2017 05:53AM
Expect some pics to be added soon. Sandy will load them up any time. Ill add details tomorrow night late. Ill be on a keyboard instead of this 'tarded phone.
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