Boatbuilding Blog

February 10, 2011

Dinghy Tryout

Filed under: Dinghy — tomlarkin @ 9:31 am

Sunny and pleasant today so I took a vacation day to play with the dinghy. Everything worked surprisingly well! It was a bit heavy to start lifting, but not bad. I think I’ll need the block & tackle if I use a bigger, heavier boat. I stowed and launched it 5 times over a couple of hours. The dinghy is small, but rowed pretty well. I pulled it up in a 5 know breeze, with no problem. I think the pilothouse acts as a wind break while at anchor. I can cross under it pretty easily, even without blocking the bow up.







I went for a nice row while anchored at Saint Edward Park.2011-02-09_14-47-19_207

February 9, 2011

Dinghy Mount Mockup

Filed under: Dinghy — tomlarkin @ 2:46 pm

I bought plans for a 9 1/2 foot Nutshell Pram to use as a dinghy. I wrote about how I wanted to load it onto the boat a few weeks ago. Then I saw an 8 foot Bolger Nymph pram on sale on Craigslist for a reasonable price. I went to the Second Wave used marine store in Fremont to look at it, and bought it almost on impulse. I picked up some used Weaver Davits at the same time, and the shop owner threw them in for free.  The dinghy is pretty small, maybe too small to safely hold the two of us. We’ll see. In the mean time, I can use it to see if the plan will work. I still want to make the Nutshell if I think I can get it onto the Coot.

Original idea:

I mocked up the curved stern of the Coot from scrap plywood and screwed the davits to it, then welded up a hanging bar from some old rebar in the garage. I can lift the dinghy as per the plan, but it’s really heavy. Harder than I had hoped. I may need to set up the 3:1 lifting tackle I’d  considered earlier. I’ll also try moving the painter attachment point to the bottom inside of the front transom to improve the lifting angle.

Dinghy in floating position. The mocked-up stern of the Coot is to the left, at the stern of the dinghy:

Lift the back of the dinghy by the hanging bar and latch into the Weaver clips:


Standing on the stern (in this case the steel workbench), pull the bow line to lift the dinghy up, and flip it onto the stern of the boat. This is about as high as I could go in the shop before hitting the lights.  I’ll move the whole thing to the boat one of these days to try it out live:


If nothing else, I now have a nice little boat I can throw in the back of the truck for day trips.

Weekend Lake Union Trip

Filed under: Day Trips — tomlarkin @ 1:01 pm

After a late start on Saturday afternoon we motored in a light rain to South Lake Union for dinner at Agua Verde and then drinks at Chandlers Crabhouse where I read a programming book on the iPad and Meryll connected to her work computer from her Linux netbook. A pleasant geeky evening. Then we went to the Ballard public dock and tied up for the night. Very cold and rainy evening. It rained all night.

In the morning we realized the boat next to us on the dock was abandoned. The notice on the window was a week old. The boat was unlocked and open, but didn’t seem to be vandalized yet. The boat was in pretty good shape although the lower unit of the outdrive was removed.


In the morning we motored around the ship canal and then to Terry Pettus park next to the houseboats on the east side of the lake. We walked to Pete’s grocery for junk food and up to Eastlake for coffee.

Then home in the afternoon, propelled by 20 knot winds which brought out the kite surfers and windsurfers.