The Strut, Shaft, and Shaft Log

Getting the engine in the proper position requires a lot of test fitting to establish location of engine beds and all the other items.

When you’re building an inboard boat, getting the engine and propeller shaft in perfect alignment is an interesting process.  It’s a logical process that involves aligning the engine and transmission, shaft, shaft log, and strut.  It starts with the strut (the piece that holds the shaft in place just forward of the propeller).  There is a tube the shaft passes through that gets glued into a hole bored through the keel.  Getting that tube, called the shaft log, glued in line with the shaft and engine is the aim of this process. Continue reading “The Strut, Shaft, and Shaft Log”

Back to the Palm Beach 22

Making a pattern for the irregular shape of the engine compartment platform.

It’s been a long time since I posted anything about the Palm Beach.  I haven’t forgotten it, and I haven’t stopped working on it.  But there have been some intervening projects like the Riva, shoulder surgery, a trip or two… Continue reading “Back to the Palm Beach 22”

Finishing the Riva: Out With the Old, In With the New

Removing the old deck using a router.

After the new deck pieces were fabricated and trimmed to final size, it was time to focus on removing the old deck.  It was a pretty lo-tech process actually.  I used a router to turn the old deck into a lot of sawdust, removing the same thickness as I had fabricated the new pieces to. Continue reading “Finishing the Riva: Out With the Old, In With the New”

Riva Iseo – Trimming to Patterns

The final pieces just about ready to glue to the boat.
The original patterns are made from cheap, pliable luan.

Remember long ago (by now it seems long ago to me) when I talked about the painstaking process of making patterns out of cheap 1/8″ luan?  My process was to use the 1/8″ luan to make my original patterns because it’s so pliable and easy to carve to shape.

But by now, you realize how much time and energy is invested in laying up the mahogany and holly blanks and laminating them to the backing board.  It’s too risky to use such a thin pattern to cut out those blanks.  One slip of the  router, and you’re starting over on those layups.   So I used the original patterns to first cut out new patterns of 1/2″ thick birch plywood.  The 1/2″ thick plywood, with no voids is much more secure for cutting the blanks. Continue reading “Riva Iseo – Trimming to Patterns”

Layup of the Riva Foredeck


Laying up the deck using packing tape, and checking alignment with the center panels.

Having settled on the option of hand laying the deck, it was time to start milling wood.  Take a look back at the first post in this series, Working on the Riva Foredeck.   Look closely at the picture of the overall deck.  See how the pinstripe holly lines are symmetrical about the centerline, and how they line up fore and aft from the outboard panels to the center panels?  That’s what is going to make this a beautiful deck. Continue reading “Layup of the Riva Foredeck”

Working on the Riva Foredeck

This is a detail of the deck damage that we were contending with.

I’m restoring the foredeck for a 2013 Riva Iseo.  I talked about working on the swim platform in my previous post, where I said we’d discuss options for the foredeck next.  I thought briefly about trying to repair those bad patches, but I decided against that option because I would have to strip the entire finish without sanding through the thin veneer of mahogany and holly.  At the time I thought it was about 1/16 inch thick.  It turned out to be much closer to 1/32 inch.  Then there was the problem of matching grain, joint lines that would show, etc.

So that left what looked like three options.  Here they are, in order of complexity and expense: Continue reading “Working on the Riva Foredeck”

Adding a Fresh Water Cooling System

Canadian Runabout
A 1957 Greavette, a Canadian built runabout.

Boat motors use the water they’re floating in to cool them.  Some, like most outboards, have what’s called a “raw water” system.  The water the boat is floating in circulates through the engine block, then exits with the exhaust.  Most modern inboards have a “fresh water” or “indirect” cooling system.  In this system, coolant like that in your automobile is pumped through a heat exchanger.  The coolant is circulated through the engine block rather than the raw water itself. Continue reading “Adding a Fresh Water Cooling System”

Flipping the Boat

The boat is at rest in a sideways position. Notice the cradles under it ready to receive it.

I’ve done all I can to the hull from the outside.  So it’s time to flip the boat upright so I can start working from the inside.  To prepare for this, I’ve made 3 cradles to hold the boat in position once its upright.  I used the patterns for some of the frames with one placed directly under where the engine will be mounted.  Using the waterlines on the patterns, I was able to set up the cradles so the boat will sit level and plumb. Continue reading “Flipping the Boat”