Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Warm weather is here. Batboat rebuild to restart soon.

For all two or three of you tuning into this blog, it was at least 75 degrees in mid-Michigan today! (Yea!) In a week or two the new polyester fiberglass resin will arrive and work will begin on the Batboat again.

Until then, let me indulge in my fondness for Lilac bushes. They are abundant in my area and their scent fills the air.

Strangly, the most perfectly formed and flowered bush I've ever seen is in front of the house. Flawless at any angle one views it from.

Never pruned or altered by myself in any way. My landlord says the Lilac probably is as old as the house and he cut it down to the ground because it reached the windows.

It grew back, as most of these flowering bushes usually do, to the state you see it in now. It was almost at this height when I moved here.

Until the resin gets here, I hope you'll enjoy these pictures.

Batboat Rebuild: Day 21 May 10, 2009

New Bunks for the Batboat Trailer

Warm weather at last! Temps were in the 50 - 55 degree range so I got to work on properly adjusting the trailer to the Batboat.

The structural stuff was torn out of the boat last year making the flexible hull too unstable for laminating in the new stringers and deck. New trailer bunks and roller adjustments will make the hull perfectly "square" on the trailer for the rest of the rebuild. Without this, the wobbly fiberglass hull will be eskque after the repairs are done as well as making it difficult to work in it.

The hull was an uneven 1 1/2 inch off one bunk causing it to tip side to side the last time I drove it to the boat docks.

The new bunks are made from two 6 foot 2x6 boards. It gave me needed height to work with. The old ones, carpeted 2x4s, were tossed.

I reused all of the old nuts and bolts from those bunks. Although it took some time to get them to budge, there was not a need to buy new ones.

The hull shape changes along the bottom so angles were cut at the tops of the bunks to conform to the "Deep-V" design.

Drilling two new bolt holes in the transom side of the wood.

I positioned the bunks to extend out from the bottom of the transom end about an inch. The curved ends I made will be more gentle on the boat's bottom when loading and unloading the craft, I figured.

Adjusting the Batboat up to make it level on the trailer and drill bolt holes in the bunk.

The bunk ends at the transom were bolted first. This let me perfectly size in, adjust and drill holes for bolts at the other end.

Next the two rollers were adjusted. Then at last the Batboat was perfectly fitted square on the trailer. All it takes is a little one handed push to make it slide off. Last year I had to use both of my legs to make it budge!!!

I spent the rest of the evening proudly sliding the boat up and down the trailer with ease.

The next day the bunks were taken out to paint weather sealer on them.

There was more sealer left in the can after the first two coats so I glopped on 2 to 3 more the next day. I have no other use for the stuff!!!

They sat in the warm sun (flipping them over every few hours) for several days and on the 14th I began the carpet work.

I picked a black exterior carpet with a ribbed pattern and nailed them down with shiny one inch electro-galvanized roofing nails with the bunks laying on the sidewalk.

The carpet has a mat weave and will not snag on anything easily, unlike the junkier stuff I've seen. Found it at Lowes for $.58 per foot. It comes as 12 foot width cut at any foot length needed. I trimmed these down from the foot lengths.

Holes were drilled though the fabric. When bolted to the frame, the combination of washers and carpet makes the bolt holes virtually waterproof.

The bunks are protected from bad weather anyway. They are under the boat 99% of the time and will last beyond my lifetime.

The Batboat is now perfectly seated square, the weight is fully supported and distributed on the trailer.

I probably took around 4 or 5 hours of work over three days to do all of this.

I got to play with the tilt trailer a little since there was no danger of the boat falling off. Finally, having lots of fun with the Batboat after the long cold winter! :)

Batboat Rebuild: Day 20 March 24, 2009

Spring finally arrived. The tarp didn't hold up at all over the winter. I would have been better to leave it exposed to the elements letting the melting snow wash more of the fiberglass dust out.

Not that anyone would have got away with it but I got a lock. Set me back about $22 and it works well on my bent cap.

The helpful folks at the forum told me my trailer is a mess. I agree. One reason being it was poorly fitted to the Batboat. The weather had improved enough to work outside for a few hours. This was my first boat project for the year. It felt great to have something accomplished, at last.



The bow stop is suppose to be above the wench. A trip to the hardware store for bolts and some readjusting made it so.

However, the boat sat over a foot further back on the trailer. New bunks and adjusting the rollers will fix it, which follows later. Still a little too cold out.

This is a "tilt trailer". Unlocking this latch lets the trailer tilt up when the boat is 2/3s the way in the water, making the craft slip off the rest of the way. Comes in handy in shallow water.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

For Sale on eBay; A Glastron that the '66 Batboat was based on

This is the first 1966 Glastron V-174 I've seen on ebay.

It is the same exact make, model and year the original 1966 Batboat was based upon.

Starting bid is a tad too much but if anyone out there wants to make their own Batboats this is the craft to pop a mold from.

Monday, May 4, 2009

How Fiberglass Boats Are Made

Work will resume soon on the Batboat. Until then, here is a video showing how fiberglass boats are made.

This particular vessel is quite large but most of the same principals were used on mine and other old fiberglass boats.