Rhode Runner - DONE!

I'm pasting some pictures of the newest addition to the fleet. I haven't put the name on yet because my wife is out of town, and she gets to help with that honor:  "Muskatut" (an inside joke - the words you say / sound a washcloth makes when (softly) slapped to stick on a youngster's belly). The boat should get its first float next weekend. Four months and 400 hours to complete, including finishing, trailer bunker set up, wiring, motor installation, etc. (and even periodically cleaning up after myself).  I've made several slight but I think worthy modifications to both the build instructions and actual design/construction that I'd be happy to discuss with interested parties.

Oxblood stain on topsides. Petit EZPoxy Burgundy paint on bottom with a brown bootstripe. Interior is sprayed (prior to putting on the deck - one of those suggestions I'm willing to discuss) with Petit EZPoxy in a light peachy-cream color with a little bit of Petit flattening agent - made by tinting (at Lowe's, at no charge) a gallon can of white that I won at a drawing hosted by CLC at Port Aransas, Texas Wooden Boat Festival a few years back - thanks!)

Bubblehead (in case it took me too long pasting all the pictures and my handle doesn't show on the post).

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RE: Rhode Runner - DONE!

 Looks gorgeous. Nicely done.  

RE: Rhode Runner - DONE!

Lovely. Now I'd love to hear a report on the first excursion. Maybe some snapshots and video too!   

RE: Rhode Runner - DONE!

Congratulations!  The whole boat looks great, but the deck is particularly beautiful.  The stained deck is a big aesthetic upgrade in my opinion.  I'm hoping we'll be able to see pics on CLC's Rhode Runner page in the days to come (if you are so inclined).

RE: Rhode Runner - DONE!

Splendid job there, Bubblehead!  We look forward to hearing of your coming adventures.

Does the trailer tongue feel a bit "light" to you?  Not to rain on your parade, but I'm wondering if the wheels/axle are a bit far forward from the major weight of the motor to give enough tongue weight (maybe 10-12% of the total) for steady highway travel.  Just a thought, not based on personal experience, only my observation of aluminum fishing boats with 10hp motors at my local water reservoir.  I might be all wet, in which case "pay no attention to the man behind the" keyboard.

You are going to spend some time at the launch ramps explaining to folks that, no, this is not an old Lyman you've restored.  <;-)  Great looking boat!


RE: Rhode Runner - DONE!

   That's the good thing about the forum - 

Excellent eye there, Gramps.  I'd used a tape measure and some templates to do a rough set up of the trailer - it had been previously set up for a 19 foot Flying Scot.  I set the winch post where I thought it should be, already keeping it as far forward as I thought would make it sure that the transom stayed on the back support rollers.  Turned out I was about 3-4 inches conservative in that measurement, but even after putting the boat on and fine-tuning the bunker boards I thought things would be OK.  Then I put the motor on, and found I only had about 60-70 lbs on the tongue.  And then I filled the gas tank and now I'm probably below 50 lbs on the tongue.

So I already had a bit of nagging concern in the back of my mind, and your ability to see that issue from afar has helped to turn "maybe I ought to do something about it" to "yeah, I need to fix that."

So, I'll move the winch post forward 3 inches this weekend while the boat is in the water.  I know I could probably  move it now and try to pull it forward with the winch and some muscle-powered jiggling, but figure why bother being hard on the new paint.  It is only 10 miles to the ramp on slow roads, so I'm not worried about the trip to lauch.  We'll see how it feels when I pull it out of the water in its new position.  I probably won't even need to re-adjust the bunker boards, but no big deal if I do.  I know that as an engineer I could do a little bit of rudimentary math to have a good estimate of how much weight change I'll get on the tongue, but I figure why bother as I certainly want to give it a real-world  test before I have to think about moving the springs/axle.  I looked, and the axle position is adjustable, but I hope I don't have to tackle that move - bolts look kind of frozen and all.

Anyway, thanks for looking out for me, and I'll now report back on both the boat AND the trailer after they get done with their first underway tests. 

And I certainly appreciate the Lyman reference, but I'm going to pretend it is Thompson, as that is what my buddy had when we were teens.  My boat was a 13' Whaler - no nearly so sexy, but a lot easier to take care of.  Both had 35 hp and both would pul a skier - sort of...  And as we got bigger and into the later high school years, the driver best hold on tight to the wheel, as we took joy in pulling the back of those boats a bit sideways with some hard cuts.

RE: Rhode Runner - DONE!

We took the boat out yesterday.  It ran really nicely and handled well.  Turns on a dime.  It was quite choppy, and being a small, light boat you feel the chop, but that is to be expected - but no banging into any waves with the v-shaped hull entry.  Didn't try to get a speed run in to check top speed (GPS, I didn't install a speedometer), as the motor is still in break-in period, but for the few minutes spent at full throttle the boat felt plenty fast.

And moving things forward on the trailer got the balance feeling just about right.

Looking forward to a good summer.   Muskatut!

RE: Rhode Runner - DONE!

What joy!


RE: Rhode Runner - DONE!

   Forgot to mention.   I looked into purchasing seat cushions during the build. I didn't want to go with just some closed cell black rubber or a Happy bottom kayak pad or similar. Some cooler-top seats from Igloo & etc. or standard-sized vinyl boat seats were what I next looked into.  I found some that were close to being correct for both front and rear seats. Custom vinyl seat cushions are also certainly an option, but all these solutions were $400 to $800, and can always be added if I feel the need.  I was sure I would feel the need for cushions (even before yesterday's chop) and was able to find some at the local patio furniture place that fit very well and worked fine.  They certainly make your bottom happier than sitting on a flat, slippery board.  Sure - they will get wet when wetted, and will stain if they get too much suntan oil on them, but for about $100 for the set I can afford to repace them every 2-3 years for a long time into the futue for the price of fancier custom vinyl cushions.

RE: Rhode Runner - DONE!

   Found some calm water today and completed the engine break in.  Did a little testing.  Onboard we had lightweight anchor with 10 ft of light chain and all normal boating and safety gear - probably totals about 40 lbs, plus a 10 lb day-bag of duffel.  Two passengers totaling 340 lbs. About 10 gals of gas (a fortune's worth of ethanol-free fuel)!  So that's about 450 lbs. load being carried by the the fully rigged boat.  

The motor is a Suzuki 25 ATL, weight listed at 160 lbs, and a full size battery mounted up under foredeck.  I does seem that you'll want to keep weight forward in the boat, as when on plane best speed was made at almost full "down" trim.

We clocked 23 mph sustained top speed by gps.  I was very, very impressed with the boat's handling.  The boat just never skids.  At full speed you can crank into a turn almost as rapidly as you can turn the wheel, and can turn it all the way to full stop.  The boat just rolls into the turn and TURNS, and you feel fully confident as it does so. You don't end up with an skidding, neither do you end up with the motor digging a hole/bow pointed at the sky - speed is maintained quite well.  Straighten out and you're right back on plane.

I crossed our own wake and some other wakes a few times a full speed.  Being light, the boat definitely gets tossed up and down, but with the v bow entry there was never any of the slap-boom-slap-boom that is so anoying (and jarring on equipment) common to many other boats/hull shapes.

Never once had any spray enter the boat today - but last weekend out in the chop we were getting sprayed when going cross wind.

Summary: not a speed demon, but plenty fast enough to put a breeze in your hair and get you somewhere without feeling like you're putting along, and a very secure feeling ride while getting there. When the waves do come up past 1.5 ft, you'll probably be backing off the throttle - just not enough "boat" there to smooth things out, but what do you expect of a 15 ft/350 lb hull?  Most importantly, you'll sure look good out there on the water!  The rule about scheduling an extra 20 minutes at the ramp to answer questions is already holding true.

RE: Rhode Runner - DONE!

I'm guessing, from your stats and description, that the prop pitch, diameter and gearing must about perfect.  Details?  That's some really excellent performance.

She's a real head turner, for sure, and, at "fast enough" in such good trim, she won't be too fast for people to appreciate her.  Those with musical training will especially appreciate the wonderfully warm sounds she likely makes, if the motor isn't really loud.  You don't quite get that with a fiberglass boat.  I know that sailing my Passagemaker Dinghy provides me with a musical auditory experience of a sort I didn't get with the fiberglass boats I had, not that I didn't love them for their other good qualities.  <;-)

We wish you all joy of musical Muskatut!


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