9/16/13 - Slow Week

Its been a very slow week.  The lumber supplier failed to come through with delivery of the Cypress wood I ordered from them last week for floors, frames, keel, stringers and deck beams.  Their stock was checked and bowed.  They make lumber deliveries to the Duluth area every Tuesday, and they called me at the last minute to explain the situation.  With no other local options for cypress, I ordered the next best thing, Vertical Grain Douglas Fir.  So I’ll have to wait till next Tuesday for delivery.  I kept busy doing a few small shop realted projects.

On the brighter side, the epoxy, fiberglass, and silicon bronze fasteners have arrived and have been unpacked and put way.

Meanwhile, feeling fairly confident that the Tohatsu MD50 motor was the best match for the Simmons Sea Skiff, but still feeling a little hesitant to commit to it due to the lack of certified dealers, I posed the question of the feasibility of using this motor on a Simmons Sea Skiff spec boat on the WoodenBoat Magazine forum.  It did not generate a lot of discussion but there was some by a few experienced Simmons Sea Skiff builders.  After reading the comments, I’ve changed my mind and will go with a Honda BF50D four-stroke motor.  This motor has a very strong reputation, is very quiet, but it is the most expensive motor in its class.  It is the lightest 4-stroke out there and it is 26 lbs lighter than the Evinrude E-Tec 50, a DI two-stroke, which I think is surprising.  But, like the Tohatsu MD50, it has a 5 year warrantee as opposed to the 3 years offered by the rest of the pack.  I would hate the loose a sale of the boat due the motor I chose.  If this was going to be my own boat, I would go with the Tohatsu MD50 without another thought.  But I think it would be prudent to go with a motor that will be most appealing to potential buyers.

So, committing to the Honda BF50D, means alterations to the motor well most likely will have to be made to accomodate the bigger motor.  However, I can’t work out the details until I know the dimensions of the motor.   I need to be sure I can turn the motor from side to side without obstructions from the sides of the motor well, as well as tilting it up without obstruction from the transom.  I’ll also have to slightly change the angle of the motor well to allow for the tilt/trim mechanism of the Honda.  The frustrating part is, I can’t find a local dealer that has a motor on-hand for me to see and measure.  Nor one whom can they supply me with dimension specs.  I did learn that there is a Honda Specification manual available which I ordered for $10.00.  Should be here by next Wednesday.  Also, an experienced Simmons builder on the WoodenBoat magazine forum has offered to share his motor well design and dimensions, of which I’m anxiously awaiting.

Another person on the WoodenBoat magazine forum offered an idea that addresses my concern of lost buoyancy at the stern due to the increase in size of the motor well.  He suggested a tapered well design and cited popular builder/designer Harry Bryan’s Hand Billy design as an example.  I think the tapered design may fit well here, wider on top for the engine, and smaller on the bottom for the shaft/prop.  This makes good sense to me, and makes for a little more work.  I will give this further consideration once I know for certain what the motor dimensions are that I have to work with.

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