Everyone Needs a Family Car

Or, as boaters also call it, a dinghy. For essential things, like getting to shore to get food, beverages and boat repair parts. And boat repair parts.  And find Wi-Fi at the nearest free access point. We are cheap. I suppose if I had the $$ to spend all my time in marinas, it would be less of an essential item, but since a budget will be of concern and since marinas can be noisy, nosy and without that cooling breeze, Fifth Quarter needs a dinghy. Intentions are to be at anchor or on a mooring buoy as much as possible, the former being the first choice. That doesn’t cost anything if you do it properly and don’t drag into a neighboring boat or the rocks somewhere.

5Q came with an inflatable dinghy. Inflatables seem to be the preferred means of getting to and from shore. They are stable. They hold a lot. They are somewhat easy to get in and out of. But … they go flat. I hate doing repairs to anything and if I can avoid them on something, well I’m all for that. And since I have all the fun tools and supposedly the knowledge and experience, I decided to design and build my own. In an earlier post, the first steps of making the family car were described. Since then,  the hull mold has been made and the prototype built and sea trialed. What you see on the left is the female mold for the hull.




Hull #1 was launched and I must say I was pleased with the performance, with that teeny tiny 2.5 HP Mercury on the back end. IMAG0803




I did not, however, like how the seats installation process went. Too much effort and too much time. So I took some more of that knowledge, and with some well taught lessons under my belt, I used those fun tools to make some new seat molds. DSCN0536Today finds me in a rush to finish the molds so that I can start building Hull #2 and seats.

Why the RUSH? An all out effort is underway to get my shop cleared out of the two big 5-axis CNC machines. Renters are coming in October 1st and the floor space is needed. That also means I should have the machines sold and that worry out of the way. Did I mention I closed Janseneering a few months ago? The debacle of a sale to Kestrel Aircraft and the subsequent screwing by inept management was a difficult pill to swallow and besides, I really did want to retire. Back to the reason for the RUSH.

A rough departure time has been set to head South. That date is around the first week of October. Any longer than that and it is likely the Winds of November may come early and we all know what that did to the Edmund Fitzgerald. There will be no chipping of ice off these decks.

But, I tried to do this once before. Optimism reigns supreme this time so let’s see what that will get me. Keep your fingers crossed.


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