Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ROAR2 - Rebuild and Mod

A while back I wrote a quick blog entry about my intention to rebuild and modify my Roar2 rowboat. This was a result of two factors. Firstly, the boat was a few years old and there were a few areas of rot around the gunnels and some of the plywood. Secondly, and far more importantly, a great big sheet of ice fell off of my garage roof one winter and crushed a large portion of the boat! (Yes, in retrospect that wasn't the best place to store it...)

So, I decided that I would rebuild and make some modifications at the same time. I had originally planned on putting a cool window in the floor of the boat but I haven't gotten to that yet. You see, I recently purchased a sailboat and I needed a tender quickly so that I could get to it. Thus the window in the floor idea got side-burnered and I focused on just getting my roar2 floating again, with a seat, so that I could get to my new toy.

So, here's what I did to my roar2:

The first problem was that my gunnels were smashed to pieces and a what remained was fairly rotten. I also had some serious rot sections in the hull. So, I took off all of the gunnels and removed the sections of rot from the hull. I replaced that with new plywood and fibreglassed it in place with epoxy and fibreglass tape.

This picture is after the first coat of epoxy and before sanding. You'll see in the next picture that I did this in a few spots.

Next I started with the seat design/installation. I created cardboard templates to get the shape of the hull at the position that I wanted. In retrospect I wish I had saved my forms from when I built her because they would have been perfect for seat sides.

I cut out the basic shape of the seat sides from 3/8" plywood and wired them in place. Once they were secured and positioned properly I put some fibreglass tabs in place to hold it together while I build the rest.

Next I added a top to the seat. I used a piece of 10" laminated pine board for the top of the seat (because I had it).  I cut out a section of the top to use as a storage area. I used a thin blade when cutting out the whole so that I could re-use the cutout section as the seat and still have it fairly tight fitting.

I added a couple of pieces of pine board to the inside of the hole to keep the seat cover from falling through.

Once I had it assembled I fibreglassed inside and outside edges of the seat. to make it waterproof and very strong. It also has the nice affect of adding rigidity to the hull (which it kind of lacked before).

Once the seat was completed I redid the gunnels using 1x1 cedar. I had used spruce before but decided on cedar this time because the stock at the lumber yard looked much better than the spruce.

Since I'm using this as my tender (for now) I also took this opportunity to add a eye to the front of the boat for towing. I basically just took a 3" stainless steel U-Bolt, bent to to the shape of my bow, drilled holes through the bow and epoxied it in place. So far it has worked great. I've towed the boat for around 20km in fairly heavy waves and it has held fine.

This isn't a great picture of the inside of it finished (I'll have to take another and update) but it shows the basic look of the inside with the seat.

This is a swimmers-eye-view of the finished product. I've very happy with the restore. It looks great and it still rows really well. The Roar2 is definitely my favorite choice for rowboats ...so far.

As a tender the roar2 is a little long. I am in the planning stages of a shorter 8 foot tender. That will be my winter project for this year. Stay tuned...

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