WELCOME TO RIVER DAVES PLACE

1979 Schiada RC, The Boss

AZLineman

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I’m probably over simplifying this and even though your pictures are always great I’m probably missing something but based on the design of the tiller could you of just clearenced the edge of the groove for the cylinder shaft and just repaired the cylinder its original configuration or based on tiller design, cutaways, etc, it would not have left enuf material for strength? I hate thinking about the stress bending that cylinder shaft put on the end of the rudder shaft during the bend process
 

lenmann

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I’m probably over simplifying this and even though your pictures are always great I’m probably missing something but based on the design of the tiller could you of just clearenced the edge of the groove for the cylinder shaft and just repaired the cylinder its original configuration or based on tiller design, cutaways, etc, it would not have left enuf material for strength? I hate thinking about the stress bending that cylinder shaft put on the end of the rudder shaft during the bend process
Great question, and milling more clearance on the tiller was my first thought. The next problem was the 50 degrees of port rudder and only 30 of starboard rudder rotation. Could I have got away with the imbalance? Maybe, but it would have gnawed at me every time I drove it.

While I had it all apart I went back and checked the upper rudder bearing, mount, and rudder stuffing box for any alignment or play issues. It all looked good, but I agree the force required to bend that shaft is pretty impressive. The power of compressed fluid.
 

RaceTec

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Again great write up and thank you for sharing your challenges also! I wish you had pictures of the repair process! What kind of machines do you have? Everything you have done has been extremely impressive!
 

Racey

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On the last couple i have done i actually keyed the rudder off center and clocked the tiller so that when the rudder is straight the tiller actually looks like it is turned pretty far, this way i get ideal swing for where the constraints of mounting the fixed end of the ram is.

Picking up single point threads is a little daunting the first time you do it, but once you have a system down it works very well.

Also those imco rams are heavily polished so before you even start you either need to use a 4 jaw or offset an adjustable chuck to get everything running concentric. Lots of time spent getting it all setup to actually do the cutting.

Good save that could have been very catastrophic.
 

lenmann

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Again great write up and thank you for sharing your challenges also! I wish you had pictures of the repair process! What kind of machines do you have? Everything you have done has been extremely impressive!
Thanks.

I am rocking an old Leblond Servo Shift and a Bridgeport with a variable speed head (that needs some love).
On the last couple i have done i actually keyed the rudder off center and clocked the tiller so that when the rudder is straight the tiller actually looks like it is turned pretty far, this way i get ideal swing for where the constraints of mounting the fixed end of the ram is.

Picking up single point threads is a little daunting the first time you do it, but once you have a system down it works very well.

Also those imco rams are heavily polished so before you even start you either need to use a 4 jaw or offset an adjustable chuck to get everything running concentric. Lots of time spent getting it all setup to actually do the cutting.

Good save that could have been very catastrophic.
It had been a while since I had cut any single point threads so there are a couple of aluminum practice slugs laying around now. Getting the timing right on the tool retract was tricky. But remember your setup had dial indicators all over the place, and that worked well. Kinda weird watching the indicator and not the tool. Gotta "trust the force".

Can you post up a pic of that tiller set-up. I cant quite picture it in my right angle symmetry oriented brain.

Thanks
 

Sawtooth

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Growing pains in the world of custom one off rigging, don't beat yourself up over it, look at all the other amazing things you designed/made that work perfectly!
It's just going to make that first hit of the throttle out on the lake that much better. I don't wish this kinda thing on anyone but it's nice to know you are human 😉.
Len I truly hope that was your only mulligan and from here on out it's just a blast to drive, you deserver it!!!
 

SoCalZero

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Here’s a couple shots of mine if it helps at all. Great job on everything you have done! One day hopefully mine will be as sanitary as yours.
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025

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Thanks.

I am rocking an old Leblond Servo Shift and a Bridgeport with a variable speed head (that needs some love).

It had been a while since I had cut any single point threads so there are a couple of aluminum practice slugs laying around now. Getting the timing right on the tool retract was tricky. But remember your setup had dial indicators all over the place, and that worked well. Kinda weird watching the indicator and not the tool. Gotta "trust the force".

Can you post up a pic of that tiller set-up. I cant quite picture it in my right angle symmetry oriented brain.

Thanks
Bummed to see this. At least it didn’t seem to hurt anything else. If trying to pick up that thread and cut it deeper make sure to account for slack in the screws on the lathe. It’s a do’er but a little tricky. You can always put the machine in gear with it off and turn the chuck by hand during set up to check it. Also, making those cylinders is not too hard either so if it doesn’t work on the threads you could just make a new barrel. You got my number if you want to bounce some ideas off.
On the last couple i have done i actually keyed the rudder off center and clocked the tiller so that when the rudder is straight the tiller actually looks like it is turned pretty far, this way i get ideal swing for where the constraints of mounting the fixed end of the ram is.

Picking up single point threads is a little daunting the first time you do it, but once you have a system down it works very well.

Also those imco rams are heavily polished so before you even start you either need to use a 4 jaw or offset an adjustable chuck to get everything running concentric. Lots of time spent getting it all setup to actually do the cutting.

Good save that could have been very catastrophic.
Racey, unfortunately that rudder is already keyed and 1/2 holed for one of the tiller bolts….if I remember right.
 

Racey

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Thanks.

I am rocking an old Leblond Servo Shift and a Bridgeport with a variable speed head (that needs some love).

It had been a while since I had cut any single point threads so there are a couple of aluminum practice slugs laying around now. Getting the timing right on the tool retract was tricky. But remember your setup had dial indicators all over the place, and that worked well. Kinda weird watching the indicator and not the tool. Gotta "trust the force".

Can you post up a pic of that tiller set-up. I cant quite picture it in my right angle symmetry oriented brain.

Thanks

I don't have any pics, but one of the last ones the ram was mounted up closer to the motor instead of the transom to avoid the strainers and make it easier to clean etc. Just imagine leaving the rudder straight but rotating the entire tiller and ram assembly around the rudder. Take it to the extreme you could mount the ram off the engine plate on one side have the ram be aligned with the keel/stringers, and place the tiller at 90 degrees while the rudder is straight.
 

lenmann

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Bummed to see this. At least it didn’t seem to hurt anything else. If trying to pick up that thread and cut it deeper make sure to account for slack in the screws on the lathe. It’s a do’er but a little tricky. You can always put the machine in gear with it off and turn the chuck by hand during set up to check it. Also, making those cylinders is not too hard either so if it doesn’t work on the threads you could just make a new barrel. You got my number if you want to bounce some ideas off.

Racey, unfortunately that rudder is already keyed and 1/2 holed for one of the tiller bolts….if I remember right.
Needless to say I was bummed too, but the good news is the recovery was relatively painless, just a bit of extra work.

And your memory is correct, the rudder is keyed and half holed.

Plan B, if shortening the ram didn't work, was having you make a new tiller rotated to compensate for the ram.
 

74 spectra20 v-drive

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Len, you make me feel so inadequate :) This project was so much fun to watch and the final product is STUNNING! ABSOLUTLY STUNNING!!!!!!
 

lenmann

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So next up was a ramp test, just to make sure the rudder, strut, prop shaft and transom through hull fittings were all water tight, and that everything I could test functions as it should. I guess, technically, even before the ramp test, was the towing test. Aside from being pulled in and out of the shop the boat/trailer combo hasn't ever been on the road.

Good news: the trailer tows nice, water pressure and temp look good, and no leaks.

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So with that out of the way I head off to Shasta to really get her wet. I had a buddy there to help with me the launch/retrieve and on stand by with a sea-doo in case I needed a tow back. Because I was solo in the boat I don't have too many pics, but I did catch a little video underway. Spent most of my time cruising between 30 and 40 letting things get up to temp and stopping to check for leaks or anything else that didn't look right. My only other experience driving this boat was a quick pre-purchase lake test 7 years ago at Castaic so I didn't really know what to expect. I will say the big shit eating grin on my face must have been a sight to see.

I was a able to spend about an hour getting to know the boat, how it handles at low speed, how it accelerates to plane, how it turns, how the cav plates work, etc. Lots of new noises to explore and understand too. Some observations: The boat shudders pretty good on launch out of the hole, I have read that's normal with a 2 blade prop. It doesn't back up for shit, well it does back up, there just doesn't appear to be any way to control what direction it goes in reverse. The hydraulic steering is light and responsive when the motor is running, but neither of those when it isn't. Shifting gears in a boat is pretty cool. The boat gets lots of attention, even fishermen were giving me the "thumbs up"!


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I also learned that I should have brought my infrared temperature gun with me. After I was satisfied that there weren't any issues or leaks back in the engine/trans area I noticed that the v-drive was pretty hot, like way too hot to touch hot. I have the cooling lines to it running off the exhaust manifolds as that was the cleanest place to get pressurized water headed in that direction. I need pressurized water for the PSS shaft seal. The motor was running at 140* which surprised me a little, I had expected it to be running a little cooler given that I was wasn't really putting much load on it. I was getting pretty worried about the v-drive temp so I texted my buddy to grab the truck and meet me at the ramp to load her up. So I am cruising back at about 25-30 mph, taking it easy, and about a 1/4 of a mile from the ramp I got a big old whiff of stinky gear oil, I look down and see a growing puddle of turquoise Redline Lightweight Shockproof Gear Oil on the floor under the v-drive. I killed the motor, grabbed handful of rags and tried to see where the oil was coming from. The v-drive was hot A/F so I was thinking I must have burned it up? But with a rag wrapped around the coupler (it too hot to touch also) I was able to rotate the prop shaft so the bearings weren't bound up or seized, it was just crazy hot and barfing oil. I couldn't really see where the oil was coming from with the driveline guard, strut rods, and seats in place so I did what could to contain the oil spill and idled back to the ramp with a new mystery to solve.

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1fastsedan

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I love seeing pictures and video of this boat! We run a 3 blade now that the boat is a cruiser and used to run a two blade for racing. Less vibration for sure. We run our water inlet for the Vdrive from the trans cooler which is on its own pick up. So trans and Vdrive are own its own cooling set up. We can always touch the Vdrive by hand to make sure temps are manageable. Forgive me because I cant see much with the pictures, but isn't the top line out of the Vdrive for a breather?
 

74 spectra20 v-drive

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So you are human, there was a little leak :) I also see one other issue Len and I have to say I am disappointed I didn't pick up on this earlier, but aren't you missing an axel ?? That boats sounds so good everything just smooth and if you are new to V-drives... yes they make a lot of cool sounds :) Agreed with Fast Dan, unless you are out for top speed those two blades will rattle, I let a friend use one of my 3 blades from my Sanger, he had a go fast Sanger with a 2 blade, I think it took me 6 months to get my prop back, big difference.
 
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lenmann

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I love seeing pictures and video of this boat! We run a 3 blade now that the boat is a cruiser and used to run a two blade for racing. Less vibration for sure. We run our water inlet for the Vdrive from the trans cooler which is on its own pick up. So trans and Vdrive are own its own cooling set up. We can always touch the Vdrive by hand to make sure temps are manageable. Forgive me because I cant see much with the pictures, but isn't the top line out of the Vdrive for a breather?
Yes, you are correct on the breather. I ran a line from the vent on the upper cap on the drive to the puke tank which is seen on the left edge of the third photo. The intent was to capture any oil spray instead of it venting out the top. The cap on the tank is vented to atmosphere. I still need to consider getting cooler water to the drive. I could pick up water right off the cam driven water pump before it heads into the motor.
Hopefully it is a simple fix! What an amazing build!

Well, as it turns out it is a simple fix. I over filled the v-drive and once it heated up it blew the oil out past the input shaft seal. The drive has two plugs, one for filling the fluid an da lower plug to gage oil level. Instead of opening the lower plug and filling it to there I filled it to the upper plug, similar to how the rear diff on a car would be filled. V-drive rookie mistake.

To be safe I pulled the v-drive out, opened it up to make sure there wasn't any damage to the bearings or gears and it all looks good. Just waiting for my replacement gasket so I can put it back together, fill it with a bunch less oil, and drop it back in the boat. With any luck I will have her back out on the water next week. I still need to consider getting cooler water to the drive. I could pick up water right off the cam driven water pump before it heads into the motor. I will see how it does with the right volume of oil first.
 

SoCalZero

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How much pressure do you need for the shaft seal? Would a dedicated pickup work? I would imagine that the pressure would be up there once you get going. You probably don’t want to drill any more holes than you have to though.
 

BamBam

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Len something to consider is how much water is actually able to flow through the small (1/4"?) hole in the PSS seal? It is possible you may not have enough water volume passing through the v-drive. I have a PSS to install and I'm considering a separate pressurized (pumped water) line to feed just that and then dump the v-drive water out the transom so I can get a little more volume through the v-drive.

Boat looks fantastic in the water. So happy for you.
 

BamBam

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OH!, and as far as backing up... It only backs to the right. Once you get the hang of it you will be able to turn the boat around in it's own length by shifting between first and reverse, but you'll only go counterclockwise. You just need to get used to it. can be handy if the dock you're pulling up to is on the right side and a pain in the ass if it's on the left.
 

025

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Another way to plumb that is to use a #8 or #10 thru hull pick up just aft of the shaft log and off to one side of the keel, careful that it’s far enough back to stay wet at top speed. You can run that through the trans cooler then the v-drive and dump it out the shaft log. Then a stand alone 1/4” line to the pss off a manifold on the motor.

Another way, is the same #8 or #10 hull pick up to the trans cooler, then the vdrive then the shaft log but with a restrictor at the shaft log and a tee that sends a 1/4” line over to the pss. This way is not pressurized when idling but I have not seen any issues running it this way.

Both ways gets cold lake water to the vdrive MC
 

Boat Anchor

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Hi Len, could you please tell me the OD, ID, and wall thickness of the 21 3/4 inch long stainless steel drive line guard tube that you have for sale. Thank you.
 

Sawtooth

Thanks for everything Dad
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Len I keep thinking back to your pictures you posted of blue printing the bottom and trying to match the deck texture just to name a few.......and now look at ya!! Wow you did an amazing restoration on your boat, it turned out fantastic to say the least. Your attention to detail, your innovation, and your skill set is second to none, I'm still calling BS that this is your first Vdrive 😁! All I can say other than wow is congratulations on a beautifully done project, now the other side of fun.......you get to enjoy it, you deserve it sir!!
 

classicvdrives

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I also learned that I should have brought my infrared temperature gun with me. After I was satisfied that there weren't any issues or leaks back in the engine/trans area I noticed that the v-drive was pretty hot, like way too hot to touch hot. I have the cooling lines to it running off the exhaust manifolds as that was the cleanest place to get pressurized water headed in that direction. I need pressurized water for the PSS shaft seal. The motor was running at 140* which surprised me a little, I had expected it to be running a little cooler given that I was wasn't really putting much load on it. I was getting pretty worried about the v-drive temp so I texted my buddy to grab the truck and meet me at the ramp to load her up. So I am cruising back at about 25-30 mph, taking it easy, and about a 1/4 of a mile from the ramp I got a big old whiff of stinky gear oil, I look down and see a growing puddle of turquoise Redline Lightweight Shockproof Gear Oil on the floor under the v-drive. I killed the motor, grabbed handful of rags and tried to see where the oil was coming from. The v-drive was hot A/F so I was thinking I must have burned it up? But with a rag wrapped around the coupler (it too hot to touch also) I was able to rotate the prop shaft so the bearings weren't bound up or seized, it was just crazy hot and barfing oil. I couldn't really see where the oil was coming from with the driveline guard, strut rods, and seats in place so I did what could to contain the oil spill and idled back to the ramp with a new mystery to solve.

Lenmann, I am going to be running a similar water routing as you from the intercooler to the oil cooler and vdrive water cooling.... I haven't ran it this way yet, but my thoughts are the water coming out of the intercooler might be hot and cause everything else to heat up prematurely. I was debating putting a T fitting before the intercooler and splitting the water. One route would cool the intercooler only and the other would cool the oil cooler then the vdrive.

If possible it might be worth it to get a temp of the water exiting the intercooler. I'd be curious to see what that # is.
 

lenmann

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Lenmann, I am going to be running a similar water routing as you from the intercooler to the oil cooler and vdrive water cooling.... I haven't ran it this way yet, but my thoughts are the water coming out of the intercooler might be hot and cause everything else to heat up prematurely. I was debating putting a T fitting before the intercooler and splitting the water. One route would cool the intercooler only and the other would cool the oil cooler then the vdrive.

If possible it might be worth it to get a temp of the water exiting the intercooler. I'd be curious to see what that # is.
My boat is setup a little different than what you have planned, I think.

I have two #16 pick-ups in the cav plates feeding two strainers. One strainer is dedicated to the intercooler only. The other strainer feeds the water pump, which pulls water through the oil/trans cooler first, then to the cam driven water pump, in to the bottom of the exhaust manifolds, out the top of the manifolds, to the water inlets on the front of the block, out the thermostat housing to the turbos, then out to the exhaust. The idea, as I understand it, is to hit the oil/trans cooler with the coldest water to keep the lubricating fluids cool.

I am pretty sure my issue was caused simply by over filling the v-drive with gear lube. That said I am a little concerned about the fact that I am running hot water to it. As I understand it from Drew Casale and Stan at Schiada 145 to 165 degrees is normal, with cold water cooling it. If it gets any hotter than that with my current plumbing scheme I will probably tap into the intercooler line after the strainer to get cold water to it.

One thing at time, I will run it again with the correct oil level and thermo-gun in hand. I will check the water exiting the intercooler as well and report back.
 

lenmann

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So…I am long overdue for an update on the Boss. It has been a bit of a rough ride over the last 14 months or so. That said, this is a build thread and the build isn’t yet complete. On top of that more boating content on this boating forum this time of year is a good thing, so what better time?

Some of you know that I ran into a bit of a motor issue last June on the second “sea trial” of the boat. The short story is that I set the timing on the motor incorrectly which resulted in melting all 8 pistons in the course running the boat for about an hour. A full run down of the disaster, diagnosis, and resolution can be found here: https://www.riverdavesplace.com/for...re-friend-or-foe-how-much-is-too-much.269639/ As usual the RPD technical community came through with invaluable insight and knowledge as I worked through the problem. I learned a ton and spent a bit fixing my f-up.

The good news is that the motor wasn’t hurt bad, has been rebuilt, it’s back in the boat, and yes, the timing has been set correctly as verified by an independent third party certified ISO 13485 auditor.

While I lost a summer to the self inflicted engine meltdown, progress continued of some of the final items to finish the build.

Recall that the plan all along was a full interior boat. The two bucket seats that are in the boat were built by Arko/Conquest way back in 2017 with the plan being once completed the boat would return to Havasu for the full interior build. I was in Havasu last January and met with Jody and the team at Conquest and set a date in March to bring the boat down to have the full interior completed. Well, March rolled around and when I called they said they were too busy with Desert Storm work, but call back in two months and they could fit me in. This pattern repeated all year long with me finally giving up after Thanksgiving.

Because I have some tools and the time I decided to move ahead and build the “furniture” components of the interior with the plan to find a local shop to finish up the upholstery parts of the job.

First up was a driveline tunnel cover. Really just a fiberglass project with some balsa coring. I screwed together a mold out of mdf to give me the right shape and dimensions for the glass lay up. Lamination consisted of skin layers of 1708 with vinylester resin and 1/4 inch balsa core set in 2 oz. CSM. In the end it came out a little heavy and because of its size it’s cumbersome to move in and out of the boat. If I was doing it again I would lighten up on the lamination schedule, maybe even try vacuum bagging, and/or make it in two pieces.


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I also built the rear seat base out of marine plywood with 1708 tabbed corner joints. The seat base also serves to contain and protect the dual batteries, relays and fuse box under the rear seat. Once everything was trimmed and sanded they both got a rough coat of grey gelcoat. Ultimately they will both get carpet on the visible sides.

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ChrisV

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Beautiful as always. How is the floor getting mounted?

Thank you for the updates
 

lenmann

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Beautiful as always. How is the floor getting mounted?

Thank you for the updates
The tunnel cover sits on alumnium angle brackets mounted on the inside of the stringers. It also ends up kind of locked in by the seats once they are installed. I hadn't planned any fasteners but can add them later if it moves around too much. Both the floors and the tunnel will get snap down carpet.
 

lenmann

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Next up is the hatch, this turned out to be way more work than I thought…kinda like the whole project.

I was a little jammed up on what hinges to use for the hatch. Stan at Schiada uses a shepherds hook style hinge that pivots above the transom on a glassed in support. If I recall correctly the setup was created by @BamBam way back in the day when he was employed at Schiada rigging boats. I am long past being able to glass any additional stuff up above the inside of the finished transom so I needed to find another solution.

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I bought a couple of sets of Camaro and Mustang side mount billet hinges from Summit (liberal return policy) but didn’t really like the way they looked or fit up on the boat. In one of my failed scheduling calls with Conquest I asked what they use and they turned me on to the hinges that Marine Industries West makes that are hydraulically actuated with a trim pump. MIW will also make them without the hydraulic cylinders for electric actuator applications like mine. They are beefier than the car type units and side mount to the gunwales and face mount to the bottom of the hatch. Like everything MIW sells they are really nicely machined units, polished and clear anodized to match the rest of the hardware on the boat.

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Once I had the hinges and a rough idea for a hatch design and shape it was time to start mocking up some stuff. I wanted the hatch to be as low as possible and smooth topped without scoops over the carbs, but turbo motors, while not as tall as blower motors, are still tall. I am using 2” tall flame arrestors on the carbs which gets them down to the same height as the intercooler so those points set the basic shape for the front of the hatch. The aft edge is just scribed to match the top of the transom. The trick is figuring out the shape of everything in between. I wanted less of “hump back” look than some other hatches I’ve seen so the shape I landed on was more of a “fast back” look. When I rigged the motor I set it as low as possible to keep the hatch height low. Once I figured out the front to back shape I cut the spars that finished the support structure under the deck and glued/screwed them to the perimeter frame. As you can see in the pictures I cut pockets for the stud plates to mount the hinges as well. As I think about it now, I wonder if running a dry sump could reduce the oil pan depth, lowering the motor? It would create some interesting driveline geometry as the v-drive is already on the floor. Maybe on my next Schiada resto (hah!).

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Now we have a non rigid frame that defines the edges of the hatch and the profile of the center section front to back. I needed a way to create the curves that transition from the front profile to the rather flat aft profile at the transom and to be repeatable from side to side. I modeled the hatch structure in CAD by manually laying out measuring points spaced 1” apart at the front and rear of the hatch measuring the vertical height across from gunwale to the centerline. I recreated the same set of points in the CAD environment, drove a spline curve through them that mimicked the shape of the hatch frame. Doing the same with the front to back profile gave me enough information to loft the full shape of the skin of the hatch. (note: check out the @RiverDave Eliminator tour thread, this would have been much easier with a 3d scanner!) I could the tweak the loft parameters to get a shape I thought looked best, would clear the intercooler and carbs and conform to the edges of the gunwales and transom. By cutting cross-sections though the CAD modelled hatch I could reverse the process and create staged supports that replicated the shape at measured intervals from front to back assuring that the hatch was the same side to side. These stages were temporarily attached to the frame with screws and hot glue. Now I have a framework in the physical world that represents the desired shape of the CAD model that I can apply plywood to give the hatch skin. One important thing I had to remember is to allow for the thickness of fiberglass, coring, upholstery materials, and gelcoat at all the interface surfaces between the hatch and hull, carbs, intercooler, etc.

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The next challenge was how to bend ¼” marine plywood to conform to the complex curved surfaces. The center section was pretty easy requiring a handful of kerf cuts to make the bend in the middle work but as you can see in the pictures plywood doesn’t like bending in two directions so a couple of additional cuts were needed to get it to pull down for glue and staples.

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The side surfaces get pretty complex from a curvature perspective, not only bending from to back but going from a tight curve at the front to almost flat at the back. There just isn’t any way to make a sheet of plywood conform that way. As it turns out wooden canoe builders solved this problem a century ago using thin wood strips edge glued and nailed over a framework to simplify creating complex shapes. Keep in mind that my plywood surface will be laminated as a core between layers of 1708 fiberglass which will provide most of its structural strength. Additionally a layer of ¼” balsa core will be laminated on the inside providing substantial additional structural integrity to the hatch. Even with strips as small as 1” wide it was challenging to get them to twist enough to conform to the stage supports. I ended up ripping kerfs lengthwise on the bottom of the strip to get them to free up a bit. Once I had it all laid out its was a pretty simple process to edge glue and staple the strips to the frame. I used cabosil filled vinylester resin for glue and stainless steel 18 ga. staples.



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fter the adhesive cured I lifted the hatch out of the boat and onto the bench to start the cleanup and lamination process. The top surface needed some smoothing to address the edges created by the ply strips and a little bit of filler here and there. Once I was happy with the surface it got a single layer of 1708 and V/E resin. Because this surface gets covered in foam and vinyl there won’t be a need for final finishing, gelcoat, etc.

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I trimmed the excess glass from the edges and flipped the hatch onto a mobile cart I built to be able to easily move the hatch around during the next phases of construction. Once flipped over I removed the stage supports and started laying out the balsa core. I also decided to fill all the kerf cuts will cabosil/resin to assure I had a nice consistent surface to bond the balsa to.

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Next chapter: Balsa, balsa, balsa
 

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ChrisV

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Next up is the hatch, this turned out to be way more work than I thought…kinda like the whole project.

I was a little jammed up on what hinges to use for the hatch. Stan at Schiada uses a shepherds hook style hinge that pivots above the transom on a glassed in support. If I recall correctly the setup was created by @BamBam way back in the day when he was employed at Schiada rigging boats. I am long past being able to glass any additional stuff up above the inside of the finished transom so I needed to find another solution.

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I bought a couple of sets of Camaro and Mustang side mount billet hinges from Summit (liberal return policy) but didn’t really like the way they looked or fit up on the boat. In one of my failed scheduling calls with Conquest I asked what they use and they turned me on to the hinges that Marine Industries West makes that are hydraulically actuated with a trim pump. MIW will also make them without the hydraulic cylinders for electric actuator applications like mine. They are beefier than the car type units and side mount to the gunwales and face mount to the bottom of the hatch. Like everything MIW sells they are really nicely machined units, polished and clear anodized to match the rest of the hardware on the boat.

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Once I had the hinges and a rough idea for a hatch design and shape it was time to start mocking up some stuff. I wanted the hatch to be as low as possible and smooth topped without scoops over the carbs, but turbo motors, while not as tall as blower motors, are still tall. I am using 2” tall flame arrestors on the carbs which gets them down to the same height as the intercooler so those points set the basic shape for the front of the hatch. The aft edge is just scribed to match the top of the transom. The trick is figuring out the shape of everything in between. I wanted less of “hump back” look than some other hatches I’ve seen so the shape I landed on was more of a “fast back” look. When I rigged the motor I set it as low as possible to keep the hatch height low. Once I figured out the front to back shape I cut the spars that finished the support structure under the deck and glued/screwed them to the perimeter frame. As you can see in the pictures I cut pockets for the stud plates to mount the hinges as well. As I think about it now, I wonder if running a dry sump could reduce the oil pan depth, lowering the motor? It would create some interesting driveline geometry as the v-drive is already on the floor. Maybe on my next Schiada resto (hah!).

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Now we have a non rigid frame that defines the edges of the hatch and the profile of the center section front to back. I needed a way to create the curves that transition from the front profile to the rather flat aft profile at the transom and to be repeatable from side to side. I modeled the hatch structure in CAD by manually laying out measuring points spaced 1” apart at the front and rear of the hatch measuring the vertical height across from gunwale to the centerline. I recreated the same set of points in the CAD environment, drove a spline curve through them that mimicked the shape of the hatch frame. Doing the same with the front to back profile gave me enough information to loft the full shape of the skin of the hatch. (note: check out the @RiverDave Eliminator tour thread, this would have been much easier with a 3d scanner!) I could the tweak the loft parameters to get a shape I thought looked best, would clear the intercooler and carbs and conform to the edges of the gunwales and transom. By cutting cross-sections though the CAD modelled hatch I could reverse the process and create staged supports that replicated the shape at measured intervals from front to back assuring that the hatch was the same side to side. These stages were temporarily attached to the frame with screws and hot glue. Now I have a framework in the physical world that represents the desired shape of the CAD model that I can apply plywood to give the hatch skin. One important thing I had to remember is to allow for the thickness of fiberglass, coring, upholstery materials, and gelcoat at all the interface surfaces between the hatch and hull, carbs, intercooler, etc.

View attachment 1334649 View attachment 1334630 View attachment 1334631 View attachment 1334629 View attachment 1334665

The next challenge was how to bend ¼” marine plywood to conform to the complex curved surfaces. The center section was pretty easy requiring a handful of kerf cuts to make the bend in the middle work but as you can see in the pictures plywood doesn’t like bending in two directions so a couple of additional cuts were needed to get it to pull down for glue and staples.

View attachment 1334670 View attachment 1334669 View attachment 1334668 View attachment 1334667

The side surfaces get pretty complex from a curvature perspective, not only bending from to back but going from a tight curve at the front to almost flat at the back. There just isn’t any way to make a sheet of plywood conform that way. As it turns out wooden canoe builders solved this problem a century ago using thin wood strips edge glued and nailed over a framework to simplify creating complex shapes. Keep in mind that my plywood surface will be laminated as a core between layers of 1708 fiberglass which will provide most of its structural strength. Additionally a layer of ¼” balsa core will be laminated on the inside providing substantial additional structural integrity to the hatch. Even with strips as small as 1” wide it was challenging to get them to twist enough to conform to the stage supports. I ended up ripping kerfs lengthwise on the bottom of the strip to get them to free up a bit. Once I had it all laid out its was a pretty simple process to edge glue and staple the strips to the frame. I used cabosil filled vinylester resin for glue and stainless steel 18 ga. staples.



View attachment 1334626 View attachment 1334624 View attachment 1334625 View attachment 1334680

fter the adhesive cured I lifted the hatch out of the boat and onto the bench to start the cleanup and lamination process. The top surface needed some smoothing to address the edges created by the ply strips and a little bit of filler here and there. Once I was happy with the surface it got a single layer of 1708 and V/E resin. Because this surface gets covered in foam and vinyl there won’t be a need for final finishing, gelcoat, etc.

View attachment 1334622 View attachment 1334664

I trimmed the excess glass from the edges and flipped the hatch onto a mobile cart I built to be able to easily move the hatch around during the next phases of construction. Once flipped over I removed the stage supports and started laying out the balsa core. I also decided to fill all the kerf cuts will cabosil/resin to assure I had a nice consistent surface to bond the balsa to.

View attachment 1334681

Next chapter: Balsa, balsa, balsa
Holy crap! You’re wild!! Wow
 

BamBam

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Next chapter: Balsa, balsa, balsa
As always you are doing fantastic work!
You're using balsa so you'll be covering the inner surface, but we always made the relief cuts on the top of the plywood. The cuts would then be filled with Cab-o-sil and a layer of mat and cloth for strength. Another trick was to cut the center piece as you did for the 1 dimensional curve but crosscut the corner pieces to allow the compound curves. Thanks for the credit, yes I did design those hinges and glassed in mounts. Tom Hawley and I worked on the concept and I ran with the idea to actually make it happen. I attached my actuator to the hinge and it's a nice tight package.
 

Oliver1421

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Absolutely amazing work! Glad i found this build thread! Cant wait to see more!
 

Backlash

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Yeah, this guy @lenmann sure likes to cut a lot of corners and do some shoddy work.

I jest! 🤣

As always, UNBELIEVABLE job!!! 👍👍👍
 

One2go

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Freaking crazy, ❤️ just curious your shop looks very nice , do you work with wood as a profession ?
 

HydroSkreamin

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Quality work as usual, @lenmann ! I've got some similar experience working with a buddy making bucks for rear fenders on a rad 40 Willys pickup; this brings back memories of that project.

I know it's more work, but you have such a nice shape there I'd seriously consider making this unit the plug, and make a mold for this gorgeous piece, make it out of carbon and foam core, and it'll be strong and light. You're right there....

How far apart are we geographically now? I'm in the Phoenix area.

Awesome piece, dude!

Glad you got to the bottom of your piston woes, sorry you had to have that experience. Good on you for not letting it get in the way of finishing this extremely technical project. I'd say you inspire all of us on here.
 

lenmann

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Thanks to all for the kind words and encouragement. When I started this project I searched the web for build threads and any info I could find to help guide me down the rabbit hole of old boat restoration. A number of the inmates here, RDP referred suppliers, and the team at Schiada have been extremely generous with their time and knowledge. I committed myself to a comprehensive build thread here on RDP so that others could make better informed decisions about their own projects. I have tried to be transparent by including both the successes and the mistakes. Don't let anybody fool you, lots of the techniques used in restoring an old boat are hard to master and mistakes are both time consuming and expensive. Part of the joy for me personally has been learning new skills and adapting skills that I already had to this project, and I just like working with my hands making things. I spent the better part of my professional life at a desk or in the board room and I will tell you I enjoy being out the shop much much more.

A couple of responses to questions:

@One2go "Freaking crazy, ❤️ just curious your shop looks very nice , do you work with wood as a profession ?" Nope, but have been working with wood since my grandfather gave me my first pocket knife and taught me how to whittle. I have built furniture but just for family and personal use.

@HydroSkreamin "How far apart are we geographically now? I'm in the Phoenix area."We are way closer geographically now than ever before. I'm up in Northern California, near lake Shasta. That said I am going to be down in Goodyear AZ the week of February 26th and was thinking about dropping in to meet you in person and see the new DCB digs.
 

HydroSkreamin

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I committed myself to a comprehensive build thread here on RDP so that others could make better informed decisions about their own projects. I have tried to be transparent by including both the successes and the mistakes. Don't let anybody fool you, lots of the techniques used in restoring an old boat are hard to master and mistakes are both time consuming and expensive. Part of the joy for me personally has been learning new skills and adapting skills that I already had to this project, and I just like working with my hands making things.

@HydroSkreamin "How far apart are we geographically now? I'm in the Phoenix area."We are way closer geographically now than ever before. I'm up in Northern California, near lake Shasta. That said I am going to be down in Goodyear AZ the week of February 26th and was thinking about dropping in to meet you in person and see the new DCB digs.

I tried making my build transparent as well. As the old saying goes “We learn from our mistakes” rings true in these builds. There’s no shame in taking a step back, generally you end up with a better product in the long run anyway. Kudos to you for trudging through and sharing the highs and lows; all part of the journey/experience.

You betyerass you’d better stop in! We’re very proud of our team and our new digs. I’d be happy to show you the entire thing.

Keep cranking on this Schiada, she definitely lives up to the brand image.
 

mattyc

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@lenmann
Len, I knew you had a schiada you were working on. I believe I joined rdp sometime after you started this thread but until just the other day I had not been aware of your build thread. Wow! Reading this has been like a good book I couldnt put down! Literally, I have gotten in trouble with my wife because I'm immersed in reading and not paying attention to her and nearly been late to work several times because I've lost track of time. It's taken me nearly a week to get caught up because I read the write up, look at the pictures, go back and read it again just to make sure I'm understanding it all correctly. Your planning and execution of every detail is incredible and your humble attitude towards it is awesome. Way to go sticking with it especially when things didnt go like you'd hoped. Guys like you are motivation for me to grow and get better. Thanks for a great read!

Side note, share some info with me about that cav plate switch and slip ring deal on the steering wheel?
 

lenmann

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@lenmann
Len, I knew you had a schiada you were working on. I believe I joined rdp sometime after you started this thread but until just the other day I had not been aware of your build thread. Wow! Reading this has been like a good book I couldnt put down! Literally, I have gotten in trouble with my wife because I'm immersed in reading and not paying attention to her and nearly been late to work several times because I've lost track of time. It's taken me nearly a week to get caught up because I read the write up, look at the pictures, go back and read it again just to make sure I'm understanding it all correctly. Your planning and execution of every detail is incredible and your humble attitude towards it is awesome. Way to go sticking with it especially when things didnt go like you'd hoped. Guys like you are motivation for me to grow and get better. Thanks for a great read!

Side note, share some info with me about that cav plate switch and slip ring deal on the steering wheel?
Thanks!

It's a funny thing, but I have caught myself running back through the thread a couple of times trying to remember how or why I did something a certain way. The process of writing a build thread forces you to document way more detail on a build than simply taking pictures along the way. The thread really ends up being a bit of a journal. I'm not motivated enough to keep a journal, but the thought that this build thread might help somebody venturing down the same rabbit hole keeps me coming back here.

On the steering mounted cav plate control, it is a steering wheel/switch assembly that GT Marine in Upland builds and sells. It's what @schidastan uses on their new builds. Essentially the spoke mounted switches send a signal through some kind of a rotary encoder built into the hub. I haven't taken it apart so that's really all the detail I have on it. It seems to work nicely, but I don't have a lot of hours using it. Electrically, the signal from the switches runs to a reversing relay under the rear seat which controls the cav plate linear actuator. I thought about using some of the steering helm mounted butterfly switches that outboard guys use to manage trim but everything I read said it was better on a v-drive to have the switches move with the wheel so they could be actuated while turning. A side note: my original plan was to have the cav plates actuated with a more traditional foot pedal but because I was using thicker 1/4" stainless steel cav plates getting enough mechanical advantage for my skinny little leg to move the plates was going to be challenging so electric it is.


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