I’m at the early stages of building the Morbic 12 from plans - still cutting plywood!
Interested in views of those who have trodden the path before me on two questions:
- are there any anomalies in the plans that would be helpful to think about now rather than discover down the line?
- what modifications did you make to the plans as you went along? E.g., I’m considering rectangular rather than round sealed hatch covers for under side seats. Anything you would recommend I think about now?
ROUND is what we fitted, believing they should be more watertight - Pretty important for buoyancy tanks!
Other benefits - No sticking-out handles/knobs which might snap off or on which lines might catch.
Disadvantage - They are not "captive"= Could get lost overboard unless restraint is fitted = Not convenient when ventilating.
Beware some have rather fine threads. Coarser is probably better than finer. Make sure they include seals. Get a small tube of silicone grease.
RECTANGULAR might grant better access to stowed items?
Minimal risk of the disadvantages of round ones.
Choice could depend on whether you can you get good watertight ones with non-vulnerable latching.
Mount the forward one off-centre - not in line with the mast!
We've added one on the forward face of one of the side lockers for stowage of long items.
All just my opinion - It would be interesting to hear other views.
My thoughts on hatches and a confession or two.
I bought four round hatches when I started my build. One for each of the side tanks and one each side of the mast on the bulkhead. I've always though putting one single hatch right behind the mast was a bit daft.
The hatches I bought had threaded lids and the necessary sealing ring.
I figured it would be clever to cut the holes for the hatches in the relevant positions before I started to assemble the kit. I then placed the hatches on a shelf for the next year or so.
Much later when the planking was finished and the boat was turned over I had some second thoughts.
I've always planned to use the boat for cruising so the buoyancy tanks will be used for a bit of dry storage and therefore hatches need to be opened and closed easily. I've found the screw in type can become very difficult to open and are prone to getting cross threaded, the ones I bought now seemed very flimsy and I realised I'd been a bit of a cheap skate putting price before quality.
I also thought that the area aft of the mast could be better utilised for my purposes if I did away with the forward thwart and instead built what I now call a thwart locker which will be self evident from the photos.
The Port side locker is for "dry" storage, the Starboard side is "wet" in that the mast step drains into it and then through a limber hole to the bilge. I'll use that for ground tackle and mucky stuff. When closed the thwart should provide a safe place for my grandchildren to dangle over the side, and will also form the forward end of my sleeping platform.
I obviously needed some suitable hatches for the lockers and decide to look for replacements for the round ones at the same time. I searched the internet and found https://www.floatyourboat.co.uk/ where I bought the ones you see here. The catches fold flat and shouldn't snag on any ropes etc. They seem very robust and have sealing rings. I've bedded them in place with butyle tape but time will tell how watertight they are.
I appreciate they may not be to everyone's taste, I've tried to put function over form and I think they will suit my purposes.
I hope to be on the water when the weather improves and the restrictions ease.
Stay safe everyone.
Loving all the detail on your beautiful Proteus build. It has already been incredibly helpful.
Order of things I am working on next in case it might prompt some details as you add them to your web page
- oars (current project)
- mast (have just completed the boom and about to embark on the yard)
- centreboard case
I have no heat or power in my garage so somewhat limited as to what I can do over winter...
I’m also intrigued by some of the points on your page:
- aft foot-rest and “do-nuts”
Plus any thoughts on your choices of sail supplier and admiral trailer.
Oars - We are still using some which Robin already owned. Dimensions are not ideal, but OK to get us afloat before winter. Tips - (1) Do online research for correct leverage, etc. (2) For rowlock bearings, consider bronze bushes instead of megga expensive, and rather chunky off-the-shelf ones.
Spars - Our bowsprit, boom, yard and mast were all spruce. In each case two pieces bonded together with the grains suitably disposed to minimise subsequent bending. To provide a flat "bed" for bonding the boom and yard we used the two (not-yet-bonded) mast sections on edge, and loads of clamps. The ambient temp was pretty good at the time. The bonded yard became the flat bed on which the mast was bonded.
Shaping them - If you're happy with your boom, repeat!
Rudder - A pic on the Proteus page shows our rudder with grooves across it. It includes some explanation of my method. What is not mentioned is, I determined a desirable aerofoil section (online) and created several gauges to judge how much to plane/sand off in what I called "Phase 2".
The Centreboard was shaped in a similar way.
Casting lead in the rudder - See video on the same page.
CB Case - The basic assembly was as per Vivier. We embodied some mods later. (Three lines in the current version of the Mods list, and pics on "Proteus" page.)
Shelf - Is currently only conceptual, not even embryonic, though we have the materials. It is to be sheltered below the foredeck but fairly low, providing stowage for the anchor and a dry place (out of the rain anyway) for sundry kit, refreshments, etc.
Aft footrests are associated with do-nuts.
Our forward footrests are bonded to the deck as per Vivier.
We decided to keep the aft foot-well clear. Our aft footrest is a removable transverse bar - Stowed, when not wanted, through the (added) forward-facing hatch in the port-side locker/buoyancy. The boat-hook and bowsprit also reside here.
Do-nuts are hardwood annular rings bonded to the inboard faces of the aft lockers. Position was judged to provide comfortable rowing position. I designed one of the do-nuts to open, yet without any removable parts, to allow mounting & de-mounting of the foot-bar. Pics will eventually be on the Proteus page.
Sail supplier - We chose James Lawrence (guided by Mike and Sarah's experience). For other sources see John Shelton's blog "Boudicca", and Port-Na-Storm's input on UKHBBR forum, or ask them.
Trailer - We used Admiral, as did our friend who built the “Goat” (also featured in Watercraft”) Seems a good, solid, functional trailer and launching trolley. Shaped to suit Morbic. Decent mudguards, with useful forward-facing white lights. Decent lighting board. The latter will eventually be supported on a combined transom mast & light-board support.
Only two resolvable "design-errors":-
(1) On ours we have to remove the dolly wheel between, using it to move the trailer, and using it to move the trolley. Manageable, but not operationally ideal. I have a solution in mind.
(2) When towing, the under-face of the forward end of the trolley frame bangs on the upper face of the trailer frame. Padding (rope or rubber?) between the faces, and firm lashing provide some relief. This may be common to all trolley/trailer combinations.
Don't let the above put you off. Doubtless you'll shop around.
Nice addition to your boat Graham. I do suffer a bit from lack of storage, and your idea would also stiffen up the boat. I've recently got an electric outboard, so I'm thinking of building some lugs and turnbuckles to stow the battery and tiller more tidily.
I seem to remember Vivier saying something about adding an outboard locker to the Morbic under the stern thwart, but I guess he's not done it yet.
If you use the integral bags that go with the round hatches, you do at least get water tight storage for your phone and car keys and maybe a sandwich or two
Yes, putting the round hatch just in front of the mast was not a smart piece of design!
Any other mods? Yes, I would strongly recommend you strengthen the rudder stock, with a bolt through the pivot and maybe also in a couple of other places. See my blog here for photos of what can happen if you don't