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Messages - Brian.Dixon

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Useful link on trailer maintenance and repair, towing etc - worth a look!:


They sound great, just need a special nailer to use them.

What Raptor says at the bottom of the link above:

Due to operating pressures and other factors, plastic Raptor nails and staples must be used with tools designed specifically for them."

Looks like their nailers run a little over $300, but the staplers are a little cheaper


Announcements / Re: The Great Alaskan on Facebook...
« on: March 20, 2018, 08:41:06 AM »
I tried to click the link to twisted1 photos from FB.  It doesn't work for me, it says it is forbidden!   I had the same trouble with the link to the new GA sheets too.  I even forward it to different device.  I don't know if it's just me?

Fixed!  I had pasted in a bad link.  The link in the FB post works now.... thanks for the heads up!


Has anyone tried using those Raptor plastic nails?   Raptor says, "composite staples, nails, and specialty fasteners can be cut and sanded without damaging router bits, saw blades and sanding belts, and provide complete corrosion resistance."

On my jumbo, i've left the screws in the rails, but they were silicon bronze and are buried but even if they do get wet, I'm not worried.  Having said that I think I'd use those plastic "nails" in a lot of places mostly for keeping things in the correct position while the epoxy cures, but then feel comfortable just leaving them in.


I never heard of those composite nails before ... but their website sounds promising.  They are strong, are made from fiberglass-impregnated plastic, and like those vinyl coated construction 'sinkers' (16 penny nails), they melt a tad when driven in and 'glue' themselves in.  They should have great holding power.  And it looks like Raptor sells them in finishing nails that go into standard nailers too.  I say, why not?  I don't know how much they cost, but who cares?  You wouldn't use enough in a Great Alaskan to have to worry about cost...

Raptor Nails and Staples

If you go to their Brad Nails page (drill down from the link above), they actually have more than one picture of a boat getting assembled with these.... welcome to the modern world!


Experimental Postings / TEST TEST2 TEST3
« on: March 15, 2018, 12:22:38 PM »
Yup ... that's m'boy!


And Anthony is building a 24-ft Jumbo and also working on a Tolman Standard while working on mine!

He da Man!!


General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: Photo gallery
« on: March 13, 2018, 06:57:31 PM »
What a spectacular job you've done!  Holy smokes, man!  That boat's a Cadillac! 


Perfect Brian, thanks. I'm on board with all of what you said. Anthony and I got the transom, deck, and scuppers ironed out on the phone earlier today so he's off and running working on glassing the stringers and all the rest of the bilge work while I'm working with a local fab shop on the fuel tanks.

It's going to be a nice boat!  And progress is fast ... Anthony is one of those that can build quickly AND quality at the same time.  Rare qualities...


I just realized that Anthony still has to install the lower motor mount LVL, the double 3/4 plywood stiffener below that, and the upper 3/4" plywood stiffeners. With all this in place, if we raise the deck 3", it's not that big of a deal if, say, a 3" scupper tube hole bites into the upper LVL motor mount, is it?

To that end, any feedback from others who have built to 28-ft on whether they would/would not raise the back deck and if so how much? I know Dave in Homer raised his 2 1/2" on his 26-ft, and wishes he had raised it 4" because with 2 guys in one corner on a fish water comes in the scuppers. I figured I'd raise mine 3" and the fact that my build is a bit longer and I only weigh 175, it will probably be good.

Love to hear from any others reading along......

If you look at Sheet 021a (Drywell), you'll see that there is room for raising your deck as high as you want and still have 3" scuppers.  Get those pipe plugs and make some fiberglass tubes for them before you go too far here.  Personally, I think a 4" lift on those decks is a little high since it reduces the interior freeboard a bit much ... I think dropping it to around 24" (I have to double check that.)  I might go for a 3" raising of the deck, then put in 3" scuppers with custom fiberglass tubing (that you make) cut to fit the transom.  As for biting into the upper LVL - no worries.  The scuppers should be installed in the outer corners near the sides of the boat, and nearly flush with the top of the decking.  At that point, the scupper holes will have NO impact on transom strength .... no problem.  :)

My feelings on the "water on the deck when 2 guys...." is so?  Boats in this size range cannot have decks high enough to prevent water trying to come back into the scuppers.  The reason for scuppers is to let water out fast when you've taken on water (big wave + too many people in the stern).  As for the water getting back in goes, I would suggest just accepting that as-is and do what Anthony says - leave the plugs in until you need them.  Water collecting in the back of the boat from fishing and rain?  Pull the plugs when underway and put them back when you stop at the next fishing hole.  OR ... use scupper stoppers that mount outside the boat that use flappers or a ball-type check valve gizmo ... these are not perfect, but they do help.  Ideally, you'd have scuppers 10 to 12 inches above the waterline, but these boats just aren't big enough to allow that ... If you're not wet, you're not boating!  ;D

Just my 2-bits....


Looks awesome!  The graphite really went on well!  Did you have an "OMG!" moment when you saw how big the boat was when it was upright?

Scuppers:  1" too small ... I prefer 3" test-plugs (pipe testing), but use the biggest that'll fit and is 3-1/2" diameter or smaller.   Maybe I'll crack open the CAD model and see what I think will fit.... we'll see.


General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: A house for my GA
« on: March 07, 2018, 11:58:08 AM »

General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: A house for my GA
« on: March 07, 2018, 06:50:48 AM »
Ok that's easy.  What function does the hearth serve?  Seems unnecessary on a slab floor.

I didn't remember that you have a slab floor .... scratch the hearth idea :)


General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: A house for my GA
« on: March 07, 2018, 05:22:23 AM »
I'm too cheap and handy to go the vogelzang route although they look cool.  Have built barrel stove for a Elk tent.  I hadn't considered any hearth.  I'm not sure what you are suggesting with the brick, sand, and lumber.  I might hit the google machine up and see

Hearth:  Think "brick path that's boxed in on 4 sides with wood".... Just lay out bricks where you want the stove in your shop, frame them in with wood to keep them from shifting from where you put them, and fill all cracks by sweeping sand around on top of the bricks.  Cheap and fast.


General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: A house for my GA
« on: March 06, 2018, 12:31:29 PM »
I plan on building a wood stove with a forced air heat exchanger.  I need a couple bad water heaters to start this project.  I think I will pour a slab first.  My project is coming along better than I originally imagined.  That itself is mostly why I have kept building beyond the budget.   Before and after pics will say it all

You can put in a wood stove pretty cheaply ... those horizontal Vogelzang wood stoves work fine, as do the 'caboose' (vertical small pot-belly) stoves, and barrel stoves (get a kit at Amazon).  Pipe is cheap if you just use a horizontal double-wall pass-through through the side of the building.  Bricks and sand, boxed-in with 2x4s, works fine for a hearth .... people in Alaska heat cabins like this all the time ... on the cheap.


General Discussion about the Great Alaskan / Re: A house for my GA
« on: March 05, 2018, 11:25:24 AM »
All good and no surprise on the cost factor!  Are you going to provide heat?  Wood stove?

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