Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff: The Hardware

It must be almost springtime in New England, because Lou Sauzedde is thinking about dock lines and cleats for the TotalBoat Work Skiff. As the skiff nears completion, and before the paint is applied, it’s a great time to sort out where the important hardware will go so the finishing brush strokes are tight. Lou – in typical fashion – has dreamed up a “special” hawsepipe to work on the gunwales. His non-intrusive method will pass the lines beautifully to a unique rod set up as a “belaying pin” in place of a standard cleat.  Lou’s special setup will give the work skiff credibility (as if it needs it) when the boat leans on it’s spring lines alongside a dock or boat.

Only Lou could have thought this one up! Thanks for watching. Leave your comments for Lou below and don’t forget to share this video with your friends!

37 responses to “Building the TotalBoat Work Skiff: The Hardware

  1. Lou once again shows us his practical ideas through his experience with the installation and use of spring line attachment points. Again it’s always a pleasure and an education to watch Lou each step of the way.
    Thank you Lou and thank you Total Boat.

  2. Lou – are plans going to made available for the Work Skiff? I am sure there will be tremendous interest when it comes time to sell, so wondering if plans will be available so we could perhaps build our own?

    Love your work and how you bring practicality into everything you are incorporating.

  3. I’m sure it’s just my view, but to have built a classic wood skiff and then add a common on the grounds boat yard find (plastic ? thru hull? ) for me it’s just wrong.. Lou, no question you are the master of this project, may I suggest you back away from the skiff, (episode 31? /take a break) and I just bet after sometime you will see the grace and beauty of your work. Adorn her with something proper and fitting of classic style.

  4. This thing is really looking good. I especially like the hawse pipe deal. Nothing wrong with old school using a chisel, but being a power tool nut I would have used my router.

  5. Beautiful work and great planning, Lou. Why did you choose to use the mallet/chisel approach to clean the hole over a router/rabbet bit?

  6. Creative but that material won’t hold up well to direct sunlight and wear and tear of a spring line which is always working at the dock. Recommend bronze. Also prefer a cleat ]vs a belaying pin as the be laying pin will pivot and become loose with use. My hat is off to Lou for the absolutely beautiful workmanship!

  7. Only thing wrong with the handtool technique he’s using are current generations inability to operate them. Brass fosho.

  8. Love these ideas!
    First, they thru-hull for the hole, answers a solution I’ve been looking for.
    Second, the belaying pins through the frame instead of the cleats, great idea, and I’m going to study if there’s a way i can put that to use!

  9. Lou, I have really enjoyed all the work skiff episodes. Thanks. I have never left a comment, but, I like the hawse pipe and pin idea. However, I don’t like the plastic hawse pipe. I like plastic, but not on the classic work skiff. Please come up with some type of metal hawse pipe. I also feel the lines will rub a groove(s) into the plastic over time. Keep up the inspiring work.

  10. Always fun to watch Lou. I would be curious to find out why he did not use a Forstner bit to set the hole. I bought a set of these bits long ago when I set all my switches into a piece of teak on my old boat. I use them when I set round pieces flush into holes. I think if you had a bunch of holes you wanted to set into wood, Forstner bits would be easier. But then again, Lou knows so much more and is so much better about this business than I, I am hesitant to question him. I’m sure he has a good reason.
    Also, I am with the bronze guys on here, even though I squeeze the buffalo off the nickel.

  11. Lou, I grew up around work skiffs in East Greenwich, RI. Everything was done on the cheap. Your choice of plastic fitting is just what would have been used then if available. If it wears out, just toss it and buy anew one.
    This skiff is shapping up beautifully. The best skiff builder in town in those days was Hacky Zubee and he built the toughest skiffs on the bay.
    He usually left about 3/4 to 1 inch of stem up with no hole There was always an eye bolt with a ring in the stem for dragging the skiff on a trailer. Your skiff is beginning to look like one of Hacky’s. Excellent work.

  12. Kevin and Doug Rahn – I have been around boats all of my adult life and as a young man I worked professionally as a shipwright. One lesson I learned early on was that when working on boats, hand tools are faster than power tools most of the time. This is because there is no room for stationary power tools on the majority of boats. By the time you climb down the ladder walk to the wood shop make the cut and climb back up the ladder you could have made the cut twice with hand tools.

    In Lou’s case here with the hawse pipe, given his incredible skill with hand tools, by the time he grabbed his router, found the bottom bearing rabbet bit, changed the bearing for the right rabbet size, retrieved the extension cord, and plugged in the router he would have already finished the work using his chisel and mallet. Working on boats with hand tools is a mind set acquired for good reason. In my opinion hand work should be admired not criticized.

    Mike Mittleman and Ernie – Lou is building a work boat here, not a yacht. I applaud his creative and resourceful use of the plastic thru hull fitting. It is entirely appropriate for it’s use and function. His belaying pin idea is great too. Simple, traditional, functional, and elegant. Lou is truly a master shipwright.

    Lou Sauzedde – You are the best. I have thoroughly enjoyed your video’s. Not just the work skiff video’s, but all of your other video’s too. I consider myself a master level woodworker, but I have learned from you. You are personable, entertaining , and a great teacher. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to your next build.

    John Minton, Architect

    1. I second that!
      I am amazed at what I learn in each video, making things simple is an art we may be forgetting. Hand tools work, simple solutions are easily constructed and fit the application; this is an art form in the shape of a boat.

      1. Mike – Sorry to have mistaken you for the “plastic is not appropriate camp” . My point about the router vs chisel is that due to the normal working conditions of a shipwright the natural tendency is hand tools first and power tools second. The hole saw cut the depth of the rabbet. All Lou had to do is clear the waste and level the bottom of the rabbet. With a marking gauge, chisel, and mallet that is quick and easy work. As far as fit is concerned the fitting is bedded in poly-sulfide and dose not require glue joint accuracy. If I had a router all set up with the right bit and bearing would I use it? Sure I would, but if I didn’t I would be using my always available chisel and mallet.

    2. John Minton:

      I appreciate your expertise and experience. Yet, the insight re hand versus power tools seems to boil down to one of efficiency and speed. Clearly this build is not about construction speed. What about precision? I suspect that to achieve an excellent fit and finish requires as much time with hammer and chisel as with setup and router.

  13. I like that you dont feel the need to use power tools and can pull out a chisel and do it just as quickly with just a chisel and Mallet. on the grounds of the Hawse pipe, You are a genius.

  14. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you Lou that the guys against your use of plastic just don’t see it the way the rest of us do.
    First of all your not saying this is what you have to do. Anyone that doesn’t like can use what ever they think is best. If these guys were listing in the beginning they should have hear You mention that there was a lot of cake involved in this hardware.
    Brass I’m sure is way over the top and I don’t even want think about what bronze would run.
    Anyway I still think your the man Lou and please people lets just ask questions as there is no need for harsh comments.
    Boy I wish I could come and see the skiff in April but I don’t see it happening. Maybe some day.

    All the Best Lou

    Tim

  15. Sorry, but that plastic thing does not belong anywhere on the skiff.
    A brass tubing with one end flared might of work better.

  16. My hand tools can finish most jobs in half the time it takes to set up the electric techno wizbangs. With that said, boats are about functionality. As I mentioned in the earlier post, I’m not opposed to the plastic. Clean, functional, cheap, and I expect will wear above most traditionalists expectations. If not, easily replaced, Love tossing the cleats for a more traditional belaying device. If you think bronze is the only solution, perhaps the outboard motor that goes on the end isn’t appropriate either. Yet, this boat is a product of the modern era, not from oars and sail era. Plastic is entirely appropriate in my opinion. If you want bronze, pay for it. It isn’t in my budget.

    Job well done Louie

  17. Lou, I a fan and a have also worked in the yards. Being practical is part of the “art”. Plastic vs. metal or some other material really doesn’t matter as long as it provides a solution to a problem. (An absolute purist might even take the time to fabricate the parts out of wood.) The material is important but not the over all point of teaching which is to provide a conceptual solution. Any good solution can be embelished to meet the needs of the user as they see fit. Keep’um those video’s coming, I learn something from each one. Thanks!

    1. ” The material is important but not the over all point of teaching which is to provide a conceptual solution. Any good solution can be embellished to meet the needs of the user as they see fit.” Well said George – Well said.

  18. Lou, I a fan and have also worked in the yards. Being practical is part of the “art”. Plastic vs. metal or some other material really doesn’t matter as long as it provides a solution to a problem. (An absolute purist might even take the time to fabricate the parts out of wood.) The material is important but not the over all point of teaching which is to provide a conceptual solution. Any good solution can be embelished to meet the needs of the user as they see fit. Keep’um those video’s coming, I learn something from each one. Thanks!

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