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Wallowed Out Rudder Blade Bolt Hole

After hard use, many of the bolt holes in a small sailboat's wooden rudderstock, have become walled out to the point that the bolt is no longer kept from turning when tension is applied.

The wallowed out area can be built up with thickened epoxy and filed to fit the square flange on the brass bolt. Another way is to use a piece of metal, plastic, or fiberglass to make a small washer like plate in which a hole has been drilled, and then filed to fit the square flange on the backside of the brass bolt.

I had a small round piece of 1/8-inch thick fiberglass on hand, so I drilled a hole slightly smaller than 1/2-inch and then used a small file to make the square to fit the brass bolt.

I drilled three small holes in the fiberglass disk, and attached it to my rudderstock with small screws. Who knows... I might even apply a dab of epoxy someday! 

Bill Nolen

Trailer Motor Mount

For some time I had carried my Honda 2 HP outboard motor laying on it's side in the trunk of my old car. To be safe I always drained the tank each time I placed it in the trunk. At the lake this could become a problem finding a safe place to discard the drained gasoline.

One summer I decided to make a motor mount that would be attached to my sailboat's trailer. I used some scrap 3/4-inch plywood, which I doubled and glued together to form a 1 1/2-inch board.

I cut this board to form the shape which gave me sufficient mounting space for the motor clamps, and also tapered down to provide the maximum support on the trailer winch support arm.

I fitted the board to the winch support arm and bolted it all together. Some white house paint finished the job to my satisfaction!

I later added two little rubber knobs to the top of the wooden mount to help keep the motor from sliding off, plus a chain and lock to help keep people honest!

Here is a photo of the finished trailer motor mount... without motor.

Here is a photo of the mount with motor mounted, showing a lower support attachment that was later removed, as it wasn't necessary.

Works great and is much easier on my tired old back, as I can now easily lift the outboard motor off the trailer mount, and carry it around to the sailboat's transom!

Bill Nolen


Something that most wont have caught onto yet is the flapwheel sanding head from Norton the sandpaper people. I have one of these in a really cheap (cost me $20) laminate trimmer with the base taken off (one wingnut and it all just slides off). Its an incredibly effective finishing tool for us quick and dirty boat bodgers.

John Welsford

Power Tools

I spent the last couple of days with a friend who is a designer for one of the world's biggest DIY power tool manufacturers. He is always looking for new ideas, but is not a boating person.

So, on his behalf, I would like to know what tool you would like to see him invent?

One of my ideas was a drill with two chucks. You know how irritating it is to drill a hole with one tool and then have to pick up another to screw in a screw. And why buy two tools when one would do? If the two chucks were on opposite sides (a bit like a claw hammer) then it would be easy to use the same tool for both jobs.

I always find a standard router too big to use in the confined space of a boat, but a Dremmel style is usually too small. So I'd like a small more portable router.

I'm sure you can all think of better ideas than that, so please lets see them!

Richard Woods of Woods Designs

Please make suggestions in the comment section below.