River Runner
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by Ben Phillips - Greer, South Carolina - USA

April 12, 2006

I am building a RR. I have made some modifications to the hull. I sent some photos to Jim Hauer. He recommended I send you the material.

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click to enlarge

Information about my River Runner:

1. Hull depth increased by 1”

2. 3/8” sides, 19/32” bottom, HC exterior fir plywood

3. Bottom is built as illustrated in “River to Run” by Larry Dablemont.

4. Interior bottom width is 32”, bow to stern.

5. Exterior bottom width is 34.5” including outside chines.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Maintaining the same width for the hull bottom from bow to stern eliminated the “peanut hull shape” problem. I read about the “peanut hull shape” in your April, 05 letters section.

6. Gravel Bar/Sand Bar slope—At 87.5” on the layout panel, 4 -7/8” up from the bottom per River Runner plans (?).

Straight edge from bottom of layout panel at 57” through point 87.5”, 4-7/8” to end of panel.

7. Built the River Runner transom angle on both ends.

Ben Phillips

July 4, 2006:

Chuck: It has been slow go on my River Runner. A number of things have eaten away at my “boat time.” I am a member of The Greenville Woodworkers Guild. I am building my River Runner in our shop and it is located across town.

The Enoree and Tyger rivers that friends and I float are located in the Enoree Division of the Sumter National Forest. They are too shallow for an outboard motor. Narrow passageways created by down trees, sandbars, etc. make using oars impractical. We do not fish or hunt. We just drift, slip up on all types of wildlife, and enjoy a picnic on a sandbar. We really need to control River Runner with paddles as we float down the river with the current.

Enclosed are pictures of additional changes I have made to River Runner.

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click to enlarge

A cockpit and deck were constructed. Cockpit is 26 inches wide and 14 ¼ inches deep. I wanted to sit in the middle of the boat for safety reasons. My partner and I will not have to reach out and over the side of the boat to keep it drifting correctly.

The seat frames are 9 inches high per River Runner plans. The seat is 1 inch thick with Swivl-Eze base plates mounted in the center. The seats are off set forward of the front seat frame and to the rear of the rear seat frame. A long straight edge was laid on the seats and a 10 inch hull depth was scribed. The hull was cut out between bulkhead 3 and bulkhead 12.5 to a depth of 10 inches.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

The bottom and 6 inches of the insides were given two coats of Rust-Oleum Road Warrior. Road Warrior is a rubberized epoxy, anti-slip pickup truck bed liner. The inside was then painted with Parker Duck Boat paint. I used the hunter green color.

Installed stainless steel oblong eye plates (above left) ordered from Duckworks. These have been installed in case I have to pull the boat up a riverbank using ropes and a vehicle. I have done this before with my canoe.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Seats are Tempress Hi-Back NaviStyle Mossy Oak Camo seats from Bass Pro. Nothing would destroy a great day floating the river for me more than sitting 10 inches above the floor on a hard seat without a back. I do not want to sit on the back deck. I want to keep the weight in the center so we can maneuver River Runner in quick turns. Friends and I can whisper as we float. We have slipped up on wood ducks, deer, turkeys, hawks, owls, muskrat, river otter, turtles, vultures eating a dead deer, etc. I call these events “trophy moments.”

I’ll send some photos when we launch. Ben Phillips

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