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Naming the boat

Whiskey looks on as I trace the name on the boards using carbon paper. I picked this name because it represents independence from bank loans, marinas, marine repair shops and other potential bugaboos of boat ownership.


I looked at several ways of imprinting the name on the board.

  • Using a gouge - would have looked neat but required more practice than I was willing to spend time for.
  • Sending to a sign maker - more money than I wanted to spend.
  • Using a router by free hand - I tried some practice runs and the results were more amateur looking than I desired.
I settled for a sign making jig such as this one.

With this type of jig a lot can go wrong. I started with the router setup. The red bushing shown here is too narrow for the supplied router bit. Also I could tighten the bit with the bushing off but not with it installed. Also I could not install the bushing after tightening the bit. Here you can see the damage to the bushing from the too loose router bit being pushed into it during my first attempt at routing letters.


I got a new bushing and plate set that was thinner than the one supplied. I also bought a straight router bit that was longer than the one supplied. With this change I was able to tighten the bit well before installing the base plate.

Here's the results of practice runs. The round bit was pushed into the router at the start resulting in uneven depth on the letter "S". Later, I routed the letter "T" using a straight bit with the new base plate and bushing. This turned out much better.


Here is the jig setup for routing the letters. I have to make totally sure the bushing extends through the template before starting the router otherwise the template gets destroyed. Also I had to do the name in three stages since it is too long for the jig. I started each stage with the last letter done to line things up.

Once I finished routing I trimmed the name board and cut it about 5/16" thick so it would be easy to lay flat against the side of the hull. I then screwed, glued and bunged it in place. Later I will prime and paint the inside of the letters white.