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putt putt

seedtick

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2006
1,141
4
Denham Springs, LA
#1
haven't stopped building, just haven't posted in a while



This is a 12 foot (half scale) model of what we call a putt putt, also known as a Atchafalaya Basin bateau. This was the style of boat that used the "new" inboard gas engine in the early 1900's. For the locals it was a huge step up from paddling and a big technological advance
 

beekeeper

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2009
1,402
13
#2
Great job! It looks great in the picture, but even better in person.:)

Did the boats ever have seats or did the people just sit on the tumblehome?

beekeeper
 

seedtick

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2006
1,141
4
Denham Springs, LA
#4
thanks Bee,
These boats typically didn't carry passengers, but if you had one, he sat on the side. The person running the boat sat on the starboard side, just in back of the rear bulkhead. This gave him easy access to the steering stick (which controlled the rudder), the flywheel was between his legs (for starting), the points were in that little brass thingy in front of the engine and you could adjust timing (speed control and transmission-forward or back), the carburetor was between the two cylinders, and the water pump was at the end of the engine. Not exactly OSHA compliant by today's standards but did give access to everything you needed to run the boat.

Jack,
Bulkheads were for organization and segregation, keeping your catch separate from the bait, crabs separate from the traps, etc. They also served as permanent jigs when building the boat. The sides were bent around the bulkheads.
While most of the putt putts were similar, you could tweak them for special jobs. In turn of the century Louisiana, there was a lot more local traffic on waterways than roads. If you needed to move livestock or something big, it was put on a barge. The vertical front transom and front posts were for barge moving. There is also a post behind the gas tank for pulling. These boats were also used for pulling a boom (raft) of floating logs to the mill
 

Steve

Well-Known Member
#6
Are you going to run the high coaming around it as well. . . I remember seeing them as a kid. . . Back when my great grandmother lived in the Atchafalaya. . . I seem to remember the coming being 6 to 8 inches high. . . Of course I was just a kid and that was a lot of years back. . . So I could be remembering wrong. . . .
 

seedtick

Well-Known Member
Jul 22, 2006
1,141
4
Denham Springs, LA
#7
I have a shallow coaming around the engine compartment. On a full sized boat, this coaming could be a 4 or 6 inch board that is proud above the deck by 2 or 3 inches. I've never seen coaming standing 6 or 8 inches proud but let me be quick to say that just because I've never seen it, doesn't mean it didn't exist. Lots of boats were built for a special purpose or special needs. Coaming around the engine compartment gives you a little extra freeboard to keep water out of the engine area and I can see if someone was out really loading up the boat, then they would need the extra height coaming. This particularly true if they were loading up in salt water and having to get back home in fresh water. I've seen old pictures of oyster luggers almost sinking when they get back into fresh water


BTW good to hear from you, have you bailed from facebook?
 

Steve

Well-Known Member
#8
Nah still on FB . . . Just not so often. . . . That 6 or 8 inch coaming I remember could be a mis-remember on my part but I do recall it being higher than normal and wrapping the whole length of the gunwhales and the breasthook..... but like you said and it makes sense. . . The owner probably had it for better load containment. . . Seems to me too that this style bateau was pretty much on the way out back then. . . .
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,902
55
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#9
When we use the term "working boat", I'd guess that, up until after WWI, all boats were such. There weren't many recreational boats until a year or three after WWII. Today, we're very lucky that all of our boats are for recreation. Read "toys".
 

Kayak Jack

Well-Known Member
Aug 26, 2003
12,902
55
80
Okemos / East Lansing Michigan
#11
All canoes and kayaks were originalky working boats - hunting, carrying food, family, supplies, etc.

Notice that all of our boats are wood? Part of the reason this bulletin board got started was because a couple of fellows told Chuck, Andy, and me that wood wasn't a suitable material to use for building boats! And, we're not the only ones. Every year, in Cedarville, Michigan is the Wooden Boat Festival.
 
Likes: Steve