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Commonly Asked Questions

What's the difference between the Coot-A and the Coot-B? The Model A version of the Coot has a single tail for optimizing yaw control on the water. The B model had twin tails, but was later not recommended by Molt due to its inability to counteract side-winds while taxied on water at low speeds. Also, the B model is not as easily towed on a trailer.

How can I locate Coot parts?                                        

It's now 40+ years since the Coot was designed, and a number of Coot projects are for sale (see the Message Board) at 40-year-old prices. These represent extraordinary opportunities to strike a good deal with a former builder who might have lost his medical, and who would like to see his efforts come to some fruition, even through someone else's hands. If the project is >50% complete, you won't be able to obtain a repairman's license for your Coot, but many of these projects represent painstaking accumulations of parts with relatively little assembly, often <50%.  Get this in writing from the seller, if possible, so you can qualify as the original builder and apply for your repairman's license.

  1. How should I get started?                                                              If you plan to build most of the Coot yourself, it's a good idea to order the Coot plans and read the Construction Manual thoroughly. You can easily purchase enough wood locally to build some wing nose ribs or even some of the smaller hull bulkheads. Then you can call up some of the builders listed on the Message Board with greater knowledge and personal building experience.  Drive or fly to their homes and inspect a few before you settle on a particular purchase. If you'd rather purchase a completed or nearly finished Coot, then learn about the Coot through the books available on the web site, and join the Coot community (see the next question) to become intimately familiar with the Coot in all its variations. This will reduce your chance of an investment woe later.
  2. How should I contact other Coot-builders?                 
  3. The simplest way is to attend a regional Coot-builder's meeting in your area. There are annual meetings in 2parts of USA (Oshkosh WI & Arlinton WA) that are announced in the Calendar of Events on this web site (under Coot Information).  A second approach is to look at the Photo Gallery (also on this site) and click on a state or region near you. Sometimes you'll find a map with the initials of Coot-builders shown in their approximate locations, with images of their Coot revealed by a click. A third idea would be to purchase "The Coot in a Nutshell" from me ($20) and read the list of all the Coots (pages 9 -13) as well as the phone numbers and email addresses of their builders (pages 52 - 54). Finally, you can subscribe to the Coot-builder's Newsletter and get to know others through their contributions. If none of these ideas appeal, then give me a call or email me directly.                                                       
  4. How much experience should I have to build a COOT?
    The most important knowledge (experience) is to be able to interpret a set of shop drawings, such as you might have used in your high school shop class. If you don't have a lathe or welding equipment, seek help from a professional, preferably someone recommended by your EAA chapter. You should know how to use most hand tools, and esperience with a drill press and radial arm saw can be learned quite easily in a shop class. I started building my COOT before I had ever held a power tool in my hands, and it turned out pretty well. Just remember that a COOT is a more complex aircraft than a Breezy, for example, because you incorporate retractable landing gear and folding wings into a water-proof hull. There is no particular step that is harder than building a Breezy, so just take 1 or 2 drawings at a time, and you won't get overwhelmed.
  5. How extensive should my workshop be?
    Some people take years to expand their workshop before they even consider starting to build. Such people are probably procrastinators. It would be prudent to have a workbench, a wallboard for hanging some tools, and the equivalent of a one-car garage at your disposal before you start. After a year or two you'll want a little more space for fitting the wings onto the hull, but this can be schedulded during the summer if you don't have a two-car garage. Essential power tools for your workshop include a radial arm saw, a drill press and a belt sander.
  6. How long will it take to build my COOT?
    Of course, the answer is entirely up to you. Do you buy a book so you can dash through it, or do you savor sentence structure and revel in finely pollished sentences? Do you want to be airborne in 1000 hours or do you take pride in seeing your gluelines as thin and tight as a silk thread? Molt Taylor has estimated that it takes 1500 hours to build a COOT, but some of us have taken twice as many. The next question is: how do you want to divide up those hours? What are your other commitments to family, work and home? Some builders think they will find all kinds of building time when they retire, only to discover that other things get in the way before their COOT's are ready to leave the nest. If you can't find an average of an hour a day to devote to building, then perhaps you should consider buying a COOT that is already built and flying.
  7. Will my COOT carry more than 2 people?
    Molt Taylor designed the hull of the COOT for just 2 people. Unless your passengers are feather-weights, your COOT will have trouble lifting off the water with 3 or 4 people. One builder stretched his hull to accommodate 2 jump-seats for the kids, and it worked quite well. However, he eventually sold it and built a lighter 2-place version.
  8. What sort of engine would be ideal for my COOT?
    Franklin, Continental or Lycoming engines (in that order of preference) are fine, provided their horsepower exceeds 180 and they are fitted with a constant-speed (variable-pitch) propeller. Everyone moans (including me) about their high cost, but most automotive engines just don't have as much power and reliability. A possible exception is the rotary engine. Two COOT's have flown successfully with Mazda engines, but no other automotive engines have been successfully applied as of 2013. There is some interest in the Subaru engine, but nobody has flown a Coot with one as yet.
  9. Can I build the wings out of aluminum?

      It is theoretically possible to do this, but it would require much time and  skill, and there would be little or no weight advantage.

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