Building Logs, part 3...
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A long year of distractions is over. In the fall of 2002 we lost one of our team members when she moved to North Carolina with her family. However, there's an up-side: They've rented a timeshare condo for a week at a resort near the big resevoir mid-state where we can give Emily a chance to go sailing. So, we've got a target date for completion to aim for!
The other two girls have moved on to other studies and are only peripherally interested in the project. So, it falls to Alegra, me, whichever of my two sons I can corral on any given day, and the occasional helpful student from the school or other friends to finish the boat in time for a proposed launch date in mid-May.
- Research Phase
January 1 through March 13, 2003
On January 1st I contacted again the knowledgeable fellow who'd given me help at the beginning of the project. Although he agreed to meet with me to answer my remaining questions it became clear after a couple of weeks that he was not actually going to be available. Our mutual friend explained that he was experiencing overwhelming job and family commitments that would make it hard for him to give me any time or attention.
So, belatedly, I began intense study and research to learn as much as I could about the basics of boat building so I would be able to ask intelligently about the many details -- and larger questions -- that still baffled me.
From mid-January to mid-March, I bought and digested over $200 worth of books on boatbuilding and rigging, and read everything I could get from the library, dozens of web sites and hundreds of web forum messages. I asked a bunch of questions on the WoodenBoat Forums, getting many great suggestions that helped me finalize the building and rigging plans and figure out how to modify the hull to accomodate the more complex rig.
If I stuck to the original, simple sail plans recommended by the designers it would have been less work, but I'm optimistic that the extra effort and complexity will pay off in a more flexible and interesting boat. And, if it doesn't work out, there's nothing to say we can't fall back to a single spritsail on an unstayed mast!
- Work on the hull resumes
March 9 through 14, 2003
We unburied the boat, gathered tools, equipment, materials, and supplies, checked over the trailer one last time and made sure we had a vehicle ready to pull it. On the 12th we delivered a big load of tools, sawhorses, and worktables to Clonlara School.
March 14 and 15, 2003
We lashed the mast, spars, centerboard and rudder down inside and wrapped the boat up tight in a tarp to protect it from road spray. We were expecting a winter storm the night of the 13th and morning of the 14th, and it delivered! We waited until the early morning rush passed and road crews could catch up with salting and plowing. The actual trip was uneventful. Even though the school had cancelled classes, there were still staff there to let us in.
I stayed overnight with Alegra and son Stephen. We set up our work area for the first time in a year. We fixed the legs of a table for the school so we could recover two of our sawhorses that were holding it up. We put carpet on the big sawhorses that support the boat to protect the wales when we turned her over.
Finally, making sawdust again! We used planes and sanding blocks to trim the edges of the bottom and transom flush with the sides. Late that night, I browsed around on the net on one of the school's computers and found a nice looking stemhead fitting at Tendercraft Boats.
The following morning, we cleaned up and went home, content with making a good start.
March 16 through 19, 2003
Bought oarlocks and sockets from Boat U.S.; Boatbuilding, by LaChapelle from Borders Books; new epoxy pumps from Jerry at Eastpointe Fiberglass.
I continued to correspond with the folks on the Woodenboat Forums, getting ideas for the stemhead arrangement, plus useful overall comments on the rest of the rig.
March 20 and 21, 2003, Thursday evening through Friday
Thursday evening: Set up and take pictures of work area for web site. Remove trunk braces and take apart centerboard trunk. Friday: Buy 2x4's and sawhorse brackets from Home Depot; assemble sawhorses and build a buffet table top over the boat to protect it during the Irish Festival to be held Saturday. Head for home.
- Completing hull carpentry
March 25 and 26, 2003, Tuesday through Wednesday morning
Sort out chairs and sweep up from Saturday's party. Set up work area. Make mast partner blocks, port centerboard trunk brace block; cut trunk height to final dimensions, add screws to trunk log fastening; trim trunk braces. Pack up, clean up and dust mop floor. Leave first thing Wednesday morning before band practice begins in the room we're using.
March 27 through 31, 2003
Work up chainplate arrangement with help from Woodenboat Forum members. Buy Dolphinite bedding compound from Boat U.S.; get Interlux paint chips from Mike's Marine; buy box of #8 x 3/4 bronze screws from Public Lumber.
March 31, April 1, 2003, Monday and Tuesday
Cut out last trunk brace block, start fitting it. Prototype rigging of headstay, shrouds, jib halyard, peak and throat halyards, gaff span, mainsail lacing, main sheet. Clean up and head home by 4:30, Tuesday.
April 2 and 3, 2003
Order bronze strip, rod, angle, flat washers from Small Parts Co. Call TenderCraft boats - ask questions, order stemhead fitting. Gather router bits, clothes, tools, bedding. Buy more bronze screws from Public Lumber.
April 4 and 5, 2003, Friday and Saturday
Arrive 2pm, set up, take down test rig. Finish last centerboard trunk brace block; drill mounting holes for fore and aft seat riser blocks; router edges of seat risers, dress off foreward ends. Pizza and salad from Marco's; Kroger's to buy stuff for breakfast and snacks plus ice cream for a treat. Sleep.
Remove inwales, breasthook and knees, make plug for hole between breasthook and stem, epoxy in place. Sand all inner surfaces, break all edges; make forward false frames, breasthook fill blocks, first oarlock fill block; make blocks for headsail sheet lead rail.
Clean up, leave 5pm, home for dinner…
April 7 through 9, 2003, Monday through Wednesday morning
Grab a few things from Home Depot and Public Lumber. Arrive at school 3:30-ish in snow, with Alegra, son Brian and small trailer in tow; set up and eat dinner
Glue breasthook, forward false frames, port headsail sheet lead spacers, fore and aft seat riser end-blocks, mast partner and centerboard trunk brace mounting blocks. Sand mast. Go to Home Depot for more clamps, denatured alcohol. Make port chainplate false frame; glue starboard sheet lead spacers. Pack and clean up; head for home first thing Wednesday morning.
April 9, 2003
Buy bronze wood screws for inwales and seat risers; tan 3M 5200 sealant; more wood screws for mast step; jam cleats for sheets; mast step bolts; harken blocks from Boat U.S.
April 10 through 12, 2003, Thursday through Saturday
Stay after Thursday classes with Alegra and Stephen: Unclamp everything. Remove forward false frames to re-position them properly; drill more screw holes in inwales; fit quarter knees, drive new screws through transom.
Friday: Make 1 1/2 x 18 flexible sanding block; fair inwale mounting surfaces; fit quarter knee fill blocks; re-cut center board handle profile, smooth and round it; fair rudder edges, start tapering rudder edges. Cut and sand alike tiller cheeks; make starboard chainplate false frame; start sanding spars. Glue quarter knees, forward false frames, quarter knee fill blocks, chainplate frames, patch on side of mast. Tear down to clear room for school's movie night; head home about 6 pm.
Saturday morning: Set up boat building area for Imagination Fair; write up whiteboard for boat project story.
Boatbuilding demonstration during imagination fair: reinstall inwales; fair quarter knee fill blocks; plane and sand out mast patch; finish tapering rudder edges; rough out tiller handle. Talk to various people during event. Help clean up, lift duct tape from tarp edges to protect floor, head home about 5 or 6 pm.
April 14, 2003
Buy glass cloth for rudder, centerboard, hull from Eastpointe Fiberglass.
April 15 and 16, 2003, Tuesday through Wednesday morning
Arrive about 4pm Tuesday with Alegra and Brian. Take pictures.
Route and sand edges of wales; round off bottom of sheet lead spacer blocks; detail sand rails; shape transom corners; shape centerboard logs; make headsail sheet cleat pedestal; shape trunk logs. Hull carpentry almost done!
Apply fiberglass to inside of trunk and assemble. Clean up and come home Wednesday morning.
April 19, 2003
Follow up with Tendercraft Boats on stemhead fitting. Find bronze half oval at Bristol Bronze, e-mail for quote. From Jamestown Distributors, order bronze eyestraps, nuts, washers, deck cleats, screws for keel band, trigger snaps, ring nails.
- Steady progress ...
So, in about a month of steady work we've finished nearly all the carpentry work on the hull. All the parts that have to be permanently attached are on. The inwales have been strengthened by adding additional false frames, fill blocks, and more screws. That and other features have been added to the basic Weekend Skiff design to accomodate the stayed mast and headsail.
Next stop, we flip the hull over and do some fiberglass work!
See Chronology, Part 4...
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