Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Maybe it's time to build another boat

A year or so ago I ordered plans for Phil Bolger's famous and lovely dory, the Gloucester Gull.  I already had Herb Payson's building guide pamphlet for the boat.  I think it is time for me to start another build.  The winter blues/depression is coming on pretty strong lately and building a boat is probably cheaper and less self destructive than many other things people turn to to combat depression, i.e. drugs, alcohol, sex, violins (violence), gambling....
I got this in the mail about a year ago
and just looked over them,
and over them.

 I actually had them, or at least the building guide, when I settled on building the skiff.  The skiff was a less technical boat to build and I wanted to give myself as much advantage as possible for completing and being happy with the result.  On hind sight it was the right choice to build the QT skiff first.  The skiff had much more room for adjusting the plan to suit my other needs, like adding a sailing rig.  I did however fail to get a good rowing ONLY boat out of the build.  Unbelievably the skiff is a bit complex for just going for a row on a whim, but just.

With the plans laid out on the shop table I
can start the process of going thru
the build in my head and visualize the whole
process more easily.
With the plans laid out in the shop I took some chalk and marked out the area where I will build the boat.  This lets me know how much room the frame will take up and what rearranging of the shop I might want to do before beginning to lay out wood.  Although the shop is a bit cool this time of year, I can warm it up a bit with the wood stove and leave my plans out and not have to pick them up each evening.  I think eventually I will put them up on the wall safe and out of the way.  I already spilled a little wood glue on them while doing a repair on an old guitar! Doh!
Even though the shop is too cold for epoxy, or for paint even, I can build the entire boat at a nice leisurely pace and by the time I need to do any gluing up or paint the days may have gotten warmer.  I can heat small areas for some small glue ups like the stem which I will have to laminate some pieces together to get a piece large enough.
But first I will have to construct the building frame upon which the stations will be anchored.  Although Herb Payson recommends the one time builder making the station molds from plywood as it uses less material, is less work and simpler, I will build the station frames from solid stock because I have plenty lying about, where as I would have to buy the plywood.  I will have to buy some plywood for the hull of the boat, but I would like to keep the costs down and just as important, I'd try not to use much plywood as it requires a lot of energy to manufacture it, and the wood is often harvested in a manner I am not so happy about supporting.
I got a lot of fir board reclaimed and for free, and I mean a lot of it, so I will use it when I can.  I suppose all the parts of this boat that aren't plywood will be fir.
So here we go again, an ultra light dory meant for recreational rowing by one person.  The lines of this boat are very fine to look at.  Bolger thought that the design of this boat might get him a pass on all of his sins and allow him into heaven, or at least that is what he said.
Don't know what I will do with this boat once it is built.  I do want a good rowing boat, light and fast, so maybe I'll just row it.  Oh Grrrreat another boat, just what I neeeed.  Oh well. 

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