Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Joy's of Summer

On the first day of summer and 90 degree temperature, I thought, what better place to be than on a cool fresh water lake in my skiff.  So, off I went.

With out fail, each time I come across other boaters, usually at the launch ramps, the skiff gets comment and approval.  It makes me feel good.

I am very happy with this boat so far.  It carries well when rowing, so it seems very easy to row.  The distance that is covered with little effort is impressive to me.

I anchored for the first time and enjoyed some cooling off in the fresh water by hanging off the transom, which seemed to take my almost 200 lbs. with no problems.  I was also able to just drift along at times while hanging my feet over the side amidships and though the boat healed over it felt stable and comfortable.

I did a little more umbrella sailing.  It still makes me smile to be able to do that.  I have taken the luff wire out of the old sail and have to finish deconstructing before I can get to the construction part of the sail.  For now I am happy to just go out and row, just "Messing about".

I have gotten the loading and launching down to a pretty good system now, using a couple of old fenders that I found over the years and the kayak wheelies.  Very quick and very manageable.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Making a sail

In the spirit of recycling I took an old jib I had and laid it out to see if I could use it to make the sprit sail for the skiff.
Sprit Sail from old jib.
I took some cut off battens and some masking tape and laid out the measurements of the desired sprit sail and the juggle things around until I got something that seems about right.

I am now in the process of deconstructing the jib in order to get the parts I need to build the new sail.  I'll be doing it all by hand so it may be a while.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Making it round

The method that Arch Davis described for working a square piece of wood into a round one worked great.  I got to use my Jack Plane, a spokeshave and a sureform.
Drawing reference lines around the circumference of the mast, every 6 inches or so let me see how much wood I had taken off and then I just matched it on all faces of the new sides I'd planed.
square becomes round
this mast is way to thick for the boat.  I am shaping it down to a much smaller dimension.  I really like the wood, knots and all.  It should look great with some varnish.
Round becomes tapered

a stick becomes a mast

Seems short doesn't it?  
The nice thing about the sprit rig is that the mast can be short because the sprit will add the needed height.  I am wanting to build the sail to need a boom just because I think the dimensions of such a sail will look really nice on this boat.
Since the boat is a little tender, a low but longer sail seems the better choice.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Big sticks

Using what I have.  Pine board and Gorilla Glue.
Hopefully it will be a mast soon.

Just Gorilla glued up the mast.
4 laminations
   3/4"x 3"x 8'-8", yellow pine
this should work out to be:
1 3"x3"x8'-8"
That will be worked down to:
2-3/4" at the partner----1-3/4" at the top

Or so the plan goes.

I may try and do some kind of mechanical seizing along the mast, as well as the glue and varnish.  It isn't a tall stick and I can get away with that because of the sail type and shape.  The sprit will be about 11 feet long, but it can be a little "bendy".

For the design of the mast, or how I will shape it, I am referencing an article in WoodenBoat Magazine(#224), by the boat designer/builder Arch Davis, ( in which he builds a "simple mast" for a 12 foot peapod.  The wood I had was the pine though I probably could have scared up enough doug fir , which he thinks is a good choice, if I looked hard enough.  I kind of liked the idea of using the salvaged wood of the same type I've used already.  If it doesn't work I can try the fir.