Friday, June 28, 2013

His and Hers

So Liz's boat is finished.  I really like it.  All the wood and varnish make it look special.  I am eager to see her in it and on the water.

I decided to change the rowing situation on the pram for the 4th time, I think.  Brought it up to the shop and worked on it then took the opportunity to see both boats together.
His & hers.
In some ways the boats are very similar and in others so very different.  I have enjoyed watching the evolution of my building style and methods.  I suppose I am giving myself a education that moves in baby steps over a long period of time.  I have built 3 boats over a year and a half, all of similar type, but each different in the particulars and the intended use.
Pram & Double paddle canoe
I took off the red oak oar locks that were on the pram for 2 reasons.  First, the red oak just looked out of place on the boat overall.  Second,  If I was to use the double paddle option then they would be in the way.  I had always intended for the oar locks to be removable so that either rowing or paddling could be chosen.  Now I have a 1-1/2" x 3/4" x 12" thole pin that bolts to the frame with a bolt and wing nut for easy removal.

My fleet is growing.  Seems a bit crazy at times to have so many boats, but I am sure they said the same thing about Imelda Marcos and her shoes, and we know she was as sane as any of us, right?  I think that building boats is like any addiction, "Hi, my name is Richard and I am a boat-aholic".  Actually it feels more like a therapy, the way painting a canvas or throwing a clay pot, or playing guitar, are therapeutic as well as artistic.
I think I am ready for the next phase of my apprenticeship.  I am not sure what that is but it feels like I have done the "One sheet of plywood, flat bottom boat" and of my own dimensions and could move on.  Maybe a multi chined boat, maybe a stitch & glue, definitely a longer boat.
I like that these boats are inexpensive to build, really cheap, and use very little "milled" purchased wood.  The plywood is a guilt trip for me to some degree.  It takes a bit of manufacturing and shipping and cutting to make a sheet of plywood, as well as some chemicals that aren't so nice.  I think these boats already have a limited life span because of the type of plywood, glue and finish I am using, so I go ahead and use the Plywood.  If I could build a traditional planked boat, or dug out, all with found materials I would, but then again, I don't know that I could build the type of boats I would use with that method, so then why build at all?  I have built 3 boats and used 5 sheets of plywood.  I think that's OK.  I don't feel too badly about it.
I think about building for other people but I don't know that anybody would want one of my boats.  They are easy enough to build and I think people should just build their own if they want won.

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