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. 

Home is where the Boat is Blog!

I recently found out about a cruising couple who have a blog going about their adventures that began in 2013.  Lois and Astra are sailing aboard a John Hanna Tahiti Ketch.  I found out about them from OCH,(Off Center Harbor,Boat Videos, Wooden Boat Building | Sailing, Docking & Rowing a Boat) who caught up with them on their first day of the cruise, lucky that.  OCH made a little video of them and the first minute of it was what got my attention.  In that first minute they describe the Tahiti Ketch as being the VW bus of the sea!  I drive a VW bus, Vanagon actually, and love it, so why wouldn't I love the ocean going version of that?
They seem a lovely couple and they seem to have a lovely boat.  I wish them a lovely cruise.  Their blog site and logo are equally lovely.home is where the boat is
The blog of Louis and Astra aboard "Evelyn"
Lovely graphic and sentiment.

I read thru the blog yesterday and enjoyed it much.  The mistakes they have made seem small in the result and they have taught them the lessons they need to learn, the hard way granted, but still it is a way of learning that is hard to forget, and their tender to "Evelyn" will always bear the scars for a reminder.  Enough said.

I would suggest that you check out the blog if that kind of thing interests you, and you can do some vicarious adventuring from the comfort of your warm home this winter while these two young'ins get their feet wet, literally.  I believe it is Astra who is doing the writing, primarily and she is very good at it.  Seems to have a good balance between the events of the trip and informing us of the history of each place they visit, personal and more general.  The video on OCH is well done, of course, and inspires one to start making plans for some kind of adventure of ones own.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Winter is here

Possibly the coldest weather we have had in some time, record setting, of course it is.  I told people who had boats that if this year turns out to be a cold one the blame will lie with me for having put my boat in for the winter.  My Bad!
the icy river
I figure that I have finished the first part of my winter sailing season and that the second part is the freeze that will keep me from sailing.  The third part will be the thaw, in about a month or a little more.  Maybe it is a good time to start a build on a new boat.
The boat didn't get a circulator installed in its new berth and the stern is frozen in.  When I stepped aboard today the boat did not move an inch!  I had hoped to remove the rudder but it's is there to stay for a while.  I really don't think that it will suffer much in such a protected basin.  With ice like this the boat can't sink until spring time.
I doubt that there will be this
much fresh water 2 days from now when the lows are supposed to be
very low.
The cold has been so deep this year that I am a wee bit nervous about the boat, but having gone thru this before in another boat, I am trying to be calm about it.  It is true that the hull of Waneeshee, my Bristol 27 that got frozen in, is much thicker, but it didn't suffer at all from the event.
Almost don't need the floating docks,
you could just walk across the ice to the boat!
Always a new adventure. It is hard to believe that just a week ago I was sailing on soft water in pretty warm-ish weather, and now the river looks like it has more ice than water.  I am thinking a lot about the Florida Keys and the warm blue water.