Sunday, October 15, 2017

One Day At A Time

So it turns out that I am better at reporting than predicting…

In my previous post I predicted both foredeck panels would be installed by today (Sunday). Only one panel has been installed and that happened today.

Four or five dry-fits of the starboard panel over the last two days went pretty well. The actual installation was much more troublesome. Funny how thickened epoxy acts as a lubricant… The photo is from a dry-fit on Friday. The Boat Bay was too dark and gloomy this afternoon for photos.

Obviously the port panel is still waiting to be installed.

Best I can do is take it one day at a time.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Back From Maine...

We had a great time in Maine!

Our trip began with a short stop in Fairport, NY (Jan's old stomping grounds) and continued in Maine with a stop in Saco, ME for a visit with Clint Chase at Chase Small Craft and a shop tour. If you are not familiar with Clint Chase's work, check out his website at Chase Small Craft

Then on to Bar Harbor, enjoying seafood, Acadia National Park, seafood, local beers, seafood, shopping, seafood, and a most enjoyable sail on the four-masted schooner Margaret Todd.

After Bar Harbor, we went to Boothbay Harbor for a cousins' reunion. One highlight for me was the Andrew Wyeth exhibit at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, ME. Another highlight was a day-sail on a Marshall 22 Catboat; light air for most of the day but the wind piped up for an hour's worth of excitement - a fun day.

One last highlight was the Pumpkin Regatta in Damariscotta, ME. This annual event features boats carved out of large (very large - upwards of 1,600 lbs!) pumpkins and powered by small outboard motors!

On our return trip we spent a day scouting New York state's Finger Lakes region for future sailing adventures.

And, now, back to work on Gardens!

The foredeck panels are prepped and ready for installation. I spent the afternoon trying to figure out how to install both panels at the same time - and concluded it makes more sense to deal with them one at a time. So, the starboard panel will be installed on Saturday and the port panel on Sunday (if all goes according to plan…).

Friday, October 6, 2017

The List

In Sunday's post I mentioned some of the tasks yet to be done for/on/to Gardens - but it was a very minimal list. This week's trip to Maine for a family reunion gave me a lot of driving time to add to the list. So, in no particular order, here is my newly updated list of tasks/work to be done:
  • Install Foredeck Panels
  • Fill/sand/fair interior and top deck seams
  • Prep interior for paint
  • Paint interior (need to pick a color…)
  • Coamings (pattern, cut coamings, install)
  • Install CB case cap
  • Shape mizzen mast; varnish
  • Mast slot modifications (stiffeners along underneath edges of slot)
  • Mast block (a block just foreward of mast as an anchor point for the coamings)
  • Mast step prep for installation; install
  • Install hardware (cleats, motor mount, etc.)
  • Title and register Gardens with the Michigan Secretary of State's office
  • Test launch (before the weather turns cold!)
  • Decide on and purchase trolling motor
That's a much more detailed list but I am sure more items will be added before Gardens is ready for her official launch (early spring). I'll just keep plugging away.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Very Good September

September was a busy month for Gardens! Installing the starboard gunwale brought the month to a close.

At the risk of overlooking something obvious, I think there are only four 'major' components left to install: the two foredeck panels and the two coamings. And of course, the second 75% of the build to finish (sanding, fairing, painting out the interior, installing hardware and rigging…)!

We made a good progress in September and feel very good about that progress.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Foredeck, Gunwales, and CB Box-Top

The foredeck panels have been fitted (and re-fitted) and should be about ready to go once the gunwales are both installed.

After a week of 90° weather (yes, in Michigan, in September!), temperatures have returned to more fall-like (and epoxy friendly) levels.

The port side gunwale was installed yesterday. Wasn't sure I'd have enough clamps as I recently loaned out about 20. Things went well and, after using 30 clamps, there were a few to spare. The starboard gunwale goes on tomorrow.

A Spanish windlass pulled the aft end of the gunwale into place.

A wedge at the starboard bow was useful to pull the bow end of the gunwale into place.

Use of a wedge for installing the starboard gunwale (tomorrow) means I have to wait to install the port foredeck panel, otherwise there isn't a way to clamp the wedge in place.

The "box-top" for the center-board case fits (needs a bit of tweaking and, obviously, gluing up). Photo shows the box-top (without the top piece) with the rigging demo.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Fiddly Work, Progress and Elmer

Recent progress on Gardens has been wonderfully visible and very satisfying. Less visible (and not as exciting) is the fiddly work over the last two days of installing cockpit seat doublers, filling/fairing deck seams, getting the coaming pattern almost finalized, prepping to install the gunnels (many dry-fits to get it 'right') and considering new colors for the interior (no decision made). Still making progress.

Elmer (the) Gantry has straddled Gardens, and has been sort of in the way, since I built it last fall. This weekend, as part of tidying up the Boat Bay and to make it easier to work on the gunnels, I moved Elmer forward of Gardens (not sure why I didn't think of that sooner!).

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Deck Seams, Coamings and Getting Close

Most of the upper decking is installed. The foredeck panels will be installed after the gunnels, so I have that to look forward to…

So the four seams between upper deck panels were 'pretty tight' but not quite what I wanted in terms of filling and fairing them. I used my trim router with a CNC bit to widen those seams to make it easier to fill them with thickened epoxy. The CNC bit worked like a charm.

While I am really not quite ready for the coamings, yesterday I was inspired to tackle the (dreaded) task of making a pattern for the coamings. I say "dreaded" because the coamings have been on my "How in the heck do I do that?" list for a long time. I cut up some luan door-skin, clamped it in place, stood back and pondered, asked Jan for her thoughts, looked at many (many) photos on-line and began marking off the shape for the coaming.

There is a bit of tweaking to do - and the "hard" part (fitting to the rise over BH-2) is not quite done - but after much hemming and hawing I realized that how one shapes the coaming is a personal decision. There is no right or wrong way to the shape.

On Tuesday, I went to the Secretary of State's local office to find out what documentation I need to title and register Gardens (Michigan doesn't call it DMV but that is one of the functions of the Secretary of State's office). I need materials receipts to show I've paid sales tax on the materials and a statement that I built the boat. No inspection required. As a lawyer friend of mine recently told me, "Michigan isn't concerned with the boat design, the quality of the build or whether the vessel is seaworthy… what the state wants is tax dollars so you'll have no trouble getting your title/registration - just write a check for the amount they tell you!"

I am pleased with the progress over the last two weeks or so, and I know I am getting close to completing Gardens. However, a FB post and comments this morning reminded me I still have a ways to go… "When the boat is 75% done you still have 75% to go." I'm probably a bit beyond the 75% mark, so maybe I have less than 75% to go.