Sunday, December 4, 2016

Winter Approaches…

Winter doesn't begin for another two and a half weeks, but today's two inches of snow and mid-30s temperatures gave us a taste of what's ahead.

And I have to catch up with the weather - the Boat Cave needs rebuilding - at least the north end - after making room for the gantry. That is the immediate task at hand.

We are done traveling for the time being (trips to Oregon, Colorado, Kentucky and Guatemala kept us busy the last five months) and I have no pending medical concerns (the last five months also included hernia and cancer surgeries). The to-do list is waiting for me but I can see the end of the build in sight.

Yes, winter is approaching but I am gearing up to complete Gardens for a spring launch.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Onto Stands

After a couple days of test (getting the balance point and slings figured out) lifts and show-and-tell demo lifts, Gardens was placed on her boat stands today.

Finding the balance point proved to be trickier than I expected. During the first test lift, the bow came up while the stern did not. I moved the gantry aft about six inches. On the second lift, the stern came up but the bow did not. Moving the gantry three inches foreward found the balance point as the boat rose evenly off the floor.

After reworking the boat stands (initially built them 21" high but reduced the height to 11") today, I raised Gardens high enough to slide the stands into place and carefully lowered her onto the stands. The foreward stand is fine but the aft stand needed a bit of reworking to account for the rocker of the bottom.

The hull is not as rock-solid-steady on the stands as I'd like, so tomorrow additional supports will be installed to minimize any tipping tendency.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Elmer Works

Tested the gantry system late yesterday:

On the floor:

Off the floor:

The gantry needs to be moved aft a bit - the test lift was not quite balanced fore-and-aft.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Busy Times

We've been busy over the last six weeks: Denver for a week (family), Kentucky Bourbon Trail for a long weekend (good bourbon, family and friends), the World Series (I grew up in Cleveland), outpatient surgery to remove skin cancer (not much fun), the election (not much fun about that either), and helping my brother-in-law complete a large woodworking project (fun but tiring).

The Boat Bay is being straightened up and cleaned out to make room for the gantry (to lift Gardens). Everything is ready (chain hoist installed, straps prepared, boat stands built, etc.) so the lift could take place any day now…

In the meantime, I built a portable-knock-down stand for my chop saw and I'm shopping for a new miter saw.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Built Myself Into a Box

Or, more accurately, I built myself outside the box…

Way back when, early in the build, I decided I didn't want the centerboard raising/lowering mechanism shown in the plans. I wanted the centerboard to pivot as drawn but I wanted a simple pennant attached to the trailing edge of the CB passing through the top of the CB case and secured to a cleat. So, I built the CB case accordingly - the top completely closed in.

At some point I saw the problem with what I had done: how to install the CB and be able to line everything up. Might have been able to do it when the hull was still upside down… but now the boat is upright. I thought I could install it from below once the boat is on the trailer, but there isn't enough clear space in the trailer frame.

One possibility is to cut away the top of the CB case, install the CB and rebuild the top of the case. This option would let me lower the CB into the case with a sling.

Another solution is to build boat stands to support the hull high enough off the floor to fit the CB in from the bottom (using a jack of some sort to raise the CB into position).

Using boat stands and cutting away the top of the CB case would also work - keep the hull low but well supported and facilitate fitting the CB into the case.

Truth be known, I should have built stands last November when we turned the boat over.

Second truth… "Off plan" modifications need to be thoroughly thought though and planned before implementing.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Possibly Overbuilt...

Slow progress of late, due primarily to a lingering 3-week cold. The meds are working and I am feeling much better, thanks.

Yesterday's project was to build a gantry to raise Gardens onto (and probably off of) her trailer.

8' wide, 10'tall, 1-ton chain hoist (not pictured) (and that temporary bottom cross-bar will be removed).

Possibly overbuilt.

The Boat Cave clutter will be cleaned up before the gantry is positioned and Gardens comes off the floor.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Returning to Work

As expected, I've been medically cleared to resume normal activities…

Began re-purposing the Boat Cave: removing the overhead so I can set up a chain hoist to raise/lower Gardens on & off her trailer. (I'll rebuild the Boat Cave in November so I can work through the winter.)

I've got most of the components I need for setting up the hoist and I'm waiting on UPS to deliver (possibly Tuesday, probably Wednesday) the webbing I'll use for the sling.

About two years ago I purchased an air-cooled 2 HP Johnson outboard to use as a kicker (in and out of a marina if need be). This summer I finally figured out it doesn't fit Gardens well enough to be useable… so I now plan to use an electric trolling motor for the same purpose. This week I finished up (milled, drilled, sanded) a white oak blank for the motor mount. It still needs epoxy and/or varnish.

Bilge clean-up and painting resumes this coming week; soon to be followed by installation of the cockpit seats and platform decking.

Having lost two full months of prime boat-building time, I am excited to be getting back to work on Gardens. And, finally, I am (pretty) confident enough to plan a Spring 2017 launch!