Sunday, March 1, 2015

Waiting for the Sun...

Well, not exactly waiting for the sun because we've had sunshine… but then the Doors didn't sing, "Waiting for the Spring."

Okay, so, officially, we have three more weeks of winter but today is warmer than is has been in a few weeks. Can we pretend winter is nearly over and that spring is nearly here?

Maybe… but I still can't open the main door to the boat bay. Too much snow and ice. And I still can't get my shop warmed up to much more than 40° F. Same with the "sail loft" - studio space above the shop. All of which means I really can't get much boat work or woodworking done any time soon.

I'll have to be content with making lists of projects to be done once I can get to the boat, the shop and the "sail loft."

Today's List of Future Tasks & Projects
  • Finish sanding and fairing the bottom of the hull
  • Paint the hull
  • Turn the hull over
  • Finish the interior, decking and outfit the boat (pretty much "Finish the Boat")
  • Sew the sail
  • Build the spars
  • Build new barn windows
  • Create a barn quilt
  • Build a pair of Morris chairs for the library
…and so much more.

Of course, each item listed above is a header for its own list… and so on... and so on...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Decision - and A Lesson Relearned

After giving the sail options due consideration, I decided on ordering the Sail Rite kit. That project will give me something to do while this cold winter drags on into spring.

As for that lesson: we are all very much aware of the adage, "Measure twice, cut once."

It applies to boat building, woodworking of all sorts, many other arts and crafts and life in general.

Two weeks ago I ran the numbers for the birdsmouth staves for each of the spars (yard, boom, main mast and mizzen mast). I carefully recorded the dimensions in my notebook and put it aside until it warms up enough to actually work in the shop. Yesterday I reviewed those numbers and found an error (in my dimensions for the mail mast) so glaring (off by more than 50%!) I was shocked I hadn't seen it two weeks ago.

I'll be re-checking all of those numbers a few more times before I cut any staves for the spars...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Choices of Sail

I have choices when shopping for the mainsail for Gardens' lug-yawl sail plan.
  • Ready-made sail from DuckWorks
  • Ready-made sail from another sailmaker
  • Ready-made sail from Poly Sail
  • Sail kit from Poly Sail
  • Sail kit from Sail Rite

There are pros and cons to each of these choices and the decision is not driven by cost alone. I need to weigh each choice, compare the pros & cons, and make a decision.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Procrastination Can Be a Good Thing

Time to regroup my plans for the lug-yawl sail plan for Gardens of Fenwick.

The initial lug-yawl rig drawing from John Welsford (in 2012) featured the Scamp sail and spars appropriately sized for the Pathfinder. This, I thought, was a good thing. The Scamp lug sail measures 100 sq. ft. While the dimensions are not identical, the lug sail for the Goat Island Skiff measures 105 sq. ft. Seemed to me I could use the GIS sail on Gardens (can't sail two boats at one time so having just one lug sail didn't pose a problem). However, over time, I became aware that the lug sail DuckWorks sells for the Pathfinder lug-yawl rig measures 148 sq. ft. That is quite a difference.

As previously noted, I sent John an email with my questions. In the meantime, I ordered the Pathfinder Lug Yawl sail plan drawing from DuckWorks (which I should have done a long time ago). That drawing arrived the other day and confirmed the larger sail (which is what I suspected to be the case).

So, I have work to do: New spars and a new sail. But since I hadn't begun the spars for the Pathfinder (the mast is taller, the boom is longer and the yard is longer than on the GIS, necessitating new ones), this change in plans didn't really cost me anything.

Procrastination can be a good thing.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

An AHA Moment...

Well, not a life-changing AHA moment but an important one for me and the building of Gardens.

Let's just say a situation arose when I planked the hull. And let's just say the cause was either mistakes made in laying out the frames or in beveling the stringers. And let's just say I've been trying to come to grips with a solution for more than a year (planking was completed in November 2013).

So, I had questions about the sail plan for John Welsford and earlier this week I wrote to John with my questions - including, "What can I do with the situation?" About 30 seconds after I hit "Send" I had the AHA moment and figured out how to correct my mistakes.

The solution came to me about that quickly after realizing I was looking at the situation from the wrong angle. Change the perspective about 90° and the solution was right there! Of course, with Gardens upside down until spring, implementing the solution will have to wait but it is exciting to have finally seen what I've missed all these months. (I'll save the details of the mistakes until they are well taken care of…)

As for the sail-plan question, I suspect I know the answer to that one, too, but I need confirmation of my suspicions.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Peace of Mind

Bah, Humbug!

That's about how I've felt over the last few days. No, I haven't been sick. And, no, it hasn't been about the recent holiday season. The holidays were really quite nice - despite the rush and hullabaloo to get everything done and perfect. And it hasn't been about the weather, although winter has definitely arrived and boat-building work is on hold until spring. We need winter and the cold that comes with it.

Bah, Humbug! was my initial reaction to several recent threads on the WoodenBoat Forum. Bah, Humbug! was my own internal reaction but, as has happened before, after thinking through the threads I chose peace of mind rather than a pointless need to be "right." No matter what I may have written in response to any of those "disturbing" threads, I would not have changed anyone else's opinion. I let those threads - and my initial reactions - go.

Peace of mind. Something to cultivate and cherish.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Congrats to Rik!

Congratulations to Rik on the successful launch of his Pathfinder! See his photos and watch his video on his blog post, Salt.

Keep the sailing photos, videos and adventures coming, Rik. This is the sort of thing that will get me through the looming winter!