Saturday, June 27, 2015

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back...

That pretty much sums up recent progress on Gardens.

I began painting but that first coat of paint emphasized just how much more fairing I needed to do. So, more sanding, fairing, filling the weave and repairing other blemishes continued. I thought the hull was ready…but, no, I wasn't satisfied with the results. Sanding and fairing resumed. And this work is to produce a work-boat finish not some museum quality masterpiece. I shall persevere with the work and get Gardens painted.

A recent bit of news and an idea may be a new source of motivation for me to ramp up work oingn Gardens. In the aftermath of this year's Texas 200, there was some discussion about three or perhaps four Pathfinders planning to take part in in next year's event. Couple that with the fact that John Welsford plans to sail next year's Texas 200 and I thought, maybe I could get finish Gardens, outfit her and take her to Texas to make it a fleet of foour or five Pathfinders, which would be pretty epic. But, WOW, what would it take to make that happen? I'm not sure but I plan to find out.

Another, more personal, bit of news has me pumped up about getting as much boat work done over the next two months as possible. We'll see where that takes us…

Maybe I can step up the progress to three steps forward and a half-step back...

Sunday, June 7, 2015


The shoulder continues to improve.

Epoxy continues to be spread on Gardens' bottom to fill the weave. (No photos because epoxy curing is nearly as exciting as watching grass grow.) The goal is to have the hull faired and primed by next weekend. We'll see how that goes…

In other news, I completed an Arts & Crafts style quilt rack, began work on a pair of Morris chairs, experimented with a lock-miter joint and router bit (and learned my router/shaper needs some tuning), started work on a boat hook for my brother-in-law, glued up one new window frame for the barn, milled stock for two more window frames, resumed riding my bike, and decided more hours in the day would be nice.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Test Patch

My left shoulder, having done battle with notoriously huge and fierce Michigan mosquitoes, is on the mend. The rotator cuff was not damaged and surgery is not required - which means the surgeon doesn't get the opportunity to make a measure/cut mistake on me!. The culprits are arthritis and tendinitis. The treatment was a steroid injection and my shoulder has responded quite quickly and favorably. The shoulder is not at 100% but I am back to work on boat and other projects (including correcting last week's measure/cut mistakes).

After painting the new flower boxes for the front porch there was a bit of paint left on the roller, so I wiped off a spot on Gardens' hull and painted a test patch. I wanted to see how much more fairing is needed (quite a bit, actually).

The blue tint and the ripply/wavy look are attributable to the light in the barn and not enough paint on the roller. Even though it is a small patch needing lots of work, somehow it is encouraging to see paint on the hull.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Measure Twice, Cut Once...

Good advice. We've all heard it. We all follow it. None of us are surprised…

Except when we are…

(Pick the right piece of the project), Measure Twice, Cut Once…

Yeah, it works much better when you measure and cut the correct piece of lumber!

Fortunately, today's error was on a totally non-boat related project that won't matter if it winds up three inches shorter than intended…

I'll fix it tomorrow.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Hey, it works!

The barn is too jammed up to move two saw horses into place, so we set up outside.

Semi-closeup of the whole 9-yards: Two saw horses, plywood bridge and mast box with cleats.

Interesting what you find in a 4-year old rig: worn spars, tattered lashings, dirty sail, etc.

Lots of work to do: new boom, new yard, new lashings and laundered sail.

This has been a good practical project to get Karen Ann ready for sailing - and good practice for building the mast box for Gardens.

Mast Box Rigging Platform Concept Illustrated

Realizing that the Mast Box (Multi-Tasking) post was less than clear in describing what I am doing, I figured I'd try to illustrate the concept. The cleats are not part of the mast box design but are there to support the mast box on the saw horses.

Here is the mast box set up on the table saw (picture saw horses):

And here is a further development: the plywood will span the saw horses (and be fastened securely):

As soon as I can move a couple of saw horses into the barn, I'll set up the mast and proceed with re-rigging Karen Ann's boom and yard. …and consider Mast Box Mk-2.

Friday, May 15, 2015


Couple, three (maybe four) non-related things lead me to a little project connecting Gardens with Karen Ann (my GIS).

First, the shoulder is still marginal so big motion work (like sanding/fairing Gardens' hull) involving both arms is out;

Second, Karen Ann's sail-plan needs re-rigging (new boom and yard) but Karen Ann is behind Gardens in the barn;

Third, John Welsford designed a mast box for the main mast of the balance lug yawl rig; and,

Fourth, my work product is much better the third or fourth time I do something…

Since I can't get to Karen Ann to set up the mast to re-rig the yard and boom, I decided to build a mock-up of the GIS mast step & partner arrangement, and…

Since I will be building a mast box for Gardens (sometime in the future), and…

Since practice improves my results, and…

Since I can't do a whole lot of other boat work,

I'm putting together a mast box to be part of a rigging station to set up and work on Karen Ann's mast & sail plan without having to rearrange the entire boat storage scheme now in place.

Parts fashioned after John's design for the Pathfinder:

Front, back, top and bottom glued up (sides will be added tomorrow):

The mast box will be supported by two saw-horses for re-rigging Karen Ann.

So, multi-tasking... building a tool to help me re-rig Karen Ann while practicing for building/installing Garden's mast box.