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!

Monday, August 29, 2016

New Trailer

Got a call from the dealer on Friday telling me my new trailer arrived and was available for pick up. Great!

Couldn't get there on Friday and the guy I worked with to order the trailer wasn't available until Monday. So, I picked up my new Genesis trailer this morning.

All the lights worked. I expected the (empty) trailer to bounce a little bit on the way home but it didn't. The hubs were cool to the touch when I got home (about a 45 mile trip).

I am pleased.

Now, I just need to get the bunks adjusted and Gardens on the trailer.

PS: I expect to be cleared for all normal activities on Wednesday and back to work on Gardens by Thursday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Everyone's a Critic

We've got children and grandchildren visiting this week. The grandchildren are cute, bright, active and imaginative.

One of today's activities was to show Gardens to the four-year old grandson. He walked into the Boat Bay, walked around Gardens, thought for a moment and declared, "It's not stable!" and walked out of the barn.

Now, I'm not sure if he was being critical of the design, my workmanship or a combination of the two. I'm going to guess a four-year doesn't know too much about boat design (impressive enough that he knows - and used - the word stable) so I don't think he was really criticizing John Welsford's design.

And, while I wish my workmanship was better, I really don't believe he was commenting on my work either, so I'm not sure what prompted the remark.

On the other hand, he asked when the boat would be ready for sailing (always a good question)…

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Two Good Things

First, my surgeon cleared me for "normal" activities with a few restrictions:
  • No lifting of more than 20# for the next three weeks,
  • No bike riding for the next two weeks,
  • No yard-work for the next three weeks
Back to work on Gardens!

Second, the trailer shopping trip was successful! Oh, not that I purchased a trailer yesterday but the dealer understood what I'm looking for. I had some questions the sales guy couldn't answer - but he called the manufacturer (Genesis Trailers) to get answers.

I ordered a new single-axle, galvanized, bunk trailer for Gardens today!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Resting Soft Tissue

"Resting soft tissue" was Jan's mantra following her hip replacement surgery last fall. While my surgery on Thursday was no where near as major as a hip replacement, I am resting soft tissue. All is well - as long as I take it easy for a few days (and follow the surgeon's directions).

Of course, I've already changed my mind about refitting Karen Ann's trailer. I took a good look at it on Wednesday and decided a refit wouldn't be worth doing. I'd still have two boats and one trailer - and fitting the trailer to both boats isn't feasible.

On Friday - with nothing to do but rest, read and peruse the internet - I found a nearby dealer for both Genesis and Karavan trailers. As soon as I can resume "normal" activity, I'll pay the dealer a visit and see about a new trailer for Gardens.

In the meantime, I'll continue resting soft tissue and catching up on my reading.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

What To Do When You Can't Do Anything

Back from a great trip to Klamath Falls. (That little grandson is growing like a weed! And our five (almost six) year old granddaughter is a gem!)

Pre-op tests, ultra-sound and lab work have been completed, so I'm just waiting for Thursday's surgery.

But while I'm waiting to actually resume work, I've been able to ponder two issues that needed pondering…

Auxiliary Power: Since the Pathfinder design is just too wide to row, I picked up an old Johnson air-cooled 2HP kicker a couple of years ago for next to nothing, thinking it would be a good fit for Gardens. Well, I've discovered that old Johnson doesn't fit. I decided early on in the build that I wanted to hang the motor on the transom rather than in a motor well. The issue with the old Johnson is the shaft is too short and the motor head is too large to go on the transom. So, I am contemplating an electric trolling motor - probably a Minn-Kota 30 (but maybe a 40). Size-wise, a trolling motor makes more sense and since I don't plan on motoring more than getting in and out of a boat ramp (and/or a dock/marina), a trolling motor should be fine. Of course, that begs the question of where and how to install the battery.

Trailer: My search for a trailer for Gardens has not been productive. But, why not refit Karen Ann's (my GIS) trailer to accommodate Gardens? The trailer is sound although the winch post needs to be moved forward a bit. Yes, I'll need to rearrange the bunks to handle Gardens (honestly, I haven't figured out how to set it up to accommodate both boats) but that isn't major work. To deal with the overhang, I'll build a removable light-board. And, I can continue shopping for another trailer so each boat has a place to reside (once Gardens is completed).

This sitting around doing nothing - pondering doesn't really count - is leading to a mild case of mid-summer cabin fever. I'll get over it…

Sunday, July 24, 2016


We are on vacation in Klamath Falls, Oregon! Why Klamath Falls? Because my oldest son, his wife, daughter and newborn son live there! Nina and Grandpap needed to see the grandchildren!

So, one of the things we've done is visit Crater Lake.

Photos do not do the scenery justice!

Spent today doing projects around the house with my son. Good times.

A few more days here before we return to Michigan. This break has been good for me - clearing out the mental cobwebs - and I'm ready to get back to work on Gardens. Yes, what I can do will be limited for the next few weeks (due to surgery on the 4th) but I look forward to getting some work done.