Saturday, December 17, 2011

Good Progress

When I begin work on the boat each morning, I make a list of what I want to accomplish that day. Early on, my lists were ambitious and long... and I never completed them. This lead to some minor disappointments and a growing sense of discouragement. "How am I ever going to build this boat if I can't finish a single day's list of tasks?" There are times when a task takes longer to complete - it was more complicated or just difficult than anticipated and I tried to factor that in when preparing lists. And then there are the "unexpected" steps (I had to cut and mill a fairing batten in order to draw the proper curve for the top of Frame #2) that slow things down.

Here is the top cross-piece for Frame #2 being drawn on the plywood:

I was getting things done and making progress but the disappointment of never completing the list bothered me.

The solution? Obvious - shorten the list! I know, I know, simple but it took a few weeks for me to see it. Now my daily lists are shorter and more realistic.

Even now, using shorter lists, there are days I don't get every item on my list done. That's okay, what doesn't get done one day goes on the list for the next day.

Here is the top piece glued and clamped to the rest of Frame #2:

The bottom panel for Frame #3 drawn on the plywood, ready for cutting:

This bottom panel has been cut out, ventilation holes cut and doublers glued on. The side pieces are next.

Since shortening the daily lists and being more realistic about what can be done in a day, I am feeling much better about the progress I am making. So far Frame #1 is complete; Frame #2 is fully assemble (needs the stringer notches cut); Frame #3 is half assembled; Frame #6 is complete; the rudder blade is laminated; the pieces for the centerboard are ready to be laminated; 12 stringers have been cut and milled to size; and an assortment of miscellaneous timbers (for doublers, etc.) has been milled to size.


  1. I try to choose a task that can be completed so that the next day doesn't start in the middle of something. Many mistakes can be made by pushing too far one day and leaving loose ends for the next. Mistakes made (and missed) when you are tired can be compounded by trying to pick up the thread part way through.

    I think you jumped a hurdle that many builders take years to master. Decide what you think you can do and divide by two.

  2. Thanks for that, Michael. I try to complete tasks the day I begin them rather than carry them over to the next day.

    I think I've been working my way to, "Decide what you think you can do and divide by two," but hadn't quite gotten there. Thanks for completing the equation.