Friday, October 19, 2012

Road Trip, Scamp Camp and Sight-Seeing

Work on Gardens is on hold for a week while we take time to visit my sister in Duluth, MN.

Wednesday morning we left Gowen, MI and headed north toward Michigan's Upper Peninsula where we planned to stop for the night in Munising. Our first stop, though, was in Baldwin, MI, where we stopped to see what was going on at the Michigan Scamp Camp. I was pleasantly surprised to see familiar faces from June's Small Craft Skills Academy in Machinaw City, Michigan. Five Scamps are being built this week. They are doing a lot of prep work ahead of assembling the hulls. Here are a few photos from our visit:

We said our helloes and goodbyes and continued on our way north, enjoying the last bit of fall color in lower Michigan. We spotted two pairs of bald eagles, too, which was a great treat. Sorry, no photos of the soaring eagles!

Munising was quiet - not many tourists out and about on a mid-October afternoon. We scouted out the municipal boat ramp with thoughts of a future trip to Grand Island just off-shore from Munising before continuing our travels through the UP and northern Wisconsin before arriving in Duluth mid-afternoon on Thursday.

Today we drove up the North Shore visiting Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse. Dinner tonight at the Scenic Cafe. Good times visiting with family. While out on the road I'm not getting work done on Gardens, but the time away from the barn is a good opportunity to recharge and get ready to finish the planking.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Maybe it is the destination...

It's the journey and not the destination... well, maybe...

With boat work, it is not so much "unforeseen steps" (mentioned in my previous post) that slow me down. It is my own optimism: The garboards were tricky and tedious to install and, since they are the largest planks with the most bend/twist, I naturally assumed/hoped/believed the rest of the planks would be easy (by comparison) to install. I was wrong.

The second planks have been started but I have found that a narrow plank is a bit resistant to a bend across the narrow dimension. Oh, I've wrestled the second section of the second planks into place but it wasn't easy. The end result is quite satisfying but getting there is considerably less enjoyable.

No new predictions on how much and how soon…

Friday, October 12, 2012

Planking Progress: Garboards Installed

The garboards have been installed!

Messabouts are great! The sailing is wonderful but there is much to be learned - even in casual conversation. One never knows when the next helpful hint will pop up. At last weekend's SailOK, several possibilities for fitting the garboard were made. I don't doubt that all were good suggestions. I picked one and went with it.

Cutting the foremost three feet of the garboard at 45° to the grain of the plywood worked to let me bend and twist the piece into place. Fitting the last piece to fill the final gap in the garboard proved to be fiddlier than bending & twisting that front piece.

The tingles (plywood straps overlapping the joins between plank sections) have been installed on the interior of the garboard plank. I'll finish filling and fairing those joins when the hull has been turned over - but there is a great deal of work to be done before I get to that point.

The second plank has been started. I expect the planking will become easier and faster - but I won't be surprised to run into unforeseen steps to be taken along the way.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Back From Sail Oklahoma

Sail Oklahoma 2012 was a success despite the wind, the rain and the cold. Sailing was great on Thursday but there was no sailing on Friday or Saturday due to the bad conditions. Sunday was a bit warmer, dryer and less windy - but I didn't take advantage of it as I listened to Mik Storer's presentation on balanced lug sails before packing for the road.

Not all was lost on Friday and Saturday as there were numerous presentations on a variety of small-boat topics: Dave Nichols on sail making; Richard Wood on multi-hull designs; Dave Gentry on skin-on-frame construction; Howard Rice on small-boat expedition sailing; a panel discussion on sailboat racing; and a designers' forum featuring Jim Michalak, Richard Wood, Dave Gentry, Dave Nichols and Mik Storer. Mixed in with all of that was the catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. It was a great weekend.

Sail OK was successful for me on several levels - including getting ideas and suggestions for installing the garboard planks: begin at the foreward end (yep, someone else suggested what I had thought of on my way there); use a shorter piece; and use a shorter piece and cut it at 45° to the grain of the plywood. Another suggestion I am looking into to facilitate the installation of the remaining planks is to use a nail gun with composite/plastic brads. The nail gun is easier/faster than screws but I don't think the brads will work to pull the garboard planks into place.

Today was an unload-the-car-and-put-things-away day. I will be back in the shop tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

An Insight Going Down the Highway

Today I hitched the Karen Ann to the back end of Blue and headed down the highway toward Eufaula, Oklahoma for SailOK. Not a bad drive - not much traffic, plenty of cloud cover to keep things comfortable, not too much rain and only a mildly annoying detour around St. Louis late in the day. I hope to arrive at Sail OK early tomorrow afternoon.

Spending 12 hours behind the wheel allows for a lot of thinking… One of the things I thought about was how to twist & bend those lowest plank pieces in the front of the boat. I have been working from aft forward and with the aft end of that piece attached (clamped and screwed) to the stringers and bottom panel, I haven't been able to twist and bend it into shape between the stem and Frame #2. So, somewhere in the middle of Illinois this afternoon, I thought about how the hull panels of the Karen Ann had gone together (I saw the twist & bend in the hull panels every time I checked the rear-view mirror), wondering if what I learned building the KA might help with Gardens.

Then it hit me: KA was assembled front to rear so the twists & bends were addressed without the aft end of the panels fastened to anything. Maybe that will help with my current problem. Next week, when I return from Oklahoma, I'll give that approach a try - perhaps with the aft end loose the plywood will be a bit easier to twist & bend into place. Hope that works.