Friday, May 31, 2013


There are many elements of the build under way at the same time - maybe I'm multi-tasking?

Prepping the interior for the cockpit decking and seat tops, fitting the king plank, spars, varnishing, shaping foils, working on the rudder head - and more… But then I came to a realization:

Maybe it's time to flip the boat? I mean, adding the decking and seat tops will do nothing but add weight. The shop space is already quite tight and a lighter hull will be (should be?) easier to turn - and it will have to be turned twice (once now and again when the bottom is done).

So, yes, I think it is time to roll the hull to work on the bottom. I just need to figure out how to turn the boat over safely: How much help do I need? How will the building platform need to be modified? Is there enough ceiling clearance to lift the hull mechanically and roll it "in place?" What is the bottom going to look like (how much work have I left myself)?

I have some time to figure out the answers to those questions - the earliest opportunity to roll the boat will be mid-June (traveling a bit this week, family events the first week of June - you know, life).

No boat work until next week but then the spars, varnishing, shaping foils, working on the rudder head - and more - will keep me busy while I figure out the hows of turning the hull.

Another recent realization is that Gardens isn't going to launch this summer. Too much to do, too little time - and there's no point in rushing the work. I'll just have to sail Karen Ann this summer.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

In the Meantime... Varnishing

Multi-tasking is the name of the game in boat-building. Epoxy work, shaping foils, building spars, sewing sails, varnishing, painting… seems that the list goes on and on.

One of my first tasks of the day (lately) is to lightly sand and varnish a few bits and pieces. The mast steps (main and mizzen), the boomkin mount and the mizzen boom are the current recipients of the daily sanding and varnish.

Varnishing of the yard and main boom will begin in the next day or so.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Remediation of Frames 1 & 2

When I lofted F-2, I misread a dimension on the drawing resulting in the notch for the top stringer being 40mm too high. I found that error when I was fitting the stringers last summer. My solution - once I found my mistake - was to cut the notch 40mm deeper to fit the stringer without cracking it. I planned to reshape the top of F-2 later.

"Later" came the other day. After checking the dimensions several times, I drew a fair curve from the top of F-2 at the cutout for the king plank to the sheer line where F-2 meets the sheer. Using a grinder, I carefully removed material until I had a shape I liked without going below the arc drawn on the port side of the frame.

A straight edge clamped to the frame was used to measure and mark points on the starboard side to match the curve cut in the port side.

I marked the curve and continued with the grinder until I was close to matching shapes. Then it was a matter of measuring, grinding and patience to get the starboard side to match the port side.

Last week I put a 19mm thick board across F-1 and F-2 and up to the stem to simulate the king plank. Where that board met the stem seemed to be too low on the stem.

I thought the fix would be to cut a deeper notch in F-2 so the king plank would pivot on F-1 and meet the stem where it is supposed to meet it. I thought cutting that notch would just be part of remediating F-2. That wasn't the case as the recut notch in F-2 would be too deep.

That left modifying F-1 so the king plank would meet the stem properly. About the only modification available was to make the notch in F-1 shallower (pushing the king plank higher). Several thicknesses of plywood were tried but the best fit was 9mm plywood cut to fit the notch. That piece was epoxy coated; then epoxied and screwed into place.

The king plank now meets the stem where it should.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A First...

A first for me and Gardens! I climbed into Gardens for the first time ever and surveyed the work to be done. There is a lot of work to be done but it was exciting to actually be inside Gardens. A new step stool for the shop facilitates getting in and out of the hull.

The current view from on board:

The "Before" photos of the interior.

The foreward cockpit deck stringers in place (but not installed - this is just for show).

Sanding doesn't show up very well in photos but I made dust and mess enough today to vacuum the hull out twice - when I began and when I finished for the day. It'll be like that for awhile but I can see, in my mind's eye, the decking and seats are not far off.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Interior Work Begins

Having done just about all I can with the first four spars (main boom, main yard, mizzen boom and boomkin) short of varnishing, I began fitting out the interior today.

The foreward cockpit deck stringers were fit but not installed. Since I was having such a good time with the planking last fall (not really but I was on a roll), I didn't fit the deck stringers or the deck before installing the third and fourth planks. So, I have to fit and install the stringers and the deck from inside the boat. That means I will need to be better organized than usual - making sure I have tools and supplies in the boat with me (climbing in and out of the boat in the shop is not going to be easy).

But, before I have to worry about fitting the decks, I have to finish (sand, vacuum, epoxy seal and paint the bilges below the decks. Yes, I began that process early in the winter but did not progress very far.

As for the spars, well, I will be varnishing them - but watching varnish dry isn't much fun and watching photos of successive coats of varnish being applied is even less fun. I'll share photos of the spars as the varnishing is completed.

As for the interior work, I will share photos as the work progresses. I forgot my camera today but didn't get too much done… Tomorrow's photo will be close enough to a "Before" shot.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Spars and Main Mast Step

The spars are beginning to pile up while waiting for varnish. The Mizzen Boom, Main Boom and Main Yard are pretty much ready for varnishing. Milling and assembly of the Mizzen and Main Masts will wait until I get a new router table with router lift up and running.

The Main Yard has been tapered, its edges rounded over and the whole spar has been sanded. It weighs 7lbs (3.17kg). This is heavier than the hollow-box yard I built for Karen Ann, but this yard is, much to my surprise, stiffer. Supported at its ends, the yard deflected 16mm when 22lbs (10kg) of weight was hung from the spar's mid-point. Karen Ann's yard deflected 28mm. The difference between my gut reaction (thinking the new yard would not be stiff enough) and the data (suggesting is is) probably explains why I'm not a boat designer...

Other items being worked on:

I am building a hollow-box square cross-section blank for another new yard. This blank will be shaped to a rounded cross-section. Another yard isn't strictly necessary but there is a degree of experimentation going on in the GIS community so, while I'm at it, I'm building an extra yard for comparing different designs and techniques.

Main Mast Step: The other day I began assembling the main mast step. The photos and my description probably did little to illustrate what I was doing. Here is a photo of the mast step blank all glued up and trimmed to rough shape.

The step still needs sanding and shaping before being coated with epoxy and varnished.