Thursday, March 31, 2016

Looking Better

Seat and platform deck panels cut & fit - although a couple more hatches need to be fit - shown with the main & mizzen mock-ups.

A new component for the mast step: a base or "sub-step." This is the result of a "What if? What else? Why not?" collaboration with Deke (FLA Keys Pathfinder). Searching for a better way to secure the mast step to the deck, I envisioned a base about 3" wider and maybe 3" longer than the step to provide more "meat" to screw the step in place.

Deke extended the base to protect the decking from damage from the foot of the mast (inevitably the mast is going to be dropped and bounce when being stepped…) and to provide options for changing the position of the mast step if need be (screwed but not glued in place before deciding if it is "right" OR to change sail plans).

Here is my rendition: white oak and mahogany glued up, planed and cut to size.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Maybe a Mulligan

The ice storm is but a memory.

Today was beautiful: sunny and warm.

I woke up with a sore throat and did absolutely nothing worthwhile today.

Can I have today back?

I want a do-over.

Maybe a Mulligan...

Friday, March 25, 2016

Iced In

In Michigan, "Iced in," is something you hear in the late fall or early winter. It means the local lakes are iced over and ice fishing and ice boating are not far off.

In the spring you hear, "Ice out," which means the lakes are clear of ice and fishing, sailing, and swimming are not far off.

I'm using "Iced In" today to describe the effects of Wednesday night's ice storm.

The rain began in the late afternoon and continued into the night. As the temperatures dropped, ice formed on the trees. We wondered about losing electrical power but weren't too concerned because we have a generator.

Wednesday night was loud. The wind came up and ice blown off the trees rattled against the house. It was not a restful night.

The power went out sometime after 4:30 (the last time I looked at the clock) so our coffee was not ready when we woke up. This may have been the worst part of the day…

For reasons I haven't figured out, the generator would not start - no matter what or how often I tried. So we read and napped as we waited it out.

No power means no cooking, no water (we are on a well), no lights, not much of anything. No working in the shop or in the Boat Cave. We did get to watch several branches break off and fall out of our trees - and one very large elm limb that broke but did not fall to the ground.

Power came on in the early afternoon but the "wintery mix" continued on into the night.

This morning was brilliant: clear skies and sunshine. And ice raining out of the trees. Driving into town was interesting as we tried to dodge ice and small branches falling from the trees lining the roadway.

Today's boat work consisted of trying to figure out which sail specs I should be using. I know, it is getting late in the build for that sort of issue, but I've got, apparently, specs for three different main sails on two different drawings.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Deck Panels, Mast Step Revisited and Walnut(s)

The platform deck panels have been cut and fitted. Next will be cut-outs for access hatches (need to get to the CB hardware), doublers for the hatches, epoxy and paint. In between those tasks, I will finish up prepping the bilges for paint.

One more refinement to the main mast step I discovered as I worked with the mast mock-up. As built, I cannot rake the mast as called for in the plans, so I'll remove the (vertical) mortise from of the most recent step and replace it with a raked mortise.

I may have to consider a bit of walnut trim somewhere on Gardens. On each of the last three days I've found a walnut in the boat. Maybe the squirrels are trying to tell me something… Maybe I should replace the maple spacers in the step with walnut... (although no one would notice it there)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mast Step Update

I puzzled over how to cut the mortise in the latest (and greatest?) main mast step. The step is too wide for my mortising machine and I wasn't looking forward to drilling and chiseling the mortise.

Then, in a brief exchange with my brother-in-law, I realized I could cut the step in half length-wise, use the dado blade to cut half the mortise in each half and glue it all back together.

And so, that's what I did. It worked quite well. The mortise fits the tenon on the mast and the foreward edge of the mast is positioned where it should be. Can't expect any more than that.

The step is white oak with maple spacers. The step measures: 65mm x 135mm x 300mm.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Plodding Continues...

The last two platform deck panels have been rough cut. Trimming them to fit is a bit tedious and incomplete so, no photos of that work yet.

Planning the "how-to" of cutting the slot in the real king plank is taking a bit of my time. I plan to use the router with a pattern bit and pattern but having never used that technique, I'm trying to think my way through the process before actually cutting into the plank.

Planning how to install the centerboard is another time-consuming endeavor. (None of this planning is taking away from actual work on Gardens!) Some modification to the as-built centerboard trunk may be necessary and, if so, that that modification would facilitate the installation. I need to think more about that before I make a decision.

Sanding of the bilges is nearing completion. I'll really, really, really need to pay more attention to my epoxy techniques on my next build.

So, the plodding continues… the good news is: progress is being made.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Mizzen Mock-Up

Continuing with test-fitting masts and mast steps, I've been working on the mizzen mast installation mock up.

I drilled out the stern seat panel to accommodate the mizzen mast. First fitting suggests some adjustment and refinements are necessary - but then, that's what test and dry fitting are all about.

I've also moved some plywood around in the barn so I can work on the platform deck panels inside. The weather is improving but I don't want to wait for weather good enough to work outside.

Clean-up (i.e., sanding) of the interior continues...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Mast Step Chronicles

Nearly four years' time, an early mis-reading and misunderstanding of the details of the aluminum mast/hardwood plug design, three different sail-plan drawings, at least three instances of not understanding what the drawings showed me, a misunderstanding of the birdsmouth/plug/tenon design details, a failure to recognize the differences between to two mast designs AND huge doses of impatience resulted in my building of four different main mast steps (so far).

From the left:
  • Original (circa mid-2012) mast step for the gaff-yawl rig with too large a mortise for the intended birsdsmouth mast
  • First iteration of mast step (circa May 2013) for 105sf main balance lug yawl rig with too large a mortise for the intended birdsmouth mast
  • Mast step for the 147sf main balance lug yawl rig (circa April 2015) with correct mortise for my mast
  • Latest (last?) iteration of the 105sf main balance lug yawl rig - with mortise to be cut

My Mom had an expression that aptly describes how this all happened: What you don't have in your head, you have to have in your feet.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Short Respite

We took a coupe of days to visit my daughter in Chicago. We had a fun time helping with some DIY projects, discovering new-to-us coffee houses - Bow Truss and Intelligentsia (both have good coffee, Bow Truss was more relaxed and comfortable) -and enjoying good food and beverages in interesting places. Whiskey Business features a very nice whiskey list and has good bar-burger type food. Dry Hop is a craft brew pub featuring their own beers (the ones I sampled are very good) and they have an excellent whiskey list, too. Dry Hop offers their own variations of bar-burgers and hot sandwiches. We had thought we'd visit the museums while in town but those will have to wait for another visit.

So much for the travelogue…

Today I set about cleaning the shop, planning this week's tasks and preparing for the mild weather (50s & 60s) expected this week. Part of that planning and preparation involved reviewing the build instructions and the drawings… which lead me to the decision to build yet another main mast step. One of these days I'll get it right.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mast/King Plank Mock-Up

Sanding isn't everything so I've entertained myself with a mock-up of the main mast. Shown here with the king plank template:

While these photos illustrate the concept I'm working on (the slot to facilitate stepping the mast), there is work to be done to refine and finalize the details of the concept. (Note: This mast position is different than what is shown on the Lug Yawl Plans available through Duckworks.) A plug to fill the slot and hold the mast in place is in the works.

I think this stub mast may have, with some refinements, a future as a mast support when trailering Gardens.