Thursday, September 28, 2017

Foredeck, Gunwales, and CB Box-Top

The foredeck panels have been fitted (and re-fitted) and should be about ready to go once the gunwales are both installed.

After a week of 90° weather (yes, in Michigan, in September!), temperatures have returned to more fall-like (and epoxy friendly) levels.

The port side gunwale was installed yesterday. Wasn't sure I'd have enough clamps as I recently loaned out about 20. Things went well and, after using 30 clamps, there were a few to spare. The starboard gunwale goes on tomorrow.

A Spanish windlass pulled the aft end of the gunwale into place.

A wedge at the starboard bow was useful to pull the bow end of the gunwale into place.

Use of a wedge for installing the starboard gunwale (tomorrow) means I have to wait to install the port foredeck panel, otherwise there isn't a way to clamp the wedge in place.

The "box-top" for the center-board case fits (needs a bit of tweaking and, obviously, gluing up). Photo shows the box-top (without the top piece) with the rigging demo.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Fiddly Work, Progress and Elmer

Recent progress on Gardens has been wonderfully visible and very satisfying. Less visible (and not as exciting) is the fiddly work over the last two days of installing cockpit seat doublers, filling/fairing deck seams, getting the coaming pattern almost finalized, prepping to install the gunnels (many dry-fits to get it 'right') and considering new colors for the interior (no decision made). Still making progress.

Elmer (the) Gantry has straddled Gardens, and has been sort of in the way, since I built it last fall. This weekend, as part of tidying up the Boat Bay and to make it easier to work on the gunnels, I moved Elmer forward of Gardens (not sure why I didn't think of that sooner!).

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Deck Seams, Coamings and Getting Close

Most of the upper decking is installed. The foredeck panels will be installed after the gunnels, so I have that to look forward to…

So the four seams between upper deck panels were 'pretty tight' but not quite what I wanted in terms of filling and fairing them. I used my trim router with a CNC bit to widen those seams to make it easier to fill them with thickened epoxy. The CNC bit worked like a charm.

While I am really not quite ready for the coamings, yesterday I was inspired to tackle the (dreaded) task of making a pattern for the coamings. I say "dreaded" because the coamings have been on my "How in the heck do I do that?" list for a long time. I cut up some luan door-skin, clamped it in place, stood back and pondered, asked Jan for her thoughts, looked at many (many) photos on-line and began marking off the shape for the coaming.

There is a bit of tweaking to do - and the "hard" part (fitting to the rise over BH-2) is not quite done - but after much hemming and hawing I realized that how one shapes the coaming is a personal decision. There is no right or wrong way to the shape.

On Tuesday, I went to the Secretary of State's local office to find out what documentation I need to title and register Gardens (Michigan doesn't call it DMV but that is one of the functions of the Secretary of State's office). I need materials receipts to show I've paid sales tax on the materials and a statement that I built the boat. No inspection required. As a lawyer friend of mine recently told me, "Michigan isn't concerned with the boat design, the quality of the build or whether the vessel is seaworthy… what the state wants is tax dollars so you'll have no trouble getting your title/registration - just write a check for the amount they tell you!"

I am pleased with the progress over the last two weeks or so, and I know I am getting close to completing Gardens. However, a FB post and comments this morning reminded me I still have a ways to go… "When the boat is 75% done you still have 75% to go." I'm probably a bit beyond the 75% mark, so maybe I have less than 75% to go.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Decking, CB Rigging and Mizzen Partner Parts

It has been a great week! All interior decking (platform decking and seat tops) has been installed - well, glued in place. Seams between pieces and deck/hull joints need filling/filleting/fairing. But, hey, getting those six pieces installed is huge to me.

The installation of the top decking began yesterday. A shortage of clamps (loaned most of mine out last week!) kept me from installing all but the fore-deck pieces today.

Last Saturday we installed the centerboard in its case. Figuring out how to cap the case and operate the centerboard has taken a great deal of time and consideration - but I have a solution. Borrowed from others, the idea is to build a box to cap the case. Inside the box will be a lifting mechanism: a double block with becket, a double block and an upright/through deck block. The "proof-of-concept" mock-up worked well.

Experimenting with 6mm and 9mm ply, I figured out two pieces (one at a time) of 6mm ply are easier to bend into place on the underside of the stern deck than one piece of 9mm ply. So, 6mm it is. I also experimented (using cedar and TB-III) with making a mast collar for the top of the partner. That went better than I expected, so I will figure out how to shim/fit the collar to the deck's curve and use what I've learned to make a collar out of some sort of hardwood.

Next up: finish the side decking, install the gunnels, build the CB case cap, and begin work on the coamings.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


The platform decking is installed.

The cockpit seat-tops have been trimmed and fitted (to accommodate the modifications to the centerboard case).

Those seat-tops will be installed tomorrow. Installation of the upper decks will soon follow.

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Pivotal Moment

Saturday's installation of the centerboard was a pivotal moment for Gardens. After we spent a great deal of time sorting out the "how" of the installation, the actual "doing" was straight forward and done in short order.

Gardens sat patiently waiting. The centerboard, the case, the tools and the gadgets were prepped for the installation. Jan's help in moving the centerboard into the boat was invaluable. Elmer did the heavy lifting and lowering.

Decking is next...