Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Slot and Plug/Cap

The concept for the Slot, to facilitate mast raising, came to me a year-and-a-half ago. The idea of the Plug, to fill the slot and hold the mast upright, was part of the original concept. How to hold the Plug in place took a while to figure out. Here's what I came up with:

Slot with Demo Mast:
View of underside of Plug/Cap with turn-buttons lined up fore-n-aft:
View of underside of Plug/Cap with turn-buttons athwartship:
Plug/Cap in place:
Below deck view of Plug/Cap in place with turn-buttons fore-n-aft:
Below deck view of Plug/Cap in place with turn-buttons athwartship (no worries about that knot):
This configuration works well - sitting still in the Boat Bay: the Plug/Cap just does not move when tightened down. But I expect it will work just as well on the water.

One more design element is, what i call, the Mast Block. My intent is for the block to help support the mast (although that may not be its primary purpose) and to provide an anchor point for the foreward ends of the cockpit coamings (probably its legitimate purpose) and the downhaul. It is a work in progress.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Deck Epoxy, Mizzenmast Varnish, and the Slot Cap

The top deck has received two coats of epoxy.

Having shaped and sanded the mizzenmast, I've begun varnishing it. Using wiping varnish (50/50 varnish/mineral spirits) for starters, I will eventually progress to un-thinned varnish.

The Slot Cap is a late development of the mast raising system (a slot in the fore deck and king plank to facilitate raising the mast) I've installed. The plug, which fits the slot, has been glued to the cap (which prevents the assembly from falling through the slot). Turn buttons on the bottom of the plug prevent the plug from popping out of the slot. I'll take photos of the assembly and how the turn buttons work.

(Photos to follow...)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Mizzenmast, Trailer and Seams

Planing the square mizzenmast blank to an octagon took nearly a full day last Tuesday. Planing it to 16 sides took about 40 minutes; and to 32 sides took about 25 minutes on Thursday. Sanding to round, using 50, 60, 80 and 120 grit, took about an hour on Friday. Cutting the tenon to fit the mast step took most of Friday afternoon.

I re-installed the bunks on the trailer so that is ready for Gardens.

The deck seams have been filled and faired.

With the port side foredeck panel installed (and clamps removed!), Gardens looks more like a complete boat!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

On a roll…

The installation of the starboard foredeck panel "took," (wasn't highly confident that would be the case Sunday evening).

(Monday) Spent an hour at the Michigan Secretary of State office to title and register Gardens. The first 20 minutes were spent waiting for my turn. Ten minutes with the clerk while she helped me get the correct information in the correct form, another 15 minutes while she copied the receipts I brought with me, five minutes waiting for the computer and, at the last ten minutes to finalize the forms and write the check. Gardens is 'official'! It was an hour well spent!

(Tuesday) Marked off the mizzenmast for shaping and planed the corners off the square blank taking it to an octagon. Using hand planes to shape wood is one of life's simple pleasures. Lots of shavings. I should do it more often…

(Wednesday) Installed the port foredeck panel without incident (had some help: an extra pair of hands made the task much easier than Sunday's solo installation).

I'm wondering if there is a tradition - similar to the whiskey plank tradition - for this point in building a boat… If not, perhaps our cold bear toast to Gardens this afternoon could be the start of a new tradition… hmmm, perhaps not (I'm guessing I'm not the first to enjoy a beer after the "last major piece" is installed.) At any rate, we enjoyed the cold beer!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

One Day At A Time

So it turns out that I am better at reporting than predicting…

In my previous post I predicted both foredeck panels would be installed by today (Sunday). Only one panel has been installed and that happened today.

Four or five dry-fits of the starboard panel over the last two days went pretty well. The actual installation was much more troublesome. Funny how thickened epoxy acts as a lubricant… The photo is from a dry-fit on Friday. The Boat Bay was too dark and gloomy this afternoon for photos.

Obviously the port panel is still waiting to be installed.

Best I can do is take it one day at a time.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Back From Maine...

We had a great time in Maine!

Our trip began with a short stop in Fairport, NY (Jan's old stomping grounds) and continued in Maine with a stop in Saco, ME for a visit with Clint Chase at Chase Small Craft and a shop tour. If you are not familiar with Clint Chase's work, check out his website at Chase Small Craft

Then on to Bar Harbor, enjoying seafood, Acadia National Park, seafood, local beers, seafood, shopping, seafood, and a most enjoyable sail on the four-masted schooner Margaret Todd.

After Bar Harbor, we went to Boothbay Harbor for a cousins' reunion. One highlight for me was the Andrew Wyeth exhibit at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, ME. Another highlight was a day-sail on a Marshall 22 Catboat; light air for most of the day but the wind piped up for an hour's worth of excitement - a fun day.

One last highlight was the Pumpkin Regatta in Damariscotta, ME. This annual event features boats carved out of large (very large - upwards of 1,600 lbs!) pumpkins and powered by small outboard motors!

On our return trip we spent a day scouting New York state's Finger Lakes region for future sailing adventures.

And, now, back to work on Gardens!

The foredeck panels are prepped and ready for installation. I spent the afternoon trying to figure out how to install both panels at the same time - and concluded it makes more sense to deal with them one at a time. So, the starboard panel will be installed on Saturday and the port panel on Sunday (if all goes according to plan…).

Friday, October 6, 2017

The List

In Sunday's post I mentioned some of the tasks yet to be done for/on/to Gardens - but it was a very minimal list. This week's trip to Maine for a family reunion gave me a lot of driving time to add to the list. So, in no particular order, here is my newly updated list of tasks/work to be done:
  • Install Foredeck Panels
  • Fill/sand/fair interior and top deck seams
  • Prep interior for paint
  • Paint interior (need to pick a color…)
  • Coamings (pattern, cut coamings, install)
  • Install CB case cap
  • Shape mizzen mast; varnish
  • Mast slot modifications (stiffeners along underneath edges of slot)
  • Mast block (a block just foreward of mast as an anchor point for the coamings)
  • Mast step prep for installation; install
  • Install hardware (cleats, motor mount, etc.)
  • Title and register Gardens with the Michigan Secretary of State's office
  • Test launch (before the weather turns cold!)
  • Decide on and purchase trolling motor
That's a much more detailed list but I am sure more items will be added before Gardens is ready for her official launch (early spring). I'll just keep plugging away.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Very Good September

September was a busy month for Gardens! Installing the starboard gunwale brought the month to a close.

At the risk of overlooking something obvious, I think there are only four 'major' components left to install: the two foredeck panels and the two coamings. And of course, the second 75% of the build to finish (sanding, fairing, painting out the interior, installing hardware and rigging…)!

We made a good progress in September and feel very good about that progress.