Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Winter: Holidays and Tradition

The winter holidays are rapidly approaching.

The Solstice is less than two weeks away - and it can’t get here soon enough! Dark in the morning when I get up (and I sleep in!); dark way too early in the afternoon (and I don’t blame that on ST or DST, it is just the way it is).

Christmas is two weeks away and is taking over much of our waking hours. Decorating (the tree and the house); shopping (too many trips to too crowded stores); making gifts (why do I wait until December every year?) in time to mail them; mailing those gifts; party planning and food preparation (is it worth the worry? [Spoiler Alert: Yes, it is!]); and travel plans - it all takes a toll. But we always survive and, for the most part, enjoy it.

The New Year is three weeks away but at least there is little or no stress associated with the New Year (STRESS will come later in the year).

By the way, the Christmas gifts this year are simple little keepsake boxes for my children and grandchildren making use of bits and pieces from the cut-off bin and wood that has been waiting to be used. If any of the boxes were done, I’d include pictures - but as I said, Christmas is just two weeks away so, naturally, none of the boxes are done. Last minute woodworking is a tradition!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Project Ideas

With winter weather here (ahead of schedule…) there is little opportunity to spend time in the shop actually working on boat projects.

So, the next best thing is to sit in the living room, with a cup of coffee, watching the snow fall, thinking about project ideas (and how to make those ideas work).

Painting/Repainting the Centerline. It is easy enough to take Gardens off her trailer, thanks to Elmer (the Gantry).

Blocking the boat is simple enough but supporting the boat to keep it from falling is the issue. Commercial boat stands really are not an option (too expensive). I’ve got a few ideas kicking around...

Name Boards. We’d like to add name boards but I have not figured out how to shape the ‘backside’ of a flat board to conform to the contour of the sheer plank. Same thing with the state registration numbers - I don’t like them on the outside of the coaming (seemed like a good idea at the time...)

But, same issue, how to fit a flat board to the contour of the sheer plank? I’ve got an idea to develop...

Add Wheels to Elmer (the Gantry). Elmer needs to be a bit more mobile. Dragging it around (admittedly not very far) is doable but wheels would make it easier. Older photo shows bottom one of Elmer's legs.

Adding wheels probably isn’t rocket science. Probably one wheel per side (sort of like a wheelbarrow). Wheels would only be used to move Elmer empty. I have no intention of moving the boat when it is suspended on the hoist. I just need to figure it out and do it!

Mast Lift Assist. When the main mast is unstepped it needs to be lifted about 2” to clear the mast step before I can tilt and walk it down to horizontal (not a great explanation). With a second person to help, lifting the mast is simple. By myself, reaching across the deck reduces my leverage to lift and support the mast. Strange thing is, last spring and summer I had no difficulty in handling the mast by myself. In August, with the boat on the water, I had a tough time handling the mast (good thing Jan was there). So, I’m looking for a technique or ‘device’ of some sort to make it easier for me to unstep the mast. Practice might be the answer.

No immediate rush on these, and other, ideas. Suggestions and ideas are welcome.