September 29, 2010
Launched the skiff as a rowboat today--I'm still working on the spars and foils. Here she is rolled out of the shop into the sun on the cart I built. I have clamped the oarlocks in place temporarily to see how the boat trims in the water before committing to their final placement. Brightwork is 3-coats Sikkens Cetol Marine Light. Topsides paint is Kirby Hatteras Off White; Interior Paint is Kirby Red Tint. Despite my efforts at lighting in the shop (ahem, garage), the sunlight revealed some holidays in the varnish I'll have to feather in. Small thing to a giant: I'm still pleased with the way she looks. Here, my Daughter Keira and I rolled her down the street to the beach, under the watch of Bart the Dog. The cart worked fine, and I'm glad I took the advice of fellow Wooden Boat Forum members to use a top-strap in addition to the notched "bunk." Here I am sitting on a milk crate--a removeable seat will be built once I determine the best location for it. Ideally, the stem and transom will just clear the water when my weight is in the right spot. Here, I am a few inches too far aft, and the transom is immersed. No good. Sliding a few inches forward, and the boat trimmed perfectly! With my two kids also aboard--one in the bow and one aft--the stem and transom just "kiss" the water. I marked the spot and will mount seat and oarlocks accordingly, She rows really nice , leaving a small, but purposeful little wake and seems to track ok. The 6mm ply bottom didn't oilcan as much as I thought it would--a pleasant surprise. I rowed around the bulkhead seen here and into the creek to cruise our community docks and met with a few wolf whistles and thumbs-up from some boaters on the dock battening down for the big blow that's due here tomorrow. My freind and neighbor Bill, an avid sailor, really liked her and met me back at the beach to see the boat out of the water. When he saw my cart, and the simple rope tie-down, he said," Wait here," and dashed off on his bike to his house. He returned with a small, ratcheting web trailer tie down to replace the line, saying: " Here, now I've contributed a bit to your beautiful boat." Real nice.Bill and his wife Jane both ended up coming to dinner and talked about rowing, places to row, etc. Now to build the sailing bits!
September 25, 2010
September 8, 2010
September 7, 2010
While the last coat of paint dries on the hullsides and with my cart built, I decided to start working on the skeg and stem guards. These are lengths of half-round solid bronze I purchased from Hamilton Marine. First they were cut to length with a hacksaw. Then the ends were beveled down with files to make them better looking and for streamlining. ( I dont have a pic, but the end that rests on the stem head was cut and filed into a spear-shaped point) Next, using a hammer, some heat and some "persuasion" I began shaping the bronze to fit the shapes of the skeg and stem resectively, bending the metal around the corner of each piece to provide good abrasion protection if (when) the boat gets dragged around a bit on the beach/shore. Then I drilled and countersunk holes for the bronze screws. Then I bedded the faying surfaces with epoxy thickened with cabosil and installed the skeg piece. I'll do the stem tommorrow. Here are two views of the skeg guard screwed and glued in place.
Getting close to launching my Summerbreeze design skiff as a rowboat, while I work on the sailing bits. In any event, I need a cart to wheel it the 400-feet to the bay. Here's what I came up with. First, I scavenged an old bicycle, some U-bolts, a scrap of carpet, some pressure treated 4 " x 4" lumber and a piece of pressure treated stair tread that washed up on the beach. I purchased a length of 3/8" all-thread rod for the axle. I ripped the stair tread to a narrower size, and cut the threaded rod to length. The tread had handy recesses in which to hold the rod straight and secure. Next I flipped the board and measured and marked for the U-bolts, drilling the holes and then using a spade bit to countersink the nuts. I layed the axle in the groove and secured it. Next, I cut the 4" x 4" into two sections and attached scrap carpet as padding using monel staples shot from a T-50 stapler. I secured the padded blocks with galvanized deck screws from below. I used 4-by material since the skeg on my boat is 4-inches tall, allowing the blocks to hold the boat upright while the skeg fits in the slot between them. Then I simply slid the bicycle tires on and secured them with double nuts. I say "simply" but I had to re-tap the nuts for the coarse thread rod ( I tried to buy fine thread rod to match the nuts but couldn't find it locally.) As a finishing touch, I secured a length of web strapping to the blocks with ss screws and cup washers. The idea is these will hold the skeg. I intend to place the stern/skeg in the slot between the blocks and push the boat across the street. The strap will keep the cart in place under the boat. Here's the finished cart.