New Beginnings? Phase II? Tying Up Loose Ends?

They'd all be appropriate titles for this page. Take your pick.

So. By now I'm sure you must all be saying to yourselves, "Well 'Dawg! It's about goddamned time!"

Only this time you've been clammering for an update. My "Thanks!" goes out to all my email pesterers.
Nine hours, 1 pack of cigarettes and 5 giant cups of coffee later...the update.

I myself must say that I'm dismayed that many building sites I frequent seem to be abandoned. Rest assured that that's not the case here. I've simply been too busy to keep up. And truthfully, to me it just hasn't looked like much has happened. I'm sure it's a "forest for the trees" thing, but that's somewhat irrelevant. I'm here and you're there.

The rollover was such a euphoric experience that it produced an invevitable apres-monumental-event letdown. It looked like I'd be starting all over again. And I didn't know where to start; there were so many things to do. I spent the first couple of weekends staring up at this gigantic form, or climbing up and inside and being overwhelmed. I've read about "moaning chairs"; where the builder sits and contemplates his (or her) next move. I am an inveterate moaner, so I can moan anywhere. I groan pretty regularly too.

The first order of business, once I'd pulled myself back together, was to build a real ladder. The sheer is 9 feet off the ground. The ladder, canabalized from the strongback, is 12 feet tall and Mongoproof. Maybe I'll explain later why the steps are hot green and hot pink.

Once the ladder was built. I hauled up the little 6 foot ladder and used that to get into the boat. It's been parked in the [future] head ever since. It's the only logical place to enter for now. It's like having a Stairmaster. Ten steps up, six steps down. Six steps up, ten steps down. I've become very adept at remembering what I need in the boat, or out, and never make a trip empty-handed.
The sheerline loft turned out to be too much work and would have required to much unnecessary expense.

This is how the job stays clean. Dust and dirt collects so quickly that the vacuum fills up almost daily. The purchase makes the emptying job a lot easier.

There's a lot of explaining to do. So since I can't scrawl doodles on the side of the hull for you, I refer you to the layout picture.

The real work began by sanding goobers on the inside preparatory to sheathing. Occasionally I discovered a sloppy joint. These were filled with thickened epoxy and sanded yet again.
At this point, sheathing is complete between "8" and "4", "W.C.", and the lower parts of "4" to "0". I should have completed the sheathing of the upper parts aft, but by then I was sick and tired of sheathing and HAD to see some more visible form of "progress". I also was tired of stepping on the 2x6 planks strewn on the floors. I twisted my ankles stepping on the "dead" ends a couple of times too. Not badly, but often enough to cause me to focus my attention on the floors and sole.

As you know if you've followed along from the beginning, the floors are part of the frames, but they were never intended to be more than reference points until they were expanded; most are only 1 inch wide. Work on the floors consisted of setting a PTSYP* 5/4x6 on each, coped around the frames to bear on the frames and the hull, filleted and glassed into place. These gave me bearing for the sole.
* Pressure Treated Southern Yellow Pine

The stem was filleted and glassed over, top to bottom. Sheathing was run past and lapped the stem.

The mast step is built but not completely finished either. I need another 1.5" of bury for the foot. I'm trying to decide where to put the additional boards; above or below what's in place now. I also need to fabricate a slew of wedges for adjusting the rake fore and aft.

The sole was raised between "6" and "5". It dawned on me at some point that I'd have to leap into the sack. So I raised it 6 inches. I'm not terribly happy at the outcome of this first portion of the sole. The color is just short of stone ugly. But, the beauty of a "workboat finish" is that you do your best and move on, as in, "Let's get this boat to work and not spend the rest of our lives redoing everything until it's all perfect!"

It came out better as all the pieces were laid into place. The bottoms are epoxied, the tops are tung oiled. The bilge access portions were glassed together underneath and blackened epoxy was used in between to simulate tarred joints. The different coloring here is because some of the panels haven't been tung oiled, some haven't.

These latches were a bitch to install. Luckily I learned to hang doors back in the stone ages when we used chisels. Still, I built a couple of router templates to get the bulk of the mortises cut, then went to work with the very cool Japanese chisels I inherited from my Dad-in-Law.

Shortly after the giant box of goodies arrived from New Found Metals, I temporarilly installed the first two of these beauties. "Temporarily" because I have to seal the hull around the holes, line up and bore the rest of the holes for the bolts and seal those. There will be four portlites, not six as on the front page portrait because there's really not enough room for six. And, they're just too damned expensive.

Technically she's a "floater" now.
I ground the glass back and laid in two layers of new glass, the first 3 inches wide, the second 6 inches wide, faired, then re-"copperpoxied".

Progress on the partners is continuing. It's all seasoned yellow pine 2x6, doubled. The outer pieces were mortised into the partner beams. the plywood is 2 inches thick; the first inch was laid in between, the second inch was laid on top.

Here's the view from below. Every inch will get sanded and sheathed. Then I'll fabricate and install angles bolting the entire affair together permanently.

More beginnings. The cabinetry fronts and all the minor trim is Southern Yellow Pine, stair tread 9.25 inches wide. It's very tough, straight, knot-free, and a color I like much more than mahogany. This is the cabinetry under the master's berth; drawers just below, and doors below those. Shelves in the larger lockers.

The stainless steel screen was salvaged from a dumpster at a job I was working on three years ago. Talk about planning ahead, huh.

The door on the left will hinge on its right side. The door on the right will hinge down. The compartment is so small it doesn't make sense to put a shelf into it.
These doors will all have a finger hole and two bullet catches each to keep them closed. I'll build and install some "rough weather" latches later on.

This is the starbord wall cabinet, started. It'll be quite functional and pleasing to the eye, despite a couple of "boo-boos". The shelf itself was installed with lightweight pieces of 1x1, then the face was installed. I was having what can only be politely described as a "bad day". No matter how many times I measured and cut the pieces, the copes around the frames were wrong. After several attempts and a growing pile of scrap, I reminded myself that it was that it was a workboat finish, as I mentioned earlier. There's a bit of filler in places I'd rather not look but can see altogether too clearly. I'm rationalizing this apparent lazyness by taking the objective view that in the end the overall look will overwhelm the blemishes.

I went to Hopeless Depot looking for aluminum track for the 1/2 inch plywood doors of the forward closet at "7". Naturally they were out of what I wanted, so I milled my own. The closet gets a shelf, which is built, installed (yesterday), but not photographed.

Starbord side. Chart table. Drawers and doors. The forward drawer will have to be a parallelogram. Producing one that works will probably qualify as one of the Minor Miracles of the new century.

The sole is 90% done. The plywood patch way back there was laid in after I got tired of stepping into the hole. The hole was there because I couldn't decide whether to go with a diesel or an outboard. Thanks partially to the input from Chuck Leinweber during a recent visit, I'm going back to planning for the outboard.

This is what it's like to build a closet from the inside. Once the forward half is fitted out, I'll move all this from the galley (here) into the forward cabin.

The quarterberth is the other half of the shop. Here I perpetrate my minor carpentry adjustments* with a couple of nifty little Japanese pull saws. The box hanging up houses a roll of 6 inch tape for filleting. The bucket is the trash can. Behind it is a 10 pound bag of Cabosil**.
* Major ripping and milling jobs are done downstairs out in the real shop. Fitting the compound mitered ends of the wood bits happens here, right near the work, so they can be cut as often as necessary. Because I use three different bevel gauges, I rarely have to cut the bevels more than once, but the nature of compound bevels is that as the elevation changes, the lengths need to be trimmed to fit. I usually cut a tad long and proceed to the exactly right length by minor incriments.
** Cabosil is fumed silica, an extremely light weight, extremely strong filler powder for structural joints and fillets. I use it exclusively, including second coating fiberglass - the fill-the-weave coat.

The crapper. What can I say? Words fail me. HA! Words never fail me. Nor am I inclined to keep my opinions entirely to myself.
"No plumbing." "No holding tanks." "No leaky stinking piping." "No lengthy explanations to guests about how to flush the head." "No lining up at the pumpout dock awaiting my turn."

In Chuck's words, "She may be a 26 footer outside, but she's a 40 footer inside."

On to the real Autumn page... Autumn 2003

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Written 2003/Oct/02