Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Little More of Many Things

I confess that the organized side of my brain tells me to finish a task (i.e. building oars) and then post all of the particular details and photos in a singular post. However, the other side of my skull says, "lets just do something". And then there is the chaotic synapses that delight and create in having many projects going at once. It offers an outlet when a particular task may get arduous or boring as is sanding.

So be it. In such fashion, here are random pics of pieces and parts of the boat in various stages of completion. "Completion" is the operative word here. This past week's sailing has made me long ready to end this build, stop this scattered documentation, and take this new boat on her own adventurers.

Since oars have been mentioned previously, here they are, nearly ready for final sanding and finish.

Cut blade tips for hardwood insert.

Handle shaping.

Final shape.
2 makes a pair. Tips gluing up.

The breasthooks as previously blogged I thought too fat. I planed them down, sanded, and added shellac for varnishing.

Stern breasthook.
After staining the hatches, I noticed some scratches requiring further sanding. I will glass the top of these. I've yet to decide on hinges. I do have some stainless piano hinge available.

Cherry stripped hatch.

I dowelled the center case trim where screws had been for accent.

Centercase cap.

Fairing has been applied to interior hull laps using epoxy thickened with micro balloons.

Faired laps.

As an after thought I glassed the inside of the rudder head to help assure it doesn't split. Also, the rudder pivot hole was widened and filled with epoxy to be drilled later for bolt.

Rudder head glassing.

Aside from much sanding, I do have 2 coats of varnish after 1 coat of shellac on all the removable brightwork. they are stacked out of the way for now. Final coats will be attempted in a less dusty environment.

A Sailing Respite

The Sooty Tern sat alone for a good week while I took my 2 younger boys for a first sail of the season with Emily's Grace. The weather was a mixed bag. Fantastic for 2, rain and blowing for 2, and finally sun and blowing. Not quite the idyllic run of days the weatherman had predicted last week, but even a bad day sailing … (you know the rest).

A break from routine and turning away from winter was rejuvenating. Here is a different way to wake up:

With southerly breezes we jumped from Mobjack to Poquoson and on to Norfolk.

Then the fair temps and sunshine stopped. With the edge of a front due to force the winds northerly, we decided to ride a gale back north in the rain. The thought of a cold bash to windward home and a rolling Norfolk harbor persuaded us to go. Winds stayed 20-25 and gusted to 30-35. With just the jib flying and a following tide we escorted a large tanker from downtown to Sewell's Point. There the ship rounded east, got up her steam, and shot past forts Wool and Monroe. By the time we reached them, the tanker had dissolved in the rain. Hugging the western shore to avoid the seas, we were back in Mobjack Bay in a few hours and reached far up the East River to drop anchor in Woodas Creek.

An hour later the winds veered 180 degrees to the north pushing gusts to 35 kts. Cold and wet, but with a sense of accomplishment, a warm dry cabin was welcomed.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Shoe Shines and Sunshine

Cooperating weather makes this building deal much more enjoyable. In Central VA we had temps in the low 70s, sun, and breezy conditions. So, as much as I dislike the sanding process, I was able to  move on with a few tasks. The biggest was knocking down the gunwale with the belt sander, 36 grit, and the router. The results are smooth and satisfactory. The breast hooks are close to their final shape too.

A second bout of sanding went after the floor boards with the ROS and 120 grit. Several boards were cracked at the ends from too vigorous screw action. To fix this I saturated the end grain and flooded the countersunk holes. Hopefully that will hold.
End epoxy repairs.

Since the plans for the open boat do not show any of the side bench web supports I reduced the 4 shown on each side to 2. Support is gained from resting on blocks at the end bulkheads, the plywood webs, and hanging from the thwart. For that I bevelled a piece of teak and through bolted it between seat and thwart. The result is quite rugged and stiff. You can get just a peek of it in the next pic.
Teak bench spacer under thwart.

While the epoxy was flowing I blocked up the main boom and blanks for a pair of oars. Aside from the epoxy dry time, I think I had maybe 2.5 hrs in getting from board to rounded spar. The real trick to this is of course an electric plane and going from 4 sided all the way down to 32 sided before breaking out the dreaded sand paper. Actually, a cut 80 grit sanding belt with wood blocks nailed to the ends for grips allowed for gentle removal and rounding. A shoe shining technique worked great. That and my employ of a doubled up loop of rope as a breaking stirrup to hold the work in place. You can make this as easy or hard a workout as desired. My previous sanding drum could remove too much material before you knew it. More control is in the shining.

Manning benches with boom in carpeted chocks.
Shoe shining with the stirrup.

I chickened out of the spoon bladed oars and decided to go conventional. Here are the blocks and the different sided ends of the pair.
Oar blanks. 

4 sided.
8 sided.
16 sided.

32 sided. Ready for "shoe shine".

 I broke my last jig saw blade and used the hand saw to trim the oar blades.

Handle ends. 

Here is a bit of advice: don't trust the guy at the lumber yard to know where to cut the middle of the board. In triple checking the final oar length, I got this 2.5" difference. The dark shading above is defined from rolling a sheet of paper at the cut line.

Rough blade outline.

Oar in stored position after some shaping.
Shawn & Tenney has a good formula for oar length based on boats size. The Sooty would need 10'-3"  sticks (with a 2" overlap) based on this. However, The fore and aft bulkheads are just shy of 10' separation. Given that and my suspicion the added length will be a disadvantage in a troubled sea, I settled on 9'-8 1/4" blades. These fit nicely in the boat and without the other two seat web supports, almost tuck up under the side benches. I like this. If necessary I can lash them to the webs. The blade nestles in the curve of the hull. I may glue a check forward to receive the handle end or vice versa.

Lastly, used the red microballons to fair a couple fillets to either side of the webs, thwart support, and a couple scuffs from the saw on the centercase.

Support web fillet.

Thwart support.

Ah, almost forgot. I got Horns and oarlocks from Shaw & Tenney. I went with the angled brackets and fitted them to the inwales. The typical sockets seemed to remove too much material in this key structural elements and raising them on cheek blocks would eliminate that as a seat on the rail. I'll post that pic when I mount them again.