Sunday, March 30, 2014

Caps, Dogs, and Inwales

The list is shrinking, but I haven't had much desire to document it all. I do feel the finish line is around the bend.

Key remaining items to make are:

  1. centerboard
  2. main boom
  3. side seats
  4. decks
  5. oars
Everything else is a detail or … darn sanding and finish application. I did actually begin that process and quickly lost interest. I began sanding and epoxy coating the aft compartment.
It seems a shame to paint out the nice wood tones, but they look better from this distance.

Going forward, I curved the deck's trailing edge per the sloop version. It adds a bit of elegance and functionally helps cover the hatch in the bulkhead. I may not have covered it, but I reverted to 4 dogs for the bulkhead hatch. I had two tongues on the back of the hatch and two dogs up high, but that was too awkward with this overhanging edge.

curved deck edge.

Added ash trim like small shear rubbing strip.

4 dogged hatch and mast partners.
After a failed attempt to bow a 1/4" strip of douglas fir to follow the deck curve (it kept cracking and I didn't want to steam or soak), 3/8" plywood did nicely. The lower ash trim compliments the small rubbing strip on the shear plank.

The centerboard pivot was reinforced with a sloped piece epoxied above the hole. The aft end of the case got 2 layers of 1/4" cherry. The first layer cracked, but the second covered the mistake. I've since plugged the holes from drywall screws with 5/16" dowels.

Added sloped cap above pivot.

Centercase capped in 2 layers of 1/4" cherry.

The final inhales are now installed. I wish my ability to do this now had been present to start with. Technique makes all the world of difference. She's really a beauty. And she is looking ever more the boat.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring, Masts, and Boomkin

First 1/2 day of  Spring and the weather was perfect for a sail. 70 degrees, sunny, and winds around 12 kts. I did roll the boat out and gave her some sticks. Who knows how often I've stared at the sail plan and my small model of the Sooty. I don't know why I've doubted my build's accuracy, but the mast steps and partner locations were darn near dead on. Good.

It was really a thrill to see the masts in place. Soon … very soon … she'll be afloat. (back to work). 
Using a plumb bob and my iPhone "clinometer" app, I was able to fine tune the two mast positions and confirm the main mast partner locations. Somehow all the parts fit and were aligned per drawings. Good stuff.

True to my chaotic work habits, the next thing I knew I was cutting a hole for the boomkin! I had intended to add fairing fillets to the bench supports. It is time to sand the interior. Perhaps it would have been easier before adding the floors, but my interest wasn't inclined at the time (and likely won't be that strong even later). 
So, using cadd, a paper ellipse template was drawn and taped to the hull's shear plank.  After a careful eyeballing of the template's position with the boom, rudder swing, and centerline, pilot holes were drilled and the coping saw put a hole in my boat.

As Luck would have it, no matter how I located the boom kin, the rudder head struck it when swung to the extreme. So much for all the care! Elongating the hole and filing the inside curve still didn't get it right. Back to the computer to produce a longer outside ellipse for the same hole fixed things as I used this added length to allow for shifting the hole forward and effectively outboard.

These oak rings were shaped by hand saw, plane, and then belt sander. Then a pass through the table saw gave me two which were easily cut with the jig saw for the inner ellipse. The hull was sanded where the trim was epoxied in place.

Edges sanded.
Outside ring epoxied.
Onward and upward-

Friday, March 14, 2014

An Assorted Post of Sorts

I'm close to pushing this hull out into the outside air and begin the next round of sanding, epoxy coating, priming and painting or varnishing. Some good steps have been taken since last post, but my interest in documenting it has slipped. I really am at a point where I want to finish, so, my energies have simply plugged along with the build. I do have updates:

I'll start with a shot across the bow. Iain has designed a looker.

  • The deck framing is done minus the edge support lip. 
foredeck and hatch framing.

Framing is epoxied and dowelled.

  • I'm installing fore and aft hatches designed around a dairy crate's dimensions. A 5 gallon bucket also slips through.

Bowed batten for frame arched edges.

Ganged framing for belt sanding.
Frames were cut with jig saw.

Hatch lip framing and hatch frame in cherry.

Cherry strips added to frame for hatch.

End strips are wedged with impromptu shims.
  • Thwart knees at 3/4" have been fitted in oak, but they appear thin and I think I'll swap them for 1" spruce to match breast hooks.
Holt melt and ply knee template.

Cut ply template.

Oak knee. Seems thin visually.

  • Breasthooks are in spruce and near final shape.
Test fitting and screwed temporarily in place.

Benched for cutting and shaping.

Back in place after belt and ROS sanding.
By cutting the breast hook halves from the same board and adjacent to each other, a nice grain pattern is mirrored. I was overzealous in planing the joint and needed to slip some cherry shims there. It actually adds to the appearance I think.

Overall from aft starboard quarter.
The side bench supports are also in. I had neither 1/2" ply nor 1x boards wide enough here. I glued two 1/4" plus together.
The center case cap in cherry is epoxied in. The thwart is screwed in as will the thwart knees for easier removal when refinishing is needed down the road. I wonder how many miles will have been sailed at that point.

Lastly, of note, the sails have been ordered! She will now be a sail and oar boat.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I'm uncertain what I've here to inform or enlighten, but progress is progress in this case. The spokeshave has seen a lot of action. While the floors seemed to have a sweet flow from one to the next, once the floor boards were tested for fit, the floors needed some fine tuning.

First the boards for the floor (douglas fir) were arranged to take advantage of the grain character from board to board.

Floor boards arranged.

 The floors needed repeated "scraping" to ease the twisting of the floor boards.
All but the 2 center boards are screwed to floors. Screwing the floorboards in adds greater stiffness to the hull. For the center boards I added 3 "fingers" to the underside and a keyed thumb cleat made of oak so that easy access can be had to the center of the bilge.


Keyed plinth for thumb cleat.

Radiused plinth with shoulders.

Oak thumb cleat engaged.

The floors were removed and installed maybe 5-6 times before I was 
satisfied with the way they sat.

I shaped some oak for the forward centercase support. This open design will allow for lashing items securely in the boat.

Supports screwed in place.

Overall of floors and support.

The rudder screws are now countersunk. I'm happy with the installation. More later-