Wednesday, January 17, 2018


I will be the first to admit that I'm a slacker, but if one were to really drill into my psyche, then you'd quickly realize that this tendency is really driven by my 'ability' to procrastinate when a deadline is not imminent.  If a deadline is far out on the horizon, I can find lots of reasons to avoid working toward that goal.  So when I finally came to terms with the fact that I would not be launching in 2017, and would be delayed until sometime in the Spring of 2018, I decided to take a break.

Since my last post in October, I have done virtually nothing on the boat until this past weekend.  The winter has a way of getting a hold of me and luring me off into the forests and mountains of Northern New England to pursue outdoor adventures.  I am particularly fond of being outside in the forest on really cold days when my wife declares me to be a 'lunatic' as she huddles by the wood stove.  I feel that it makes me appreciate the spring and summer more knowing how nasty it can really get outside.

So up until late last week I had been happily tromping about Central NH like a mountain man, enjoying the single digit temperatures, and ignoring the boat.  Fortunately for the boat project however, a warm front came through and dumped a bunch of rain and melted much of the lovely fluffy snow that had covered the area, leaving a frozen hellscape of icy crust.  After coming to terms with the now annoying conditions outside, I decided to warm up the shop and do another push toward completion.

Most of the jobs now are fiddly things that just require a bit of thought and a few screws to secure bits and pieces, but there are a few larger jobs that still need to be attended to.  The 2 biggest are building the oars for propulsion and building the 3 hatches (1 for the foredeck and 2 for the 'cooler').  I decided to tackle the hatches because I don't have the lumber needed for the oars yet.

When I built the openings for all the hatches, I added a plywood 'lip' to all of them as a placeholder for making them watertight (or mostly watertight) once I built the hatches for them.  I planned on using some rubber gasketing material (TBD), but knew that the tolerances would have to be pretty tight in order to keep things dry in the compartments.

I started on the 'cooler' hatches just forward of the daggerboard trunk. Their recessed nature made hatches a bit of a challenge because the close tolerances needed to be on both the inside and outside frames.  Using 6 mm marine plywood, I cut out the rough shape and fitted it to the recess.  I'll be using a rubber gasket material to fit into the recessed channel surrounding the opening. 

Using the same pine I used for the floorboards, I cut out the side pieces adjacent to the hatch openings and fitted those before moving onto the covering boards for the hatches.  Because the hatches have the 6 mm plywood cover, I planed ~6 mm off the boards that will sit on the plywood covers and then screwed them from the bottom of the plywood.  I still have to epoxy coat the plywood and drill some drain holes to move accumulated water out of the recessed channels surrounding the hatches, but that shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

Moving onto the forehatch, which also has a plywood 'lip' but is not recessed, I cut out a plywood top that will cover the hatch and 'lip' and then milled some of the nice Honduras mahogany that I have be using for some of the trim throughout the boat. I hand cut single dovetails on each corner and was not entirely disgusted with my effort.  They aren't perfect, but will be strong and don't look too awful.  I glued up the whole thing with the plywood top and some plywood stringers to stiffen it up.

Finally, I ripped a few strips of Honduras mahogany to make trim pieces along the trailing edge of the foredeck. It seems to give the foredeck a more finished look and I may add more at some point, but haven't decided yet. 

No comments:

Post a Comment