Saturday, March 17, 2012

Masts planed and fitted

This weekend I planed the masts to a round shape and tapered their ends.  As expected there was a huge amount of shavings.  The masts will need sanding, then two coats of epoxy and at least two of spar varnish.  But before that I had to try to step them to check everything fits.  It took a little extra planing but they both fit well.  I couldn't resist taking photos.  I can now imagine the boat completely rigged, flying in the breeze!

I had said I was hoping to launch the boat on the first warm, sunny day of the season.  Given the crazy weather we've been having, we've already had many warm, sunny days (it is 84 degrees Fahrenheit, or 29 Celsius, as I type, in March, in Northwest Ohio!).  But I still hope to lauch the boat by late April or early May, no more than a couple of weeks past the first anniversary of the first cut.  Wish me luck!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

More mast and sail work

Two weekends ago I sanded the oars down to a ready-to-epoxy stage.  Then I finished the scarfing of the mast boards (or so I thought) by doing a lot of sanding.  Then I test-fitted the boards together.  Amazingly, they fit to the right length (except for an extra inch of length on one layer), but some of the scarf joint surfaces needed to be sanded further for a better fit.  I did some of the gluing at one end of each mast (first photo, left side).  I also ordered as much chandlery as I could think of from Annapolis Performance Sailing and Jamestown Distributors.

Last weekend I re-sanded the remaining scarf surfaces, then I finished gluing up the main mast blank (first photo, right side).  While the epoxy was curing, I bought the lumber for the boat's floor (mainly cedar 1X4 boards), and filled the recessed nail holes in the boat's top and insides with putty.  The next day I glued up the mizzen mast.

This week I finished the sails by putting in battens (photo) and reef points.  Finally, I started on the shaping of the masts.  This involved first trimming the laminated piece from 2½ X 2¼ inches to 2¼ square, then cutting the corners off at a 45-degree angle for an octagonal cross-section (last photo).  The rest will be achieved by rounding the eight corners with drawknife and hand plane, then sanding.  There will be tapering from mast partner to mast step, plus a little at the top.  I will have to do all this to both masts before they can be epoxied and varnished. 

The next steps will be:
  1. Cut a hole for an inspection port next to the main mast hole, for access to the space between bow and first bulkhead.   This compartment may have some water leaking into it through the edges of the mast hole.  Rather than build an elaborate mast tube with drainage system, I will simply dry the compartment as needed.  It may also provide useful storage.
  2. Sand the benches and the decking.
  3. Fillet all the joints along the bottom (seat risers and  bulkheads with bottom, and seat risers with frames).  This will improve strength and the water-tightness of compartments.
  4. Build the ballast box.
  5. Put in oarlock sockets and carve the boat's name on the rubrails (in English and Greek).
  6. Lay two coats of epoxy on insides and decks. 
  7. Fill the ballast box with lead shot.
  8. Put in the floor and epoxy the planks.
  9. Finish everything with paint or varnish.
  10. Set up the rigging.
Wow, that's still a lot of work.  In case you are wondering why I often list my next steps, it's mainly for my own benefit: I need to work out the sequence because I designed the boat and the rigging and everything else and I am figuring out stuff as I go along.

So keep checking 176inches as the saga continues.