Friday, March 8, 2013

Turning turtle

Beetle replica whaleboat number 1 was finally flipped, so that the hull could be caulked and the exterior painted.  Newt and volunteers jumped to the task, and are already well into the process.  The starboard side is fully caulked, and Newt is well along on the port side.  Caulking a boat is always a painstaking process, and involves more taps with the mallet than one might like to count. On a 26 foot boat with 7 planks, you are going to hammer in well over 100 yards of cotton.  At a reasonable 3 mallet taps per 2 inches, that means in excess of 6,500 blows are needed, at minimum, to caulk a boat the like our whaleboats!  
Newt moves his way along the garboard to keel seam with mallet and caulking iron.
The task of caulking is simple and requires only a mallet, caulking iron, and cotton caulk.  Most people who have tried it say it is enjoyable and satisfying -- for a while.  Like many enjoyable and satisfying new experiences, it does tend to get old, especially on a large boat.
Tools of the trade -- cotton caulk and caulking iron.  Note caulk already hammered into seams.
While whaleboat number 1 was all about caulking, whaleboat number 2 is moving along on several fronts.  Great progress is being made in planking.  Bruce is already fitting the sheer plank on the port side with the starboard not far behind.
Bruce cuts the rabbet where the sheer strake meets the stem.
Planking is nearly complete on whaleboat number 2.

At the same time, S.A.I.L.O.R program kids are working on two key parts of the boat, the rudder and the centerboard case.  The first step in rudder construction was learning to take the dimensions off the plan, and loft a full size pattern for the rudder.
Careful measurements of the plan must be made before lofting the rudder.
The centerboard case, which is a much simpler shape (i.e., rectangular) was cut out from pine boards.  The boards are fastened together using bronze bolts inserted through pre-drilled holes. 
Using a jig to pre-drill sections of centerboard case for connecting bolts
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the shop, oar making and cleat making continued. 
Work continues in the oar factory, with coats of varnish being applied to finished oars.
John traces a cleat from a pattern.  A completed one is on the bench.
Lee files the horns of a newly cut oak cleat.
Steve's compass binnacle for Suzy has really taken shape.  It is made of solid mahogany, replacing the old one which had been mostly plywood.  
Steve applies oil to the new binnacle.
Charles' sea chest project took a step forward with the layout and cutting of dovetails to attach the front, back and sides.  The dovetails are hand cut, and will match the size and dimensions of the original from which the replica is being copied.
Sea chest side with dovetail pins laid out.

No comments:

Post a Comment