Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Getting the lead out

With only a few days left until the June 8th splash date for the two Beetle replica whaleboats, the last few critical tasks are being completed.  Among those tasks is the incorporation of a lead block into the centerboard of each boat.  The lead is needed to allow the board to be lowered by gravity when its line is let out.  One of the properties that makes wood the best material with which to make boats works against us when it comes to lowering the centerboard -- namely, wood floats -- even white oak.  As the old seaman's saying goes, "A floating centerboard doesn't help at all."  

Newt, with able assistance from Joe worked on solving the floating centerboard problem.

Joe removes a lead insert from the mold.  Working outdoors with lead preserves brain cells.
Newt trims the lead insert to fit the hole in the centerboard
Sanding the board in preparation for attaching the lead weight
With the loggerhead for whaleboat #2 finished, it was ready for installation. Steve was assigned the task of cutting the slot in the loggerhead shaft into which a below-deck key would be inserted.  The purpose of the key is to prevent the loggerhead from being dislodged, perhaps by a whale who goes airborne?  In any event, with an electric drill and much hand filing Steve was able to get the loggerhead safely and securely installed in the stern of the boat.
Steve files the key slot into shape
The loggerhead securely set in whaleboat #2
One set of spars is completely finished, and with the arrival of the sails, it is time to rig the boat.  Bruce took on the role of the marlinspike seaman, preparing shrouds for the mast.
A man and his fid, splicing away
Worm and parcel with the lay. Turn and serve the other way.
Once the centerboards are pinned in place, the pins, which run crosswise through the centerboard case will be captured and the case kept watertight with bronze plates.  Carl worked on fashioning the plates for whaleboat #2. When they were completed, we all thought he did too good a job. They looked very yachty, but is that really a bad thing?

Carl cutting out his very yachty bronze centerboard pin keeper plates.

Whaleboats were not the only area of activity in the shop.  The Bevins skiff was in the shop for some maintenance, and Nick worked on replacing a bent skeg and preping the boat for its springtime paint job.
Nick sands the skiff.  Painting will be the next step.

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