Friday, March 28, 2014

Skiffs, sloops, and runabouts

Our very snowy Winter seems to be over at last.  It is, after all, officially Spring. However, one of the byproducts of the winter was a bunch of days on which school and ISM were closed.  This has set us way behind on the completion of the four SAILOR program Harbormaster skiffs.  To pick up the pace and have the boats ready for Spring rowing, instructors Dave and Jen, as well as several WoW volunteers have been devoting time to skiff construction. Their efforts are paying off, as good progress is being made and the skiffs are coming closer to completion.

Jeff shows Jen how to drill bolt holes in a skiff skeg.
Jen takes over, and another skeg gets ready for installation.
Lots of pieces need to be cut, both for planking and for the cross-planked bottoms of the skiffs.  Volunteers Joe and Bob took on that task, and roared through a pile of white cedar in a day.

Bob selects boards while Joe gets ready to joint their edges.
A properly jointed edge keeps the water out.  That's pretty important in a boat.
Dave assesses the next board to be machined.
Dave rounds over the edges of a skeg prior to installation.
The orders of the day for the next session with the kids.
In addition to the skiffs, Newt and volunteers worked on several projects for Misleading Lady.  Newt has been doing finish work on the acres of brightwork she will display.  He is finishing the boards on the bench, with mahogany stain, two coats of sealer, and the first four of 8 coats of varnish.  Then, he installs those parts that will be permanently attached (bulkheads, seats, etc.,) fastening them with countersunk screws and bunging the screw holes. Then it's a matter of staining and sealing the bungs, and proceeding with the remaining coats of varnish. It is a time consuming, labor intensive job.

Newt works on bungs in the engine compartment forward bulkhead.
The bleary eyed bung setter. That's a lot of holes.
Meanwhile, Bob took a break from skiff work to machine and hand sand many feet of wood which will soon comprise Misleading Lady's ceiling.  Like everything else on this vessel which will be stained and varnished, the ceiling must be carefully sanded to be absolutely scratch-free.

Bob gets ready to sand another strip of ceiling.  Note completed pile on right of table saw.
The 22' Oughtred Grey Seal that was in the shop for ballast and engine installation this winter is now tied up at the floating dock outside WoW's window.  This was accomplished by a whole gang of staff and volunteers last week.  She was lifted off her stands using the shop's two gantries, rolled into position by the sliding doors, and her trailer was rolled underneath.  Then, she was towed to Butch Greco's dock in Essington, PA to be put in the water.

Ready for the trailer
A full crew of supervisors watch Lee fasten a strap to the trailer.
Ready for hookup.
In she goes at Butch's in Essington
Jeff, and John S joined owner/voluteer Charles and his wife on a three hour cruise up the Delaware. The engine performed flawlessly, and the boat, named Lagniappe (LAN-yap) is now tied up at the ISM dock awaiting rigging. Rigging is underway back in the shop, where it is much more pleasant to work on early Spring days than is the dock.

Throat halyard block will be attached to strop on mast.
Shrouds and forestay fastened to mastband and taped.
For a traditional look, steam bent oak mast hoops will be used.

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