Saturday, March 8, 2014

Things take shape

A great deal has been happening in the shop over the past several weeks. Foremost is the progress being made on the four SAILOR program Harbormaster skiffs. They have begun to look like boats, as planking is well underway.  Transoms, keels, garboards, and one or two other planks have been glued, screwed, and riveted in place. If spring ever arrives, they will be ready for rowing in the basin.

Dave fits a plank to one of the skiffs.

Another day, another plank
Getting ready to rivet, the plank lands are bedded in Sikaflex
Planks are rabbeted and screwed at the stem.
SAILORs began mass-producing the frames that will be needed for the skiffs. They are cut from white oak, rounded over, and notched to fit. Soon, they will be fastened in place.

Cutting out frames on the bandsaw.
Crews of volunteers are making good progress on the Beetle Cat project.  All the frames have been replaced, as has the white oak transom. The boat has been flipped allowing a better view of the planking. Initially, we planned to retain the planking, but a close inspection led to the conclusion that it will be better to replace it. Existing planks are good enough to use as patterns for the new ones, but not good enough to sail again.

The new transom held in place with clamps and a strap.
We began unscrewing the planks, starting with the garboards. The planks will be removed and replaced two sets at a time in order to protect the shape of the hull.

Garboard planks removed, and keel rabbet cleaned up a bit.

Newt has been devoted to sanding, staining, and varnishing Misleading Lady for what seems like forever. There are a tremendous number of surfaces that must be finished bright, and Newt is carefully matching the hue of the wood. Many coats of varnish have been applied, and many more will follow.

First coat of varnish on a cockpit bench.
Misleading Lady originally had a bench for the pilot, but the original no longer exists.  Jeff is doing his best effort to mock up a seat in plywood.  It will eventually be rendered in mahogany.

Jeff's bench.  The cushion is a nice touch.
Charles' Grey Seal is fast approaching her date with destiny -- the big splash. The engine is fully installed, plumbed, and wired. House wiring including bilge pumps, running lights, and anchor lights is done.  Final coats of non-skid paint are being applied to decks and soles.  Once she is in the water, rigging can begin.

A very salty starboard running light
John S. and Joan discuss intricacies of sailing.

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